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JULY 8–AUGUST 28
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Saluting a decade of Freer HK showcases, this year’s selection pulls some landmark movies from the vaults. King Hu’s extravagantly choreographed 1966 Come Drink With Me (at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 7) will surprise viewers who thought martial-arts flicks went balletic (and introduced female action heroes) 20 years later with Tsui Hark’s Peking Opera Blues. What did originate in the ’80s were John Woo’s soulful, hyperstylized gangster melodramas, exemplified by his first U.S. hit, 1989’s The Killer (at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 28). That decade was also when Jackie Chan launched his greatest stuntman-as-star franchise, beginning with 1985’s Police Story (pictured; at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21). The series features three recent efforts, including Johnnie To’s Throw Down (at 7 p.m. Friday, July 8, and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 10), in which an aspiring judo practitioner redeems a former star who’s gone to seed. Billed as a tribute to Akira Kurosawa, the movie makes reference to that director’s Sanjuro, but its mix of slapstick and lyricism is distinctively Hong Kong. The other films from 2004 and 2005 are comic superstar Stephen Chow’s stateside breakthrough, Kung Fu Hustle (at 7 p.m. Friday, July 15, and 2 p.m. Sunday, July 17); and HK’s first CGI-heavy spectacular, DragonBlade (at 7 p.m. Friday, and July 22, 2 p.m. Sunday, July 24). The series opens Friday, July 8, and runs through Sunday, Aug. 28, at the Freer Gallery of Art’s Meyer Auditorium, 12th Street and Jefferson Drive SW. Free. (202) 357-3200. (Mark Jenkins)