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FRIDAY

“It has well been said that the most wonderful aesthetic products of Japan are…its women,’’ wrote American Japanophile Lafcadio Hearn a century ago. That attitude, sometimes in considerably coarser form, has been reflected in many works of Western fiction, from Madame Butterfly to Ronald Kirkbride’s 1959 pulp novel, Tamiko. Filmed in 1963 as A Girl Named Tamiko, Kirkbride’s scenario became the tale of a half-Russian, half-Japanese photographer (Laurence Harvey) who must choose between an American blonde and the title character (France Nuyen). The movie was directed by John Sturges, who is better-known for adventure fare like The Great Escape, and rightly so. But the rarely screened film retains some appeal as a curio, in part because of its outlook but also due to its location: The filmmakers didn’t hire a Japanese actress to play Tamiko, but they did cast the ever-photogenic Tokyo as Tokyo. The film screens at 7 p.m. at the Library of Congress’ Mary Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. (202) 707-5677. (Mark Jenkins)

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