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TO NOV. 7
The exploration of substrata, whether social, political, or actual, provides the link among the movies featured in the second and final weekend of the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center’s annual showcase of new EU films. The literally subterranean entry is Kontroll (pictured; at 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, and 1:45 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7), set entirely in Budapest’s subway. This gritty yet playful allegory of death and redemption seems at first to be a series of random vignettes, yet gradually reveals the tightly plotted story of a ticket inspector who confronts a lurking, hooded murderer. Inspired by actual events in late-’30s Paris, French master Eric Rohmer’s Triple Agent (at 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, and 6:25 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7) observes political, rather than the director’s usual erotic, intrigue. In this smart, talky, and beautifully performed film, a Russian refugee negotiates such dangers as Soviet kidnapping operations, the Spanish Civil War, and the Hitler-Stalin pact, while his Greek-born wife tries to understand his actions. Language and class barriers are traversed in the lushly picturesque but ultimately acrid South From Granada (at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6), based on Bloomsbury Group member Gerald Brenan’s memoir about moving to Spain and falling in love with a peasant girl. The fest’s most conventional account of crossing class boundaries is Upswing (at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, and 8:45 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7), in which a bourgeois Finnish couple learns predictable lessons from a sudden descent into poverty. The series runs through Sunday, Nov. 7, at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8.50. (301) 495-6700. (Mark Jenkins)