There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
As someone who spent a summer working in a New England funeral home, I can assure you that there are worse things to be than an undertaker. You could be, for instance, a writer. Richard (David Tennant), the protagonist of Finnish director Mika Kaurismäki’s 1998 romantic comedy L.A. Without a Map, is both, but it’s Barbara (Vinessa Shaw), a woman he meets at a funeral, who becomes his biggest headache. Following the wannabe actress back to Los Angeles, where she works as—surprise!—a waitress, Richard rents an apartment from Moss (Vincent Gallo), a retrofied, jive-talking version of, well, himself, who also gets the movie’s best line (“Yo, bro—you fucked up this hot dog! I think you cooked it too long”). But the essential punch line is Richard’s haplessness in giving the “treatment” to—that is, making a script of—his unfinished novel, Uzi Suicide. This is Hollywood, after all; how could such a concept not fly? The film screens following live musical performances by fellow Finns the Latebirds and surf-rockers Laika and the Cosmonauts as part of the “Finnish Sound and Vision Extravaganza” at 7:45 p.m. at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $15. (301) 495-6700. (Chris Hagan)