Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
OPENS JUNE 4
Bollywood has been lifting plots and flourishes from Hollywood and Hong Kong movies for decades, but usually from spy and gangster fare, not classics of English literature. Things are changing fast in India, however, and as the film biz tries to keep up, it’s turned to Shakespeare and Jane Austen. This selection of four 1999–2003 films (three from Bombay/Mumbai and one from Madras/Chennai) opens with Vishal Bharadwaj’s Maqbool (pictured; at 7 p.m. Friday, June 4), which transplants Macbeth to Mumbai, where a Muslim gang lord’s lieutenant is encouraged by his boss’s beautiful mistress to vie for control of the organization. Om Puri, who’s been seen in numerous British films, plays a corrupt cop who’s also a horoscope-drawing soothsayer. The plot looks west, but one musical number forgoes techno beats and electric guitar in favor of traditional qawwali. Rajiv Menon’s I Have Found It (at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 6) opens amid guerrilla combat in the Sri Lankan jungle, but it’s actually a romantic comedy based on Sense and Sensibility. The film includes some jokes at the expense of Bollywood (as does Maqbool) and Indian-style capitalism, as well as extravagant dance numbers scored to the music of superstar composer A.R. Rahman. Also included are Shashanka Ghosh’s Anything Can Happen (at 7 p.m. Friday, June 11), a hip genre-bending hit, and Rituparno Ghosh’s The Lady of the House (at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 13), a gentler film that’s more in the tradition of Satyajit Ray. The series opens Friday, June 4, and runs through Sunday, June 13, at the Freer Gallery of Art’s Meyer Auditorium, 12th Street and Jefferson Drive SW. Free. (202) 633-4880. (Mark Jenkins)