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TUESDAY

When Martin Scorsese lists your first film as one of the 10 best movies of the ’90s, you’ve got a bright future ahead of you. That’s what happened to Wes Anderson with Bottle Rocket, his 1996 directorial and screenwriting debut (based on a 13-minute 1994 short), which follows the misadventures of three aimless 20-somethings on the run after a poorly planned bookstore robbery goes wrong. Yet, like Anderson’s later films, Bottle Rocket is driven more by its motley cast of characters than by plot: The complex interrelationships of the optimistic yet painfully naive Dignan, emotionally exhausted Anthony, and neurotic third wheel Bob form an endearing mixture of genuine affection and codependence. In addition to establishing Anderson as one of Hollywood’s new talents, Bottle Rocket also launched the acting careers of Luke and (script co-writer) Owen Wilson—two leading figures in the filmmaker’s collaborative entourage who have gone on to decidedly non-sad-sack roles. The film screens at 6:45 p.m. (see Showtimes for other dates) at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8.50. (301) 495-6700. (Matthew Borlik)