TO JUNE 28

The first woman ever to join the Directors Guild of America, Dorothy Arzner made her first feature in 1927. After driving an ambulance in World War I, she was hired as a Famous Players stenographer in 1919, earned her reputation as an editor and screenwriter, and made her directorial debut with the silent Fashions for Women. The five 1929-1932 films screening this week as part of this retrospective were all restored from prints or positives—none of the original negatives survive—by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. They include the first talkie for both Arzner and star Clara Bow, The Wild Party (pictured; 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 21), in which a party girl at a woman’s college finally accepts responsibility to help her best friend and thus wins the love of the anthropology professor she adores. Similar in theme but more sophisticated in craft, Working Girls (5 p.m. Sunday, June 22) is set in a New York City women’s residence and follows two Midwestern sisters, sensible June and over-romantic May, who navigate love, work, and the East Coast class system. Also included are three accounts of troubled unions: Anybody’s Woman (shown with The Wild Party), which pairs a chorus girl and a lawyer; Honor Among Lovers (1 p.m. Saturday, June 28), the tale of a secretary who marries the wrong co-worker; and Merrily We Go to Hell (7 p.m. Sunday, June 29, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts), in which a sheltered socialite weds an alcoholic reporter who promises—but fails—to forsake booze. The series runs to Saturday, June 28, at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW. Free. (202) 842-6799; and to Sunday, June 29, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW. $5. (202) 783-7370. (See Showtimes for full schedule.) (Mark Jenkins)

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