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Budapest-born ceramist Eva Zeisel has always been a modernist, rejecting what she calls “19th-century sentimentality” and designing for mass production rather than wealthy collectors. She worked in ’20s Berlin and ’30s Moscow, but avoided the straight-edged austerity of Bauhaus and Soviet design in favor of curvilinear forms and the “playful search for beauty.” Along the way, she spent 16 months in a Soviet prisonon trumped-up charges of plotting Stalin’s assassinationand got out of Vienna just as Hitler was rolling in. These events and more are recounted in Throwing Curves, Jyll Johnstone’s documentary about the New York-based designer’s life and work. For those who want to know more, the 96-year-old Zeisel will be present to answer questions after the day’s screenings. This rare Washington appearance is part of a celebration of her work, which is represented in Hillwood Museum’s Russian-decorative-art collection. The screenings begin at 12:30, 2:30, and 4:30 p.m. at the Hillwood Museum and Gardens’ Vistor Center Theater, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. $18. For reservations call (202) 686-5807. (Mark Jenkins)