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AUG. 31-SEPT. 14
Some movie images are indelible, but film itself—especially the highly flammable nitrate-based kind used widely until the ’50s—can be gone in a flash. The Library of Congress’ Motion Picture Conservation Center in Dayton, Ohio, is one of the principal places for saving older movies, and it annually sends some of its recent successes to be screened at the National Gallery. Perhaps the biggest challenge on this year’s schedule was Dudley Murphy’s 1933 film of Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones (pictured, at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31; at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7). The first major Hollywood production with a top-billed African-American performer (Paul Robeson), the movie was controversial before it was even released. Because it was censored almost immediately, finding the missing footage was especially difficult. The series also includes Shadow of a Doubt (at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8), a 1943 Hitchcock film in which a loving niece begins to suspect that her uncle (Joseph Cotten) has a murderous past, and The Wedding March (at 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14), Erich von Stroheim’s 1928 extravaganza about a doomed romance, assembled from three prints belonging to the Library of Congress and the Cinematheque Française. Also featured is a double bill of Children of Divorce and Where Are My Children? (at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7); the former is a 1927 moral tale with Clara Bow and Gary Cooper as lovers who should not be, and the latter is a 1916 drama by proto-feminist director Lois Weber. The series runs from Saturday, Aug. 31, to Sunday, Sept. 14, at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 842-6799. (Mark Jenkins)