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TO MARCH 14
This weeklong sampler shows, if not the breadth of Irish culture, at least the diversity of recent Irish cinema. Thus it includes films that could be set almost anywhere in the affluent Western world, like the pleasant but decidedly soap-operatic This Time Round (at 7:15 and 9:15 p.m. Sunday, March 10), in which an attractive young woman’s attractive old beau returns to Dublin just as she’s planning her wedding to another attractive guy. But there are also such very culturally specific films as the powerful Silent Grace (at 5:15, 7:15, and 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 13), about a rebellious but apolitical teenage Motorhead fan who finds herself in the same cell as an IRA leader at a notorious Northern Ireland prison. Some of these films are two decorous for their own good: Night Train (at 5:15 and 7:15 p.m. Friday, March 8) is a tale of romance between a furtive ex-con (John Hurt) and a lonely middle-aged momma’s girl (Brenda Blethyn); despite grisly scenes of torture (human) and dismemberment (bovine), the movie’s rather bland. Others are too nasty: Disco Pigs (pictured, at 11:15 p.m. Saturday, March 9; at 5:15 and 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 12) is an account of two teenage lifetime pals who are tediously self-absorbed and aimlessly violent. Perhaps the most interesting of the previewed entries is If I Should Fall From Grace (at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14), a lively, deftly structured documentary about charismatically dissolute Irish-punk singer-songwriter Shane McGowan.The festival runs to Thursday, March 14, at Visions Cinema Bistro Lounge, 1927 Florida Ave. NW. $8-$20. (202) 667-0090. (Mark Jenkins)