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TO FEB. 10
Born 100 years ago in Spain, idiosyncratic director Luis Bunuel attended the University of Madrid with Salvador Dali and Federico Garcia Lorca. But he made most of his sly, playful films in France or Mexico—which is why the local embassies of all three countries allied to present this 15-film centennial retrospective. It begins with the director’s early surrealist triumphs: An Andalusian Dog (a collaboration with Dali), the scandalously sexual The Golden Age, and the grim documentary Land Without Bread (beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26). Those flicks are followed by several of the director’s Mexican films, including The Young and the Damned (at 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27), a characteristically unsentimental subversion of the youth-gang genre; The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 1), a black comedy about a frustrated would-be sex killer; and The Exterminating Angel (at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9), in which guests find it impossible to leave a party. Bunuel’s French period includes Belle du Jour (at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3), with Catherine Deneuve as a dilettantish Parisian hooker; The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8), in which dinner guests find it impossible to have the meal; and That Obscure Object of Desire (at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10), the director’s final meditation on sex and violence. Also featured is Viridinia (at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9), a parable of corruption Bunuel managed to make in Franco’s Spain in 1961. The films screen to Sunday, Feb. 10, at the Embassy of France’s La Maison Francaise, 4101 Reservoir Road NW; at the Mexican Cultural Institute, 2829 16th St. NW; and at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 944-6091. (Mark Jenkins)