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TO AUG. 19
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Anyone who’s seen films by John Woo, Ringo Lam, or Johnnie To knows what Hong Kong cinema is all about: tales of office romance among the territory’s white-collar workers. Well, no, but that’s the surprising focus of the Freer’s sixth annual overview of HK movies. The series opens with 2000 A.D. (July 14 at 2:00 p.m.), in which a computer-game slacker must rise to the occasion when his older brother is killed in some sort of silicon-chip spy plot. More typical, though, is To’s Needing You (at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19), an amiable screwball romance that entwines a womanizing executive and a scatterbrained but endearing secretary. Even sweeter is Gorgeous (at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 16, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19), in which an aloof financier falls for an innocent Taiwanese country girl whose best friend is a dolphin; this 1999 comedy has some kung fu action but is clearly intended to ease star Jackie Chan into less strenuous leading-man roles. These amorous fables are bolstered by two revivals, 1987’s Rouge (at 7 p.m. Friday, July 20, and 2 p.m. Saturday, July 28) and 1989’s A Terra-Cotta Warrior (at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 12), both supernatural romances that follow true love through a few cycles of reincarnation. The counterbalance to all this amour is Woo’s final HK film, 1992’s Hard-Boiled (at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4), a delirious cop drama whose enormous body count should compensate for the rest of the series’ cuddliness. At the Freer Gallery of Art’s Meyer Auditorium, 12th and Jefferson Drive SW. Free. (202) 357-3200. (Mark Jenkins)