There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The Russians love their children, too, Sting informed us, and apparently they also entertained doubts about nuclear fission. Greeted as a revelation upon its long-delayed U.S. premiere last year, Mikhail Romm’s Nine Days of One Year was a Soviet box-office hit in 1961, despite censors’ concerns about its depiction of a scientist suffering from radiation poisoning. The film’s contemporary outlook rallied young skeptics, and its black-and-white expressionist depiction of sterile laboratories and hulking machinery quietly suggested that Soviet science was inhuman. The misgivings of ’60s Soviet New Wave filmmakers like Romm were soon suppressed, but his influence continued. The director was also a professor of film, and one of his students was Andrei Tarkovsky, who advanced his teacher’s vision of an ominous Soviet future in such films as Solaris and Stalker. Nine Days of One Year screens at 2:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 842-6799. (Mark Jenkins)