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NOV. 25 AND DEC. 2
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For much of the 20th century, Eastern European directors constructed elaborate allegories to bewilder the censors. While Hungary’s Karoly Makk tended toward more straightforward strategies, his best-known work has a whiff of allegory to it: 1971’s Love, one of four films in this mini-retrospective, follows a woman’s effort to dupe her mother-in-law into believing that the older woman’s son (the younger’s husband) is seeking his fortune in America rather than serving time in prison. Some observers have noted that the absent son’s alleged exploits grow to mirror those of the heroic cults common in Warsaw Pact nations. Love screens Saturday, Dec. 2, with 1959’s The House Under the Rocks, the tale of a man who returns home from war to find his sister-in-law (Iren Psota) running the household—and as unmovable as a geological formation. The series opens Saturday, Nov. 25, with 1997’s The Gambler, which features Michael Gambon as the debt-driven Dostoevsky; this English-language film’s scenario interweaves the author’s novella—Polly Walker is the fictional love interest—with the memoirs of the young stenographer who was soon to become the second Mrs. Dostoevsky. The Gambler screens with 1954’s Liliofmi (pictured), in which Marianne Krencsey plays a vacationing woman who falls in love with an itinerant actor, unaware of her foster father’s marital plans for her. Makk will attend the screening of The Gambler (a Washington premiere), and actors Krencsey and Psota will appear with the films in which they star. At 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25, and Saturday, Dec. 2, at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building auditorium, 4th & Constitution NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. (Mark Jenkins)