There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The British took much from Ireland, but left behind something that has proved very helpful to Irish literature and, now, Irish film: their language. That’s why Ireland’s fledgling cinema is well-known in the subtitle-phobic United States and this retrospective includes four films that enjoyed wide American release: Paddy Breathnach’s raucous gangster farce I Went Down (at 8:30 p.m. Monday, May 22); Neil Jordan’s surrealistic account of a tormented childhood, The Butcher Boy (at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, May 24); Mike Newell’s Into the West (pictured, at 3:45 p.m. Saturday, May 27), a mystical tale of two boys who flee a Dublin slum; and John Huston’s elegant adaptation of Joyce’s “The Dead” (at 6:15 p.m. Sunday, May 28). The series also introduces two new films, Declan Lowney’s Wild About Harry, with Brendan Gleeson as a talk show host who develops amnesia during his divorce (at 9 p.m. Saturday, May 27), and Nora, Pat Murphy’s biopic about Nora and James Joyce (at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 28). Other highlights include Cathal Black’s Korea, in which a feud is stoked by one man’s hostility over another man’s compensation for a son killed in the Korean War (at 6:30 p.m. Friday, May 26, and 4:45 p.m. Sunday, May 28); David Keating’s The Last of the High Kings, a coming-of-age tale starring Gabriel Byrne and Christina Ricci (at 8:15 p.m. Friday, May 26); and a program of avant-garde shorts by No Waver Vivienne Dick (at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 24). At the American Film Institute’s National Film Theater, in the Kennedy Center’s Hall of States. $7.50. (202) 785-4600. (Mark Jenkins)