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Contemporary movies are full of special effects, but few actually have a sense of wonder—and fewer still manage to balance wonder with a mordant wit. Terry Gilliam did all that in 1981’s Time Bandits. This spirited schoolboy romp through history was also the director’s successful bid to be accepted among the ranks of the classic fabulists who know that childhood nightmares are often dangerous—and that kids like them better that way. The director’s subsequent work, which includes Brazil and Twelve Monkeys, features more grown-up themes, but Gilliam never made a more sophisticated film than this. And Bill and Ted couldn’t have done it without him. At 7 p.m. at the Library of Congress’ Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free. For reservations call (202) 707-5677. (Mark Jenkins)