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JUNE 9-AUG. 11
Gilda climaxes when the titular character, played by Rita Hayworth, breaks out in a drunken striptease, shedding the constricting roles in which men have wrapped her. Written (by Marion Parsonnet and Jo Eisinger) and produced (by Virginia Van Upp) by women, Gilda (at noon and 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 9) is atypically female-sympathetic for a film noir; thus it makes the perfect opener for the Women of Noir series, which focuses on the female screenwriters and producers of the genre. Phantom Lady (at noon and 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 14), writer and producer Joan Harrison’s first film after her apprenticeship with Alfred Hitchcock, is a triumph of style that finds director Robert Siodmak bringing the shadows and odd angles of German expressionism to American film. My Name Is Julia Ross (at noon and 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 11), written by Muriel Roy Bolton, was regarded by veteran director Joseph H. Lewis as the real beginning of his career; he went on to direct the definitive couple-on-the-run movie, Gun Crazy, aka Deadly Is the Female. Each of the films in this series features a less deadly, sympathetic female lead, which may explain why it’s so short, for film-noir women are far more often femmes fatales who exploit men’s fatal flaws and entice them to their tragic ends. As Gilda sings, “Put the Blame on Mame.” At the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW. $5. For reservations call (202) 783-7370. (Mark W. Sullivan)