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In a lecture midway through this intensive mini-retrospective of American film noir (Feb. 14 at 2 p.m.), Indiana University film historian James Naremore will discuss the defining aspects of the genre and its relationship to modernist literature and aesthetics. The six movies that illustrate his thesis represent an impressive cross-section of the style, ranging from the upscale elegance (and mystifying plot) of Orson Welles’ The Lady From Shanghai (Feb. 14 at 5 p.m.) to Edgar G. Ulmer’s considerably trashier Detour (Feb. 13 at 3:30 p.m.). The other pictures include Crack-Up, in which an expert on art forgeries discovers a plot against the museum that fired him (Feb. 13 at 12:30 p.m.); Murder, My Sweet (pictured), a characteristic Raymond Chandler-derived tale of private eye and missing lady (Feb. 13 at 4:45 p.m.); and Jacques Tourneur’s Out of the Past, the story of a man whose attempt at a new beginning is jeopardized by the reappearance of the femme fatale he once knew (Feb. 14 at 3:30 p.m.). At the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th & Constitution Ave. NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. (Mark Jenkins)