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“Paolo and Vittorio Taviani”
Although they’re Italian and concerned with the lot of the working class, Paolo and Vittorio Taviani are as much magical realists as they are neorealists. Their first international success was 1977’s Padre Padrone, the tale of a shepherd boy’s self-education and escape from his father’s tyranny (Dec. 14 at 4 p.m.). Also celebrated in this National Gallery of Art series is the oversweetly nostalgic The Night of the Shooting Stars, which recalls the night a Tuscan village waited for American troops to drive out the Germans. Other films include The Meadow, Isabella Rossellini’s screen debut (Dec. 20 at 1 p.m), the much acclaimed but little seen Chaos, a series of four tales adapted from Luigi Pirandello (pictured, Dec. 13 at 2 p.m.), and Allonsanfan, which traces an Italian aristocrat’s subversive activities with the revolutionary Sublime Brotherhood (Dec. 20 at 3:30 p.m.). In their more recent films, the brothers have moved away from such material: The sticky Good Morning, Babylon follows two Italian brothers to Hollywood (Dec. 27 at 2:30 p.m.), while in Fiorile a middle-class contemporary family imagines its colorful legacy (Dec. 28 at 4 p.m.). At the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th & Constitution Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 737-4215. (Mark Jenkins)