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FEBRUARY 27 & 28
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This account of two months spent at an oppressive Jewish summer camp in 1958 may be autobiographical, but it’s not especially personal. Writer/director Herb Beigel, who turned to acting and filmmaking after a 25-year run as an attorney, is the obvious model for David Katz (Zachary Taylor), a well-meaning 15-year-old movie buff who’d rather hang out in the nearby town than join in the organized activities at the camp. Rather than indulge himself interestingly, Beigel attempts vainly to make a mainstream nostalgic comedy, complete with such hackneyed devices as frequent quotations from Hollywood classics. The result is both bland and a little awkward; Beigel is not yet a sufficiently assured director to modulate the performances of Taylor, Paul Sand, Jerry Stiller, Talia Balsam, and (in a brief, stilted framing sequence) Elliott Gould. At 8 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th & Independence Ave. SW. FREE. (202) 357-2700. (Mark Jenkins)