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Thursday: Ironclad at the U.S. Navy Memorial
John Adams, Harvey Pekar, Kenny “Pig Vomit” Rushton—Paul Giamatti is a schlub for all seasons. Giamatti features as King John of England in the decidedly un-Shakespearean Ironclad, a heavy-metal take on the First Barons’ War which erupted in 1215 after John refused to sign the Magna Carta. Writer and director Jonathan English appears to have made a film that seeks to do for the 13th century what Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood did for the 12th. James Purefoy is the chiseled hero, Brian Cox is the avuncular badass mentor, and then there’s Giamatti, playing a bad guy in chainmail.
Part of the G.I. Film Festival. Screens at 7 p.m. followed by a reception at the U.S. Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW. $45.
Saturday: Metropolis at the National Portrait Gallery
Some consider Fritz Lang‘s 1927 epic the best silent film ever made. It also ranks among the most jarring science-fiction movies, casting a visual influence of sprawling dystopias and domineering machines over eight decades from Hitchcock’s Blackmail to the Matrix series. And like too many silent-era gems, it’s been cut up, lost, and rediscovered many times. The version playing this weekend is a cut found in Argentina in 2008 running about 30 minutes longer than previous known versions. But Gottfried Huppertz’s original score, which has gone through just as many revisions over the years, will be replaced by an original, electronic composition by Silent Orchestra, a Springfield-based duo that writes contemporary soundtracks for silent movies.
Screens at 3 p.m. at the National Portrait Gallery, Eighth Street and F Street NW. Free. (202) 633-1000
Silent Orchestra – Metropolis Score Highlights by Silent Orchestra
Sunday: Death in Venice at the National Gallery of Art
Marking a century since the death of Gustav Mahler, the National Gallery of Art is playing Luchino Visconti‘s 1971 grand melodrama, which is full of cues by the German composer. Dirk Bogarde‘s most lasting role found the actor shuffling between desire, voyeurism, and decay in the unfulfilled pursuit of a teenaged boy. Death in Venice was also one of Visconti’s final visual triumphs. Through the eyes of the dying composer Aschenbach—a stand-in for Mahler—Visconti turned shots of illicit lust into Renaissance-quality portraits.
Screens at 4 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art East Wing, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 842-6799
Monday: I Saw the Devil at the American Film Institute Silver Theatre
Tricia Olszewski found this South Korean serial-killer tale “difficultto recommend, yet even harder to look away from” when it opened in March. After a young woman is brutally murdered by the side of the road, the usual bloody revenge ensues. But the ankle-slashing, jaw-ripping, and other sorts of butchery that are staples of recent Korean cinema are themselves the plot, however disgusting it gets.”Not an ounce of it is fun—this is more procedural than horror, only with a vigorous vengeance angle,” Olszewski wrote.
Part of the Korean Film Festival. Screens at 8:15 at the AFI Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $11. (301) 495-6720