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Thursday: Majesteit at West End Cinema
If this high-strung political drama looks familiar, well, it’s because it’s not the first recent film about an aging, but steely-resolved European monarch who finds herself trapped between the traditions of royalty, contemporary politics, and family turmoil. Though an English-subtitled trailer was unavailable, Majesteit—a story about Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands during a 2003 succession crisis—looks very much like a Dutch take on The Queen, but with more tulips and wooden shoes.
Part of the Politics on Film Festival. Screens at 7 p.m. at West End Cinema, 2301 M Street NW. $11. (202) 419-3456
Friday: Enter the Void at Landmark’s E Street Cinema
Gaspard Noé‘s drug-haze of a movie is loud, explosive, trippy, and arresting—and that’s just in the opening credits. (It was recently copied by Kanye West for the music video for “All of the Lights.”) Starring Nathaniel Brown as an American expat making his way through Tokyo as a drug dealer and Paz de la Huerta as his stripper sister, Noe’s film is a mind-bender that warps a drug deal gone wrong into a maze of its characters’ psychedelic nightmares and sexual dreamscapes. A beautiful, dark, twisted fantasy if there ever was one.
Screens at midnight at Landmark’s E Street Cinema, 555 11th Street NW. $10 (202) 452-7672
Sunday: The Marquise of O at the National Gallery of Art
Éric Rohmer made only one foreign-language film in his nearly 50-year career, this 1976 adaptation of Heinrich von Kleist’s 1808 novella of the same name. Though the source material is more than two centuries old, it had more than enough enigmas and melodrama for Rohmer’s oeuvre. The tale of a young aristocratic widow who finds herself unexpectedly pregnant at the end of the Napoleonic Wars identifies its characters and even its locations only by their first initials. The Marquise of O was also Rohmer’s first adapted screenplay. “I wanted to use the original text as if Kleist himself had put it on the screen,” he said at the time.
Screens at 4:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art East Wing, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 842-6799
Monday: Rashomon at West End Cinema
Sixty years after it was first released, Kurosawa’s masterpiece remains one of the toughest mysteries ever committed to film. Not even the actors playing the bandit, the samurai, the samurai’s wife, and the woodcutter found out who committed the rape. Rashomon introduced long silences as one of the loudest storytelling tools, revolutionized the use of weather effects, and left a narrative model that has been copied by everything from countless episodes of Law & Order to All in the Family. Proceeds from this screening will be donated to the Association for Aid and Relief, Japan.
Screens at 7:30 p.m. at West End Cinema, 2301 M Street NW. $11. (202) 419-3456