Home The Washington Diplomat January 2014 Films – January 2014

Films – January 2014








The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Directed by Peter Jackson
(U.S./New Zealand, 2013
The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim their homeland from Smaug the dragon.
Area theaters

The Invisible Woman
Directed by Ralph Fiennes
(U.K., 2013, 111 min.)
At the height of his career, Charles Dickens meets a younger woman who becomes his secret lover until his death.
Angelika Mosaic
Landmark’s E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., Jan. 17

The Last Days on Mars
Directed by Ruairi Robinson
(U.K./Ireland, 2013, 98 min.)
A group of astronaut explorers succumb one by one to a mysterious and terrifying force while collecting specimens on Mars.
Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Directed by Justin Chadwick
(U.K./South Africa, 2013, 141 min.)
Based on the 1994 autobiography of the same name, “Mandela” chronicles the inspirational life of Nelson Mandela as an international icon and one of the world’s most revered leaders (English, Afrikaans and Xhosa).
Angelika Mosaic

One Chance
Directed by David Frankel
(U.K./U.S., 2013, 103 min.)
In this true story, Paul Potts, a shy, bullied shop assistant by day and an amateur opera singer by night, becomes a phenomenon after being chosen for — and ultimately winning — “Britain’s Got Talent.”
Area theaters
Opens Fri., Jan. 10

Saving Mr. Banks
Directed by John Lee Hancock
(U.S./U.K./Australia, 2013, 125 min.)
Author P.L. Travers reflects on her difficult childhood while meeting with filmmaker Walt Disney during production for the adaptation of her novel, “Mary Poppins.”
Landmark’s E Street Cinema

Walking with Dinosaurs 3D
Directed by Barry Cook and Neil Nightingale
(U.K./U.S./Australia, 2013)
See and feel what it was like when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, in a story where an underdog dino triumphs to become a hero for the ages.
Area theaters


The Bright Day
Directed by Hossein Shahabi
(Iran, 2013, 86 min.)
A kindergarten teacher sets out to save a student’s father accused of killing a coworker, working to track down witnesses who can prove the death was an accident. At the same time, the dead man’s powerful family wields its influence in an attempt to keep the witnesses silent.
Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., Jan. 17, 7 p.m.,
Sun., Jan. 19, 2 p.m.

Closed Curtain
Directed by Jafar Panahi and Kambozia Partovi
(Iran, 2013, 106 min.)
In 2010, filmmaker Jafar Panahi was sentenced to six years of house arrest and a 20-year ban on filmmaking for allegedly engaging in propaganda against the Iranian government. In 2011, he flouted the ban with the autobiographical “This is Not a Film.” Now, he returns with a self-reflexive, Pirandello-like consideration of his punishment’s effect on his psyche, which begins as the story of a man (co-director and actor Kambozia Partovi) hiding his adorable dog from Iran’s recent ban on dogwalking.
Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., Jan. 10, 7 p.m.,
Sun., Jan. 12, 2 p.m.

Fat Shaker
Directed by Mohammad Shirvani
(Iran, 2013, 85 min.)
Intended as an attack on Iran’s patriarchal social structure, this unconventional film stars Levon Haftvan as a gluttonous alcoholic who uses his deaf-mute son to lure attractive young women into drug- and booze-fueled nights of illegal excess. Afterward, he extorts money from the women by threatening to go to the authorities. But one female photographer refuses to be intimidated and instead attempts to rescue the young man from his controlling father.
Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., Jan. 31, 7 p.m.

The Patience Stone
Directed by Atiq Rahimi
(Afghanistan/France, 2012, 102 min.)
In an unnamed country torn apart by war, a young woman (Golshifteh Farahani) watches over her comatose husband, venting her frustrations about living under his control.
Freer Gallery of Art
Fri., Jan. 24, 7 p.m.,
Sun., Jan. 26, 2 p.m.


The Past
(Le passé)
Directed by Asghar Farhadi
(France/Italy, 2013, 130 min.)
An Iranian man returns to France to grant his wife a divorce and discovers she has started a relationship with an Arab man who has a son and a wife in a coma (French and Farsi).
Landmark’s E Street Cinema
Opens Fri., Jan. 10


Lessons of Darkness
(Lektionen in Finsternis)
Directed by Werner Herzog
(Germany, 1992, 50 min.)
Werner Herzog’s film shows the disaster of the burning Kuwaiti oil fields, but in contrast to common documentary style, there are no comments and few interviews. Rather, the viewer is presented with stunning scenery and beautiful music from “Rheingold” and “Götterdämmerung” (screens with “The Transformation of the World into Music”).
Mon., Jan. 6, 6:30 p.m.

The Transformation of the World into Music: Bayreuth before the Premiere and Lessons of Darkness
Directed by Werner Herzog
(Germany, 1994, 90 min.)
Often lauded for his incorporation of German composer Richard Wagner’s concept of the “total work of art (Gesamtkunstwerk)” into cinema, director Werner Herzog provides the viewer with more than a behind-the-scenes documentary (screens with “Lessons of Darkness”).
Mon., Jan. 6, 6:30 p.m.