Good Harvest


AFI Serves Up Bounty of International Films for Fall

As the city wakes up from its summertime slumber and cultural events flourish again for the busy fall season, leading the way on the cinematic front is AFI Silver Theatre — which rolls out its usual bounty of international films not found anywhere else in the area. Among the eclectic fall lineup are showcases of comedic icon Charlie Chaplin, French New Wave master François Truffaut and Japanese auteur Akira Kurosawa, as well as quirky selections from Latin America and the European Union. Always an audience favorite, the 21st Latin American Film Festival returns Sept. 22 to Oct. 13 to AFI. Organized with support from D.C. embassies, the festival presents more than 30 leading films from Latin America and the culturally related Iberian countries of Spain and Portugal. Look out in particular for these highlights: “Hiroshima,” a “silent musical” from Uruguay’s Pablo Stoll; “Linha de Passe” by leading Brazilian director-producer Walter Salles; “The Milk of Sorrow (La Teta Asutada),” winner of the 2009 Golden Bear in Berlin, from Peruvian writer-director Claudia Llosa; “Revolution (Revolución),” an omnibus feature of 10 short films by leading Mexican directors to mark the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution; and “Southern District (Zona Sur),” directed by Bolivia’s Juan Carlos Valdivia, who won Best Director and Best Screenplay at Sundance this year. “Charlie Chaplin Classics, Part II” (through Sept. 19) presents screenings by British actor-writer-director-composer Charlie Chaplin, the legendary silent movie clown whose visage is seared into audience’s minds as the Little Tramp. Among the Chaplin highlights are “Modern Times” — a satire on the industrial age inspired by René Clair’s “A Nous la Liberté” — which has a weeklong run (Sept. 3-9). Other titles include “A King in New York” (Sept. 2), “Monsieur Verdoux” (Sept. 4-7), and “The Kid” with “A Day’s Pleasure” (Sept. 10-11), as well as “The Chaplin Revue” featuring “A Dog’s Life,” “Shoulder Arms” and “The Pilgrim” (Sept. 12-13). Meanwhile, “The Films of François Truffaut, Part II” brings an end to AFI’s retrospective of the French New Wave pacesetter. Fanny Ardant stars both with Gérard Depardieu in “The Woman Next Door” (Sept. 1) and with Jean-Louis Trintignant in the rarely screened neo-noir flick “Confidentially Yours” (Sept. 4-6). “Akira Kurosawa Centennial, Part II,” AFI’s long retrospective (that started in May) of 30-odd Kurosawa films over a career spanning nearly 50 years, celebrates the 100th birthday of the most prominent Japanese director (1910-88). A rare treat is his seldom-screened fourth film, 1945’s samurai farce “The Men Who Tread on the Tiger’s Tail” (Sept. 4-5). The series appropriately closes with his second-to-last film, 1991’s “Rhapsody in August” (Sept. 7-8), which looks at the legacy of the 1945 bombing of Nagasaki more than 40 years later at the reunion of an extended family (including American actor Richard Gere). Looking ahead, upcoming film series include “Halloween On Screen” (Oct. 14-30), the 10th anniversary of the DC Labor FilmFest (Oct. 15-20), the 2010 Film Noir Festival (Oct. 16-Nov. 3), the EU Film Showcase, in conjunction with the city’s European Union embassies (Nov. 4-23) and the Festival of New Spanish Cinema (Nov. 11-Dec. 1). AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md. For more information, please call (301) 495-6700 or visit

About the Author

Ky N. Nguyen is the film reviewer for The Washington Diplomat.