Reel DC: Glamour Edition

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Reel DC is The DC Line’s selective and subjective guide to some of the most interesting arthouse and repertory screenings in the coming week.



Cecil Barton self-portrait from the mid-1930s. (Courtesy of the Cecil Barton Studio Archive at Sotheby’s)

Sir Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) brought an air of elegance to all of his artistic endeavors. In his classic fashion photography, his lush costume and set designs for film and theater, and even in his candid diaries, he demonstrated an insatiable appreciation of beauty and the talent to create it. This 2017 documentary profile by director Lisa Immordino Vreeland assembles photos, vintage footage and contemporary talking heads from peers and admirers, with Rupert Everett narrating from Beaton’s diaries. If Love, Cecil is luminous, it’s thanks to his photos, which, whether they were family snapshots, Hollywood glamour shots or playful self-portraits, captured the essence of light — and his subjects.

Watch the trailer.

Opens today at Landmark E Street Cinema.



There can be a fine line between psychedelic invention and childlike wonder, and the Beatles’ animated feature has plenty of mind-expanding visuals for adults and colorful imagery (set to an irresistibly catchy pop score) for kids. The film was the sole feature directorial credit for Canadian animator George Dunning, but the movie’s distinct (and varied) visuals are largely the work of graphic artist Heinz Edelmann, whose character design seemed to bring a child’s  crazed sugar high to life. The Avalon screens this 1968 classic on the occasion of the movie’s 50th anniversary, but don’t fret if you can’t make it to this show — the AFI Silver has the film scheduled for August 4 and 5.

Watch the trailer.

Wednesday, Aug. 1, at 8 p.m. at the Avalon. $12.50.

(Cambist Films)


The residents of a small Pennsylvania town go homicidal after a military plane crash inadvertently releases a biological weapon into the water supply. The AFI Silver’s tribute to the late George Romero continues with screenings of this 1973 science-fiction horror film. The New York Times’ Vincent Canby wrote that the film was “shot with a bunch of actors who perform with the kind of hysterical enthusiasm that I haven’t seen in 30 years, not since viewing a grade-school production of Six Who Pass While the Lentils Boil, in which one young actor fell off the stage into the orchestra pit.”

Watch the trailer.

Friday, July 27, at 9:45 p.m., and Saturday, July 28, at 10:30 p.m., at the AFI Silver. $13.

(Janus Films)


The National Gallery of Art’s centennial celebration of Ingmar Bergman continues this weekend with this tale of young love from 1951. Bergman wrote: “I felt that this was the first time the medium obeyed me, and my love seemed requited. I happened to see the film a couple of weeks ago. I found it … amateurish with some short instances of truth and decency.” Preceded by the Swedish director’s 1950 film To Joy (July 28 at 2 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art), which takes its name from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. The AFI Silver continues its share of the celebration with screenings of his 1966 masterpiece Persona (July 27 to Aug. 1 at the AFI Silver).

Summer Interlude screens Saturday, July 28, at 4 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art in the East Building Auditorium. Free.

(Courtesy of Distribution Workshop)


The Freer Gallery of Art’s 23rd annual Made in Hong Kong film festival, which runs through Aug. 12, continues this weekend with a 2017 historical drama about Fang Lan (Zhou Xun), a schoolteacher who became a resistance fighter during the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II. Director Ann Hui — whose work ranges from the acclaimed Vietnam Trilogy (one of which starred a pre-gangster Chow Yun-fat) to such crime dramas as Zodiac Killers — was one of the major figures in Hong Kong’s cinematic new wave in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The Freer will screen a new restoration of her 1979 directorial debut The Secret on Aug. 5.

Watch the trailer.

Sunday, July 29, at 2 p.m. at the Freer Gallery of Art. Free.

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  1. […] Sir Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) brought an air of elegance to all of his artistic endeavors. In his classic fashion photography, his lush costume and set … [ Read Full Story […]