Indies and Arties: A New Look at Kazan

March 31, 2010

POLITICALLY PROBLEMATIC filmmaker Elia Kazan gets his day in the sun at AFI Silver beginning on Saturday when “A Centennial Retrospective” kicks off with 10 of his muscular, accomplished films on offer. First up is the critically loved but underseen “A Face in the Crowd,” a painfully keen satire of the American political process and our need for the perfect packaged folk hero (Andy Griffith in a towering performance). The festival runs into May, so there will be plenty of opportunities to see the American auteur’s work, possibly in a new light.

» AFI Silver, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring; 301-495-6700. (Silver Spring)

Nerds and Kneesocks
The cherry blossoms are in bloom, and one group of people plans to spend a weekend day indoors. The Eighth Annual National Cherry Blossom Festival Anime Marathon takes place on Saturday at the Freer Gallery. Fans of the Japanese cinematic form can watch “Chocolate Underground,” “Sword of the Stranger” and “Jin-Roh: Wolf Brigade,” taking a break to show off their best heroic wear at the 1:30 p.m. cosplay contest. Author Susan Napier (“Anime From ‘Akira’ to ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’” and “From Impressionism to Anime: Japan as Fantasy and Fan Cult in the Mind of the West“) will be on hand to make you feel normal.

» Freer Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave. SW; Sat. April 3, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., free; 202-633-1000. (Smithsonian)

Photo courtesy AP archives

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