IN CELEBRATION of its 10th anniversary, the American Film Institute has scheduled 12 days of premiers, retrospectives, special-interest programs and seminars. The festival, which begins today, is also a pretext for anniversary fund-raising.
The concluding program is a fund-raising gala, scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 17, at 8:30 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Opera House. At this star-studded, benefactors-studded show, which CBS plans to replay as a 90-minute TV special on Monday, Nov. 21, the top 10 selections in the AFI's recent membership poll of "the greatest American films ever made" will be revealed to a breathless nation.
The Eisenhower Theater has been reserved for higherpriced "special events" during the festival. These range from revivals introduced by Gene Kelly and Irene Dunne to previews of three new films introduced by their directors. Although the Eisenhower gets the expected crowd-pleasers, the AFI Theater will carry the programming load ad attempt to attract several constituencies, including people looking for free entertainment.
The most attractive series for movie nuts should be "Archive Treasures," a series of classics loaned by other film museums archives in this country and Europe.
It's a smorgsbord of programs, a bit of all thing to all audiences at all prices, including no price. Under the eleectic or maybe amorphous circumstances, it may be useful to survey some of the potential highlights. Today
The programming begins at 10 a.m. in the AFI Theater with a free retrospective called "Television's Golden Age: Part One." Eric Kullberg will introduce three nostalgic documents: Charles Braverman's 12-minute memory album "Television Land," a segment of the old "Milt Grant Show" and a promotional reel made by WAAM, the erstwhile DuMont offiliate in Baltimore.
The first of the "Archieve Treasures" selections begins at 2:30 p.m. It is at once a genuine treasure and a viewing marathon: "Tih Minh," one of the legendary serials made by great, pioneering French filmaker Louis Feuillade. His output was prodigious, perhaps as many as 800 films between 1906 and 1925. The most famous were a group of serials shot between 1914 and 1918.
"Tih Minh," the last of this cycle, was shown originally in 12 episoeds running about 30 minutes each. The AFI will show the whole serial at one sitting, relieved by two long breaks and accompanied by off-the-cuff mood music from organist Ray Brubacher. The print is being loaned by the Cinematheque Francaise, whose late founder, Henri Langlois, was instrumental in preserving some of Feuillade's most important work and reviving it after World War II.
"Tih Minh" deals with the activities of a criminal gang centered in Nice. Feuillade's movies are not noted for both their photographic realism, which make them on invaluable record of France as it looked two generations ago, and the sinister fantasy that springs out of this realistic surface. Perhaps some movie-loving benefactor could be talked into underwriting new English-language prints of the key Feuillade pictures for preservation here and - one would hope - systematic exhibitions at the AFI Theater. Until then showings like today's offer a unique opportunity to moviegoers with sufficient stamina. The prices are $5 for the general public, $3 for AFI members ad $4 for their guests.
The first program in the Eisenhower also starts at 2:30 p.m. It's "The Three Cabelleros," a Disney feature combining live-action and animation that was produced as a wartime goodwill gesture to Latin America and released in this country early in 1945. The film is uneven, but the comic ingenuity and prodigality of the Disney animators going at full throrttle is always an awesome sight to behold. The three caballeros are Donald Duck, a Brazillian parrot called Joe Carioca and a Mexican rooster called Panchito. At fever pitch their behavior makes you wonder if "caballeros" could be the panish for "horny birds." Tickets are $3 for adults and $2 for children under 14.
At 6:30 p.m. in the Eisenhower, Gene Kelly will host a showing of "Singin' in the Rain." Neither the star nor the movie requires any introduction, of course, and this program has already been sold out. Monday, Nov. 7
The AFI Theater opens at 10 a.m. with a free program of ABC "Afterschool Specials," intended for children in the 9-12 range. The AFI requests that you call 785-601 in order to make reservations for this and the subsequent children's programs in the festival. Attt noon the first of several free programs devoted to films made through the auspices of the AFI's Center for Advanced Film Studies in Beverly Hills will be shown.
Irene Dunne, one off the greatest women stars of the '30s, appears in the Eisenhower at 7:30 p.m. to introduce one of her most popular tearjerkers, the 1937 "Love Affair," which co-starred Charles Boyer and was directed by Leo McCarey. The program will also include excerpts from "Roberta" and "My Favorite Wife." Tickets are $7 for non-members and $5 fo r members and their guests.
Frank Capra's "Lost Horizon" will be shown at 9 p.m. in the AFI Theater at regular prices - $3 for non-members, $1.50 for members and $2 for their guests. Archivist Larry Karr will introduce this newly restored, complete print, an example pursued by the AFI and Library of Congress in cooperation with the major studios. Tuesday, Nov. 8
The AFI Theater opens at noon with another free program of shorts made at the Center for Advanced Film Academy Award-winning dramatization of the Joyce Carol Oates story, "In the Region of Ice." At 6:30 p.m. Nell Cox's short feature, "Liza's Pioneer Dairy," and Joan Micklin Silver's adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald story "Bernice Bobs Her Hair" will represent "The Best of PBS-TV."
The new Greek film "Iplngema," adaptated by director Michael Cacoyannis from Euripides' tragedy "Iphigenta at Aulis," is the first of the premiere attractions at the Eisenhower. Cacoyannis plans to appear with his two female stars: veteran actress Irene Papas, who plays Clytemnestra, and 12-year-old newcomer Tatiana Papamoskou, who won the title role. Tickets are $7 and $5.
Ethnie music and dance are the subjects of two new documentaries. Les Blank's "Chulas Fronteras" and Bruce Lanes "Tree of Life," scheduled for the AFI Theater at 6:30 p.m. Director Michael Ritchie will introduce his latest film, "Semi-Tough," an adaptation of Dan Jenkins' comic novel co-starring Burt Reynolds and Kris Kristofferson as NFL stars and Jill Claybrugh as the girl they love, at 7.30 p.m. in the Eisenhower, "Semi-Tough" overlaps with an intriguing selections at the AFI Theater: "The Scoundrel," one of the four features written and directed by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur in the early '30s. Noel Coward stars as an arrongant epigrammatic, evil-minded publisher. Thursday, Nov. 10
The Pacific Film Archives has loaned Roberto Rossellini's "Europa 51," which starred Ingrid Bergman and featured Giulietta Masina, for a 6:30 p.m. showing at the AFI Theater. Alain Delon wiwill appear at the Eisenhower at 7.30 p.m. for a premiere of Joseph Losey's "Mr. Klein," in which Delon Stars as a profiteering Parisian art dealer who suddenly finds himself mistaken for one of the condemned Jewish clients he has been profitting from. Jonas Mekas wraps up the day's programs with a 9 p.m. restrospective, "Avant-Garde Landmarks," at the AFI Theater. Friday, Nov. 11
A trio of dance documents - a Belgian film of the Bejart "Rite of Spring," an Alvin Ailey compilation, and "Tread," Richard Leacock's record of Merce Cunningham's "Rainforest" - shares a 6:30 p.m. bill. A 9 p.m. program will showcase independent films made with the help of AFI support, including films directed by Lee Grant and Dyan Cannon. The day's big event is already a sellout: Bernardo Bertolucci will appear with his historical romance, "1900," at 7 p.m. in the Eisenhower. Saturday, Nov. 12
Eric Kulberg returns at 10 a.m. for the second installment of "Television's Golden Age," dominated by "The Great Re-Run," a treasure-trove of an anthol ogy. A free seminar called "Video and the Minorities" is scheduled for 11 a.m. in the AFI screening room. At 2 p.m. a group of tapes made at the AFI's Directing Workshop for Women will be shown in the screening room.
Perry Miller Adatos 45-minute film portraits "Mary Cassatt" and "Georgia O'Keeffe" will be shown in the AFI Theater at 2:30 p.m. The Museum of Modern Art has loaned the 6:30 p.m. attraction, "Zoo in Budapest," a 1933 romantic fantasy with Loretta Young in one oof her loveliest appearances as a runaway orphan who hides out on the zoo grounds and captivates Gene Raymond, one of the keepers. The anthology "Metropolitan Opera Stars on Film" replaces the previously announced Satyajit Ray film, "The Chess Players," at 7:30 p.m. in the Eisenhower. Tickets are $5 and $4.
"Redskin," a 1929 film shot in the early two-strip Technicolor process and starring Richard Dix as an educated young Navajo, will provide another example of the AFI-Library of Congress restoration program, 8:30 p.m. in the AFI Theater. Sunday, Nov. 13
Week Two dawns with a second instalment of "The Best of PBS" at 10 a.m. in the AFI Theater. "Video and the Minorities" and "AFI Directing Workshop for Womenn" are being repeated in the screening room at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. respectively, while "Zoo in Budpest" gets a second AFI Theater showing at 2:30 p.m.
A newly restored print of the rowdy, rousing "Gunga Din" plays the Eisenhower at 2:30 p.m. Prof. Vlada petric of Harvard introduces a program of Yugoslavian animated films at 6 p.m. in the AFI Theater.Sam Grogg, director of the AFI's educational service, introduces a selection of recent work by students in college filmmaking courses at 10 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11
At noon the AFI Theater offers the first of four free programs devoted to shorts made with the assistance of NEA grants administered by the AFI. Two new art documentaries will have Washington premieres on a program at 9 p.m.: "Mark Di Suvero," a portrait of the sculptor by Francois de Menil and Barbara Rose, and "Beaubourg." Rossellini's impression of the new museum in Pariil. Tuesday, Nov. 15
"The Other Film Industry," a seminar about careers in non-theatrical filmmaking, is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Prof. Petric returns for an illustrated lecture, "Soviet Cinema: Yesterday and Today," at 6:30 p.m. Albert and David Maysles will introduce "Running Fence," their new documentary about the trials and triumphs of Cristo, at a 9 p.m. program. Regular prices at the evening shows. Wednesday, Nov. 16
William Murphy, chief of the Motion Picture and Sound Recordings Division of the National Archives, has compiled a nostalgic program called "The Battle of Ideas," recalling high and low moments of American-made propaganda from The Great Depression through World War II. The starting time is 6:30 p.m.
The number to call for information about Eisenhower Theater programs is 254-3600. Call 785-4600 for information about the AFI Theater fare. Members only may make reservations by calling 785-4601.