THE AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM will begin a 10-week "High" Comedy film series Friday at 7:30 p.m. with a rare large-screen presentation of the 1965 Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, starring Stuart Whitman, Sarah Miles, James Fox and, in unforgettable supporting roles, Red Skelton and Gert Frobe. The series, which will run on consecutive Fridays at 7:30 (save October 4), continues with the 1962 Disney film Moon Pilot (September 20); Rock Hudson and Julie Andrews in Darling Lili (September 27); Richard Lester's little-seen 1963 sequel to "The Mouse That Roared," Mouse on the Moon (October 11); the Laurel and Hardy vehicle Flying Deuces (October 18); Abbott and Costello Go to Mars (October 25); Dr. Strangelove (November 1); 1940's Keep 'Em Flying, another Abbott and Costello romp, with Martha Raye as twins (November 8); Spencer Tracy in the 1932 Sky Devils (November 15); and Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator (November 22). All films are free, and will be presented in the Samuel P. Langley Theater of the museum, on the Mall. For further information, call 357-2700.
To celebrate the superstitious overtones of Friday the 13th, Reston Community College is presenting the first Bad Luck Film Festival Friday at 8 p.m. Featured are the legendary cinematic atrocity Attack of the Killer Tomatoes and the R-rated 1981 Canadian slasher pic Happy Birthday to Me, starring Melissa Sue Anderson and Glenn Ford. Tickets are $3, and are available by calling 476-1111 or at the door, 2310 Colts Neck Road in Reston. Call 476-4500 for details.
The Biograph Theater's Japanese festival continues this Friday through Monday with a four-day engagement of the restored version of Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress and, in a return visit, Zatoichi Meets Yojimbo, in which blind swordsman Shintaro Katsu takes on none other than Toshiro Mifune. The double bill runs through Monday.
The big repertory news is Voyages: The Third European Film Festival, which begins Saturday at 9:30 p.m. at the American Film Institute Theater at the Kennedy Center. The 14-film series is chock full of American premieres, beginning with the opening night attraction, Vacation for a Murder, the first feature film from Luxembourg. Director Paul Scheuer will appear at the screening. The film will run again next Thursday at 6:30.
A children's matinee Sunday and next Sunday at 2 will feature Here Come the Littles, an animated film produced in Luxembourg and based on the successful American television show.
On Sunday at 6, Dutch actress Renee Soutendijk (star of the recent area art house hit "The Fourth Man") will introduce and discuss Nouchka van Brakel's 1983 period piece The Cool Lakes of Death. (The film will show again September 25 at 9 without the guest).
Italian actor Flavio Bucci will introduce the new Mario Monticelli film, The Two Lives of Mattia Pascal, Sunday at 8:30. (The film will run again without Bucci on Tuesday at 6:30).
Other films in the series in the coming week are: Danish director Nils Malmros' Beauty and the Beast, which he will introduce on Monday at 6:30; the American premiere of Youssef Chanine's epic Adieu, Bonaparte, Monday night at 9; a screening Tuesday at 9 p.m. of John Mackenzie's The Innocent, which producer Jacky Stoller will introduce and discuss; Anne Devlin (the first film to be made entirely in Ireland), showing Wednesday at 8:45 with an introduction by director Pat Murphy; and the Washington premiere of Carlos Saura's The Stilts, Thursday at 8:45.
Highlights of the remainder of the series include Manoel de Oliveira's The Satin Slipper (in its complete seven-hour version), and Istvan Szabo's Colonel Redl, winner of the German equivalent of the Oscar and top contender for the Foreign Film Academy Award next year. Call the AFI box office at 785-4601 for schedule and guest information and ticket availability.
The suburban Roth Theater chain is promoting a two-for-one offer. With a coupon from participating Safeway stores, you can purchase two tickets for the price of one at all Roth locations Monday through Thursday. The offer is good through October 24. For more information, call 587-8450.
The Bethesda Co-op is a new name on the repertory film circuit. Its initial calendar includes a screening of Leni Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will Sunday at 7:30 at its headquarters, 7945 MacArthur Boulevard in Cabin John, Maryland. Created as a community outreach, the series will run on selected Sundays through December 22. Call 320-2530 for information and directions.
"I Am Eye" opens its fourth season at D.C. Space with A Parade of Projectors Monday night at 8:30. Featuring multiple-image films, the event promises everything from Super-8 to 35 mm works, including Mike Horsely's What I Did on my Summer Vacation, Rick Michaelson's Rick and Mike and Bill, and God Is a Card by Tom Aquinas. Admission is either $2 or a film of your own making, which will promptly be included in the program. "I Am Eye" will meet every first and third Monday of the month; call 667-6498.
The Learning Resources Division of the University of the District of Columbia is ready with its fall Movie Break calendar. Beginning Monday at 6:30 and running for the next nine weeks, director Albert J. Casciero has programmed a series devoted to Great Film Comedians. The first attraction is a 52- minute distillation of Kevin Brownlow and David Gill's major historical find -- footage of Charlie Chaplin in action behind the camera, directing actors and setting up his physical jokes.
A second series, Popular Feature Films, begins Wednesday at noon with Norman Jewison's A Soldier's Story. Coming attractions in the subsequent 10 weeks include Swing Shift, Scorsese's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore and Coppola's The Cotton Club. All films are free, and will be screened in Building 41, Room A-03 of the university's uptown campus, 4200 Connecticut Avenue NW. Call 282- 7121 or 282-7498.
Jane Powell, star of such quintessentially Hollywood films as "Royal Wedding" and "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers," will appear at the Woodward & Lothrop Metro Center store on Wednesday. After a 12:30 lunch, she'll moderate a fashion show featuring new women's wear. A question-and-answer period will follow, at which time she's sure to talk about her movie career. The lunch portion of the program is already sold out, but Woodies invites the public to attend the fashion show and discussion to follow. The Metro Center store is at 1025 F Street NW; call Woodies at 879-8753.
Jane Fonda and Norman Jewison will speak at a special fundraising premiere of Agnes of God next Friday at 7. The event, to be held at the newly remodeled Embassy Theater, at Connecticut and Florida avenues NW, will benefit "Voter '86," a voter registration project of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Tickets are $50 each for the film and dinner to follow, which will be held at the Woman's National Democratic Club, 1526 New Hampshire Avenue NW. For reservations and information, call 863-1500.
The French Embassy film series will resume Wednesday evening with two screenings of Rene Clement's Forbidden Games, an allegorical anti-war film that marked Brigitte Fossey's screen debut -- at the age of five. The program switches to Thursdays the following week, when the attraction will be Bertrand Tavernier's Coup de Torchon. Other films in the series include Jean Renoir's Rules of the Game, Henri Verneuil's rarely seen 1963 drama Monkey in Winter (starring Jean Gabin and Jean-Paul Belmondo), and Jean- Pierre Melville's 1967 film noir tribute Le Samourai, starring Alain Delon and featuring music by the Modern Jazz Quartet. Each film will be shown twice, at 5:30 and 8; the entire series (10 films) is $20 per person. Individual tickets to each show will be available at the door for $3 each. To register, either send a check for $20 (made out to the "French Government") to the embassy, 4101 Reservoir Road NW, Room 227B, Washington DC 20007, or call 944-6300. On Wednesday, Olive Lange turns 90. Don't say you don't know her, either, because if you've gone to the KB Cinema to see a film over any weekend for the last 15 years, chances are she sold you your ticket. (She's also thrown out her share of underaged children, this columnist included, since the rating code began in 1968.) For five years beforeher arrival at the Cinema, she worked at the Fine Arts house, and longtime KB staffer Jim Moore remembers that even then, she'd "clamor for more hours."
To celebrate her birthday, the KB people have lowered the admission price to all showings of Compromising Positions at the Cinema that day to -- you guessed it -- ninety cents.
According to the Washington-based Motion Picture Information Service, the area's 10 top- grossing pictures for the week ending September 5 were, in descending order, Back to the Future (still at 18 houses in week nine); Compromising Positions (debuting nicely on 13 screens); American Ninja (at 14 houses in week one); Teen Wolf (gaining four screens to 16 in its second week); Pee-wee's Big Adventure (continuing at 16 houses in a full month of release); Silverado (on 13 screens in eight big weeks); Year of the Dragon (down from 20 to 19 houses in its third week); Gremlins (reissued on 18 screens); Return of the Living Dead (slashed from 22 to 13 houses in week three); and Kiss of the Spider Woman (continuing on two screens in its third week).
In international production news (gleaned from various trade papers): Wang Chung, the British band whose "Dance Hall Days" was a big hit, is doing the score for William Friedkin's new film To Live and Die in L.A., which should appear here in November . . . Stanley Kubrick is now officially in produciton in England with his Vietnam war drama, Full Metal Jacket, which now stars Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin and Dorian Harewood . . . Prince has begun filming his first feature since "Purple Rain," Under the Cherry Moon, at the Victorine Cote d'Azur studios in Nice, France . . . Sophia Loren and Peter O'Toole will co-star in Leaving Home, adapted from Arthur Cavanaugh's 1975 novel; the film, set to roll in Stockholm, will also co-star Loren's son, Carlo Ponti Jr.
PAGES OF FILM HISTORY -- Claudette Colbert, Mel Torme and Jacqueline Bisset are all celebrating birthdays this date.
A very happy birthday on Saturday to Clayton Moore (the one and only Lone Ranger), Harve Presnell and Nicol Williamson.
Those celebrating on Sunday include Fay Wray, Penny Singleton (who starred opposite Arthur Lake in the 'Blondie" films), veteran British actress Margaret Lockwood and comedian Norm Crosby.