A TOUCH of class, and the classic, can be found weekends at the National Gallery of Art's East Building auditorium. Saturday at 2:30, as part of the museum's free Summer Preservation Festival, Satyajit Ray's haunting first feature, the 1955 "Pather Panchali," will be shown. It's about Apu, a young Bengali who lives with his impoverished Brahman family. It's a new print and should look beautiful. On Sunday at 4:30, it's the 1951 "The Man From Planet X," Edgar G. Ulmer's foray into the "alien invader" genre, which preceded all those more famous sci-fi films such as "War of the Worlds" and "It Came From Outer Space." It's shown with Michael Palm's 2004 documentary "Edgar G. Ulmer -- The Man Off-screen" on the brilliant and underrated Viennese filmmaker, who immigrated to Hollywood to have an extraordinary career.
Also coming are Alfred Hitchcock's 1941 "Suspicion," Aug. 13 at 2:30, shown with Hitchcock's 1943 "Shadow of Doubt"; David Lean's 1955 "Summertime," starring Katharine Hepburn, Aug. 14 at 4:30; George Cukor's 1939 "The Women," featuring Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer and Rosalind Russell, Aug. 20 at 2:30; Frank Capra's 1921 documentary "The Italian Cruiser Libia Visits San Francisco, November 6-29, 1921," and his first feature, the 1922 "Fultah Fisher's Boarding House," Aug. 27 at 2:30. Sam Wood's 1930 "Paid," starring Joan Crawford, preceded by several shorts, including three of Joan Crawford's home movies, will screen Aug. 28 at 4:30. The series concludes Sept. 3 at 2:30 with Karel Plicka's 1933 "Zem Spieva" ("The Earth Sings"), an award-winning documentary about Slovakian folk art, customs and peasant life. For more information, visit www.nga.gov/programs/filmfrom.shtm or call 202-737-4215.
-- Desson Thomson