"George Inness" was the resolutely independent spirit of 19th-century landscape painting. A small, stunning collection of his work is on view in the National Gallery's West Building. FILM

Opening Friday at area theaters, "Aliens," James Cameron's dazzling sequel to Ridley Scott's "Alien." Maybe the best action/adventure since "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

The Music and Movies series kicks off tomorrow at 7:30 at the Library of Congress' Mary Pickford Theater with Rouben Mamoulian's "Love Me Tonight," with songs by Rodgers and Hart. Tuesday at 7:30, "Beware," together with shorts featuring the Nicholas brothers; Wednesday at 7:30, a program on the film music of Aaron Copland; Thursday, "You'll Never Get Rich," starring Fred Astaire and Rita Hayworth; Friday, "The T.A.M.I. Show," starring Chuck Berry, the Rolling Stones, the Supremes and others.

The Summer Cinema series continues tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the National Theatre with "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing."

Tonight and tomorrow at the Sidwell Cinema, "I Love You, Alice B. Toklas," written by Paul Mazursky. Tuesday and Wednesday, the (New Improved) Great Nostalgia Festival, including Nixon's Checkers Speech and the late Kate Smith singing "God Bless America." Thursday through Saturday, D.A. Pennebaker's documentary on Bob Dylan, "Don't Look Back." DANCE

Another in the series of free, informal programs at Dance Place will feature Toe Jam & Fresh Jelly, the dance duo of Donna Brandenburg-Gangloff and Mary Williford, this afternoon -- performances followed by discussion. The lively and popular New York-based Feld Ballet returns to the area, after an absence of several years, for three programs at Wolf Trap. POP MUSIC

Ethnic flavors enliven the club scene this week:

On Thursday, Terrence Simian and the Mallet Playboys brings the sound of zydeco to the East Side; on Friday, New Orleans' Dirty Dozen Brass Band meld that cites jazz, funeral march band and funk traditions at Fort Dupont; and on Saturday, cajun legend Dewey Balfa joins up with Tracy and Peter Schwartz and their Cajun Band at Bethesda's American Legion Hall.

One of the most heralded new rock groups from England, the Woodentops, makes its Washington debut at the 9:30 club on Thursday. CLASSICAL MUSIC

The University of Maryland International Piano Festival and Competition will dominate the music scene in Washington this week. The competition finals will be held at the Kennedy Center Saturday night, with Julius Rudel conducting the three finalists in three concertos.

Recitals scheduled through the week (at the University of Maryland's Tawes Theatre) will be given by pianists Alexander Toradze (tonight), James Tocco (Monday), Emanuel Ax (Tuesday), Jean-Bernard Pommier (Wednesday), Rafael Orozco (Thursday) and Anton Kuerti (Friday). Such a combination of quality and variety is seldom assembled in a single city in a single week.

The American Vocal Ensemble, directed by Douglas Major, will perform music of Tallis, Victoria and Haydn, Tuesday night at the Washington Cathedral.

Ella Fitzgerald will be the Fairfax Symphony's guest artist, Thursday night at Wolf Trap.