CAN IT REALLY BE 30 years ago? Why, it feels more like, I don't know, 29! Anyhow, when "Jaws" debuted way back in the summer of 1975, it connected on a grand scale with primal American fears, mainly the terror of being eaten by something large and unamused by our personal narratives. It made young director Steven Spielberg famous, and it scared the bejeebers out of all who saw it. It was the wettest movie ever made, courtesy of Spielberg's decision to put the camera half in and half out of the water for most of the seagoing shots, giving us a sense of the two hydrogen atoms' view of the events transpiring off Amity Island: A great white is eating splashers and the local fathers are trying to keep it a secret so as not to scare away the renters, with town cop chief Roy Scheider caught in the middle. Anyhow, now it's back, courtesy of AFI Silver, where it plays next Friday through July 28.

-- Stephen Hunter

At AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Rd. Friday through July 28. For ticket and showtime information, call 301-495-6700 or visit


IS THERE ANY CULTURE in the world that doesn't turn out stuff worth looking at? Thanks to a handful of new showcases at the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery, Vietnamese ceramics are the latest foreign art form to grab this critic's attention. In honor of the 10th anniversary of normalized relations between the United States and Vietnam, the Freer recently brought out 22 choice pieces of that country's pottery. Some of the best are spare, elegant, undecorated vessels that look as though they could have been designed at the Bauhaus. And then, in an entirely different vein, there's a ceramic headrest shaped like a tortoise. He seems to be craning his neck to glimpse the sleeper whose head he supports. While you're at the Freer, don't miss the special display of black-and-white Chinese ceramics and the room currently dedicated to works by the great Japanese potter Nonomura Ninsei, who worked in Kyoto in the 17th century.

-- Blake Gopnik

At the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art, Jefferson Drive at 12th Street SW. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily. Free. Call 202-633-4880 or visit


WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU wear to a Berlin show circa 2005? Parachute pants? Your lame old "Top Gun" jacket? The Chess King outfit you rocked with at the winter ball when a certain Berlin ballad was the slow-dance song of the day? Face it, flashback phobes: You can't help but party like it's 1986 at a Berlin concert. Listening to the '80s synth-pop band inevitably leads to thoughts of a sweaty, preening Tom Cruise falling for lippy "Top Gun" teach Kelly McGillis in 1986 -- the year Katie Holmes turned 8. Berlin had other hits, of course ("The Metro," "No More Words," "Masquerade," etc.); but none stuck in our cultural craw quite like the Oscar-winning ballad on which lead singer Terri Nunn breathlessly offered: "Watching in slow motion / As you turn to me and say / Take. My. Breath. Awaaaayyyyyyy."

-- J. Freedom du Lac

At the 9:30 club, 815 V St. NW. Thursday at 7:30 p.m. $25. Call 800-955-5566 or visit


A VAST PERSONAL FORTUNE enabled cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post to become a patron of the decorative arts. During the 1920s and 1930s, when she was married to E.F. Hutton, that meant fostering the geometries of art deco in glamorous materials. A glittering agate frame from 1929 is one result of a collaboration with the House of Cartier. The rest will be subjected to curatorial study next Saturday at Hillwood Museum & Gardens, Post's former home.

-- Linda Hales

"Cartier Connections: Art Deco and Marjorie Merriweather Post" at Hillwood Museum & Gardens, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. Saturday, 12:30-3 p.m. $15. Reservations required. Call 202-686-5807 or visit