As an actor and director, Clint Eastwood has fixated for five decades on the theme of revenge, largely through the prism of masculinity. True, he didn’t invent the laconic, badass loner, but over the course of his career—particularly in Sergio Leone’s westerns and as “Dirty Harry” Callahan—he surely perfected the trope. For his directorial debut, the 1971 thriller Play Misty for Me, Eastwood inverted Psycho’s serial-killer plot and essentially invented the female-stalker genre. Starring somewhat strangely as a world-weary disc jockey, Eastwood inhabits his usual archetype, passive but tough-as-nails. But he receives most of the film’s violence, rather than doling it out. The only one who gets it worse is Errol Garner, the great jazz pianist whose standard “Misty” subsequently became connotative of knife-wielding ex-lovers.
THE FILM SHOWS AT 9:30 P.M. AT THE AFI SILVER THEATRE AND CULTURAL CENTER, 8633 COLESVILLE road, SILVER SPRING. $6-$10. (301) 495-6720.