This Week in Repertory Film: Blue Velvet, My Dog Tulip, Rohmer, Springsteen
Wednesday: Blue Velvet at the Artisphere
Artisphere wraps up its series of David Lynch films with the second-most-talked-about severed ear in history. Between Isabella Rosselini's gutsy performance as Dorothy, the pain-loving pleasure-seeker, and Dennis Hopper's turn as the disgusting Frank Booth, Blue Velvet cemented Lynch as a master of the disturbed and ripped the wholesome sheen off Hollywood's vision of small-town Americana.
Screens at 8 p.m. at the Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Boulevard, Rosslyn. $6. (703) 875-1100.
Thursday: My Dog Tulip at the Hirshhorn Museum
Based on the 1956 memoir by J. A. Ackerley, this animated film about a man and his dog is, despite the description, not a children's tale. Ackerley's open homosexuality was a cultural rarity during his lifetime, and as a BBC magazine editor he fostered the careers of W.H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, and other authors. Christopher Plummer voices Ackerley in the film, which covers a period in which he became increasingly reclusive as he focused on caring for his dog. Directors Paul and Sandra Fierlinger directed My Dog Tulip with a hand-drawn tapestry that ranges from scratch-pad doodles to gorgeous, full-color landscapes.
Screens at 7 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum, Independence Avenue and Seventh Street SW. Free. (202) 633-2796.
Saturday: Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle and A Tale of Summer at the National Gallery of Art
The NGA's Éric Rohmer retrospective continues with a double feature. In 1987's Four Adventures of Reinette and Mirabelle, Rohmer presents a quartet of interactions between Reinette, a mousy country girl, and Mirabelle, a sophisticated Parisian student. A Tale of Summer, the third entry in the director's cycle of seasonally themed films, follows. Set in a resort town in Brittany, the picture finds its protagonist, Gaspard, in the classic Rohmeresque dilemma of choosing between a lineup of beautiful young women.
Four Adventures of Reinette screens at 2:30 p.m. followed by A Tale of Summer at 4:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art East Wing, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 842-6799
Sunday: The Promise: The Making of the Darkness On the Edge of Town at West End Cinema
Legal tussling with his first manager Mike Appel kept Bruce Springsteen out of the studio for nearly three years after the grandiosity of Born to Run, and during that quiet spell the Bard of Asbury Park wrote a lot of songs—70 by Steven Van Zandt's count. The 10 that made it on to 1978's Darkness On the Edge of Town included the plaintive "Racing in the Street" and the rollicking "Badlands," but dozens of tracks remained unused. Springsteen gifted a few songs to other artists—most famously with Patti Smith's recording of "Because the Night." Still, it wasn't until last fall that Springsteen refurbished 21 of the unreleased tracks from the Darkness sessions as The Promise, accompanied by Thom Zimny's documentary. The film, which debuted on HBO, mixes contemporary interviews with the E Street Band and archival footage of the recording sessions.
Screens at 5:30 p.m. at West End Cinema, 2301 M Street NW. $11. (202) 419-3456