Arts Desk

This Week in Repertory Film: 12 Angry Men, Hijos de Kennedy, The Fly

Tonight: 12 Angry Men at the Artisphere
Cable news anchors smarting over yesterday's not-guilty verdict in the Florida trial of Casey Anthony would do well to sit down with Sidney Lumet's 1957 directorial debut. The dozen anonymous citizens chosen to deliberate over an unseen murder are far more than a "kooky jury." For 96 minutes, Lumet traps us in the jury room, forcing us to weigh life, death, bigotries, and character assassinations on the road to the objective truth. Lee J. Cobb's bloodthirsty Juror No. 3 would have found plenty of compatriots in yesterday's live-from-the-courthouse-steps fits of outrage. Juror No. 8 (Henry Fonda) would have been chased off the airwaves by screamers who confuse contemplativeness with leniency. Lumet, who died in April at 86, is being remembered with a four-film retrospective at the Artisphere beginning with 12 Angry Men.
Screens at 8 p.m. at the Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington. $6. (703) 875-1100.

Thursday: Hijos de Kennedy at the National Museum of Natural History
As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, the Peace Corps is partnering with the Smithsonian's Folklife Festival this month, which has been filling the National Mall with exhibits highlighting Colombia, rhythm and blues, and the Peace Corps. The Maureen Orth-produced Hijos de Kennedy captures two out of the three themes, documenting the experiences of Peace Corps volunteers in Colombia. Orth served in Colombia in 1966 alongside Sam Farr, now a Democratic congressman from California.
Screens at 6 p.m. at the National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Ave NW. Free. (202) 633-1000

Sunday: The Fly at American City Diner
David Cronenberg says he never intended his 1986 film to be received as a parable for the rise of the AIDS epidemic, but when this tale of romance and body horror opened, it was seen by many as an analogy for the isolation and hopelessness HIV-positive patients endured when the disease was just becoming commonly known. With or without any hidden meaning, The Fly was instantly required viewing for makeup artists, creature designers, and any other filmmakers interested in pushing the limits of human appearance. The journey of Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum)—eventually "Brundlefly" (Goldblum under increasing layers of makeup)—is creepy, romantic, and ultimately heartbreaking.
Screens at 8 p.m. at American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave NW. Free (202) 244-1949

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