A bit of upcoming news, for you DC cinephiles.  Beginning April 12th (so, a week from this Thursday), the 26th Annual Washington, D.C., International Film Festival will kick off.  This event runs through April 22nd and highlights distinct cinema from around the world.  This year, the festival has organized its programming into three separate groupings:

  1. “The Lighter Side.”  The comedy component of the festival.  Includes such features as Kazakhstan’s Baikonur, France’s Holidays by the Sea, and China’s Let the Bullets Fly (my personal favorite).
  2. “Caribbean Journeys.”  If you guessed films from Jamaica, Cuba, Trinidad & Tobago, and the Dominican Republic (some examples: Calypso Rose: The Lioness of the Jungle, Jean Gentil, and Better Mus’ Come), give yourself a Kewpie Doll!
  3. “Justice Matters.”  It’s all social justice, all the time.  Whether it’s the hidden tyranny of cell phones (Blood in the Mobile), the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (5 Broken Cameras), or the battle behind climate change (The Island President), these flicks examine the platters that matter.

That’s just a taste of the movies themselves; they also come dressed to the nines with lectures, bonus short films, and Q&As with the filmmakers responsible for the lineup.

The International Film Festival promises to be quite the event—click HERE for more information.

In other DC movie news, the West End Cinema is hosting a special screening of Terence Davies’ The Long Day Closes, starting this Friday.  An expressionistic portrait of youth and innocence, the film tells the story of twelve-year-old Bud, a film buff and closeted homosexual struggling to adapt to life in Liverpool, circa 1956.  The West End is screening a restored 35mm print of the feature in preparation for Davies’ newest endeavor, the Graham Greene-flavored The Deep Blue Sea.

Also opening on Friday is the New Zealand-based Boy.  The dramedy focuses on the relationship between a small-time criminal and his young son (the “Boy” of the title).  Because New Zealand can’t do dramedy without laying on the quirks (Exhibit A: Flight of the Conchords), it should come as no surprise that Michael Jackson (yes, the Michael Jackson) plays a pivotal role in shaping both Boy and his father.

Head over HERE for further details on The Long Day Closes and Boy.

Speaking of The Deep Blue Sea: it’s playing at the E Street and Bethesda Row Landmarks.  An adaptation of the Terence Rattigan play, the film looks to post-WWII England as the setting for the passionate – and ultimately doomed – tryst between Rachel Weisz’s frustrated romantic and Tom Hiddleston’s RAF pilot.  Need a little more?  How about The Kid with the Bike, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s drama about the bond that forms between a hairdresser and an orphaned boy.  Between those two films, I think you’ve got your human heartache covered.

Learn more about the Landmark cinemas HERE.

So, they’re remaking Total Recall, and it’s not even set on Mars.  That’s akin to setting Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea in the Gobi Desert.

Community DC Film Beat: Metro Area Cinema for 3 April – 10 April