- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 12, 2003

Mexicans, especially in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, see no difference between what Americans call “high art” and “popular art,” as evidenced in Dreaming Mexico: Painting and Folk Art from Oaxaca at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Cultural Center. Mounted on hot-pink walls, the “alebrijes” (intricately painted and carved wooden animals), black clay pots and figures from Ocotlan, and inspired paintings by Mexican greats Rufino Tamayo, Francisco Toledo and Rodolfo Morales, demonstrate a similar kind of imagination and flair for color and modeling. At the IDB Cultural Center, 1300 New York Ave. NW. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday through July 25. Free. 202/623-1000.

Joanna Shaw-Eagle

Capturing the Friedmans, a gravely ironic title, recalls the prolonged ordeal of a Great Neck, N.Y., family that suffered shame and disgrace in the late 1980s. The father of the family, the late Arnold Friedman, a respected high school science teacher, was accused of molesting numerous students who enrolled for private piano or computer lessons in his home. The second of his three sons, Jesse, was accused of being an accomplice. Eventually, both pleaded guilty and were sent to prison. Since the Friedmans were fond of family documentation, a great deal of home movie and video footage was left in the custody of the eldest son, David, who became the link to filmmaker Andrew Jarecki for this reassessment of the Friedman case. In some respects it was the first East Coast counterpart to the discredited McMartin case in Southern California. However, the facts are even more tangled and melancholy. While it appears that the criminal case against Arnold and Jesse was always dubious, the fact remains that Arnold unmasked himself as a child molester of long-standing. His inability to sustain a stout defense may have reflected the guilt associated with years of discreet, undetected perversion. Exclusively at the Cineplex Odeon Dupont Circle and Landmark Bethesda Row.

The careers of Japanese actors Sessue Hayakawa and Shirley Yamaguchi intersected in 1955 when they were cast members in Samuel Fuller’s crime melodrama “House of Bamboo.” Three early Hayakawa silents will be revived at the Library of Congress’ Mary Pickford Theater on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. They are The Death Mask (1914), The Secret Sin (1915) and The Secret Game (1917). Miss Yamaguchi’s introduction to American audiences, in King Vidor’s Japanese War Bride in 1952, can be seen Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Meyer Auditorium of the Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art as part of an exhibition devoted to the late Isamu Noguchi, who was married to the actress at one time. A revival of House of Bamboo concludes the series on June 20 at 7 p.m. All these screenings are free, but the Pickford seats only 64 and ticket reservations are distributed for Meyer screenings. Inquire at the information desk on the day of performances. The Pickford is located on the third floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Avenue SE. 202/707-5677. The Freer and Sackler Galleries are at Independence Avenue and 12th Street SW.

Gary Arnold

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