- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Celebrating the recent gift of John James Audubon’s oil painting “Osprey and Weakfish” (1829), the National Gallery of Art is exhibiting it and 50 of the artist’s hand-colored etchings in Audubon’s Dream Realized: Selections from ‘The Birds of America.’ Paintings by the artist are rare, and this a recent gift from Richard Mellon Scaife — shows Audubon’s genius for portraying birds as both lifelike and beautiful. The Gallery added 50 hand-colored etchings from its early edition of Audubon’s famous “Birds of America” (1826-1838) to make this a truly mesmerizing show. At the West Building of the National Gallery, Constitution Avenue at Fourth Street NW. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays, through April 16. Free.

— Joanna Shaw-Eagle—

The National Gallery of Art continues its showcase of recent film preservation projects with revivals of two Mary Pickford vehicles. Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall, a costume melodrama of 1924 set in Tudor England, screens Saturday10/8 p.m. in the auditorium of the East Building. The Little American, a pro-war saga of 1917 directed by Cecil B. DeMille, placed Mary’s character on the front lines during World War I. It is scheduled for the same location on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. Both programs will be augmented by shorts. A 1929 trailer for Coquette, which won Miss Pickford an early Academy Award as best actress, will precede the showing of “The Little American.” All Gallery film programs are free, but an early arrival is usually advisable. Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 202/842-6799.

The National Geographic Society will host a selection of documentaries, features and shorts that constitute an Amnesty International Film Festival from today through Saturday. The programming begins with the polemical feature Darwin’s Nightmare, which depicts the baleful consequences of introducing an aggressive but commercially lucrative species, the Nile perch, into Lake Victoria. Innocent Voices, a fictionalized memoir of a wartorn childhood, set in El Salvador in the early 1980s, closes the festival, then reappears several days later in a regular commercial engagement. At Grosvenor Auditorium, 1600 M St. NW. $8. 202/857-7700.

The annual Washington, Italia film festival returns to Loews Georgetown for six days of free programs starting Tuesday. The selections mix new and vintage titles. Pietro Germi’s great comedy Divorce Italian Stylee first movie on the bill, Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. It is one of four starring vehicles with the late Marcello Mastroianni that will be revive during the festival. Roberto Faenza, Franco Nero and Alessandro D’Alatri appear Tuesday to introduce new features. —The comedy actor-director Maurizio Nichetti arrives next Thursday to host a showing of his film Honolulu Baby. 3111 K St. NW. 800/326-3264.

Gary Arnold

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