- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Prada Gallery’s Origin and the Landscape, a one-person exhibit of intricate drawings and silkscreen monoprints by senior printmaker Lou Stovall, shows the artist’s masterful layering of brilliant color. When Mr. Stovall turned to making silkscreen monoprints (single printings of images) five years ago, he decided to make brilliant colors his subject. He pushes purples, yellows, oranges, greens — and more — above the picture plane, giving his works a new tactility. His penciled drawings have a new complexity as well. At Prada, 1030 Wisconsin Ave. NW., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays, Mondays by appointment. Through Feb. 28. Free. 202/342-0067.

— Joanna Shaw-Eagle

Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, a haunted and edifying documentary feature exclusively at the Landmark E Street Cinema, recalls one of the conspicuous utopian calamities of the 1970s — the November 1978 mass suicide of a San Francisco congregation that had followed its despotic pastor, Jim Jones, to a dead end at a rural commune in Guyana. This chronicle, compiled by Stanley Nelson and Marcia Smith, traces Jones’ bizarre and sinister path from the Midwest to his radicalized roost in San Francisco, where he became a political activist and messianic monstrosity, fashionably leftist and privately depraved.

Ultimately, Jones swindled and browbeat a following that was predominantly black and elderly, using their pensions and property to subsidize his miniature empire, which was denied a refuge in the Soviet Union when things got dodgy in California. Jones settled for a getaway communist colony in the tropics. At the time, Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now,” an update of Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness,” was still in the works. Mr. Coppola could have found a more authentic variation right on his own doorstep in San Francisco.

— Gary Arnold

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