- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 18, 2004

This city often forgets its black artists of earlier eras, but the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum & Center for African American History and Culture remembers them — often rescuing many from oblivion. Such a painter is William H. Smith, a Maryland native and silver medalist at the 1939 World’s Fair. Selected Works by William H. Smith will be showcased through Dec. 31. The exhibit’s 12 paintings — created over a 65-year period — range from a folk art-like “Fourth of July at the Maryland Home for Friendless Colored Children,” to his gently expressionistic “Artist in White Hat.” At the Anacostia Museum, 1901 Fort Place, SE. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Free. 202/287-3369.

— Joanna Shaw-Eagle

Garry Marshall’s judgment isn’t foolproof, but he’s demonstrated a wizardly touch with Cinderella updates, ranging from the R-rated “Pretty Woman” to the G-rated “Princess Diaries” comedies. The new installment, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, proves remarkably consistent and blithely irresistible. Anne Hathaway returns as the disarming ingenue, Mia, who resumes training to succeed grandmother Julie Andrews as the hereditary monarch of a jewel-box European realm, Genovia. They must deal with a catch: Parliament insists Mia select a husband before she assumes the crown. Everything is cleverly and playfully finessed, including the premature incentive to wedlock. At area theaters.

Perhaps no movie has flattered modern film restoration as impressively as Akira Kurosawa’s 50-year-old classic Seven Samurai, which returns to the American Film Institute’s National Theater at Kennedy Center for nine days beginning tomorrow. Initially imported in a stunning but truncated edition in 1956, the movie was restored to its full 200-minute majesty in the early 1980s. The latest enhancement has augmented the subtitles, now more extensive and candid, revealing details and nuances that had been obscured. They also result in R-rated reading every so often — not that movie lovers should be deterred from sharing the greatest adventure epic ever filmed with their older children. Tickets are priced at $8.50 for the general public and $7.50 for AFI members, students and seniors (65 and over). 202/785-4600.

Gary Arnold


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