- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Jiminy Glick in LaLaWood, opening tomorrow, gets the summer movie season off to a blissfully rollicking start. It showcases Martin Short in his happiest late-blooming brainstorm: the prodigiously obese, raucous and unnerving celebrity interviewer Jiminy Glick, unleashed not on Hollywood itself, but the Toronto Film Festival. Jiminy becomes the envy of the festival press by worming his way into the good graces of a temperamental young star touting a white-elephant biopic about Gandhi. Inimitable Jiminy grillings are conducted with such cooperative stooges as Steve Martin, Kurt Russell, Rob Lowe and Whoopi Goldberg. We discover fresh things about the hero’s background and family life, and he’s pulled into a sinister subplot attributed to David Lynch (Mr. Short in another stunning masquerade). It’s a romp.

The Animation Show, exclusively at the Landmark E Street Cinema, revives the anthology format with a dozen shorts that range from about half a minute to a quarter of an hour in length. Two early selections are lackluster, but the quality takes a decisive leap with David Russo’s “Pan With Us,” an inventive illustration of the Robert Frost poem that marshals a dazzling cascade of images, often propelled by pixilation. It’s followed by a slapstick triumph from Australia, Peter Cornwell’s “Ward 13,” a clay-animation spoof of slasher movies set in a deathtrap hospital. About five superior titles accumulate during a sustained surge, giving the collection so much middle that you can shrug off a weak start and finish.

— Gary Arnold

Just as 19th-century American cigar-store Indians lured buyers into tobacconists’ stores, so also do folk paintings on Mexican storefronts pull in shoppers for the goods illustrated outside. “Rotulistas,” small businesses specializing in individualized pop images, turn out street pictures as different as costumed mariachi musicians, skilled carpenters and romanticized movie stars. For four years, about 30 photographers shot street images all over Mexico for Sensacional! Mexican Street Graphics at the Cultural Institute of Mexico. 2829 16th Street NW. 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays through July 15. Free. 202/728-1628.

— Joanna Shaw-Eagle

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