- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Tijuana, Mexico, now the second largest city on the North American continent’s west coast, is jumping with new takes on painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, and installation and video art, as the Cultural Institute of Mexico’s Strange New World: Art and Design from Tijuana demonstrates. The fascinating, mostly surrealist, works include portraits, futuristic digital prints and two-story-tall robot-like statues filled with videos. This show of hybrid, highly original work, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, where it next travels, is a must. 2819 16th St. NW. 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays through April 22. Free. 202/728-1628.

— Joanna Shaw-Eagle

The French filmmaker Abel Gance (1889-1981) began to master his technique during World War I and had three great successes between 1917 and 1919, one of them J’accuse, a battlefield saga that became a cinematic rallying cry for pacifism in the war’s immediate aftermath. Mr. Gance, attached to a film unit in the final months of the war, had access to a few thousand troops who were on leave, and audiences were long haunted by the film’s vision of slain troops rising from the grave to see if their sacrifices had been worth the cost. This silent classic will be revived Sunday at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the East Building as part of the retrospective series “World War I and Dada” at the National Gallery of Art. Admission is free. Robert Israel will provide live piano accompaniment, and the French intertitles will be translated on the spot.

Meanwhile, this weekend the National Gallery continues the centennial series “Billy Wilder at 100” with free showings of Sabrina on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Stalag 17 on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. At the American Film Institute Silver Theatre, Wilder fans can see an inimitable, controversial flop of the middle 1960s, Kiss Me, Stupid, booked from tomorrow through Sunday.

The National Gallery is at Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest. 202/737-4215. The AFI Theater is at 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. 301/495-6720.

— Gary Arnold

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