- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 11, 2006

With the usual focus on blockbuster exhibitions, shows such as the Freer Gallery of Art’s Artists of Edo: 1800-1850 can slip by. Not to be missed — especially because the show is a preview for the bigger “Hokusai,” opening March 5 — are these 37 works reflecting the period’s artistic innovations and energy. The country’s ruthless shogun-ruler Tokugawa Ieyasu commanded the daimyo regional warlords to live in the then-new Japanese capital of Edo, and they and the newly rich merchant classes patronized the artists seen here. Standouts are Utagawa Toyoharu’s and Hishikawa Sori’s paintings in the first gallery. At the Freer Gallery, 12th Street and Independence Avenue Southwest, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily through May 29. Free. 202/633-1000 or asia.si.edu.

— Joanna Shaw-Eagle

The American Film Institute Silver Theatre begins a new year of programming with retrospectives devoted to Otto Preminger and David Cronenberg. This is the centennial year of the late Mr. Preminger, an Austrian who weathered a rocky start in Hollywood to emerge as a successful director with Laura in 1945. This classic murder mystery begins the series on Saturday, along with one of his credits from the same year, Fallen Angel. The series will conclude with four showings of his 1965 suspense melodrama “Bunny Lake Is Missing,” Feb. 18 to 23.

Mr. Cronenberg’s career as a specialist in the sinister and horrifying began about 30 years ago in his native Canada. The AFI Theatre will show all his features and a program of obscure shorts. The survey begins this weekend with the 1986 remake of The Fly and a psycho vehicle of 2002 for Ralph Fiennes, Spider. Mr. Cronenberg’s first feature, Shivers, and his most recent, A History of Violence, are reserved for the final days of the retrospective, Feb. 17-22.

The AFI Silver is at 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. Admission is $7.50 to $9.25. 301/495-6720.

— Gary Arnold

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