- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Textile Museum’s Harpies, Mermaids, and Tulips: Embroidery of the Greek Islands and Epirus Region shows charming textiles created between the 17th and 19th centuries in what were then the Latin West and Ottoman East. Living in scattered islands near the major West Asian, Black Sea and European crossroads, the Greeks and Epirus peoples integrated foreign styles and techniques into their own crafts. When the men went off to sea, women perfected their embroidery skills in making bridal trousseaux such as the exhibit’s bed tents and covers, and special dresses. At the Textile Museum, 2320 S St. NW. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Donation of $5 suggested. 202/667-0441 or www.textilemuseum.org.

— Joanna Shaw-Eagle

The revival specialists at Rialto Pictures have now rescued from semiobscurity the great British director Carol Reed’s superb exercise in cinematic technique, The Fallen Idol. It begins a brief engagement tomorrow at the Landmark E Street Cinema. The 1948 film began a memorable three-movie partnership between writer Graham Greene and director Reed that continued with “The Third Man” and concluded with “Our Man in Havana.” Based on a Greene short story, “The Fallen Idol” maximized suspense in a spaciously posh but depopulated setting, a foreign embassy in London’s Belgrave Square. Most of the staff is gone for the weekend; the ambassador’s little boy (Bobby Henrey) is in the care of the resident valet, Baines (Ralph Richardson), and his shrewish wife (Sonia Dresdel). With the child as a rapt but uncomprehending witness, the discreetly unhappy, yearning life of Baines plummets towards calamity. The boy is eager to help his beloved guardian, who has things to hide, but his misapprehension of adult behavior threatens to jeopardize Baines even more once the police arrive. Michele Morgan was a glamorous import as Mr. Richardson’s sweetheart, whose basic decency helps salvage the lost weekend.

— Gary Arnold

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