- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 13, 2011

Film: ‘All the President’s Men’

Every year, the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center dedicates a block of programming to skewering job-creating corporations and retail employers that insist on negotiating with their employees directly instead of through dues-collecting middlemen. One film in the series — “All the President’s Men,” about the Watergate Hotel break-in and the end of Richard Nixon’s presidency — is being shown in conjunction with the Project on Government Oversight. There’s only one problem: Local labor leaders are objecting to the film’s inclusion in the series. As D.C. labor activist Fred Solowey told the Washington City Paper, “Any good reporting Woodward and Bernstein did is negated by their being scabs.” Yes, that’s right. Mr. Solowey and others are objecting to the inclusion of “All the President’s Men” because Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, legends of investigative journalism, refused to quit working while their fellow union members at The Washington Post went on strike in 1975. That would be reason enough to see this movie even if it weren’t a classic.

Oct. 14 at AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md.

Phone: 301/495-6720

Web: www.afi.com

Festival: Spooky Movie Film Fest

Quality is not an issue at the Spooky Movie Film Fest, insofar as most of the films are low-budget and categorically inartful (with the exception of the makeup, obviously). But what the academy jilts, the people love, and for good reason. Horror movies allow us to exorcize our evil urges vicariously, explore hypothetical questions about the human anatomy and laugh — yes, laugh! — at our own inescapable gullibility. Standouts at this year’s festival include “Midnight Son,” about a vampire who works as a nighttime security guard while struggling with his druglike blood addiction, and “The Dead,” a zombie flick set in a war-torn African country.

Oct. 14-16 at Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va.

Phone: 703/875-1100

Web: www.spookyfests.com

Author reading: David Sedaris

Relationships are David Sedaris’ specialty. So much so, in fact, that the New Yorker writer pales in comparison to himself when he opines about anything else. (This is especially true with regard to his political writing; it is horrible.) Mr. Sedaris’ newest book is called “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary.” As Aesop discovered ages ago, the best way to write about the ugly side of a good person is to turn him or her into a braying jackass, a rabbit or, as is the case in one of the many stories in Mr. Sedaris’ collection, a stuffy old-money cat and a chatty hairstylist baboon.

Oct. 17 at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium, 730 21st St. NW.

Phone: 202/994-6800

Web: www.lisner.org

Concert: Yngwie Malmsteen

By the end of the 1980s, a decade during which every real rock band had at least one insanely good lead guitarist, Yngwie Malmsteen had come to symbolize the triumph of style over substance. The Swedish-born classically trained guitarist was faster and more arrogant than his contemporaries — Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai and Joe Satriani among them — but the superlatives end there. During brief stints with metal bands Steeler and Alcatrazz, Mr. Malmsteen could be counted on to play a technically exhausting solo regardless of what the song called for. When Mr. Malmsteen started Rising Force as a showcase for his songwriting chops in 1984, he proved to be even worse at composing music than he had been at soloing over music written by other people. Yet while music critics hated or ignored him, young guitarists were awestruck, and Mr. Malmsteen’s lightning-fast arpeggios became a benchmark for aspiring ax-slingers. Despite his fretboard excess, or rather because of it, seeing him live is still a real treat. Mr. Malmsteen packs the stage with amps, sports age-defying tight leather pants and throws his guitar around like a rag doll. If you like watching people walk on hot coals, eat weird insects or scramble through punishing obstacle courses, you’ll enjoy watching and hearing Mr. Malmsteen do his thing.

Oct. 15 at the Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md.

Phone: 301/960-9999

Web: www.fillmoresilverspring.com

Musical performance: ‘Peter and the Wolf’

One of the joys of entering middle school is the trip to the school band room, where youngsters get a chance to see the instruments that are available for them to honk and squawk on for the next few years. But would-be virtuosos also need to see what those instruments can do in more experienced hands. The Kennedy Center’s presentation of “Peter and the Wolf” provides both. Families that show up before the performance can take their children on a hands-on tour of the orchestra pit. (The Kennedy Center calls it a “petting zoo.”) Once the performance starts, they can delight in seeing some of the finest musicians in the world paired live with Suzie Templeton’s Oscar-winning stop-motion movie.

Oct. 16 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW.

Phone: 202/467-4600

Web: www.kennedy-center.org

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