“Filmmaking is a chance to live many lives,” said the late, great director Robert Altman. If the same can be said for moviegoing, this week’s local offerings allow audiences to live vicariously as Israeli marriage merchants, Olympic athletes, Brooklyn farmers, and Somalian nomads-turned-supermodels. Not to mention getting some insight into the mind of the man who invented Ace Ventura.
Tuesday, March 22
Part one of the AFI Silver Theatre’s Alfred Hitchcock retrospective continues with Young and Innocent, Hitchcock’s 1937 murder mystery about a man (Derrick De Marney) framed for killing an actress. The movie, inspired by a novel by mystery writer Josephine Tey, screens at 7:20. Buy tickets ($11) at AFI Silver’s Web site.
Wednesday, March 23
Reel Israel DC presents a screening of The Matchmaker (Once I Was) at the Avalon Theatre tonight. The movie, the latest from director Avi Nesher, tells the story of a teenager in 1960s Haifa who goes to work for a matchmaker. Variety called the film “a memory play gold-dusted with adolescent longing.” Get tickets ($11) through the Avalon Theatre’s Web site.
Thursday, March 24
The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital continues this week with a number of screenings around town. Tonight at the Carnegie Institution for Science, catch a free screening of two documentaries exploring sustainable approaches to eating as well as the world premiere of a film about DC’s community gardens at the National Museum of Women in the Arts ($5). For more information, visit dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org.
Friday, March 25
Director and comedian Tom Shadyac (Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Bruce Almighty) departs from comedy to question the meaning of life in I Am, an autobiographical documentary that shows Shadyac talking to great thinkers (Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Noah Chomsky, Marc Ian Barasch) following a cycling accident that leads him to question his priorities. The movie opens at Landmark E Street Cinema today; Shadyac will answer questions after the 7:45 and 10:15 shows. Buy tickets ($10) at Landmark’s Web site.
Saturday, March 26
Desert Flower, a movie by Sherry Hormann based on the autobiography of supermodel and humanitarian activist Waris Dirie, opens at Landmark E Street on Friday. Dirie escaped an arranged marriage at 13 and left her nomadic tribe in Somalia to flee to London, where she was discovered by photographer Terence Donovan. Ethiopian supermodel Liya Kebede stars as Dirie. Get tickets ($10) through Landmark’s Web site.
Sunday, March 27
The 11th annual NoVa Jewish Film Festival comes to Artisphere today with Berlin 36, Kaspar Heidelbach’s 2009 film about high jumper Gretel Bergmann, the 1936 Jewish Olympian replaced by Nazi authorities with an athlete who later turned out to be male. Karoline Herfurth (Perfume, The Reader) stars as Bergmann. Buy tickets ($11) at Artisphere’s Web site.
Monday, March 28
Certified Copy, Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami’s movie about love and authenticity, opened at Landmark Bethesda Row (7325 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda; 301-652-7273) Friday. Juliette Binoche (The English Patient, Paris Je T’Aime) stars as an art dealer intrigued by a British author and fakery expert (William Shimell). The Los Angeles Times called the movie a “lovely labyrinth of a film.” Get tickets ($10) at Landmark’s Web site.