One of Hollywood’s least favorable moments got the once-over at the National Archives on Wednesday when author Ben Urwand discussed his book, “The Collaboration” at the Archives’ William G. McGowan Theater downtown.
His work details the agreement American studios made with German officials during Adolph Hitler’s rise to power, in which they agreed not to make movies that directly criticized Hitler in exchange for access to Germany’s film-hungry masses. It was bizarre behavior for American movie-makers, many of whom were of Jewish ancestry. But money makes people do stupid things.
Afterward, Urwand helped lead a discussion and screening of the 1940 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film “The Mortal Storm,” one of the few films of the era that took a critical look at the Nazis. Jimmy Stewart (who else?) plays a German who isn’t buying what the Ratzis are selling.
Wondering how to spend precious cinema/television/couch potato time? The American Film Institute is there for you, having announced its official selections of AFI Awards 2013, the 10 movies and 10 television programs it thinks everyone should check out.
For Washington viewers, the television list shows a significant interest in capital doings, with four of the 10 taking place, fictionally at least, in D.C.: “The Americans,” “House of Cards,” “Scandal” and “Veep.”
The movie list doesn’t have a Washington flick per se, although it’s certainly one that contains its fair share of issues of interest to the political set, particularly “12 Years a Slave,” “Captain Phillips” “Fruitvale Station” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
Creamy dairy products maven Dolcezza Gelato is opening a combo “gelato factory + coffee lab” near Union Market at 550 Penn St. NE on Saturday, from noon to 7 p.m.
The latest entry in the turnaround of the Brentwood/Ivy City area will include a spot to taste gelato and coffee, surely two of the greatest human creations to grace the planet. Seriously, could anyone have foreseen 10 years ago that a gelato joint would take up residence in this neighborhood?
The tasting room has a bar that will look out onto the production floor for the gelato. They’ll offer tasting on a daily basis from here on out from noon to 7 p.m.
Eat, read, drink and watch movies. Sounds like a pretty good week.
Eat for a Cause
A quartet of deliciousness is teaming up on Monday to feed not just D.C.’s discriminating palates, but the needy as well. Toki Underground, Maketto, Buffalo & Bergen and Rappahannock DC have put together a nice four-course meal at Rappahannock Oyster Bar at Union Market, with proceeds going to benefit Miriam’s Kitchen. Full story
Never mind those predictions of that Mid-Atlantic weather phenomenon, wintry mix. Brave the outside for a couple of cool holiday traditions on both sides of the Potomac: Old Town Alexandria’s Scottish Christmas Walk Parade and the Southwest Waterfront’s Parade of Lights in the District.
On Saturday, rain or shine, a whole mess of Scottish clans in tartans, with bagpipes, will turn Old Town into one big holiday hootenanny. Starting at 11 a.m. at Wilkes and St. Asaph streets and proceeding through the King Street district, it’s a unique celebration of the season. The bars and taverns in the area are more than willing to provide season and culturally appropriate libations.
Later on Saturday night and across the river, the Washington Waterfront Association and the Old Dominion Boat Club will put on the Parade of Lights along the Southwest Waterfront at Water and Seventh streets SW. Things kick off at 6 p.m. with music, a bonfire, some Santa Claus sightings and other holiday this and that. Around 7 p.m., decorated boats from the Alexandria Vote group will start to arrive at the waterfront, and folks can vote for their favorites. Promoters say it’ll all happen rain or snow. Free.
Writer and public health activist Marion Nestle drops by CQ Roll Call HQ tonight for the finale of 2013′s Roll Call Book Club. She’ll be discussing her latest book, “Eat Drink Vote,” a brisk and funny read about food politics that helps make its message with political cartoons.
So drop by for some wine, some cheese and a free copy of the book. Roll Call resident food maven Warren Rojas will introduce Nestle, who apparently has a few things to say about how, why and what we stuff in our mouths.
The years have not been kind to the early Hollywood films of the silent era, but if a congressionally mandated report has any sway, the public might get to see more of these cultural treasures.
From 1912 to 1929, American studios produced nearly 11,000 silent feature films, but only 14 percent of those movies have survived in their original 35mm format. About 11 percent of those films survive in complete form as either foreign versions or in lower-quality formats, such as 28mm or 16mm. Another 5 percent are incomplete, either surviving in an abridged form or with portions missing. And of the 3,311 films that survived in any form or format, 886 of those were found in foreign countries.
Those findings are part of a report released Wednesday by the Library of Congress and commissioned by the National Film Preservation Board, “The Survival of American Silent Feature Films: 1912-1929.” The report’s author, David Pierce, exhaustively details how the surviving silent-era films survived neglect and mismanagement, sometimes through painstaking efforts and sometimes through pure dumb luck. One short feature, Mary Pickford’s 1911 short “Their First Misunderstanding,” was found in a barn, for instance.
Washingtonians and Polandphiles will get not one but at least two chances to see the new film “Walesa, Man of Hope,” the story of how Lech Walesa went from working-class hero to chairman of the National Committee of Solidarity to Nobel laureate to president of a democratic Poland.
The Embassy of Poland is hosting a screening of the film on Wednesday in the Capitol Visitor Center, featuring Walesa, the film’s director Andrzej Wajda and Sens. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., and Jim Risch, R-Idaho. Then the film will get top billing at the American Film Institute’s European Union Film Showcase at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Md., on Thursday. That screening and reception will feature Robert Wieckiewicz, who plays Walesa in the film. The Silver will show the film again on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The movie is Poland’s official selection for the 2013 Academy Awards foreign film competition.
So long, Thanksgiving. Hello, holiday party season! This week the Senate may be away, but the festivities are in play, starting with the lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree at 5 p.m. Tuesday on the West Front and the Capitol Hill Chanukah Celebration at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Capitol’s Mansfield Room.
And even if you’re not into indulging your inner Scrooge, there’s still plenty to do around Capitol Hill this week, including taking a look at some of the capital city’s dark secrets through the eyes of its most storied detective, and a concert at the Library of Congress by country royalty Rosanne Cash, daughter of the Man in Black.
Bill Press sits down on Tuesday at Hill Center with Terry Lenzner, arguably the District’s most seasoned private investigator. Lenzner has a memoir out, “The Investigator: Fifty Years of Uncovering the Truth,” which the two will discuss. Lenzner’s seen it all in a long career, including the murders of civil rights workers in the South, Watergate, the Unabomber and any number of high and low crimes. Lenzner will sign copies afterward. At the Hill Center’s Abraham Lincoln Hall at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, 7-9 p.m. Free, but register at Hill Center’s website.
LOC to Cash In
Roseanne Cash will be at the Library of Congress for a three-day residency that starts Thursday and goes through Sunday, a project that will reveal to the public her new album, “The River and the Thread,” and include a “round robin” with other singer-songwriters and talk with a fellow Southerner, Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey. The eldest child of the late Johnny Cash has a more-than-three-decades-long career and is a country legend in her own right. The fact that she’s kicking off her tour in D.C. at the library speaks to her enduring cultural imprint. On Thursday, Cash will premiere her new album in a concert at the Thomas Jefferson Building’s Coolidge Auditorium at 101 Independence Ave. SE. The tunes start at 8 p.m. The concert is free, sort of: You have to get tickets through Ticketmaster, which will charge a processing fee. The LOC says advance tickets are sold out, but there should be a decent number of “rush” tickets at the door. Friday’s round robin with Cash, John Leventhal, Cory Chisel, Rodney Crowell and Amy Helm is at the Coolidge at 8 p.m. Her Saturday conversation with Trethewey at the Jefferson Building’s Whittall Pavilion is free.
Eat, Drink, Vote, Read
The Roll Call Book Club wraps up its 2013 series with Marion Nestle, who’ll drop by CQ Roll Call HQ at 77 K St. NE on Thursday night to discuss her new book, “Eat Drink Vote: An Illustrated Guide to Food Politics.” Co-hosted by our pals at Hooks Books, drop by at 6 p.m. for a little wine, some cheese and a discussion on what’s on everyone’s mind: What’s to eat?
Come fall, cult bourbon enthusiasts across America give thanks to the handful of establishments fortuitous enough to slide a few bottles of Pappy Van Winkle onto their shelves by proceeding to gleefully drink those places dry.
(Courtesy Redman Communications)
Having scored his annual allotment of old Rip Van Winkle Distillery’s prized product line, Bob Materazzi, owner of Shelly’s Back Room (1331 F St. NW), is not only looking forward to the bourbon purge, he finally gets what all the fuss is about. Full story
Boundary Road is going to put an egg on Black Friday.
If you’re looking for a watering hole on Thanksgiving night or a place to re-engage your taste buds the day after Turkey Day, the H Street bistro is opening up the bar at 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving and open for its Black Friday FRANKENLunch.
Along with booze, wine and beers on Thursday, some sort of sandwich-like endeavors will be available for purchase, just in case you didn’t get enough turkey, dressing, yams, cranberries, green beans, etc., in the hours before. It won’t be the regular late-night bar menu, staff says, but something of the moment.
Then on Friday, the full lunch menu is available, with the option of putting an egg on everything for one dollar. Make sense? Lunch, plus an egg, mixed up … maybe. It does, though, remind us of the timeless Portlandia skit, “Put a Bird On It.”
“Appearing Nightly BLAZE STAR ‘The Queen of Burlesque’” reads the ad on page 2 of the Nov. 20, 1963, Roll Call.
From the Nov. 20, 1963 Roll Call. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)
It’s a reminder that not all of the advertising that has appeared in Capitol Hill newspapers such as our own came from the Nerve Gas Association of America or some such trade group looking to further a legislative agenda or burnish its credentials. The small partial ad was a fixture in our pages, appearing week after week to tout Star’s performance at The Playgirl Lounge at the corner of 13th and F streets NW. There’s a Starbucks there now.
Of note: This is not the famous exotic dancer who had a long-time affair with Louisiana Gov. Earl Long in the 1950s, which was itself the subject of the 1989 Paul Newman-Lolita Davidovich movie “Blaze” by Ron Shelton. That would be Blaze Starr, with two “r”s.
Anyone looking for a cheaper ride back and forth to Baltimore on the weekends cheered earlier this year, when Maryland announced it was extending MARC service on Saturdays and Sundays come December. And to sweeten the pot even further, Kimpton Hotels is offering up a deal that scores weekend MARC riders a discount at one of the their hotels at either end of the terminus, as well as some free vino.
The “MARC a Night of It” deal involves 15 percent off the room rate at the Hotel George in D.C. and the Hotel Monaco in Baltimore. It also comes with a free bottle of wine. All you have to do is wait for Dec. 7, book for Thursdays through Sundays and show your Penn Line MARC ticket when you check in. You can book online (rate code “MARC”) or call 1-800-Kimpton.
For some reason, it brings to mind the Destination DC “Get a Room” ad campaign from earlier this year.
Good news, Southernphiles: The date for the 2014 Taste of the South has been set, and it comes with a bigger venue.
The next good-time go-round will be March 29, and it will be moving from the classy but slightly snug DAR Constitution Hall to the more spacious Washington Hilton, home to, among others, the White House Correspondents Dinner.
(Courtesy Taste of the South)
It seems like a long time ago the event was held at the D.C. Armory. But the 2010 event, which took place during a sweltering June weekend there, featured a decided lack of air conditioning. Although everyone knows it gets hot in the South, this was a bit of verisimilitude even die-hard Southerners did not need. DAR Hall was the next stop, and now the charity and nosh-festival looks like it’s got itself a new home.
Roll Call After Dark is about what Washington does when it's not at work.
The District of Columbia is a cultural capital where you can you get your kicks from movies projected on the National Mall, lectures on vermouth or Russian avant-garde art. There's always something to do.
Jason Dick is the Hill Life editor for Roll Call and has also worked at Greenwire, CongressDaily and National Journal Daily during his time in Washington. @jasonjdick