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Posted 5/26/2010

NINETEEN23 This installment of City Paper contributor Martin Johnson's film series focuses on trains and includes Richard Serra's 1976 short "Railroad Turnbridge," a silent series of shots that document a turnbridge's actions; the 1954 B&O freight service promotional "Fast Freight"; Fred McLeod's 1958 short "Thunder of Steam in the Blue Ridge," which captures scenes of steam engines along the Norfolk and Western Railway; and other train/railroad shorts. At the 14-Karat Cabaret May 31 at 7:30 p.m.

PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME Veteran British journeyman director Mike Newell (Donnie Brasco, Mona Lisa Smile) helms this Disney-produced, video-game-inspired historical action flick starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, and Ben Kingsley. Opens May 28.

SEX AND THE CITY 2 Writer/producer/director Michael Patrick King brings the ladies back to the big screen for this sequel to the 2008 movie that became one of the biggest opening-weekend R-rated movies ever--and the only romantic comedy in a field dominated by action/comic-book flicks--which should have been the billion-watt sign to Hollywood that grown women will go to movies if you give them something they want to see. See also: Opening day screenings of this sequel have already sold out. This time around the ladies are--according to the official plot synopsis--whisked away from New York to Abu Dhabi. All we know for certain is that those trailers put Samantha on a camel, proving, yet again, that the fiftysomething Kim Cattrall is always game for a laugh. Opens May 27.

SPECTER POLIS MICA MFA candidate and multi-space and -media artist Graham Coreil-Allen screens a handful of his single-channel video shorts at the CAmm A/V cart, and tonight delivers an artist's talk about his works. At the Creative Alliance at the Patterson May 27 at 7 p.m.

SUMMERTIME Sweltering summer heat demands fantasy and getting away from it all. And those demands weigh just as heavy for repressed middle-aged spinsters on summer break as for any hormone-addled teen, as Katharine Hepburn splendidly proves in this bittersweet 1955 chimera directed by David Lean. Kate is a secretary from Ohio on holiday in Venice. Brittle on the surface but nearly bursting with ardent longing, she's pensioned uncomfortably with a modern clique of American tourists whose amorous carelessness jars her prim sensibilities. Desperately hopeful to find her own romantic idyll, she comes alive upon meeting swooningly handsome shop owner Rossano Brazzi, but an unpleasant revelation threatens to shatter her reverie. Sumptuous locations and a beautiful, tender atmosphere make this one a rare summer dream indeed. This revival features a restored print. (Luisa F. Ribeiro) At the Charles Theatre at noon May 29, at 7 p.m. May 31, and 9 p.m. June 3.

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