The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, now playing in local theaters, posits that the wife and son of a Nazi commandant believe that he's running a farm instead of a concentration camp. Closely Watched Trains, the 1968 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, also centers on an innocent young man oblivious to the Nazi occupation, but it does so more subtly, with a smart, ribald sense of humor. Milos, a charmingly awkward Czechoslovakian train dispatcher, discovers sexuality, his sense of adventure and the true impact of those German trains pulling into the station. A subtitled film with gorgeous black-and-white cinematography, Closely Watched Trains might look artsy, but director Jirí Menzel's bawdy visual metaphors are far from intimidating. Closely Watched Trains screens at 1:30 p.m. at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's Atkins Auditorium (4525 Oak). Admission is free, but tickets are required. Call 816-751-1278 for reservations.
Nelson-Atkins Sat., Jan. 10, 1:30-3 p.m., 2009