Quiet desperation

At nearly 31/2 hours, shot in real time with little dialogue and almost geometric camera work, Chantal Akerman's 1975 masterpiece, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, requires some commitment from viewers. But it's an absorbing portrait of a single mother who follows a set routine of cooking, cleaning, and turning tricks each afternoon - until her carefully arranged life begins to fray. It's truly one of the great films of the 20th century. The film screens at International House, 3701 Chestnut St. Admission is free.

Time: 7 p.m. Information: 215-387-5125 or


All about Oscar

This year's Academy Awards left a lot of questions. Why was The Lego Movie snubbed? Where was Joan Rivers in memoriam? Why was Neil Patrick Harris in his undies? Why, John Travolta? The president the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, probably doesn't have the answers to those questions. But she will talk about the behind-the-scenes Oscar process, and her remarkable career - rising from staff publicist to top marketing executive to become the first African American to lead the academy - at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr. Time: 7 p.m. Tickets: $25. Information: 610-527-9898 or


Another world

British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro is best known for the Booker Prize-winning The Remains of the Day, an emotionally subdued look at a butler's life. Ishiguro's new book, The Buried Giant, his first novel in nearly a decade, is a mythic tale of a couple searching for their son in a wasted, fantastic medieval landscape. He will read from his work at the Free Library, 1901 Vine St. Time: 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $15;

$7 students. Information: 215-567-4341 or


With strings

Violinist David Bowlin will play works by Beethoven, Ravel, and Suzanne Sorkin in a recital at St. Joseph's University's Bluett Theatre, 5600 W. City Ave. Time: 8 p.m. Admission is free. Information: 610-660-2277 or


Sweet stuff

Oscar Straus' delightful 1908 confection, The Chocolate Soldier, with a newly adapted libretto by Daniel Pantano, is performed by the invaluable Concerto Operetta Theater at the Academy of Vocal Arts, 1920 Spruce St. Time: 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets: $30; $20 seniors; $10 students; ages 16 and under free. Information: 215-389-0648 or