Release Date: April 3, 2014

Films Series Celebrates Experimental Cinema from Eastern Europe at the National Gallery of Art

Film still from Flipside of the Coin (Romaulds Pipars, Latvia, 2008, 76 minutes), to be shown on June 8 at 2:00 p.m., as part of the film series Artists, Amateurs, Alternative Spaces: Experimental Cinema in Eastern Europe, 1960-1990. Image courtesy National Film Centre of Latvia.

Film still from Flipside of the Coin (Romaulds Pipars, Latvia, 2008, 76 minutes), to be shown on June 8 at 2:00 p.m., as part of the film series Artists, Amateurs, Alternative Spaces: Experimental Cinema in Eastern Europe, 1960-1990. Image courtesy National Film Centre of Latvia

Washington, DC—The National Gallery of Art presents the series Artists, Amateurs, Alternative Spaces: Experimental Cinema in Eastern Europe, 1960–1990, from April 5 through June 14 to celebrate the rich and bold heritage of alternative cinema from Eastern Europe. Though it is justly associated with political restrictions on creativity and meager resources, the Cold War era in the former Eastern Bloc nevertheless saw makers of film and video creating independent and experimental work on their own terms. This series focuses on films that defied the established traditions of both narrative and documentary cinema and were produced outside large state-run studios.

Borrowed from archival collections across the region as well as from U.S. and Western European archives and the personal archives of several filmmakers, the films offer fresh insights into the artistic explorations of time-based media undertaken by artists, amateurs, and professional filmmakers in the region. The countries whose filmmakers are represented include Poland, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, and Germany. Seen today, these films are as potent as any work produced contemporaneously in the Cold War West.

Artists, Amateurs, Alternative Spaces: Experimental Cinema in Eastern Europe, 1960–1990 runs concurrently with two other series at the Gallery and the American Film Institute that also explore Eastern Europe’s cinematic heritage: Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema (April 13–June 8), a retrospective of the modern cinema of Poland from 1956 through 1989, curated by the famed director, and Independent of Reality: Films of Jan Němec (April 6–25), the first complete retrospective in the United States of the feature films of Czech filmmaker Jan Němec, curated by Irena Kovarova.

These film programs will take place in the East Building Auditorium. Seating for all film events is available on a first-come, first-seated basis. Doors open 30 minutes before show time. Whenever possible, works are presented in their original format.

View the full schedule of the series Artists, Amateurs, Alternative Spaces: Experimental Cinema in Eastern Europe, 1960–1990 at http://1.usa.gov/1gnOFyu.

General Information

The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden are at all times free to the public. They are located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, and are open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. With the exception of the atrium and library, the galleries in the East Building will remain closed for approximately three years for Master Facilities Plan and renovations. For specific updates on gallery closings, visit http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/Collection/modern-art-during-renovation.html.

For information call (202) 737-4215 or the Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) at (202) 842-6176, or visit the Gallery's Web site at www.nga.gov. Follow the Gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalGalleryofArt and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ngadc.

Visitors will be asked to present all carried items for inspection upon entering. Checkrooms are free of charge and located at each entrance. Luggage and other oversized bags must be presented at the 4th Street entrances to the East or West Building to permit x-ray screening and must be deposited in the checkrooms at those entrances. For the safety of visitors and the works of art, nothing may be carried into the Gallery on a visitor's back. Any bag or other items that cannot be carried reasonably and safely in some other manner must be left in the checkrooms. Items larger than 17 by 26 inches cannot be accepted by the Gallery or its checkrooms.

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Press Contact:
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Chief Press Officer
Deborah Ziska
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(202) 842-6353