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Film Programs

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The National Gallery shares unique films in person and free of charge. Join us for recent restorations, classic art cinema, exceptional documentaries, and a variety of films by artists.

Now Streaming: Special Presentation

2021 Annual Rajiv Vaidya Memorial Lecture
Terri Simone Francis: Josephine Baker as a “Rememory” of Global Black Cinema?
Recorded: December 5, 2021

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Terri Simone Francis, author of Josephine Baker’s Cinematic Prism and associate professor, department of cinematic arts, School of Communication, University of Miami

In her 2021 Rajiv Vaidya Memorial Lecture, Terri Simone Francis reflects on Josephine Baker’s influence within the visual arts and theorizes Baker as both an international cultural figure and an African American film pioneer. Recent restorations of her films of the 1920s and 1930s, like Zou Zou (1934), have allowed her work to be seen in the context of recent cinema and media, indeed almost as recent cinema and media. In Francis’s view, Baker exemplifies what author Toni Morrison called a “rememory”—a remembered memory. Francis’s study of Baker addresses absences and silences in film history, and she draws upon Morrison’s concept of rememory and Baker’s career to reconstruct the global beginnings of Black cinema.

About Film Programs

The National Gallery of Art’s film program provides many opportunities throughout the year to view classic and contemporary cinema from around the world in a traditional theatrical setting. Through screenings, scholarly notes, filmmaker discussions, and unique introductions by critics and academics, the program encourages viewers to learn more about the history of the cinema, its relationship to other art forms, and the role of media in society. Innovative retrospectives, restored works of historical value, silent films with live musical accompaniment, new documentaries, and experimental media by noted video artists are offered on weekends during the entire year. For information about past film programs, please visit the Film Programs Archive.

The Gallery’s film study collection includes hundreds of international documentaries related to the arts, such as Jean Dubuffet, Un Auto-Portrait; Joseph Cornell: Worlds in a Box; Beaubourg; David Hockney: The Colors of Music; Gertrude Stein: When This You See, Remember Me; Art City: Making It in Manhattan; The Camera Je; and various international television series on the arts. The National Gallery is an associate member of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF).


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