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Release Date: March 27, 2015

Films at National Gallery of Art This Spring Include Recent American Experiments in Narrative, Polish Media Artist Wojciech Bąkowski, a Weekend with Barbara Hammer, the Architecture Films of Heinz Emigholz, plus Area Premieres and Appearances by Fourteen Filmmakers

File name: porterfield-hamilton.jpg Film still from Hamilton by Matthew Porterfield, 2006, to be screened as part of the series American Experiments in Narrative: 2000-2015, on Sunday, May 17, at 4:00 p.m. at National Gallery of Art, West Building Lecture Hall, with the artist in person. Image courtesy Hamilton Film Group.

Film still from Hamilton by Matthew Porterfield, 2006, to be screened as part of the series American Experiments in Narrative: 2000-2015, on Sunday, May 17, at 4:00 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art, West Building Lecture Hall, with the artist in person. Image courtesy Hamilton Film Group.

Washington, DC—This spring, the National Gallery of Art film program continues collaborations with Washington-area cultural institutions during the ongoing renovation of the Gallery's East Building galleries. Venues include:

American Film Institute, Silver Theatre
(8633 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD)

American University School of Communication, Malsi Doyle and Michael Forman Theater
(McKinley Building, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW)

Goethe-Institut Washington
(812 7th Street NW)

National Portrait Gallery, McEvoy Auditorium
(8th and F Streets NW)

National Gallery of Art, West Building Lecture Hall
(6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW)

The film season opens with Chris Marker's Level Five (April 1), a hybrid of history, memoir, and fantasy about a woman trying to finish her absent lover's life work—a video game based on the Battle of Okinawa. Although Marker completed the film in the late 1990s, it was not released in the United States until just last year. The Miners' Hymns (April 11), Bill Morrison's compilation of rare footage from the British Film Institute, BBC, and other archives, pays poignant tribute to the former coal-mining communities of northeastern England. Others Will Love the Things I Have Loved: João Bénard da Costa (April 18), a story about the longtime director of Lisbon's Cinemateca Portuguesa, is compiled from films that Da Costa loved and beautiful documentary images of scattered places dear to his life.

Special Appearances

Several filmmakers will be on hand to introduce films. Jason Moran, piano prodigy and artistic director for jazz at the Kennedy Center, pays homage to his mentor, the legendary Thelonious Monk. Moran introduces In My Mind (April 4), a documentary based on his group the Big Bandwagon's 2009 original interpretation of Monk's historic concert in 1959 at New York City's Town Hall. Warsaw-based poet and visual and sound artist Wojciech Bąkowski, who creates visceral animations that hover between abstract and deeply subjective realms, will introduce Spoken Movies and Other Animations (April 4), a mixed program of animation and video collage.

Paul Smith, head of the British Council, will acquaint audiences with Ken Loach: The Spirit of '45 (April 10), a rare work of non-fiction that portrays the lives of working people in England. The film is constructed entirely of archival footage from the post-war years, an era in Britain that witnessed the start of the welfare state and National Health Service. Filmmaker Nino Kertadze introduces Don't Breathe (April 14), a darkly comedic "reality" scenario that delves into the anxieties of middle-age health and wellness issues.

J. L. Sert—A Nomadic Dream (April 26), a new feature documentary on the life and career of José Luis (J. L.) Sert, a groundbreaking architect and innovator in city planning and urban development, will be introduced by writer and director Pablo Bujosa Rodríguez. Sert also served as dean of Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, worked in Paris, and counted among his friends Joan Miró, Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, and others. This program is screened in association with the Embassy of Spain.

Jon Gartenberg and Penny Lane visit the Gallery to discuss This Side of Paradise followed by Our Nixon (May 10), films about two major events in American political culture—the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 and the resignation of Richard M. Nixon in 1974. German avant-garde filmmaker, actor, artist, writer, and producer Heinz Emigholz introduces Loos Ornamental(May 11), which documents structures designed by architect Adolf Loos, a leading pioneer of European modernism. Emigholz discusses his distinctive ideas on filming architecture after the screening.

Director Chris Sullivan discusses Consuming Spirits (May 16). Partially autobiographical, the film is a meticulously constructed, cinematic tour-de-force of experimental animation shot frame by frame nearly 16 years in the making. Two distinctive portraits of American family life are presented in Mark Street's A Year and independent filmmaker Matthew Porterfield's Hamilton (May 17). Both filmmakers will be at the screening. Jennifer Reeves will discuss The Time We Killed (May 30), her ambitious film that goes deep inside the mind of an agoraphobic writer unable to leave her New York apartment amid the background of the war in Afghanistan.

Thomas Allen Harris addresses the portrayal of African Americans by white photographers from the time of the medium's invention in Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People(May 31). InMaya Deren's Sink (June 20), director Barbara  Hammer, a filmmaker for more than 40 years, pays tribute to the mother of avant-garde American film and explores Deren's concepts of space, time and form through visits and projections on sinks in her Los Angeles and New York homes. Resisting Paradise (June 21) focuses on how Hammer answers a burning personal question by reflecting on the relationship between painters Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard and their correspondence during the last years of World War II.

Additional films include Orson Welles' F for Fake(May 3 and 6). The director's legendary essay on the world of art forgery is screening in honor of what would have been Welles' 100th birthday, May 6, 2015. Sullivan's Banks followed by Schindler's Houses (June 6), are the final two films of the Architecture as Autobiography series. Sullivan's Banks, in 35mm, focuses on the last eight bank buildings of Louis Sullivan's career; Schindler's Houses focuses on the residences designed by the groundbreaking Austrian American modernist, Rudolph Schindler, mainly in the Los Angeles suburbs of Glendale and Pasadena. The Suburban Trilogy (June 7) presents filmmaker Abigail Child's three interrelated short films chronicling the emergence of postwar American suburban culture. 

Retrospectives and Major Series

Retrospectives and major series include Sound of My Soul: Wojciech BąkowskiHeinz Emigholz: Architectural RecordAmerican Experiments in Narrative: 2000-2015, and American Originals Now: Barbara Hammer.

Seating for all events is on a first-come, first-seated basis unless otherwise noted. Doors open 30 minutes before show time. Whenever possible, works are presented in their original formats. Please note that the West Building Lecture Hall seats 159 visitors.

General Information

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Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]
Anabeth Guthrie
Chief of Communications
(202) 842-6804
[email protected]

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