Get local news delivered straight to your phone
Support City Paper!
One part video game, one part art composition, and one part narrative film, filmmaker Chris Marker’s Level Five tells the story of the Battle of Okinawa through the guise of virtual reality. Though it was created in the late 1990s, the movie only became available to American audiences last year and presents a mysterious sci-fi universe. The film focuses on Laura, a woman trying to complete her lost lover’s video-game version of the World War II battle. You don’t see any other characters, though—just loops of footage of Japanese cultural ceremonies, obscure films, and early versions of the web. When Laura puts on the virtual reality mask, she’s bombarded with a series of images, and you see the discomfort in her eyes. It foreshadows the constant image saturation we now experience daily—be thankful we’re free from those claustrophobic masks. The film shows at 4 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. nga.gov.