Over the past 30 years Hungarian filmmaker Péter Forgács has built a respectable career on the rather astute observation that home movies are basically unintentional art films. Think about it this way: The Hi-8 video of your last family vacation has a traditional narrative structure and it revels in the pleasures of the banal. But Forgács—who often strings his features together from found footage—has a good eye for reels that pack unexpected emotional baggage. For instance, his 2008 documentary I Am Von Höfler, which uses letters, photographs, and home movies to tell the story of a prominent Hungarian manufacturing family. Such a film most likely cannot be constructed from your last weekend trip to Virginia Beach, but the director proves it’s possible to make fine art out of casual, intimate moments.
THE FILM SHOWS AT 2 P.M. AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART, EAST BUILDING AUDITORIUM, 4TH ST. & CONSTITUTION AVE. NW. FREE. (202) 842-6799.