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APRIL 25–MAY 11
Whether contending with a vampiric Klaus Kinski, being recruited as a killer by Dennis Hopper, or recovering from an unjustified police shooting, Bruno Ganz embodied ’70s New German Cinema. Yet Ganz, seen most recently as Hitler in Downfall, was born to a Swiss father and an Italian mother and has played roles in French, Italian, and English as well as German. That’s why this 12-film survey of the actor’s career is sponsored by the cultural agencies of four nations, as well as the National Gallery of Art. The series opens with a recent documentary, Norbert Wiedmer’s Behind Me, which captures Ganz on tour playing Faust, a signature role. The better-known highlights include the three films described briefly above—Werner Herzog’s poetic Nosferatu, Wim Wenders’ existential The American Friend, and Reinhard Hauff’s politically charged Knife in the Head (pictured)—but there are also some rarely seen examples of Ganz’s work. The series’ most stately movies are Alain Tanner’s In the White City and Eric Rohmer’s The Marquise of O; the most searing is Volker Schlöndorff’s Circle of Deceit, shot in an all-too-real Lebanon. The series opens Monday, April 25, and runs through Wednesday, May 11 (See Showtimes for a weekly schedule) at the Goethe-Forum, 812 7th St. NW, $6, (202) 289-1200; La Maison Française, Embassy of France, 4101 Reservoir Road NW, $5, (202) 944-6090; and the National Gallery of Art’s East Building auditorium, 4th and Constitution Avenue NW, free, (202) 737-4215. (Mark Jenkins)