There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The syntax of movies and TV is now so fixed that it’s fascinating to return to the early days to see some of the possibilities that occurred to cinematic pioneers. “The Circle of André Kertész” provides just that opportunity, compiling nine films made by Hungarian innovators between 1914 and 1932. The four-hour lineup includes three conventional silent narratives with intertitles, as well as impressionistic documentaries, exercises in abstraction, and a film constructed entirely from tinted still photographs. Among the highlights are László Maholy-Nagy’s funky depiction of the earthy Ville de Marseilles and his formalist Black-White-Gray, and János Manninger’s Hands-Feet, which tells a brief story without allowing any heads into the frame. The program, which also includes two later documentaries about the Hungarian avant-garde, complements the museum’s current show of photographs by André Kertész, but it includes no films by him—only work in a kindred spirit. The program screens at 12:30 p.m. in the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 842-6799. (Mark Jenkins)