There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
The train to Toulouse passes through about every three hours, but it doesn’t bring change to Najac, the mountain town that’s the focus of Jean-Henri Meunier’s As Life Goes By. The 2004 documentary highlights a dozen local characters, including a feisty centenarian and a mayor who’s been in office for 56 years, but budgets nearly as much time for animals, from the rooster that opens the film to a trio of recalcitrant sheep. Meunier generally doesn’t comment, simply observing such small-town eccentrics as an aging (male) doll collector and the pair of local clowns who acknowledge the outside world by taking their act to Bosnia. Still, he occasionally reveals a playful sensibility, especially in his use of music (notably, an insect drum solo). Though it does not ignore environmental threats, the film seems sanguine that life in Najac will always go by as it does in these 93 minutes. The film screens at 4 p.m. at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8.50. (301) 495-6705. (Mark Jenkins)