There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
SATURDAY & SUNDAY
A protégé of Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa, Raymond Depardon began as a photojournalist for the Magnum agency. Yet Depardon is skeptical of images—a distrust he maintained as he expanded into moving pictures. ‘’I’m very anchored in the real, in the fact of never constructing something false, or if I construct it, if I intervene, of leaving things in a natural state,’’ he told Artforum in 1991. That’s reflected in such films as Untouched by the West (pictured; at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, at the National Gallery of Art), a version of Diego Brosset’s novel, Sahara, that combines exquisite black-and-white ethnographic footage with distancing voice-over. It’s shown with the thematically related Les Années Déclic, in which Depardon deconstructs his own career using only stills, including shots of himself. Much of Depardon’s work concerns Africa: In his first fiction film, Empty Quarter: A Woman in Africa (at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7, at the National Museum of Women in the Arts), an attractive African woman traverses the desert, accompanied only by the unseen narrator. Africa: How Is the Pain? (at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5, at the National Gallery) is a compendium of footage from the continent, supplemented by personal reminiscence and dispiriting statistics. The series also includes two films Depardon shot in his homeland: Peasant Profile (shown with Africa: How Is the Pain?) observes a farm community near his childhood home; Emergencies (at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8, at La Maison Française) documents patient-psychiatrist exchanges in a Paris emergency ward. The series runs Saturday, Sept. 4, and Sunday, Sept. 5 (see Showtimes for a complete schedule), at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th Street and Constitution Ave. NW, free, (202) 842-6799; the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW, $8, (202) 783-5000; and La Maison Française, 4101 Reservoir Road NW. $5. (202) 944-6090. (Mark Jenkins)