There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
“Cinema is truth 24 frames a second,” Jean-Luc Godard once remarked, but cinema is also illusion. Its fundamental propertythe representation of motionis really a trick of the eye, and many other forms of cinematic deception have been developed over the years. Recent computer-imaged action spectacles, for example, blur the divide between traditional filmmaking and animation. “Cinema as Trompe L’Oeil,” which takes its name from a style of ultra-realistic still-life painting that flourished until photography undermined its appeal, includes one recent film, Lidia Bagnoli’s 2002 Ignanni (“Deceptions”); it takes the viewer through a door leading from reality into artifice, exploring painting’s rules of perspective. Riffs on cinematic reality are not a new thing, however. The show begins with The Thieving Hand, a playful short from 1908, followed by Romeo Bosetti’s The Automatic Moving Company, an object lesson in object animation, which was made four years later. In its ironic way, J.J. Murphy’s 1974 Sky Blue Water Light Sign is more connected to traditions of prephotographic painting; it evokes the grand vistas popular in 19th-century canvases by photographing a Hamm’s beer sign. The program’s centerpiece is a wordier subversion of celluloid veracity: 1967’s David Holzman’s Diary (pictured) seems to be a cinematic memoir, but is, in fact a fabrication, with L.M. Kit Carson playing Holzman and Jim McBride behind the camera. The two were later to script and direct, respectively, a remake of Godard’s Breathless, demonstrating that truth can be as strange as fiction. The program begins at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 842-6799. (Mark Jenkins)