There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
He’s won at Sundance and long been the darling of critics. Still, Jay Rosenblatt may be the best director you’ve never heard of. Rosenblatt makes short experimental films that consist of footage from black-and-white instructional flicks, biblical epics, and newsreels from the ’40s and ’50sall married to Rosenblatt-written voice-overs and eerie soundtracks. The results, which last as little as a minute and as long as 30, are absorbing. Rosenblatt’s psychology training clearly influences his work. In Human Remains, the director’s look at five dictators from Hitler to Mao, the dead leaders list personal traits and habits: Hitler liked enemas, Mao had one testicle, and so on. Each litany sounds as if a shrink compiled it as a case study. None of the dictators are heard to mention the atrocities they ordered, but their sins lurk behind every trivial detail, rendering them absurd, human, and horrible all at once. The film screens with other Rosenblatt shorts at 9:15 p.m. at Visions Cinema Bistro Lounge, 1927 Florida Ave. NW. $8. (202) 667-0090. (Annys Shin)