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TO JUNE 30
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Last summer’s most delightful bit of cinematic counterprogramming was the National Gallery’s screening of Eric Rohmer’s “Tales of the Four Seasons,” four sparkling yet morally serious comedies to parry Hollywood’s annual wallow in special-effects bombast. This year, the gallery is presenting two Rohmer series, the equivalent of several Pearl Harbors’ worth of Gallic wit and grace. Among the “Moral Tales” that made the writer-director’s reputation are Claire’s Knee and Chloe in the Afternoon (pictured), both stories of men beguiled by lust and self-analysis (double-billed at 2 p.m. Friday, June 8, and 4 p.m Sunday, June 10). The “Comedies and Proverbs” follow young women on quests, usually amorous, that often lead to the sea: In Pauline at the Beach (at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 23, and 4 p.m. Sunday, June 24), a 15-year-old girl observes the complexities of her older cousin’s summer romance; while Le Rayon Vert (at 2:30 p.m. Friday, June 15, and 4 p.m. Sunday, June 17) tracks its heroine’s initially desperate but ultimately transcendent effort to salvage her vacation plans. Whether their characters are stalking through medieval Le Mans (Le Beau Mariage, at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, June 16) or ambling through a sterile new town (My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, at 3 p.m. Friday, June 29, and Saturday, June 30), these films are smart, warm, funny, anddespite their seemingly limited themefull of gentle surprises. Also included is one of the few films Rohmer has made outside any series, his adaptation of Heinrich von Kleist’s 1808 novella, The Marquise of O… (at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 30). The series runs to Saturday, June 30 at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 842-6799. (Mark Jenkins)