We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.


If you’ve seen any work by the filmmakers who make up China’s “Fifth Generation”—the fifth graduating class of the Beijing Film Academy—it was probably set in an ornate feudal-era palace or under the open sky of the country’s vast central desert. But these are not the kinds of places where Sixth Generation Chinese directors dwell. They prefer to tell urban, contemporary stories using loose, street-level techniques that emulate Western and even Taiwanese directors such as Wong Kar-wai and Edward Yang. In today’s program—which highlights the work of two members of the sixth graduating class—Ah Nian’s Call Me tracks seven days in the lives of several Beijing outsiders. One man, who was infected while selling blood, searches for the people who received his plasma, as others play Cupid in a city too bustling and brutal for love: A flower seller doggedly tries to deliver a bouquet from a spurned lover, and women in a call center log futile romantic messages. Although shot with a near-Dogmatic reliance on natural light and a handheld camera, Quan’an Wang’s Lunar Eclipse (pictured) suggests Vertigo and Blowup: By chance, a photographer meets a woman who looks just like another, who could have moved away or perhaps is dead, thus beginning an elusive tale. The films screen at 4 p.m. Sunday, March 4, at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. (Mark Jenkins)