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As Godard, Truffaut, and their peers challenged the overstuffed French cinema, a new generation of directors also arose in Japan. Abandoning the traditional period dramas for tales of the contemporary, the young, and the disenfranchised, such directors as Nagisa Oshima and Hiroshi Teshigahara opposed both the style and content of mainstream Japanese film. (This retrospective includes no work by two other well-known New Wave directors, Shohei Imamaura and Masahiro Shinoda, whose films have been represented in other recent National Gallery series.) The program includes some of the most acclaimed films of the movement, including Teshigahara’s minimalist allegory Woman in the Dunes (Jan. 24 at 4 p.m.) and three visually dazzling Oshima movies: Cruel Story of Youth, in which a nihilistic young couple rejects Japanese postwar idealism (Jan. 23 at 4 p.m.); The Sun’s Burial, an account of criminal gangs in Osaka’s biggest slum (Jan. 24 at 6 p.m.); and Diary of a Shinjuku Thief, which transplants Genet’s The Thief’s Journal to Tokyo’s leading entertainment district (Feb. 7 at 4 p.m.). Among the rarer entries are three films by pioneering but lesser-known New Waver Susumu Hani, who used documentary techniques to broach previously ignored issues of class: Bad Boys (Jan. 16 at 2 p.m.), She and He (Jan. 17 at 4 p.m.), and The Inferno of Lost Love (Jan. 23 at 2 p.m.). At the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th & Constitution Ave. NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. (Mark Jenkins)