TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY

The groundbreaking “major” films of Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni, made between 1960 and 1975, are usually discussed in terms of the existentialism then preponderant in Europe. In his new book, The Films of Michelangelo Antonioni, George Mason University film-studies professor Peter Brunette promises to go beyond the accepted notions of the director’s films as expressions of angst and alienation. At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, in a lecture illustrated by video clips from Antonioni’s films, Brunette will argue the importance of the director’s politics and sense of design. The talk will be followed at 8 p.m. by a screening of La Notte (pictured are Monica Vitti, left, and Jeanne Moreau), the 1961 Antonioni film that tracks 24 hours in the course of a deteriorating middle-class marriage. At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30, there will be a screening of Red Desert, the 1964 film that was Antonioni’s first in color, whose vivid artificial hues and industrial landscapes have made it perhaps the most celebrated of the director’s works. At the National Archives Theater, 7th & Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free. (202) 501-5000. (Mark Jenkins)

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