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AUGUST 8-29

Between the end of World War I and the rise of the Nazis, such German directors as Fritz Lang, F.W. Murnau, and Robert Weine made some of the most influential films ever. This series features new prints of two of the best-known, Metropolis and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the former struck from a long-lost master recently discovered in Australia. Lang’s 1926 Metropolis (Aug. 8 at 3 p.m.), set in an underground complex populated by worker drones, fixed the notion (and look) of a dystopian future, while Weine’s 1919 The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is both a showcase for modernist style and a template for all movies about evil madmen and psychokillers (Aug. 15 at 3 p.m., shown with Backstairs, a psychological drama). Also included are The Golem (pictured), Paul Wegener’s 1920 film based on the legend of a rabbi who fashioned a monster from clay to protect his people, only to lose control of his creation (Aug. 22 at 3 p.m.), and Hanns Schwartz’s 1929 The Wonderful Lies of Nina Petrowna, a high-gloss melodrama that was designed to please the American market (August 19 at 3 p.m.). These prints are from the George Eastman House in Rochester, N. Y., the country’s oldest motion-picture archive. At the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th & Constitution Ave. NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. (Mark Jenkins)