Sign up for our free newsletter
Free D.C. news, delivered to your inbox daily.
There’s a reason why A Hard Day’s Night has a freewheeling, semi-documentary feel. It’s because it was partially modeled on What’s Happening? The Beatles in the U.S.A., a film made by “cinema direct” pioneers David and Albert Maysles during the band’s introductory 1964 trip to New York, Washington, and Miami. A re-edited version of that rarely shown film, now known as The Beatles! The First U.S. Visit (Aug. 16 at 4 p.m.), is one of the highlights of this series of documentaries made by the Maysles Brothers and various collaborators. Included are such celebrated films as Grey Gardens, the controversial portrait of Jackie O’s eccentric aunt and cousin (pictured, Aug. 1 at 3 p.m.), and Gimme Shelter, the duo’s account of the Rolling Stones’ Altamont debacle (Aug. 9 at 4 p.m.); Albert Maysles and collaborator Susan Froemke will introduce the screening of the former. Also included are Maysles Films Inc.’s first effort, Showman, a study of movie-biz hustler Joseph E. Levine, and Salesman, which follows door-to-door Bible hawkers (both shown Aug. 23 at 4 p.m.). The series concludes with Albert Maysles’ latest, Concert of Wills: Making the Getty Center, which documents the 12-year process of designing and building the popular new L.A. museum (Aug. 30 at 4 p.m.). At the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th & Constitution NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. (Mark Jenkins).