JULY 18-26

Eccentric filmmakers take on eccentric subjects in this roundup of recent Canadian films that in some cases can only loosely be called documentaries. Of the films available for preview, the most straightforward (and successful) is Guy Maddin—Waiting for Twilight, a look at the life and work of the oddball Winnipeg filmmaker; director Noam Gonick talks to Maddin and his friends and collaborators, and includes clips from such distinctively gothic Maddin movies as Archangel and Careful—both heavily influenced by ’20s silent film—and from his apparently Wagnerian work-in-progress, Twilight of the Ice Nymphs. This program (July 19 at 4 p.m.) also features a five-minute Maddin short, Odilon Redon; The Hazard of Falling Glass, a six-minute homage to Mies van der Rohe’s Toronto-Dominion Centre by John Martins-Manteiga; and bp (pushing the boundaries). The latter is Brian Nash’s freewheeling attempt to capture both the facts and spirit of the life of late Canadian experimental poet bpNichols, who was more interested in the sound and shape of letters than the meaning of words. After a screening of Aldous Huxley: The Gravity of Light (July 18 at 3 p.m.), director Oliver Hockenhull will discuss his study of the Brave New World author, which features various psychedelic asides but is most compelling when Huxley (pictured) himself appears in archival footage. Also included are Project Grizzly, about an inventor whose encounter with a grizzly engendered an obsession with creating a bear-proof suit (July 25 at 3 p.m.); and Tu as criÇ, Let Me Go, filmmaker Anne Claire Poirier’s attempt to understand the Montreal heroin subculture that entrapped her daughter (July 26 at 4 p.m.). At the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th & Constitution Ave. NW. Free. (202) 842-6713. (Mark Jenkins).