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A former lawyer, Frederick Wiseman (pictured) sees his rigorous cinema verite documentaries as “a form of natural history.” This retrospective of the director’s tersely (and usually self-evidently) titled work includes only six films, but it’s still an exhaustive course. Three of the full-immersion documentaries, Welfare (Sept. 7 at 6 p.m.), Ballet (Sept. 14 at 6 p.m.), and Public Housing (Sept. 13 at 2:30 p.m.) are nearly three hours each. The latter screening is the premiere of Wiseman’s latest work, an account of everyday life at a Chicago housing project, which includes an introduction by the director himself. Also included are such early films as Law and Order, a 1969 study of Kansas City’s cops, and Titicut Follies, which details life at a Massachusetts state prison for the criminally insane (shown together, Sept. 6 at 2 p.m.), as well as The Store, Wiseman’s look at the corporate culture of Neiman Marcus (Sept. 14 at 1 p.m.). At the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th & Constitution Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 737-4215. (Mark Jenkins)