City Paper is not for tourists
Commemorating the Hungarian director’s 75th birthday, this brief overview includes only five features, but two of them are Washington premieres. The earliest works, 1962’s Cantata (pictured) and 1964’s My Way Home (shown together, Oct. 5 at 2 p.m.), were made before the director developed his influential style, characterized by lengthy takes, elegant camera movements, and elaborate compositions. The former is a psychological drama that announced Jansco’s break with his earlier documentary-making; the latter, like many of the director’s films, is set in the aftermath of an armed conflict, in this case World War II. The Red and the White, set during the civil war after the Russian Revolution, develops similar themes, depicting power as always victorious over principle (Oct. 12 at 3:30 p.m.). Also included are the local premieres of Jansco’s most recent film, 1995’s Love Each Other, in which he and two fellow directors tell apocalyptic tales about Budapest at the end of the millennium (Oct. 6 at 6 p.m.), and The Blue Danube Waltz, another tale of political intrigue, this time involving a prime minister’s assassination (Oct. 13 at 6 p.m.). Several short films and videos will also be screened, notably a 55-minute episode from Message of Stones, the director’s series about Hungary’s Jewish heritage (shown with Blue Danube Waltz). Health permitting, Jansco will be on hand to introduce The Red and the White. At the National Gallery of Art’s East Building auditorium, 4th & Constitution Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 737-4215. (Mark Jenkins).