OCTOBER 2-NOVEMBER 7

From early paper-print documentaries made by the Edison and Biograph companies at the turn of the century to the experimentalism of Stan Brakhage and a contemporary through-the-microscope view of cataract surgery, this survey shows the multifarious forms taken by the American documentary. It includes such examples of cinéma vérité as Frederick Wiseman’s Racetrack (Program VIII, Oct. 24, 6 p.m.) but also an example of Disney’s niced-up nature features (The Vanishing Prairie, Program III, Oct. 9, 2:30 p.m.), the fictional “documentary” David Holtzman’s Diary and Andy Warhol’s minimalist Eat (both in Program XII, Nov. 7, 6 p.m.), and work by Jacques Cousteau, Margaret Mead, Maya Deren, Richard Leacock, and various newsreel operations (Program IV, Oct. 10, 6 p.m.). Among other highlights are The Good Fight (pictured) (Program VI, Oct. 17, 6 p.m.), Robert Stone’s Radio Bikini (Program VII, Oct. 23, 2 p.m.), Errol Morris’ Gates of Heaven (Program IX, Oct. 30, 2 p.m.), Les Blank’s A Well Spent Life (Program X, Oct. 31, 6 p.m.), and Ross McElwee’s Backyard (Program XI, Nov. 6, 2 p.m.). At the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th & Constitution Ave. NW. FREE. (202) 737-4215. (Mark Jenkins)