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On the surface, it seems like there’s one characteristic uniting the films that make up the “New Austrian Experimental Cinema” program at the National Gallery of Art: an omnipresent sense of existential doom. In Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine, a hero is chased down by a mob and killed as the film on which he exists is torn apart. A Million in Debt Is Normal, Said My Grandfather tells the story of a family’s financial ruin via found footage. In Aquarena, two filmmakers go swimming in the Eastern Bloc while a narrator reads from a GDR report on the efficient use of water­—sounding closer to No Exit than Club Med. But like a dip in that post-Soviet pool, these films are only cold for a minute before imagination overshadows some of the dour imagery. The films show at 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2, at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th St. & Constitution Ave. NW. Free. (202) 737-4215.