According to early Italian film theorist Ricciotto Canudo, cinematography is the “seventh art,” behind other forms like sculpture, music, and dance. But while it’s younger than the stuff of the Greeks, movie photography has made dramatic and numerous strides in a relatively short period of time. “Focus!,” this weekend’s film event presented by the French cultural center Alliance Française, looks at the way video art and short film overlap. All works were filmed in Québec and made with French- and English-speaking viewers in mind, and they incorporate other types of art, so the offerings transcend simple narratives and plot devices. Tonight’s lineup looks at borders, both physical and imagined. Expect some of the pieces to play with light and darkness to draw attention to that border. The series continues tomorrow, with five more films about the idea of landscapes. They might not look like traditional movie-theater fare, but they’ll probably have you questioning the genre of video art as you watch.
The screening begins at 6:30 p.m. at Malmaison, 3401 Water St. NW. $10. (202) 234-7911. francedc.org.