- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 4, 2006

With the National Gallery of Art’s showing of John Constable’s sketches for his “six-footers” in Constable’s Great Landscapes: The Six-Foot Paintings, they’ve changed what has been thought of as the “Constable style.” In 1818 the Englishman (1776-1837) saw he would have to enlarge his works to compete with other landscapists and invented his roughly painted, very modern-looking sketches. Anyone interested in the history of modernism should see this show. At the National Gallery of Art, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 31. Free. 202/737-4215.

— Joanna Shaw-Eagle

The documentary feature Jesus Camp, an award-winner at the last Silverdocs Film Festival, gets under the skin of the culture wars in a distinctive way. The filmmakers, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, have a difficult time concealing their estrangement from most of the people they observe, teachers and pupils at a summer Bible camp for the children of evangelical Christians. Venturing reluctantly into a Midwest enclave of devout and outspoken political conservatives. they maintain a kind of shivering deadpan and insert occasional liberal radio commentary to relieve the pressure and reflect their sentiments. The subjects, especially camp director Becky Fischer, are also aware of the hostility but seize the opportunity to spread the message, full blast.

— Gary Arnold


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