On October 22, at 4:30 pm, the National Gallery of Art will present director Gustav Machatý's Ecstacy (Exstase), one of the most widely viewed films of all time, in the East Building Auditorium. In the film, Eva (Hedy Lamarr) abandons her marriage to find happiness in the arms of a handsome engineer. The film was highly controversial for its time for being the first to show nudity. (Dir. Gustav Machatý, 1932, 83 min., Czech with English subtitles).
The Mutual Inspirations Festival (MIF) is an annual initiative organized by the Embassy of the Czech Republic, concentrating on the mutual influence between Czech and American cultures and the feats of personalities who have led the way. In its previous seven years, the festival has highlighted such personalities as President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (2010), composer Antonín Dvořák (2011), filmmaker Miloš Forman (2012), President Václav Havel (2013), writer Franz Kafka (2014), author Karel Čapek (2015), and tennis legend Martina Navrátilová (2016).
For its eighth year, the Mutual Inspirations Festival honors founder of genetics Gregor Mendel (1822-84), marking the 195th anniversary of his birth. This humble genius was born and conducted his groundbreaking research on the same land he sowed and loved, today’s Czech Republic. While experimenting with pea plants, he wrote his rules of heredity, referred to as Mendelian inheritance and considered worldwide as seminal work for the foundation of the new science — genetics. Beyond his pioneering conclusions, Mendel is revered for his protracted years of meticulous and painstaking experimentation. Mendel died with little recognition, but stated, “I am convinced that it will not be long before the whole world acknowledges the results of my work.” Today, he is lauded for his trailblazing work.
Admission is free
RSVP not required