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Films that bend reality and a hot art opening

Learn about the inspiration behind head-scratchers like Inception at a lecture by surrealist-film expert Professor Bernard Welt. He’ll discuss reality and dreams in film, using excerpts from pioneers such as Ingmar Bergman and Salvador Dalí. At the Corcoran Gallery of Art; 7 PM. $10 (free for members).

The DAR is hosting its annual holiday open house at Constitution Hall, where visitors can take a tour of the decorated period rooms, visit with Santa, and enjoy a variety of holiday treats. Free; 5:30 to 8.

Artist Peter Kephart paints with fire. Using special paper, liquid pigment, gun powder, and many other materials, he creates unique, glowing works of art, now on display on the Zenith Gallery. Tonight’s opening reception is from 6 to 8 and free. The exhibit, “Painting With Fire,” is on display through February 8.

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