Walker Art Center

67° FMostly CloudyVia weather.com

Press Releases Walker Cinema: July-August 2013


Directed by James Ponsoldt
Thursday, July 11, 7:30 pm

$12 ($10 Walker members, students, and seniors)
Introduced by director James Ponsoldt and producer Billy Rosenberg

“A rare coming-of-age film, The Spectacular Now doesn’t simply take a snapshot of some of the most important years of development, but rather echoes the consequences of complex life-changing choices.” –The Film Stage

Adapted from Tim Tharps’s novel, The Spectacular Now captures the insecurity and confusion of adolescence without looking for tidy truths. It tells the story of a high school senior and effortless charmer who unexpectedly falls in love with “the good girl.” What begins as an unlikely romance soon becomes a sharp-eyed, straight-up snapshot of the heady confusion and haunting passion of youth. Written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (500 Days of Summer), the film follows director James Ponsoldt’s 2012 hit Smashed. Featuring Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. 2013, DCP, 95 minutes.

The First Look series is made possible by generous support from Elizabeth Redleaf.

Media partner 89.3 The Current

Directed by Stephen Silha, Eric Slade, and Dawn Logsdon
Thursday, August 22, 7:30 pm, FREE

Stephen Silha present for a post-screening discussion
Tickets available at the Bazinet lobby at 6 pm

“James Broughton’s epitaph says about all you need to know about him: ‘Adventure—not predicament.’” –SXSW Review

This lively documentary celebrates the 100th anniversary of poet and experimental filmmaker James Broughton (1913–1999), a central figure in San Francisco’s art world whose work played a pivotal role in creating today’s flourishing indie film scene. The entertaining collage of animated bits and excerpts from his oeuvre includes interviews with people who knew him best, including his son, long-time male lover, and former Film in the Cities director Sally Dixon. 2013, DCP, 82 minutes. Preceded by a new print of Broughton’s The Bed (1968, 16mm, 20 minutes).

Social/Brief: BIG JOY
Thursday, August 22, FREE
Garden Café, 6 pm; Walker Cinema, 7 pm

Express your hedonism in 20 seconds or less! This workshop with featured guest writers celebrates all that’s good about life, love, sex, summer and more. A reading before the Big Joy screening follows. Copresented with Rain Taxi Review of Books.

Major support to preserve, digitize, and present the Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection is generously provided by the Bentson Foundation.


Filmmakers in Conversation: Josh Oppenheimer, THE ACT OF KILLING
Director present for all events
July 31–August 3

“I have not seen a film as powerful, surreal, and frightening in at least a decade … It is unprecedented in the history in cinema.” –Werner Herzog

Where is truth in documentary when the subjects tell their stories in a form of make-believe? With movie sets, props, and theatrical makeup, the personal storytelling by mass murderers reveals how violence is imagined and reconciled in their minds. Copenhagen-based director Joshua Oppenheimer has been immersed in this investigation for more than a decade, which has brought him in contact with militias, death squads, and their victims to explore the relationship between political violence and the public imagination.

Cinephile Package: Attend both screenings and master class for $30 ($25)

Area Premiere: Theatrical Version
Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, Anonymous, and Christine Cynn
Wednesday, July 31, 7:30 pm

$9 ($7 Walker members, students, and seniors)

“Essential and enraging…” –Variety

In this chilling and inventive documentary, the filmmakers examine Indonesia’s communist purge of 1965, in which more than one million leftists, intellectuals, and ethnic Chinese were killed. Death squad leaders continue to be celebrated as heroes, and the directors challenges them to reenact their real-life mass-killings in the style of American movies that inspired their methods of annihilation. The result is a cinematic fever dream, an unsettling journey deep into the imaginations of mass-murderers and the shockingly banal regime of corruption and impunity they inhabit.

Shaking audiences at the 2012 Toronto and Telluride festivals and winning an Audience Award at the 2013 Berlin International Film Festival, The Act of Killing is an unprecedented film that “could well change how you view the documentary form” (Los Angeles Times). Executive producers Errol Morris and Werner Herzog. 2012, DCP, in Indonesian with English subtitles, 116 minutes. This version of the film opens August 2 at the Landmark Theatres.

Area Premiere: Director’s Cut
Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, Anonymous, and Christine Cynn
Thursday, August 1, 7 pm

$9 ($7 Walker members, students, and seniors)

The directors spent three years making The Act of Killing, interviewing both the murderers and their victims. This rare screening of its expanded form allows the filmmakers to further press the points brought up in the theatrical version. 2012, DCP, in Indonesian with English subtitles, 159 minutes.

Master Class: Joshua Oppenheimer
Saturday, August 3, 12 noon
$20 ($15 Walker members, students, and seniors)

“If we are to transform Indonesia into the democracy it claims to be, citizens must recognize the terror and repression on which our contemporary history has been built. No film, or any other work of art for that matter, has done this more effectively than The Act of Killing.” –National Human Rights Commission of Indonesia.

The relationship between cinema, trauma, and memory underlie this intense look at the seven-year process of directing The Act of Killing. Join Joshua Oppenheimer for a discussion of his “documentary of the imagination” and ways that fiction can be used to excavate truth as well as help people escape it. His articulation of the ethical and political issues involved with making and releasing The Act of Killing is a must for anyone interested in the ethics of documentary cinema. Copresented with IFP-Minnesota. Program length 2 hours.


Directed by James Benning
July 2 – 31, screens continuously during gallery hours
Lecture Room

In the second of three films about landscape and human habitation, structuralist filmmaker James Benning captures the urban Los Angeles desert border. By framing 35 carefully crafted sots, each lasting 2.5 minutes, he gives viewers time to immerse themselves in everyday locales—from tract house streets to parking lots nearly devoid of people as he explores the way people inhabit the land. 2000, U.S., color, 16mm transferred to video, 90 minutes.

Directed by James Benning
August 1 – September 1, screens continuously during gallery hours
Lecture Room

Completing the series by contrasting the urban and agricultural images of the earlier films in the trilogy, Sogobi—a Shoshone word meaning “earth”—shows a section of the state unmarred by development. 2001, U.S., color, 16mm transferred to video, 90 minutes.

July 1 – December 31
Best Buy/Film Video Bay

Allen Downs taught at the University of Minnesota from 1955 to 1977 and helped shape filmmaking and media arts in the Twin Cities. He created a study-in-Mexico program that influenced his own work as shown in this selection of personal essay films about his life in Mexico. A Mexico was filmed on a road trip from Minnesota to Oaxaca (1970, 16mm film transferred to video, 7 minutes). Winter in China features a holiday celebration with the lovely marketplace gives way to festive pageantry (1970, 15mm film transferred to video, 9 minutes).

Major support to preserve, digitize and present the Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection is generously provided by the Bentson Foundation.


Mondays, July 29 – August 19
Music 7 pm; movies begin at dusk (approx. 8:45 pm); FREE
Loring Park; in case of rain, events move to the Walker Cinema

The Walker’s popular showcase of free movies and eclectic music returns to Loring Park this summer. This year’s films were selected by Mexican artist Abraham Cruzvillegas, whose work is featured in a new show at the Walker. Come along on these journeys into new territory and see what you find along the way. Bands kick-start each evening—look for a mix of local luminaries, with DJ hosts from 89.3 The Current.

For complete details on Summer Music & Movies, please refer to the official release here.

Summer Music & Movies is presented in partnership with the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.

Food truck partners: A Cupcake Social, AZ Canteen, and Gastrotruck

James Ponsoldt, The Spectacular Now, 2013

Photo: Wilford Harewood, Courtesy of A24 Films