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Press Releases Walker Cinema: May 2013

FIRST LOOK SERIES

PARADISE TRILODY
DIRECTED BY ULRICH SEIDL
APRIL 30-MAY 3


“Challenging, complex…” —Indiewire

Austrian provocateur Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise Trilogy is a subversive series examining the desires and dreams of three women from one family. The films represent an unbelievable achievement: a blunt survey of society and its discontents as viewed through the formal austerity of Seidl’s observational lens. The Vienna-born director, who began his career working for Austrian television and making documentary films, is well known for his features Dog Days, winner of the Grand Special Jury Prize at the 2001 Venice Film Festival, and Import Export, nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2007.

PARADISE: LOVE
Tuesday, April 30, 7:00pm

$9 ($7 Walker members, students, and seniors)
Director Ulrich Seidel in person

“Teresa … is an astonishingly real character, and [the] performance, brought out by Seidl’s part-scripted, part-improvisational process, is a small miracle.” —Indiewire

In the first film of the trilogy, we are introduced to Teresa, a middle-aged supervisor at a home for the mentally disabled, as she heads to Kenya for relaxation and sun. Inge, whom she meets at the resort’s tiki bar, has other plans and encourages Teresa to sample the sexual pleasures offered by young men roaming the beach. Initially reluctant, she eventually falls for the charms of sweet-talking Munga, pledging to him her mind, body, and wallet. The mutual exploitation, power dynamics, and issues of class, race, and gender strike unnerving chords, but Steidl also examines the emotions driving this search for love: loneliness and desperation. 2012, DCP, in German, English, and Swahili with English subtitles, 120 minutes.

PARADISE: FAITH
Wednesday, May 1, 7:00 pm

$9 ($7 Walker members, students, and seniors)
Director Ulrich Seidel in person

Anna Maria, Teresa’s devout Catholic sister, spreads the gospel in Vienna’s immigrant neighborhood and privately demonstrates her piety in servile and disturbing ways. When her paraplegic Moslem husband returns after a two-year absence, her isolation is shattered and she questions her faith during the domestic confrontations that ensue. The contradiction between faith and compassion is just one of many provocations found in this thorny film examining the roots of fanaticism. 2012, DCP, in German and Arabic with English subtitles, 113 minutes.

PARADISE: HOPE
Friday, May 3, 7:30 pm

$9 ($7 Walker members, students, and seniors)
Directed by Ulrich Seidl

Seidl’s trilogy ends on a tender note, with large doses of adolescent curiosity and awkwardness. Thirteen-year-old Melanie (“Melli”)—Teresa’s daughter (first introduced in Paradise: Love)—is sent to a diet camp while her mother vacations in Kenya. There, she immediately bonds with her stigmatized mates through frank sex talks, games of spin the bottle, and a furtive jaunt to a nightclub. The dramatic punch comes as Melli develops an infatuation with the camp’s handsome, 50-something doctor. Both the naïve girl and the mature man find themselves fighting their respective vulnerabilities and temptations in a reverse of the Lolita story. Here the Austrian provocateur withholds the caustic social criticism found in his previous two films, delivering hope instead. 2013, DCP, in German with English subtitles, 91 minutes.

Cinephile package: see all three films for $20 ($15 Walker members, students, and seniors).

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

Media partner 89.3 The Current

FIRST LOOK SERIES—AREA PREMIERES

UPSTREAM COLOR
Directed by Shane Carruth
Friday, May 10 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 11, 4 and 7:30 pm

$9 ($7 Walker members, students, and seniors)
Director Shane Carruth in person at each screening

“Intense and hypnotically powerful … at once emotionally direct, while narratively abstract.” —Los Angeles Times

“Some movies are so sensorially and emotionally resonant that when one leaves the theater, the on-screen world seems to persist, skewing one’s relationship to sights and sounds, space and time. After I saw Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color, I felt as if I had acquired a crucial secret of which passersby, crowding against me in rush-hour Times Square or glimpsed at a distance through subway windows, were pitifully unaware.” –Artforum

It’s rare when a film lives up to its pre-screening hype at the Sundance Film Festival, but Shane Carruth’s feature did just that last winter. Science fiction, thrills, and romance merge in an intriguing plot involving a man and woman (Carruth and Amy Seimetz), drawn together by mysterious forces, realize they’ve become entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Upstream Color is infused with visual and thematic poetry. Its final, dialogue-free section has elicited comparisons to Stanley Kubrick and Terence Malick, and features an intense sound design, which will be showcased in the Walker’s newly renovated cinema. In addition to director and actor, Carruth serves as writer, producer, cinematographer, composer, and co-editor—as he did with Primer, his $7,000 time-travel puzzle that won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize. 2013, DCP, 96 minutes.

STORIES WE TELL
Directed by Sarah Polley
Wednesday, May 15, 7:30 pm

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

“A profoundly funny and poignant picture of the larger human story.” —The National Film Board of Canada

Every family has its lore, and every family member recounts it from a different angle. So where and how does one find truth, if that’s even possible? Actor/writer/director Sarah Polley plays detective in this documentary inquiry, interviewing her father and four siblings to uncover secrets they’ve kept for decades, including details about her mother who died when Polley was 11 years old. As family and friends share recollections and their own tangles histories, the film’s deftly interwoven dialogue and home movies create a version of truth that’s as sly as it is illuminating. Stories We Tell was awarded the 2012 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award from the Toronto Film Critics Association. 2012, 35mm, 108 minutes.

POST TENEBRAS LUX (After Darkness, Light) Directed by Carlos Reygadas
Friday, May 17, 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 18, 7:30 pm

$9 ($7 Walker members, students, and seniors)
“If you can tune in to Reygadas’s frequency, the result is spellbinding: a lyrical, lysergic look on various states of coming together and falling apart that’s both upsetting and oddly soothing.” —Time Out New York

One of Cinema Scope’s 50 Best Filmmakers Under 50, Carlos Reygadas has defined himself as a unique creative force among contemporary directors. Post Tenebras Lux (After Darkness, Light), the Mexican filmmaker’s fourth feature, is perhaps the most audacious yet, with striking images strung together in a decidedly enigmatic narrative about an affluent couple and their two young children—urbanites who’ve retreated to a country villa in a deep lush green forest. A stunningly photographed, impressionistic portrait of a family and its place within the sublime, unforgiving world, Post Tenebras Lux earned Reygadas Best Director honors at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. 2012, 35mm, 115 minutes.

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

Media partner 89.3 The Current

FREE SCREENINGS

UNCLE BOONMEE WHO CAN RECALL HIS PAST LIVES with CACTUS RIVER
Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Thursday, May 2, 7:30 pm, FREE

Introduced by Marcus Hu, co-president of Strand Releasing

“A moving, gently reassuring tale that softens the boundaries between humanity and nature, life and the afterlife.” —A.V. Club

This hypnotic tale of a man confronting his mortality plunges the audience into the metaphysics of our connections to all things past, present, and future. Boonmee, a slowly dying rural farmer, receives visits from both the ghost of his dead wife and his long-lost son, who has transformed into a man-size monkey spirit. Together, the family treks through the jungle to a mysterious hilltop cave that may or may not be a passage from one life to the next. Inspired by a book of the same name that director Apichatpong Weerasethakul received from a Buddhist monk, Uncle Boonmee is a rare and beguiling comment on death and spirituality that is completely original in film. 2010, 35mm, in Thai and French with English subtitles, 114 minutes. Preceded by the Walker-commissioned short Cactus River (Khong Lang Nam). 2012, video 10 minutes.

This special free screening will be introduced by Marcus Hu, co-president of Strand Releasing, and commemorates a generous donation by Strand Releasing to the Walker’s Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection, which includes this title and 14 other 35mm feature films.

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

THE HEADLESS WOMAN
Directed by Lucretia Martel
Thursday, May 23, 7:30 pm, FREE


“You’d have to be headless or heartless yourself not to let this extraordinary, eerie film get under your skin.” —The Independent (UK)

From one of the most original filmmakers working today, The Headless Woman constructs an elusive mystery from events that may be real, imagined, or wholly allegorical. Needled by her conscience in the days following a hit-and-run, an affluent woman attempts to piece together what happened but seems to slowly lose her grasp on reality. This film of “exacting formalism and beauty” (New York Times) is full of opaque menace and vague possibilities, as well as allusions to Argentina’s class stratification and political history. 2008, 35mm, 87 minutes.

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Ulrich Seidl

Courtesy: Strand Releasing

Ulrich Seidl, Paradise: Love, 2012

Courtesy: Strand Releasing

Ulrich Seidl, Paradise: Faith, 2012

Courtesy: Strand Releasing

Ulrich Seidl, Paradise: Hope, 2013

Courtesy: Strand Releasing

Shane Carruth, Upstream Color, 2013

Courtesy: erbp Film

Sarah Polley, Stories We Tell, 2012

Director Sarah Polley (left) and Michael Polley (right) in scene from Stories We Tell. Courtesy Roadside Attractions

Carlos Reygadas, Post Tenebras Lux, 2012

Courtesy: Strand Releasing

Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, 2010

Courtesy: Strand Releasing

Lucrecia Martel, The Headless Woman, 2008

Courtesy: Strand Releasing