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Press Releases Walker Cinema: November-December 2013


October 30 – November 9, 2013

The Walker Art Center dialogue and retrospective program presents Steve McQueen, October 30 through November 9, 2013. A radical video artist and filmmaker, McQueen is one of Britain’s most influential artists. Hailed in a 2010 New York Times headline as an “Intense Seeker of Powerful Elegance,” McQueen has become known for his formalism and his willingness to engage with controversial content in powerfully human ways. A dialogue with Stuart Comer, Media and Performance Art Curator at the Museum of Modern Art, takes place at 8 pm on Saturday, November 9 and marks the artist’s first visit to the Walker.

Films in the retrospective include the regional premiere of 12 Years a Slave—Winner of the Toronto Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award (October 30, 7:30 pm); Shame (November 6, 7:30 pm); and Hunger (November 8, 7:30 pm). All films are screened in the Walker Cinema.

Directed by Steve McQueen
Wednesday, October 30, 7:30 pm
$12 ($10 for Walker members, seniors and students

“By far the most ambitious of Mr. McQueen’s three features and an impressive blend of radical and conventional movie techniques.” –A.O. Scott, The New York Times

“There’s no question that 12 Years a Slave remains an art film, especially as the provocative director forces audiences to confront concepts and scenes that could conceivably transform their worldview.” —Peter Debruge, Variety

“More than a powerful elegy, 12 Years a Slave is a mesmerizing triumph of art and polemics.” —Eric Kohn, Indiewire

McQueen’s third feature, 12 Years a Slave, is based on the incredible true story of one man’s fight for survival and freedom, as chronicled in the 1853 autobiography of Solomon Northrup, a free black man from upstate New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana, where the film was shot on location. Northrup is played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, whose character encounters both cruelty, in the form of the malicious slave owner portrayed by McQueen regular Michael Fassbender, and unexpected kindness, as Solomon fights for not just survival, but “to live.” McQueen’s powerful international cast is rounded out by actors including Benedict Cumberbath, Paul Dano, Paul Giamatti, Brad Pitt (as a Canadian Abolitionist), and Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild). After playing at the Telluride, Toronto and New York festivals, the film produced by locally-based River Road productions, will open in theaters in Minneapolis on November 1. 2013, 35mm, 133 minutes.

Directed by Steve McQueen
Wednesday, November 6, 7:30 pm
$9 ($7 for Walker members, seniors and students)

“[Shame] reconfirms McQueen as a filmmaker with an unflinching, microscopic gaze on the world.” —Time Out New York

McQueen and actor Michael Fassbender extend their artistic partnership in McQueen’s second feature, Shame. Brandon (Fassbender) lives a life of seeming success, yet forever engaged in a search both desperate and resigned, until his careful patterns are interrupted by the arrival of his younger sister Sissy (Carrie Mulligan), whose own internal struggles bring Brandon’s world into crisis when she insists on an open-ended stay at his apartment.

Tracing the emptiness of present-day New York City onto the very bodies of its lonely characters, Shame imprints a disquieting study of both sexual addiction and modern disconnection. McQueen was nominated for the Golden Lion at Venice in 2011, where the film went on to win the FIPRESCI Prize for Best Film, and garnered many more awards for Fassbender’s portrayal of Brandon. “A mesmerizing companion piece to his 2008 debut, Hunger, this more approachable but equally uncompromising drama likewise fixes its gaze on the uses and abuses of the human body, as Michael Fassbender again strips himself down, in every way an actor can, for McQueen’s rigorous but humane interrogation” (Variety). 2011, DCP, 101 minutes.

Directed by Steve McQueen
Friday, November 8, 7:30 pm
$9 ($7 for Walker members, seniors and students)

Hunger is raw, powerful filmmaking and an urgent reminder of this uniquely ugly, tragic and dysfunctional period in British and Irish history.” –The Guardian (UK)

McQueen’s first feature film is an unflinching examination of the last six weeks in the life of Bobby Sands, a member of the Irish Republican Army who led a hunger strike in Northern Ireland’s Maze Prison in 1981. In Hunger, the situation between guards and prisoners escalates to a fever pitch as this engrossing film shows the extraordinary power of physical, psychological, and spiritual resistance, and reveals the extreme sacrifice Sands and his cellmates endured for their political convictions. A tense journey crafted out of the drama of knowing what will happen; Hunger lingers in a harrowing mediation from which it feels impossible to look away. 2008. 35mm, 96 minutes.

Winner of the Caméra d’Or and the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize (2008 Cannes Film Festival); the New Generation Award (2008 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards); the Discovery Award (2008 Toronto International Film Festival); the Golden Hugo for Best Film (Chicago International Film Festival); the Douglas Hilcox Award (British Independent Film Awards 2008); Best Actor (British Independent Film Awards 2008); and European Discovery of the Year—Steve McQueen (2008 European Film Awards). Nominated for Best Foreign Film (2009 Independent Spirit Awards).

Steve McQueen with Stuart Comer SOLD OUT
Saturday, November 9, 8 pm
$25 ($20 for Walker members, seniors and students)

“There are people whose ideas are so strong that they seem to glow with creativity. McQueen is one of them.” —The Telegraph (UK)

For more than 20 years, this series of dialogues and retrospectives have brought some of today’s most innovative and influential filmmakers to the Walker Cinema, providing an intimate stage for directors to engage in discussion. Join us to hear Steve McQueen in conversation with Stuart Comer from the Museum of Modern Art in New York about his creative process and influences, illuminated with images of his work, film clips, anecdotes, and personal insights.

About Steve McQueen

Born in London in 1969, McQueen came to art with an intense interest in painting, inspired by the works of Burra, de Kooning, and Basquiat. He attended the Chelsea School of Art and Goldsmiths’ College, followed by a year at the Tisch School of the Arts in New York, during which time he discovered film and the power contained within the moving image as an expressive medium across time. First garnering international attention for his thesis film Bear in 1993, McQueen has produced a series of densely meaningful, deeply challenging work across still and moving image media.

Since winning the prestigious Turner Prize in 1999, McQueen’s artistic versatility has, in recent years, allowed him to successfully navigate the crossover from the gallery world to feature filmmaking, winning the Caméra d’Or award for first-time filmmakers at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival for Hunger, which was part of the Walker’s First Look series in 2009. McQueen’s 16mm film installation, Running Thunder, was also included in the 2009 Walker exhibition The Quick and the Dead, and surveyed in the companion publication.

In the last decade, McQueen’s work has been shown extensively around the world and was recently featured in a twenty year retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Schaulager in Basel, Switzerland. He was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in 2002, has participated in Documenta XI, and was selected as the artist to represent Britain at the 2009 Venice Biennale.

The Dialogue and Retrospective Program is made possible by generous support from Anita and Myron Kunin.


2013 British Arrows Awards
December 6 – January 5
$12 ($10 Walker members, students, and seniors)
Walker Cinema/McGuire Theater

This holiday season, the Walker carries on the 25-year tradition as host to the ever popular British Arrows Awards—an eclectic mix of riveting mini-dramas, outrageous wit, and awe-inspiring innovation. From high-tech extravaganzas to down-and-dirty comedy, this celebration of commercial creativity brings people back year after year. Tickets go on sale for members on October 1 and October 15 for the general public.

Friday, December 6: 7 and 9 pm (Introduced by Paul Rothwell, Board of Directors, British Arrows and co-founder of the London-based Gorgeous Enterprises)
Saturday, December 7: 5, 7, and 9 pm
Sunday, December 8: 1 and 3 pm
Thursday, December 12: 6, 7, and 8 pm
Friday, December 13: 3, 6, 7, and 8 pm
Saturday, December 14: 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, and 8 pm
Sunday, December 15: 2, 3, and 4 pm
Thursday, December 19: 4, 6, 7, and 8 pm
Friday, December 20: 2, 4, 6, 7, and 8 pm
Saturday, December 21: 2, 4, 6, 7, and 8 pm
Sunday, December 22: 2, 3, and 4 pm
Thursday, December 26: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 pm
Friday, December 27: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 pm
Saturday, December 28: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 pm
Sunday, December 29: 2, 3, 4, and 5 pm
Monday, December 30: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 pm
Thursday, January 2: 2, 4, 6, and 8 pm
Friday, January 3: 3, 5, and 7 pm
Saturday, January 4: 5 and 7 pm
Sunday, January 6: 3 and 5 pm

Odd-hour screening times (1, 3, 5, 7, 9) = Walker Cinema
Even-hour screening times (2, 4, 6, 8) = McGuire Theater

Walker Pub
For one month only, the Walker Pub takes over Gather by D’Amico with an expanded menu and hours. Executive chef Josh Brown offers a delectable twist on British tradition, along with classic ales such as Monty Python Holy Grail Ale and Hobgoblin Dark English Ale. Cocktail specials include the RoyalTea featuring Prairie Organic Gin. Regular menu also available. Reserve a table before or after a British Arrows Awards screening: 612.253.3410 or OpenTable

Garden Café by D’Amico: British Fare and More
Open before and after most all British Arrows Awards screenings, the Garden Café offers a full complement of casual fare, ales, cider, wine, cocktail specials, and non-alcoholic drinks. Beverages may be brought into the Walker Cinema and McGuire Theater.

$12 ($10 Walker members, students, and seniors)
Each ticket includes: one free gallery admission ($12 value; valid for one week following the screening); a $5 discount in the Walker Shop (details in store); and $1 off drinks at Gather or the Garden Café/Walker Pub on the event date.

Screenings sell out quickly. Join the Walker as a new member and receive two free tickets. For special rates for groups of 10 or more, call 612.375.7569 or email groups@walkerart.org.

ASL-interpreted and audio described screenings: December 19, 8 pm and December 21, 2 pm. RSVP to access@walkerart.org.

Steve McQueen

Photo: Thierry Bal, courtesy Thomas Dane Gallery, London