Walker Art Center

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Press Releases Walker Cinema: September - October 2013


Directed by Oskar Alegria
Saturday, September 14, 7:30 pm<
Plus Man Ray’s Emak Bakia with live score
$12 ($10 Walker members, students, and seniors)
Director present for screening
Walker Cinema

“A surprisingly compelling love letter to an extraordinary director and his pioneering work.” —Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF)

What is Emak Bakia? Literally translated from Basque, the phrase means “leave me alone.” But it is also the title of a short film by Man Ray, the name of the elusive house on the Lapurdi coast where Ray shot his 1927 cinépoem, and, for Navarrese filmmaker Oskar Alegria, an opening gesture in this playful and beautifully crafted exploration of language and meaning. Alegria’s essayistic documentary builds its paradox upon that opening question, beginning with an earnest examination of Ray’s bagatelle, then setting out on foot, on a literal search for the house itself. But true to his muse, the search is guided by serendipity—the chance encounter of a plastic glove and a napkin upon a street corner, or of a Romanian princess table-tennis champion and a filmmaker—what begins as the search for “Emak Bakia” becomes Alegria’s case for an unorthodox but lyrical and daring use of the medium. Alegria had a chance encounter as he took a music CD compilation by a musician from St. Paul, MN from the grave of Man Ray in Paris and became mesmerized by the music. 2012, DCP, in Basque, French, Italian and Spanish with English subtitles, 83 minutes.

Screening of Man Ray’s Emak Bakia (1927, 16mm, 18 minutes) with live accompaniment by local musician Richard Griffith. This cinépoem is a series of abstract fragments capturing abstracted light—from refractions created by prisms to streetlights in the dark.


Steven Tobolowsky with TRUE STORIES
Wednesday, October 9, 7:30 pm
$12 ($10 Walker members, students, and seniors)
Walker Cinema

“Actor Stephen Tobolowsky operates on a much different level. Just as Keats would write in iambic pentameter, Tobolowsky talks in stories.” —Stumped Magazine

Paired with the launch of PRI’s four-part pilot adaptation of the veteran character actor’s popular podcast The Tobolowsky Files on MPR, Tobolowsky presents one of his most beloved films, True Stories, in which he served in a rare role—one as co-writer rather than in front of the camera. Following the screening, Tobolowsky will discuss his approach to storytelling and the creation of characters on the page and screen. As one of the most recognizable character actors today, with over 200 film credits including Ned Ryerson in Groundhog Day, Sammy Jankis in Memento and Sandy Ryerson on Glee.

Screening: TRUE STORIES, 7:30 pm

Directed by David Byrne; Screenplay by Steven Tobolowsky, David Byrne and Beth Henley

“It’s a bold attempt to paint a bizarre American landscape. This movie does what some painters try to do: it recasts ordinary images into strange new shapes. There is hardly a moment in True Stories that doesn’t seem everyday to anyone who has grown up in Middle America, and not a moment that doesn’t seem haunted with secrets, evasions, loneliness, depravity or hidden joy—sometimes all at once.” —Roger Ebert

Tobolowsky collaborated with David Byrne (Talking Heads) and Beth Henley (Crimes of the Heart) to create a rollicking tale of the outlandish antics of a small Texas town celebrating their sesquicentennial. With striking performances by Byrne, John Goodman, Spalding Gray and Swoozie Kurtz. 1986, video, 90 minutes.

Co-presented by Public Radio International (PRI) and Minnesota Public Radio (MPR).


Geoff Dyer on Andrei Tarkovsky’s STALKER
Friday, October 18, 7:30 pm
$20 ($17 Walker members, students, and seniors)
Walker Cinema

“Four things that get under your skin: shards of glass, splinters of wood, sharp needles, and books by Geoff Dyer. Where most writers barely nick the flesh of human feeling, Dyer somehow manages to dig deeper … Unusually for a contemporary English novelist Dyer is as interested in asking big, difficult questions about the meaning of life as he is in developing motifs, displaying his learning, making points, making you laugh, shocking, soothing or being cool, all of which he manages to do with unnatural ease.” —The Guardian

“Extremely clever … Dyer’s evocation of Stalker is vivid; his reading is acute and sometimes brilliant.” —J. Hoberman, New York Review of Books

In this rare program, Dyer reads excerpts of his book, Zona: A Book About a Film About a Journey to a Room, a study of Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Stalker, as sections of the film play silently on the screen. Dyer will take a departure from conventional ideas of criticism as he talks about the film and the part it has played in his life. As he says, “it’s not just one of the greatest films of all time, but one of the greatest works of art.” The book was published in the UK and the US in the spring of 2012 and the author will sign copies after a Q&A following the reading. Program length: 90 minutes.

See the film:

Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
Wednesday, October 16, 7 pm and Sunday, October 20, 1 pm
$9 ($7 Walker members, students, and seniors)
Walker Cinema

In this striking adaptation of Arkady and Boris Strugatsky’s science fiction novel Roadside Picnic, Tarkovsky brilliantly captures the journey to the Zone, a mystical room in which one’s secret desires are realized. In order to get there, a scientist and a writer are lead through a dangerous and dire landscape by the guide referred to as a Stalker in this screening of a rare 35mm print. 1979, 35mm, in Russian with English subtitles, 163 minutes.

With Sam Green and Yo La Tengo
Friday, October 11, 7 and 9:30 pm
$25 ($20 Walker members, students, and seniors)
McGuire Theater

“Anyone familiar or unfamiliar with Fuller will be lucky to experience his life’s work through the enthralling interpretation by Green and Yo La Tengo.” —Filmmaker Magazine

Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green joins veteran indie rock band Yo La Tengo for an engaging and eye-opening “live documentary” on R. Buckminster Fuller, the inventor, architect, futurist, engineer, and author most famously known for his creation of the geodesic dome. As a progenitor around such issues as sustainability and conservation, he was also a proponent of radical societal change through design and architecture.

Live music provides the backdrop for Green’s charismatic in-person cinematic narration as he delves deep into projecting film, clips, photographs, letters, and blueprints from Fuller’s immense body of work. Yo La Tengo performs the live soundtrack that resonates between the sonically subtle and richly atmospheric.

The Love Song R. Buckminster Fuller is a follow-up to Green’s acclaimed live film Utopia in Four Movements, which was presented at the Walker in 2011.

Related daily free screening:

Directed by Benita Raphan
October 1-27
Screens continuously from 1 pm
Lecture Room

As part of her film series exploring the world of genius, Raphan turned her attention to Buckminster Fuller, finding that in 1927, Fuller pulled himself from the verge of suicide when it dawned on him that his existence was one small part of a larger dimension. He then devoted the rest of his life to the care and preservation of the universe. (2003, video, 13 minutes.)


Directed by Matt Porterfield
Friday–Saturday, Oct 25–26, 7:30 pm
Director present for introduction and post-screening discussion
$9 ($7 Walker members, students and seniors)
Walker Cinema

“At once emotionally charged, formally abstract and narratively laidback, Porterfield’s third feature should sustain the indie cred enjoyed by his much-lauded earlier films.” —Ronnie Scheib, Variety

“Not only an extension, but a deepening of [Matthew Porterfield’s] methods and moods.” —The New Yorker

A film with hues and thematic sexual betrayals that echo the 1970s filmmaking of Alan Rudolph’s (Welcome to L.A.). Porterfield sets his film within the contemporary music scene of Baltimore, his hometown so lovingly captured in his previous feature films Hamilton and Putty Hill. When the summer romance of Irish runaway Taryn (Deragh Campbell) ends bitterly, she descends on the home of her aunt and uncle who are in the midst of separating. Played by real life musicians Kim Taylor and Ned Oldham, the couple is conflicted by professional jealousy and infidelity as they confide in their unsuspecting niece who is hiding a secret. Selected by the Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin Film Festival. 2013, DCP, 90 minutes.

First Look is made possible by generous support from Elizabeth Redleaf. Promotional Partner Sound Unseen.

Media Partner 89.3 The Current


Both directed by Pat O’Neill
September 3-29
Screens continuously from 1 pm
Lecture Room

In one of the recent acquisitions for the Ruben/Bentson Film and Video Study Collection, Los Angeles filmmaker O’Neill experiments with the borders that hold the images between frames in film in Horizontal Boundaries (2008, 35mm transferred to video, 23 minutes). This is paired with the recent digitization of Sidewinder’s Delta (1976, 16mm transferred to video, 20 minutes), in which O’Neill shows his proficiency with optical printing. A true experiment with texture of the image and the logic of the dream, Sidewinder’s Delta becomes what film scholar Paul Arthur called “a mesmerizing meditation on the myth of wilderness.”

Best Buy Film/Video Bay: Allen Downs

Through December 31

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 (1973, 16mm film transferred to video, 7 minutes). Winter in China features a holiday celebration in a lively Mexican marketplace that gives way to festive pageantry (1970, 16mm 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.

Oskar Alegria’s The Search for Emak Bakia (2012).

Courtesy the artist.