Two Walker Commission films will portray the Asian American experience.
Cactus River (Khong Lang Nam) will debut exclusively online through the Walker Channel Saturday, Oct. 13.
This much-anticipated online piece from boundary-breaking director Apichatpong Weerasethakul makes its debut as the first artist commission on the Walker Channel. The source for live and archived video of the Walker’s public programming, the Walker Channel includes lectures, dialogues, and performances involving artists, scholars, and critics of contemporary art and culture.
Weerasethakul’s short video Cactus River (Khong Lang Nam) (2012, video, 10:09 minutes), under discussion since he was the subject of a Regis Dialogue and Retrospective in 2004, has been created amid a packed schedule of projects — one that’s only grown more intense since his feature film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2010. The artist was included in the exhibition documenta 13 and has recently completed the feature film Mekong Hotel, which also screens at the Walker.
Walker film curator Sheryl Mousley calls Weerasethakul an ideal choice for the multidisciplinary institution’s first Walker Channel commission: “His ability to mix genres — experimental, narrative, documentary — is only part of his distinctive vision,” she says. “He’s also so accomplished in both old and new media: besides films, he makes objects, video installations, and exhibitions, and integrates his vision across those art forms, always with amazing results.”
Weerasethakul will present the area premiere of “Mekong Hotel” on Oct. 27, 2012 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the Walker Cinema. Tickets are $9.
An impending flood and lurking alien ghosts keep the tension rising in the latest film from Weerasethakul, in his highly anticipated first feature since Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2010.
Working with actors familiar from his previous films, the director sets this tale in a hotel overlooking the Mekong River on the Thailand/Laos border. Characters rehearse lines from an uncompleted film in a tranquil yet cautionary stream-of-consciousness sketch, an experimental mystery, and an exploration of the filmmaking process. 2012, DCP, 60 minutes.
“A Renegade’s Vision: An Evening of Stan Brakhage Films” will be held Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
Minneapolis-based visual artist Cameron Gainer (whose video piece Luna del Mar is featured in Midnight Party) organizes a program by his mentor, one of the most important and prolific figures in American avant-garde film.
Five short films from the Walker’s Ruben/Bentson Collection trace Brakhage’s shift away from psychodrama and toward a more abstract, personal form. The screening features all new prints purchased with generous support from the Bentson Foundation.
French filmmaker Claire Denis is the subject of a Regis Dialogue and Retrospective, Oct. 30 through Nov. 18. The Walker will screen 10 of her films, and Denis herself will have a dialogue with Kent Jones, editor-at-large at Film Comment, artistic director of the World Cinema Foundation, and newly appointed head of the New York Film Festival at the Film Society of Lincoln Center on Sat, Nov 17.
Cinema of Urgency
Walker Art Center presents nine films in a series that spans decades and the globe —all serving to demonstrate the unique power of cinema in responding to politically urgent moments.
“Gravity Hill Newsreels: Occupy Wall Street” will be screened on Friday, Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. In newsreels form, the film documents the Occupy Wall Street protests in fall 2011.
“The Battle of Algiers” screens on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. The film documents Gillo Pontecorvo’s return to Algiers, and presents an astonishingly relevant case study on modern warfare and terrorist attacks.
“Serious Games I–IV” will screen on Friday, Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. The film documentary focuses on videogame simulations that both train their players for combat and help them deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Director Thomas Heise will be present to introduce him film Condition (Die Lage) on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m. The film documents preparations for the Pope’s visit and how it effectively turns Thuringia into a police state for the duration.
Heise will introduce his second film, “Material” on Friday, Oct. 19 at 7:30 p.m. The documentary is a personal history of Germany in the 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
“Into Thin Air” and “Blames and Flames” will screen on Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. The two shorts connect film and the Islamic Revolution, with a focus on the 1978 “Black Friday” massacre and the burning of more than 130 cinemas.
“The Law in These Parts (Shilton Ha Chok)” will be screened on Friday, Oct. 26 at 7:30 p.m. The documentary won the 2011 Sundance World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for its commanding and compassionate look at the moral and legal contradictions sustained by Israel and the occupied territories.
Single tickets are $9, and a Cinephile Package for five films is $27. Call the box office for this special offer at 612-375-7600.
Cinema of Urgency is copresented by the Imagine Fund Arts & Humanities Chair 2011–2013, Moving Image Studies, as well as the departments of Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature, German, Scandinavian & Dutch, Communication Studies and English at the University of Minnesota.