Fresh from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, renown for celebrating groundbreaking new voices in independent filmmaking, Walker Cinema will host a variety of screenings and guests over the first two weekends in May. Whether featuring first-time directors and non-actors or seasoned casts and crews, each film uniquely plays with elements of the dramatic genre—offering new examples of how fluidly the medium evolves.
Sundance director John Cooper introduces the Walker screenings on May 2 and 3. He will also be present at the Independent Filmmaker Project Minnesota Conference.
Unless otherwise noted, all films and programs are in the Walker Cinema, and tickets are $12 ($10 Walker members and seniors). Tickets go on sale April 15 at 11 am.
"Dear White People"
Directed by Justin Simien
Friday, May 2, 7:30 pm
In person: Director Justin Simien, Producer Effie Brown
and Sundance Director John Cooper
"Bristling with arguments about the complexities of black identity in a supposedly post-racial America, this lively and articulate campus-set comedy...heralds a fresh and funny new voice on the scene in writer-director Justin Simien." —Justin Chang, Variety
Justin Simien's directorial debut is a witty satire about four African American students on a university campus (shot at the University of Minnesota), where a controversy over race breaks out when a contested student election sets in motion "a plot that is full of intrigue and surprise in a mood of sly, knowing satire" (A.O. Scott, New York Times). Nothing is simply black and white in this playful portrait of race and examination of how mass culture shapes an individual's identity. 2014, DCP, 100 minutes. Limited tickets available.
Directed by Gillian Robespierre
Saturday, May 3, 7:30 pm
In person: Sundance Director John Cooper
"Well made and wickedly bold —James Rocchi, The Playlist
"Saturday Night Live" alumnus Jenny Slate plays Brooklyn comic Donna Stern who gets dumped, fired, and pregnant right before Valentine's Day, forcing her to wade through a series of complicated decisions and emotions. Gillian Robespierre's romantic comedy is one that uses standup comedy to explore the theme of abortion. Slate keeps her character consistently honest in her relationships—best friend, ex-boyfriend, one night stand—while making jokes about her life onstage nightly at comedy clubs. 2014, DCP, 85 minutes.
"Fishing Without Nets (Jallaabasho Shabaq La'aan)"
Directed by Cutter Hodierne
Sunday, May 4, 1 pm
In person: director Cutter Hodierne
"Like a Coen Brothers film set on the high seas, "Fishing Without Nets" thrusts us into a man-made prison of greed, hopelessness, and violence." —Travis Hopson, Examiner
A Somali pirate tale told from the view of the pirates, examining how economic conditions can lead fishermen to change their work on the high seas. Needing to support his wife and child, the character of Abdi makes life changing decisions. Shot with all Somali non-actors, the film humanizes the pirates by exploring their moral dilemmas. 2012, DCP, in English and Somali/French with English subtitles, 109 minutes.
Directed by Tim Sutton
Friday, May 9, 7:30 pm
In person: Producer John Baker
"A film of quiet intensity and poetic imagery."—Justin Lowe, Hollywood Reporter
Mysticism envelops a talented singer as he wanders through the city of Memphis making music as he encounters the various people that live there; a preacher, a hustler, a beautiful woman and a pack of kids. Avoiding the recording studio, he studies the difference between a life of happiness and one of destruction, alongside a blues soundtrack that makes the change of locations and landscape effortless. Willis Earl Beal plays the moody musician Willis in a film described as an "eccentric, dreamlike pic" (Variety). 2014, DCP, 79 minutes.
Directed by Mark Jackson
Saturday, May 10, 7:30 pm
$9 ($7 Walker members, seniors)
"A dense and taut drama...strikingly tense."—Mark Adams, Screen International
Catherine Keener plays a seasoned war photographer named Lee who flees to Sicily to deal with her trauma after a brutal and tortuous assignment in Libya. Lee deals with her demons in a hotel room, eventually leaving to photograph nearby refugee camps. There, she meets Hafsia —a woman she is convinced she has met before and now must help her escape. Kristin Gore's first screenwriting credit explores the interior world of reality and memory as she finds a way to understand what she has been through. 2014, DCP, 90 minutes.