“She is sometimes an awestruck little girl, sometimes a regal serenity, sometimes a bawdy beauty with a hair-trigger laugh and a taste for Grand Guignol. She’s always frank and practical, vulnerable and perceptive, refreshingly morbid and jaw-droppingly surprising.” —Guy Maddin
From November 4–18, the Walker Art Center presents the Regis Dialogue and Retrospective Isabella Rossellini: Illuminated, featuring nine of the actress’s most stunning onscreen performances, as well as a Regis Dialogue with Rossellini and film critic John Anderson (November 4, 8 pm). Films in the series include Wild at Heart (November 10, 7:30 pm and November 11, 9:45 pm); Blue Velvet (November 10, 9:45 pm and November 11, 7:30 pm); Left Luggage (November 12, 2 pm); Fearless (November 15, 7:30 pm); White Nights (November 16, 7:30 pm); the regional premiere of The Feast of the Goat (La Fiesta del Chivo), (November 17, 7:30 pm); My Dad is 100 Years Old with The Saddest Music in the World (November 18, 2 pm), both directed by Guy Maddin; and Big Night (November 18, 7:30 pm).
This year marks two significant milestones in Isabella Rossellini’s film career: the 20th anniversary of her breakout performance in David Lynch’s Blue Velvet, and her entry into the realm of filmmaker. In her collaboration with Guy Maddin on My Dad Is 100 Years Old, she writes and performs a cinematic love letter to her father, Italian neorealist director Roberto Rossellini. Each of these two events underscores the ways that her spirit permeates her filmography. She has a boundless capacity to surprise us, the unsuspecting audience, with her fresh, courageous performances in a range of films. The retrospective features nine diverse selections of her work.
Except where noted, tickets to each film are $8 ($6 Walker members) and all screenings are in the Cinema. Purchase tickets to four different Isabella Rossellini films and receive a fifth ticket free; five-film package: $32 ($24).
Regis Dialogue tickets are available exclusively to Walker members October 3–15; remaining tickets go on sale to the public October 17.
Tickets/information: 612.375.7600 walkerart.org/tickets
This program is made possible by generous support from the Regis Foundation.
ISABELLA ROSSELLINI: ILLUMINATED
A REGIS DIALOGUE AND RETROSPECTIVE
Saturday, November 4
Regis Dialogue with Isabella Rossellini and John Anderson, 8 pm
$22 ($18 Walker members)
Rossellini and film critic Anderson discuss her bold and distinctive career in the cinema, illuminated by clips from her films.
Friday, November 10
Wild at Heart, 7:30 pm
Directed by David Lynch
Lula (Laura Dern) and Sailor (Nicolas Cage) embark on a twisted road trip, encountering personalities such as Rossellini’s Frida Kahlo-inspired Perdita Durango. “The characters in this film are the kind of strange souls that are more real in our dreams or nightmares than in reality,” says Rossellini. Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes, Lynch’s “spectacularly decadent, Southern gothic movie . . . [is] flamboyantly violent and erotic; it’s also very funny” (Village Voice). 1990, 35mm, 124 minutes.
Blue Velvet, 9:45 pm
Directed by David Lynch
In idyllic Lumberton, young Jeffrey (Kyle MacLachlan) discovers a severed ear. In the process of seeking its origin, he meets sweet Sandy (Laura Dern), deranged Frank (Dennis Hopper in a wild comeback performance), and beautiful but battered Dorothy (Rossellini). A devastating upending of middle America, described by its director as “the sickness beneath the surface of what appears to be a very beautiful world,” the film garnered Lynch a Best Director Oscar nomination, Rossellini an Independent Spirit Award, and rankings on numerous “Best Films of the Century” lists. Presented in a newly struck 35mm widescreen print. 1986, 35mm, 120 minutes.
Saturday, November 11
Blue Velvet, 7:30 pm
Wild at Heart, 9:45 pm
Sunday, November 12
Left Luggage, 2 pm
Directed by Jeroen Krabbé
Antwerp philosophy student Chaja needs a job and some understanding of her father, who is obsessed with unearthing a suitcase he buried on the eve of his deportation to a concentration camp. She finds both as a nanny in a family of Hasidic Jews. In this film about spiritual awakening, Rossellini gives “one of her most sensitive performances as the harried, fearful Mrs. Kalman” (New York Times). 1998, 35mm, 100 minutes.
Wednesday, November 15
Fearless, 7:30 pm
Directed by Peter Weir
After Max Klein (Jeff Bridges) survives a plane crash, he finds he’s not quite the same. Weir’s breathtaking film is a meditation on the search for the soul, fate, immorality, and the afterlife. Rossellini shines as Max’s wife, who brings him back to earth. 1993, 35mm, 122 minutes.
Thursday, November 16
White Nights, 7:30 pm FREE
Directed by Taylor Hackford
Rossellini and Mikhail Baryshnikov make their American film debuts in this Cold War thriller about a dancer/defector caught behind Russian lines. A highlight is Gregory Hines’ emotionally charged interpretive tap dance on American racism. 1986, 35mm, 136 minutes.
Friday, November 17
The Feast of the Goat (La Fiesta del Chivo), 7:30 pm
Director: Luis Llosa
Urania Cabral (Rossellini) returns to her native Dominican Republic after a 40-year absence. Based on a novel by Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa, this political thriller is “both a portrait of an era as well as the profile of a family that describes the situation for those living under a dictatorship” (2006 Berlin Film Festival). 2006, 35mm, 135 minutes.
Saturday, November 18
My Dad Is 100 Years Old, 2 pm
Directed by Guy Maddin
Rossellini wrote this tribute to her father, Italian neorealist director Roberto Rossellini, as a boldly frank mélange of anecdotes and personal memories. The subject is portrayed by a giant belly as a personification of his large, comforting presence in her life. All of the other characters are played by Rossellini: David O. Selznick, Federico Fellini, Alfred Hitchcock, Charlie Chaplin, Anna Magnani, and most arrestingly, Ingrid Bergman. A tour-de-force of emotion and ideas, film philosophy, and familial memories. 2005, 35mm, 16 minutes.
The Saddest Music in the World
Directed by Guy Maddin
“You have never seen a film like this before.”—Roger Ebert
Set in 1933, the height of the Great Depression, the story follows beer baroness Lady Port-Huntley (Rossellini) who, in order to boost sales, announces a global competition to determine the saddest music in the world. Adapting an original screenplay by Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day), Maddin uses tantalizing black-and-white imagery in the style of a Golden Age musical melodrama to create a visually rapturous, appallingly funny tour de force. “Lovingly cobbled together from his treasure-trove of obsessions and memories, Maddin’s filmmaking exemplifies movie love at its most ecstatic” (Los Angeles Times). 2003, 35mm, 99 minutes.
Big Night, 7:30 pm
Directed by Campbell Scott and Stanley Tucci
Primo (Tony Shalhoub) and Secondi (Tucci) are proud brothers from the old country with vastly different outlooks on running an Italian restaurant in New York. Rossellini plays tough, sexy, and independent Gabriella, the crux of a tangled love triangle. And, of course, this film features the feast to end all feasts. 1996, 35mm, 107 minutes.