From February 3–19, the Walker Art Center presents the Regis Dialogue and Retrospective
Lili Taylor: Independent Spirit
, featuring eight of the actress’s most stunning onscreen performances—including the Minneapolis-shot Factotum, fresh from its U.S. premiere at the Sundance Film Festival (February 3, 7:30 pm)—as well as a Regis Dialogue with Taylor and film critic/cultural theorist B. Ruby Rich (February 4, 8 pm). Other films in the series include Girls Town (February 9, 7:30 pm); Dogfight (February 10, 7:30 pm); I Shot Andy Warhol with The Addiction (presented as a double feature on February 11, 7:30 and 9:30 pm, respectively); Household Saints (February 15, 7:30 pm); Arizona Dream (February 18, 7:30 pm); and Short Cuts (February 19, 2 pm).
Dubbed the “first lady of the indie cinema” by Variety and “irreplaceable” by Roger Ebert, actress Lili Taylor has helped shape the American independent film movement. During a career encompassing nearly 40 films as well as notable TV shows and plays, she has worked with today’s most innovative independent directors, from Abel Ferrara and Emir Kusturica to Robert Altman and Nancy Savoca. From the start, Taylor would only accept roles she believed in—compelling characters in films with a measure of artistic integrity. Referring to mass-market Hollywood films, she says, “I just found that I couldn’t do it. I’d read the script, and even if you forced me to say the lines, the words just wouldn’t come out.” As critics endlessly debate the definition of “independent film,” her work embodies the spirit of the term with an astonishing range and vitality.
As mesmerizing in ensembles and cameos as she is in starring roles, Taylor inhabits her characters with intensity, honesty, and vulnerability. Easily caricatured personalities, even the quirkiest shy loners or outspoken oddballs, are given complexity by her nuanced performances. Among her numerous accolades is the Sundance Film Festival’s inaugural Special Grand Jury Prize for her exceptional performances in three distinct 1996 films: Cold Fever; I Shot Andy Warhol; and Girls Town.
Unless otherwise noted, all films are $8 ($6 Walker members) and are presented in the Walker Cinema. Factotum and Regis Dialogue tickets are available only to members January 3–22; remaining tickets go on sale to the public January 24. Seven-film package (does not include Factotum or Regis Dialogue): $30 ($20). Tickets are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600.
This Regis Dialogue and Retrospective is made possible by generous support from the Regis Foundation.
LILI TAYLOR: INDEPENDENT SPIRIT
REGIS DIALOGUE AND RETROSPECTIVE
Friday, February 3
Factotum, 7:30 pm
Directed by Bent Hamer
Introduced by Hamer and producer Christine Walker
Based on the writings of Beat poet Charles Bukowski and shot in Minneapolis, Factotum follows Hank Chinaski (played in charmingly gruff style by Matt Dillon) on a string of often drunken adventures. He is fired from one menial job after another and still manages to write, hoping to be published. Taylor’s performance as his smart, tough girlfriend showcases her ability to create a bold, complex character. 2005, U.S., color, 35mm, 132 minutes.
Saturday, February 4
Regis Dialogue with Lili Taylor and B. Ruby Rich, 8 pm
$22 ($15 Walker members)
Lili Taylor and film critic/cultural theorist B. Ruby Rich illustrate their discussion about the actress’ creative process and career with clips from her films.
Thursday, February 9
Girls Town, 7:30 pm FREE
Directed by Jim McKay
Three tough outsiders come to terms with a friend’s death. “A welcome little gust of teenage realism. In celebrating the solidarity of high school girls who refuse to live and die according to the Beverly Hills ideal, the movie raises a hoarse cheer for candor and spunky self-determination” (New York Times). Taylor helped create her dialogue through group improvisations. 1996, U.S., color, 35mm, 90 minutes.
Friday, February 10
Dogfight, 7:30 pm
Directed by Nancy Savoca
It’s 1963, and young marine Eddie Birdlace (River Phoenix) has one last night with his buddies before shipping out. They devise a cruel contest: whoever can pick up the ugliest date wins. Shy waitress Rose defies expectation. 1991, U.S., color, 35mm, 89 minutes.
Saturday, February 11
I Shot Andy Warhol, 7:30 pm
Directed by Mary Harron
Taylor delivers a stunning portrait of radical prefeminist/ Warhol-groupie Valerie Solanas’ descent into madness. She tries to survive on the street by hawking her manifesto—the manual for her one-woman revolutionary group Society for Cutting Up Men (SCUM). “You won’t be able to tear your eyes away from Lili Taylor as this abrasive avant-gardist. Her brilliant breakthrough performance is the stuff awards are made of. I Shot Andy Warhol should turn the cult of Lili Taylor into a full-scale parade” (Rolling Stone). 1996, U.S., color, 35mm, 103 minutes.
The Addiction, 9:30 pm
Directed by Abel Ferrara
This expressionistic film centers on NYU philosophy grad student Kathleen (Taylor), who is bitten by a sultry vampire in an alley. She goes from vulnerable to vicious in feeding her addiction—all while writing her doctoral thesis on the nature of evil. Hypnotic, gritty, and often humorous, with Christopher Walken in a cameo role as a veteran vampire. 1995, U.S., BW, 35mm, 82 minutes.
Wednesday, February 15
Household Saints, 7:30 pm
Directed by Nancy Savoca
This offbeat, magical story examines postwar changes in American culture as seen from the perspective of three generations of Italian American women. Taylor garnered an Independent Spirit Award for her luminous performance as the teenage Teresa, who yearns to join a convent. With strong turns by Tracey Ullman, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Michael Imperioli. 1993, U.S., color, 35mm, 124 minutes.
Saturday, February 18
Arizona Dream, 7:30 pm
Directed by Emir Kusturica
An absurdist comedy featuring Johnny Depp as Axel, a man who not only counts fish for a living but listens to their dreams. Kidnapped and taken to Arizona to attend the wedding of his uncle (played by straight man Jerry Lewis), he begins an affair with a rich, eccentric widow (Faye Dunaway) but eventually falls for her accordion playing, suicidal stepdaughter (Taylor). “It’s goofier than hell—you can’t stop watching because nobody has any idea what’s going to happen next,” wrote Roger Ebert. 1993, U.S./France, color, 35mm, 120 minutes.
Sunday, February 19
Short Cuts, 2 pm
Directed by Robert Altman
In this slice of 1990s Los Angeles life inspired by the short stories of Raymond Carver, Taylor plays a young woman plagued by cloudy memories of childhood mistreatment. With a cast of more than 50 characters, it’s an Altman tour-de-force, Nashville-style. 1993, U.S., color, 35mm, 187 minutes.