During March, the Walker Art Center presents
Women with Vision 2008: Past/Present
, the 15th installment of this renowned film festival that annually celebrates the work of women directors, filmmakers, and artists. Sheryl Mousley, the Walker’s film/video curator, often finds thematic threads connecting the films she selects. Past years have embraced women directors confronting the consequences of keeping silent, the era of increasing surveillance, and global migration, among other topical trends. Mousley explains this year’s subtitle, Past/Present: “The filmmakers look at how the past has shaped the present—several of this year’s filmmakers tell stories by looking back in time to understand where we stand in this complex, contemporary world.” Drawing entries from around the world, the festival also boasts a Minnesota premiere: producer Christine Walker and director Georgina Lightning present Older Than America. Global viewpoints come from Japan’s Naomi Kawase, with her Cannes Film Festival winner The Mourning Forest, and a slate of films from Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Iran, Brazil, and of course, the United States.
Special programs include a tribute to International Women’s Day (March 8, 3–5 pm), including three film programs and a dialogue lounge—a place for filmmakers and audience members to enjoy conversation and refreshments—located in the Star Tribune Foundation Art Lab; a free panel discussion, Moving the Moving Image (March 13, 7 pm), focusing on the ways in which these media artists leverage ever-changing technologies to serve their creative processes; and two programs of short films (March 8, 2 pm, and March 29, 2 pm). Other highlights of this year’s festival include a screening of Rachel Talbot’s Making Trouble (March 9, 7 pm), copresented with the Sabes Foundation Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival; Parting Shot (Pas Douce), directed by Jeanne Waltz, featuring a performance by actress/director Isild Le Besco, who made her directorial debut with Half-Price at the 2006 Women with Vision festival (March 14, 7:30 pm); Sandra Kogut’s Mutum (March 28, 7:30 pm), screening as part of the Walker’s Cinemateca series of new cinema from Latin America; and the closing-night screening of Hana Makhmalbaf’s Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame (Buda as sharm foru rikht), on Saturday, March 29, 8 pm. The annual sidebar festival
Girls in the Director’s Chair
will take place on Saturday, March 1, featuring works by young Minnesota filmmakers ages 8 to 18.
Unless otherwise noted, all films are screened in the Cinema. Tickets are $8 ($6 Walker members), or pick 3 films and get the 4th free for only $24 ($18). Tickets can be purchased by calling the Walker box office at 612.375.7600 or online at walkerart.org/tickets.
WOMEN WITH VISION: PAST/PRESENT
INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF FILM AND VIDEO
Friday, March 7, 7:30 pm
Older Than America
Introduced by director Georgina Lightning, producer Christine Walker, and special guest actress Tantoo Cardinal
A woman’s haunting visions reveal a Catholic priest’s sinister plot to silence her mother from speaking the truth about the atrocities that took place at her Native American boarding school. A contemporary drama of suspense, Older Than America (filmed on location in Cloquet, Minnesota) delves into the lasting impact of the cultural genocide and loss of identity that occurred at these institutions across the United States and Canada. 2008, U.S., 35mm, 102 minutes.
International Women’s Day
Saturday, March 8, 3–5 pm
In honor of International Women’s Day, which marks the achievements, courage, and determination of women around the world, the Walker presents three film programs and a dialogue lounge—a place for filmmakers and audience members to enjoy conversation and refreshments—located in the Star Tribune Foundation Art Lab.
Saturday, March 8, 2 pm
Short Films, Program One
5 Cents a Peek
Directed by Vanessa Woods
2007, U.S., video, 7 minutes
Introduced by director Jila Nikpay
2007, U.S., video, 4 minutes
Catalogue of Birds: Book 3
Directed by Jayne Parker
2006, U.K., video, 16 minutes
Directed by Miranda Pennell
2007, U.K., video, 15 minutes
Directed by Charlotte Ginsborg
2007, U.K., video, 28 minutes
Saturday, March 8, 4 pm
WIFTI Short Film Showcase Celebrating International Women’s Day
This annual short film showcase is copresented by Women in Film & TV/MN (WIFT) and organized by WIFT International (WIFTI) —the 2008 program includes work by Minnesota members. For a complete schedule: filmvideo.walkerart.org/wwv. Total running time 110 minutes.
Saturday, March 8, 7:30 pm
Directed by Maria Speth
“Everybody seems to know what a good mother should and shouldn’t do. And if she fails, massive moral sanctions are the consequence, unlike fathers in the same positions,” says filmmaker Maria Speth. “But social reality is full of mothers who fail to fulfill their role the way society expects them to.” Using this idea as a starting point, Speth tells the story of Rita, a single mother of five, struggling to create the family she never had herself. 2007, Germany/Belgium/Switzerland, 35mm, in German and French with English subtitles, 125 minutes.
Sunday, March 9, 7 pm
Directed by Rachel Talbot
Introduced by Jewish Women’s Archive Chair Barbara Berman Dobkin
Tickets: $8 Walker members (612.375.7600); nonmembers (952.381.3499)
General admission tickets: 952.381.3499
Joan Rivers, Gilda Radner, and Wendy Wasserstein. Their comedy defied cultural expectations and changed the rules. This documentary spans more than a century of theater, film, and television—from vaudeville and the Yiddish theater and Broadway to the Ziegfeld Follies and Saturday Night Live. Mixing archival footage with original interviews, the film provides insight into what it means to be Jewish, female, and funny. 2007, U.S., video, 85 minutes.
This film was produced by the Jewish Women’s Archive. Copresented with the Sabes Foundation Minneapolis Jewish Film Festival.
Thursday, March 13, 7 pm FREE
Panel: Moving the Moving Image
In the late 1960s, when artists were beginning to use emerging media technology to push the boundaries of contemporary art, film, and video, women were already on the forefront of the movement, pioneering the connections between art and technology. Join musician and new media artist Steina Vasulka and interactive installation artist Amy Youngs for a discussion focusing on the use of moving images in their work, and the ways in which they leverage ever-changing technologies to serve their creative processes. Moderated by art historian Jane Blocker. Presented as part of the University of Minnesota’s symposium Wonder Women: Art and Technology, 1968 to 2008.
Target Free Thursday Nights is sponsored by Target.
Friday, March 14, 7:30 pm
Parting Shot (Pas Douce)
Directed by Jeanne Waltz
A troubled young nurse (Isild Le Besco) working in a mountain town on the Franco-Swiss border and depressed by her love life, her relationship with her estranged father, and her boring small-town existence, commits an impulsive act of violence and then is assigned to care for the teenage boy she has shot. The French title of this tale of anger, guilt, and redemption translates literally as “not gentle.” Le Besco made her directorial debut with Half-Price at the 2006 Women with Vision festival. 2006, France/ Switzerland, 35mm, in French with English subtitles, 81 minutes.
Saturday, March 15, 7:30 pm
Faces of a Fig Tree (Ichijiku no kao)
Directed by Kaori Momoi
Inspired by the serialized novel Ichijiku no kao, actress Kaori Momoi developed an innovative screenplay for her first film. The narrative centers on the Kadowaki family, whose members lead normal lives until confronted by dramatic circumstances. Momoi presents her mysterious story with vibrant colors, crazy camera angles, and quirky characters that burst off the screen. 2006, Japan, 35mm, in Japanese with English subtitles, 94 minutes.
Sunday, March 16, 2 pm
It Happened Just Before (Kurz davor ist es passiert)
Directed by Anja Salomonowitz
Utilizing an unusual documentary approach, this film examines the real stories of women victimized by human trafficking. These first-person narratives are read by a customs officer, a neighbor, a bartender in a brothel, a diplomat, and a taxi driver—people who weren’t directly involved in the women’s tragic destinies but, as the film suggests, may have played roles in them. Here, ordinary days at a border crossing, in a peaceful neighborhood, and at the workplace serve as backdrops for what can be considered modern slavery. 2006, Austria, 35mm, in German with English subtitles, 72 minutes.
Thursday, March 20, 7 pm FREE
Directed by Nina Davenport
In the wake of Operation Iraqi Freedom, American actor Liev Schreiber had an idealistic thought: rescue an Iraqi film student from the rubble of his country and bring him to Prague to work as an intern on a Hollywood movie he is directing (Everything Is Illuminated). What promises to be a heartwarming tale quickly becomes a mirror of the complex intercultural realities that have plagued the United States’ war in Iraq. Director Nina Davenport sets out to document Schreiber’s charitable effort, but soon finds herself embroiled in an escalating power struggle between herself as filmmaker and her young Iraqi subject. 2007, U.S., video, 92 minutes.
Target Free Thursday Nights is sponsored by Target.
Wednesday, March 26, 7:30 pm
Directed by Naomi Kawase
From the old town of Nara, the capital of Japan during the eighth and ninth centuries, the Aso family sets out for the Jizo Festival in the dizzying heat of midsummer. When Kei, one of the Asos’ twin boys, suddenly disappears as if he’d been spirited away, time stops for the family until years later, when the remaining twin returns to the Jizo festival. Working cleverly with gaps in the narrative, Kawase evokes her characters’ feelings through stunning and resounding images. 2003, Japan, 35mm, in Japanese with English subtitles, 100 minutes.
Spotlight on Naomi Kawase
Naomi Kawase was only 27 when she won the Camera d’Or at Cannes for her independently produced debut Suzaku in 1997. Reaffirming her reputation with Shara in 2003, she is now recognized as one of Japan’s leading directors. This reputation was solidly confirmed on the international stage when she won the Grand Jury prize in Cannes 2007 for The Mourning Forest.
This program is copresented with the Institute for Advanced Study Film Collaborative and the Consortium for the Study of the Asias, University of Minnesota.
Thursday, March 27, 7 pm
The Mourning Forest (Mogari No Mori)
Introduced by director Naomi Kawase
Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes 2007, this film pairs an elderly man whose dementia confines him to a nursing home and the young nurse who befriends him. On this unexpected journey of discovery, an eloquent story unfolds against the lush and tranquil setting of western Japan, where Kawase’s natural touch as a filmmaker creates an inner geography of emotion. 2007, Japan/France, 35mm, in Japanese with English subtitles, 97 minutes.
Preceded by a free screening of Birth/Mother (Tarachime) at 5:30 pm. A documentary by the filmmaker on the birth of her son in the traditional Japanese way, and her relationship with her 90-year-old great aunt. 2006, in Japanese with English subtitles, 43 minutes.
Kawase’s documentary Sky, Wind, Fire, Water, Earth (Kya Ka Ra Ba A) will be screened at the University of Minnesota on Friday, March 28, at 3:30 pm. Free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://fc.umn.edu.
Friday, March 28, 7:30 pm
Directed by Sandra Kogut
Based on the popular novel Campo Geral by João Guimarães Rosa, Sandra Kogut’s debut film won the Première Award (Best Film) at the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival. An isolated farm in the arid backlands of Brazil provides the backdrop for 10-year-old Thiago to invent stories that help him understand the intricacies of grownups. This film is part of the Walker’s ongoing series Cinemateca: New Film from Latin America. 2007, Brazil, 35mm, in Portuguese with English subtitles, 95 minutes.
Saturday, March 29, 2 pm
Short Films, Program Two
Auditions for a Revolution
Directed by Irina Botea
2007, U.S., video, 22 minutes
Curtea de Arges
Directed by Ulrike Ostermann
2007, Austria, video, 6 minutes
Directed by Esther Harris
2007, U.S./Japan, video, 7 minutes
Directed by Elisa Miller
2006, Mexico, 35mm, in Spanish with English subtitles, 14 minutes
Betty + Johnny
Directed by Ellen Lake
2006, U.S., 16mm, 4 minutes
Everyone I Have Ever Known
Directed by Salise Hughes
2006, U.S., video, 4 minutes
Introduced by director Lu Lippold
2008, U.S., video, 11 minutes
Directed by Madeleine Schwartzman
2007, U.S., video, 9 minutes
Saturday, March 29, 7:30 pm
Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame (Buda as sharm foru rikht)
Directed by Hana Makhmalbaf
Hana Makhmalbaf’s directorial debut, which centers on a six-year-old girl’s efforts to learn to read, is the winner of the Special Jury Prize at San Sabastián Film Festival, where it was noted that “this first feature by a young director impressed the jury with its exquisite cinematography and the remarkable performance by the child actress Nikbakht Noruz.” Set in the Afghani province of Bamian where, in 2001, the Taliban destroyed a pair of massive fifth-century Buddha carvings, this story shows the of children who live near the remains of the destroyed Buddha. Hana’s sister, Samira, premiered her first film, The Apple, at the 1999 Women with Vision Festival. 2007, Iran/France, video, in Farsi with English subtitles, 81 minutes.
Girls in the Director’s Chair 2008
Saturday, March 1 FREE
11 am and 1:30 pm: For all ages
3 pm: For ages 13 and older due to mature subject matter
Women accounted for only 7 percent of directors in 2005, and only three female directors have been nominated for Academy Awards (none have won). Doing its part to tip the scales, the Girls in the Director’s Chair Film Showcase highlights the work of 36 young Minnesota women filmmakers ages 8 to 18.
The showcase, now in its 13th year, is curated and organized by filmmakers Whitney Garner and Erica Hungerford, high school seniors in media arts at the Perpich Center for Art Education, who hope to provide a community of young female directors with a quality screening room and connections to professional women filmmakers. “I want the viewer to acknowledge young women in the media, be inspired by the filmmakers, and walk away with an understanding of how women need to be represented in the film industry,” Hungerford says.
Program One, 11 am and 1:30 pm
For all ages
Splish Splash by Hannah Bigot, Samantha Gildemeister, Juliana Lillehi, and Alex Schreyer
The New Girl by Estephanie Luis
Public Service Announcement by Breawnna Blaesing
Hmong Superstitions by Choua Lor
Girls and the Media by Daryll Berg, Dede Davis, and Bao Yang
I Want Candy by Hannah Hallman
Nett Lake School by Tea Drift
The Sacred #4 by Magdelina Rodriguez
Bead Bandit by Grace Dupre
Beauty by Serina Vue, Mai Nou Vue, Maniechan Xiong, and Yuni Xiong
Messy Situation by Margaret Kittok
Program Two, 3 pm
For ages 13 and older due to mature subject matter
Uncovering May Day! by Kaya Allen, Moriah Petty, and Hannah Silver
Belle by Maya Blevins
The Science of Home by Madeline Shaw
Garden by Robin Purgan
Waiting for You by Cylicia Roybal
It Happens by Brandy Hyatt
Basketball Everywhere by Jenni Bruce and Lawrence Roy
Frances Gumm, World’s Greatest Entertainer by Emma Kopp
The Diary by Cha Lor
Unfinished Housewife Drama Parts 1 & 2 by Bridget Collins
Dearest Albina by Annie Wood
he is who he be by Alyse Martin
Who’s Left? by Kirsten Nelson
Illuminate by Allison Anderson
New Orleans by Molly Nemer
Screenings from the Collection
Great Genius and Profound Stupidity
Directed by Benita Raphan
Lecture Room, March 1–April 30
Screens each half-hour starting at 12 noon during gallery hours
Filmmaker Benita Raphan continues her series on genius with an investigation of the balance between perceptions of intellect and idiocy. Her interviews include choreographer Merce Cunningham’s tale of teaching dance to Helen Keller. 2007, U.S., video, 27 minutes.