Lucy Walker Photography by Jim Denault
“I love using documentary films to take the viewer on a journey to a world they’re not physically in. Film is the most impactful way I can give audiences that lifelike experience.” —Lucy Walker
Celebrate the career of award-winning film and virtual reality director Lucy Walker this November with a retrospective of her work and a dialogue. The retrospective will showcase her directorial achievements, including Waste Land (2010), The Crash Reel (2013), Countdown to Zero (2010), and an evening of her short documentary films. A master of her craft, Walker captures sublime turning points in people’s lives when they must push past impossibility and “dare to be honest,” conjuring that most human need to connect. As a documentary filmmaker, Walker’s distinctive character-focused narratives and embrace of virtual reality technology to transport audiences has bolstered her status as a visionary within the field of nonfiction filmmaking.
Walker began her career by directing a musical while studying at Oxford University. It wasn’t until she received a Fulbright scholarship to study at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts that she began working in moving image. During this time, she supported herself by working as a DJ and musician, skills she later tapped to create the soundtrack to her film about Amish youth, Devil’s Playground (2002). She has received awards for her work at the Sundance Film Festival, the SXSW Film Festival, the Vancouver International Film Festival, Telluride Mountainfilm, the São Paulo International Film Festival, and the Stockholm Film Festival, among others. Her films have been nominated for two Oscars, seven Emmys, an Independent Spirit Award for Best Feature, and a Gotham Award for Best Documentary.
Dialogue and Retrospective
Lucy Walker: Life Like Reality
All films are screened in the Walker Cinema and unless otherwise noted are $10 ($8 Walker members, students, and seniors).
Lucy Walker’s The Crash Reel 2013 Photo courtesy Lucy Walker Film
The Crash Reel (2013)
Friday, October 27, 7:30 pm
“With the adrenalin pump of a top-of-the line sports special latched onto the poignant story of a loving family in trouble and trauma, The Crash Reel is also the tale of a modern-day Icarus.” —Roger Ebert
“Few documentaries manage to show character arcs as full as the one Walker captures here.” —NPR
A world is turned upside down after a near fatal snowboarding accident during training for the Olympics. The film forefronts the dangers often ignored for the spectacle of extreme sport as it follows his slow recovery from traumatic brain injury and the realization that his life must now take another path. 2010, DCP, 108 minutes.
Watch the trailer.
Lucy Walker’s Waste Land 2010 Photograph by Fabio Ghivelder, courtesy of Vik Muniz Studio
Waste Land (2010)
Saturday, October 28, 2 pm
“With a stirring score by Moby, it’s a heart-warming tale of human dignity and innovation, and was a worthy winner of the World Cinema Documentary Audience Award.” —The Huffington Post
Lucy Walker follows artist Vik Muniz into Rio de Janeiro’s Jardim Gramacho, the largest landfill in the world, where catadores (literally, tasters) survive by picking the garbage for recyclables. Enter Muniz, who offers to recreate their portraits using refuse, sell the artwork at London’s most prestigious auction house, and deliver the profits back to the catadores to help their community. 2010, DCP, in English and Portuguese with English subtitles, 99 minutes.
Watch the trailer.
Lucy Walker’s COUNTDOWN TO ZERO, a Magnolia Pictures release, 2010. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.
Countdown to Zero (2010)
Wednesday, November 1, 7:30 pm
“There is nothing small-screen about the colossal scale of a nuclear weapon, which can destroy an entire city. I think of this as a non-fiction horror movie about the single most immediate threat facing humanity, and I want it to have the biggest impact imaginable.” —Lucy Walker
“Very few films can be classified as unmissable, but this is one.” —The Guardian
This nail-biting and intimate glimpse at nuclear detonation scenarios underlines the precariousness of our political present. Featuring interviews with Tony Blair, Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Robert McNamara, Pervez Musharraf, and Valerie Plame, Countdown to Zero is a cry against oblivion. 2010, DCP, 90 minutes.
Watch the trailer.
Lucy Walker’s The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom 2011 Photo courtesy Lucy Walker Film.
World Views: An Evening of Short Films
Thursday, November 2, 7:30 pm
A selection of bold short documentary films about survival and resilience, including her virtual reality short, A History of Cuban Dance (6 min), which may be experienced by audiences using cardboard VR glasses. On the big screen short films include The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom (40 min), David Hockney in the Now (6 min), and Crooked Lines(18 min). 2011-2016, 70 minutes.
Lucy Walker Photography by Hugo Tillmans
Dialogue with Lucy Walker and Scott Foundas
Wednesday, November 8, 7:30 PM
$15 ($12 Walker members, students, and seniors)
Lucy Walker joins Scott Foundas for a conversation about her fascinating career and the art of documentary filmmaking. Foundas, former chief critic for Variety, is now a film acquisitions and development executive at Amazon Studios.
Dialogue tickets: Limited quantities. Walker Film Club presale available for purchase at box office or at 612.375.7655. Member presale available at box office or online at walkerart.org/cinema.
This Walker Dialog and Retrospective program is made possible by generous support from Anita Kunin and the Kunin family.