Cauleen Smith: Mutualities To Open At The Whitney In February

Mutualities, the multidisciplinary artist Cauleen Smith’s first solo show in New York, will open at the Whitney Museum of American Art on February 17. The exhibition includes two films, Sojourner (2018) and Pilgrim (2017), shown in two installation environments newly created for the Whitney, along with a group of new drawings, collectively titled Firespitters (2020).

Image credit: Cauleen Smith, still from Sojourner, 2018. Video, color, sound, 22:41 min. Courtesy of the artist, Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago, and Kate Werble Gallery, New York.

Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, remarked, “We’re delighted to welcome Cauleen Smith back to the Whitney. With their exquisite atmosphere and construction, Sojourner and Pilgrim offer lyrical views of important figures and sites in Black history, and also look toward a shared future. The show builds a beautiful bridge between the other pillars of our spring exhibition program, pointing to the political concerns of Vida Americana and the spiritual uplift of Agnes Pelton.”

Smith (b. 1967)—whose banners were prominently featured at the Museum in the 2017 Whitney Biennial—draws on poetry, science fiction, non-Western cosmologies, and experimental film to create works that reflect on memory and Afro-diasporic histories.

Cauleen Smith is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work draws upon Black radical thought, structural film, poetry, and science fiction. Born in Riverside, California in 1967, she grew up in Sacramento, and earned a B.A. in Cinema from San Francisco State University and an MFA at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Theater Film and Television. At UCLA, she studied with the L.A. Rebellion filmmakers, a group of graduate students who started a Black Cinema movement at the university in the mid-1960s. She has made over 40 films, and her first feature length film, Drylongso (1998), premiered at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival before circulating with acclaim to other film festivals. She has had exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago, ICA Philadelphia, MASS MoCA, the Studio Museum of Harlem, the New Museum, New York, the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, and the Kitchen, New York, and was featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial. She is the recipient of numerous awards and residencies including the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2007), the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture, Artist Award (2012), the Washington Park Arts Incubator, Arts and Public Life Residency (2013), and the Rauschenberg Residency (2015). She has taught at various universities over the span of the last two decades, and is a Faculty member of Cal Arts School of Art in Los Angeles.

Chrissie Iles, the Whitney’s Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Curator, who has organized the show with Clémence White, senior curatorial assistant, commented, “We are proud to bring together Cauleen Smith’s films, installations, and drawings in an exhibition that articulates an ethics of care, engagement, and generosity. Each element of the show is experienced through another—books written and chosen by poets invited by the artist appear in delicate gouaches; a film tracing a pilgrimage to spiritual sites is bathed in the colored light of the installation surrounding it. The Museum’s recognition of Smith’s long and deeply engaged practice is underlined by our recent acquisition of both films, Sojourner and Pilgrim, which join her banners already in the Whitney’s collection.”

Unfolding across several important sites in Black spiritual and cultural history, the two films in the exhibition weave together writings by women from different eras, including Shaker visionary Rebecca Cox Jackson, abolitionist Sojourner Truth, the Black feminist Combahee River Collective of the 1970s, and experimental-jazz composer and spiritual leader Alice Coltrane, whose music also forms the soundtrack for both films. This gathering of voices enacts a shared Black female subjectivity, the collective strength of which is expressed in Smith’s poetic use of the camera and light as improvisational instruments to reveal how invention, creativity, and generosity can be resources for transformation and regeneration. By placing the title of this exhibition in the plural, Smith draws a connection between the two films while pointing to the idea that what is held in common is never singular.

In Sojourner, a group of women walk in procession through sites including Dockweiler State Beach and Watts Towers in Los Angeles. The women carry translucent orange banners, each emblazoned with part of a text by the jazz composer and spiritual leader Alice Coltrane (1937–2007). Watts Towers, a cluster of seventeen sculptural spires, served as a symbol of hope and regeneration after surviving the 1965 Watts Rebellion unscathed. Smith locates a similar spirit in assemblage artist Noah Purifoy’s Outdoor Desert Art Museum in Joshua Tree, California. The women end their procession there, listening to readings of the Black feminist Combahee River Collective, Sojourner Truth (1797–1833), and Alice Coltrane. Their collective voices, echoed in contemporary footage of the Chicago-based activist coalition R3 (Resist. Reimagine. Rebuild.), fuse spirituality and activism into a potent articulation of self-realization and resistance. The actions unfold not only within different sites within the film itself, but in an immersive kaleidoscopic environment of light and seating in the Museum that interconnects the film with a more expansive sense of place and collective presence.

Pilgrim traces the artist’s pilgrimage to three sites: Alice Coltrane’s Turiyasangitananda Vedantic Center in Agoura, California; Watts Towers in Los Angeles; and the Black spiritual activist Rebecca Cox Jackson’s (1795–1871) Watervliet Shaker community in upstate New York. Smith vividly evokes the creative atmosphere of each place, allowing the camera to slowly explore the ashram’s interior and Coltrane’s musical instruments, and using the soft grain and subtle color of Super 8 film to infuse the footage of Watts Towers and the flowers in the Shaker garden with an emotional intimacy. Jackson’s advocacy of racial and gender equality, her fight against the patriarchy of organized religion, and her awareness of the African roots of her faith resonate with Coltrane’s own hybrid, transnational spiritual and musical language. Both women’s challenges to accepted authority are, like the enduring independent spirit of Watts Towers, grounded in a sense of place, community, and generosity that are also hallmarks of Smith’s own transformative work.

The screenings of Smith’s films in High Line Art’s presentation of Signals from Here, organized by Melanie Kress, High Line Art Associate Curator, will take place from dusk until the park closes, on the High Line at 14th Street. The program includes Three Songs About Liberation (2017), Crow Requiem (2015), Lessons in Semaphore (2015), H-E-L-L-O (2014), and Songs for Earth and Folk (2013).

PUBLIC PROGRAM

Screening and Conversation with Cauleen Smith and Michael Gillespie Friday, March 27, 6:30 pm

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Whitney will present a rare screening of Passing Through (1977, 105 min) by LA Rebellion filmmaker Larry Clark, preceded by one of Cauleen Smith’s films. Following the screening, Smith will be in conversation with film scholar Michael Boyce Gillespie, Associate Professor of Film in the Department of Media and Communication Arts and the Black Studies Program at the City College of New York, City University of New York.

Tickets required. ($10 adults; $8 members, students, seniors, and visitors with a disability).

Cauleen Smith: Mutualities is part of the Whitney’s emerging artists program, sponsored by Nordstrom. Generous support is provided by The Rosenkranz Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Artists Council.

Nat Geo WILD and Sun Valley Film Festival Launch Seventh Annual Wild to Inspire Short Film Contest to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

Grand Prize Includes Festival Screening and Filmmaking Expedition Abroad

In partnership with the Sun Valley Film Festival, Nat Geo WILD announces the seventh annual Wild to Inspire short-film contest. This year, the contest is seeking short films inspired by the milestone 50th anniversary of Earth Day. National Geographic has a storied history of inspiring people to care about the planet and is now looking for films to help with this mission. Films should celebrate the natural world, inspire viewers to work toward a planet in balance in the 21st century and draw a connection to the Earth Day anniversary.

The grand-prize winner will receive a once-in-a-lifetime, all-expenses-paid excursion to one of the far corners of the globe to find out firsthand what it’s like to be a National Geographic filmmaker. Past winners have traveled to Africa and Peru.

U.S. residents are invited to submit a short film of three minutes or less using the submission platform Submittable™. Up to three finalists, announced in early March 2020, will receive an invitation to attend SVFF, which unites filmmakers and industry insiders from around the world, in Sun Valley, Idaho, March 18-22. At SVFF, the finalists will screen their films for festival attendees and before a panel of judges that includes Nat Geo WILD executives. The grand-prize winner will be announced at the festival’s closing ceremony.

National Geographic has always been at the forefront of storytelling excellence, having redefined the natural history genre throughout the decades,” says Chris Albert, EVP of global communications at National Geographic and Nat Geo WILD. “Which is why it’s so relevant to inspire the next generation of filmmakers who are eager to put our planet in the spotlight and encourage guardianship and sustainability through heightened awareness of our living, breathing and dynamic planet.

Since 2012, the Sun Valley Film Festival has invited fans and filmmakers to America’s first ski resort to celebrate the magic of storytelling. The year-round Sun Valley Film Initiative develops professionals and illuminates the process of filmmaking, propelling emerging voices with grants and education. Each March, SVFF celebrates with a slate of cutting-edge films and TV premieres, industry panels, engaging Coffee Talks with entertainment luminaries, a Screenwriters Lab led by award-winning writers and a series of parties culminating with the spectacular SVFF Awards Bash. The 2020 SVFF will be held March 18-22. SVFF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. (Learn more at sunvalleyfilmfestival.org.)

Sun Valley is committed to bringing together the best and brightest in filmmaking while also celebrating the aspiring creators whose work deserves our attention,” says Teddy Grennan, executive director of the Sun Valley Film Festival. “Screening Wild to Inspire finalists during our annual festival is just one way this contest helps foster new talent.”

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Aubrey Plaza Returns to Host 35th Film Independent Spirit Awards

Film Independent announced that Aubrey Plaza will return to host the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards. The Spirit Awards are the primary fundraiser for Film Independent’s year-round programs, which cultivate the careers of emerging filmmakers and promote diversity in the industry. Nominees were announced by Zazie Beetz (Atlanta, Joker, Deadpool 2) and Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll, Ad Astra, Orange Is the New Black) on November 21. Best Feature nominees include A Hidden Life, Clemency, The Farewell, Marriage Story and Uncut Gems. The show will be broadcast live exclusively on IFC at 2:00 pm PT / 5:00 pm ET on Saturday, February 8, 2020.

2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards logo (Image provide by Film Independent)

Like all great independent film performances, this one deserves a sequel,” said Host Aubrey Plaza. “The people have spoken. Bow down to your host!

At a time when the world is so bitterly divided and civil discourse is almost impossible, it’s nice we can all agree that Aubrey Plaza is the greatest host in the history of hosting,” said Josh Welsh, Film Independent President. “We are thrilled to have her back. Today is also the last day to join Film Independent as a Member to get access to the nominated films and vote on the winners. Only a fool would not watch the Spirit Awards on IFC on February 8, 2 PM PST / 5 PM EST.”

Aubrey is back! Last year, fear of her signature take on hosting duties kept that other awards show host-less. We are excited to see what she brings to the tent this year,” said IFC Executive Director, Blake Callaway.

Now in its 35th year, the Film Independent Spirit Awards is an annual celebration honoring artist-driven films made with an economy of means by filmmakers whose films embody independence and originality. The Spirit Awards recognizes the achievements of American independent filmmakers and promotes the finest independent films of the year to a wider audience.

Plaza will next be seen starring in Black Bear, a suspenseful meta-drama, opposite Christopher Abbott and Sarah Gadon. The film, which she also produced, will premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. She is currently in production on Lina Roessler’s Best Sellers opposite Michael Caine which is based on an original screenplay that won a 2015 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting award. Plaza’s other feature film credits include: Ingrid Goes West (which she produced and received a 2018 Film Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature), Jeff Baena’s The Little Hours (also producer), Hal Hartley’s Ned Rifle, Colin Trevorrow’s Safety Not Guaranteed, Edgar Wright’s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and Judd Apatow’s Funny People, among others. On television, she most recently starred in Noah Hawley’s Legion on FX and is well known for her role on NBC’s Parks & Recreation.

This year marks the 35th edition of the awards show that celebrates the best of independent film. Past Spirit Awards hosts have included Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, Kate McKinnon and Kumail Nanjiani, Fred Armisen and Kristen Bell, Patton Oswalt, Andy Samberg, Joel McHale, Sarah Silverman, Samuel L. Jackson, Eddie Izzard, Queen Latifah and John Waters, to name a few. The show, which will be held on the beach in Santa Monica, will be executive produced and directed by Joel Gallen of Tenth Planet Productions for the sixth consecutive year. Shawn Davis returns as producer for his 18th year, Rick Austin returns as producer for his fifth year and Danielle Federico and Andrew Schaff also return as co-producers.

Winners, who are selected by Film Independent Members, will be announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 8, 2020. The awards ceremony will be held on the beach in Santa Monica, just north of the Santa Monica Pier.

Winners of the Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grants will be announced at the Film Independent Spirit Awards Filmmaker Grant and Nominee Brunch on Saturday, January 4, 2020, at BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood.

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Culture Watch: Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Announces Short List for the 2020 Hugo Boss Prize

Six artists have been short-listed for the Hugo Boss Prize 2020, the biennial award for significant achievement in contemporary art. The short list is selected by a panel of international curators and critics in recognition of artists whose work is transforming the field. Since its inception in 1996, the prize has consistently functioned as a platform for the most relevant and influential art of the present, and has become a cornerstone of the Guggenheim’s contemporary programming.

On the occasion of the thirteenth Hugo Boss Prize, I’m delighted to announce the finalists for the 2020 cycle,” said Nancy Spector, Artistic Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, and jury chair. “After a rigorous examination of today’s artistic landscape, the jury identified a group of artists whose practices are beacons of cultural impact. While diverse in their approaches and themes, they each exemplify the spirit of experimentation and innovation that the prize has always championed.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York logo

The Hugo Boss Prize recognizes the achievements of both emerging and established artists, and sets no restrictions in terms of age, gender, nationality, or medium. The winner, who will receive a $100,000 honorarium, will be announced in the fall of 2020 and will present a solo exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in spring 2021.

Since its inception in 1996, the Hugo Boss Prize has been awarded to twelve influential contemporary artists: American artist Matthew Barney (1996); Scottish artist Douglas Gordon (1998); Slovenian artist Marjetica Potrč (2000); French artist Pierre Huyghe (2002); Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija (2004); English artist Tacita Dean (2006); Palestinian artist Emily Jacir (2008); German artist Hans-Peter Feldmann (2010); Danish artist Danh Vo (2012); American artist Paul Chan (2014); American artist Anicka Yi (2016); and American artist Simone Leigh (2018). The related exhibitions have constituted some of the most compelling presentations in the museum’s history.

Previous finalists include Laurie Anderson, Janine Antoni, Cai Guo-Qiang, Stan Douglas, and Yasumasa Morimura in 1996; Huang Yong Ping, William Kentridge, Lee Bul, Pipilotti Rist, and Lorna Simpson in 1998; Vito Acconci, Maurizio Cattelan, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, Tom Friedman, Barry Le Va, and Tunga in 2000; Francis Alÿs, Olafur Eliasson, Hachiya Kazuhiko, Koo Jeong-A, and Anri Sala in 2002; Franz Ackermann, Rivane Neuenschwander, Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij, Simon Starling, and Yang Fudong in 2004; Allora & Calzadilla, John Bock, Damián Ortega, Aïda Ruilova, and Tino Sehgal in 2006; Christoph Büchel, Patty Chang, Sam Durant, Joachim Koester, and Roman Signer in 2008; Cao Fei, Roman Ondák,Walid Raad, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul in 2010; Trisha Donnelly, Rashid Johnson, Qiu Zhijie, Monika Sosnowska, and Tris Vonna-Michell in 2012; Sheela Gowda, Camille Henrot, Hassan Khan, and Charline von Heyl in 2014; Tania Bruguera, Mark Leckey, Ralph Lemon, Laura Owens, and Wael Shawky in 2016; and Bouchra Khalili, Teresa Margolles, Emeka Ogboh, Frances Stark, and Wu Tsang in 2018.

The following artists are finalists for the Hugo Boss Prize 2020:

  • Nairy Baghramian (b. 1971, Isfahan, Iran)
  • Kevin Beasley (b. 1985, Lynchburg, Va.)
  • Deana Lawson (b. 1979, Rochester, N.Y.)
  • Elias Sime (b. 1968, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
  • Cecilia Vicuña (b. 1948, Santiago, Chile)
  • Adrián Villar Rojas (b. 1980, Rosario, Argentina)

The Hugo Boss Prize is our most prestigious engagement in the field of arts,” said Mark Langer, CEO and Chairman of HUGO BOSS AG. “We are excited about this diverse and distinguished short list for 2020 and looking forward to the announcement of the winner next fall.

HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2020 SHORT LIST

Nairy Baghramian (b. 1971, Isfahan, Iran) lives and works in Berlin. In an oeuvre that probes the boundaries between the decorative, the utilitarian, and the art object, Baghramian has illuminated new possibilities for sculpture. The artist’s disarming biomorphic forms, made with a range of materials including steel, silicon, resin, and leather, elicit various unexpected art-historical and sociopolitical references, reimagining the workings of the body, gender, and public and private space.

Nairy Baghramian, Stay Downers: Nerd, Fidgety Philip, Dripper, Truant, Backrower and Grubby Urchin, 2017. Various media, dimensions variable
Installation view: Déformation Professionnelle, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 2017–18. Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery. Photo: Timo Ohler

Baghramian’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions such as Privileged Points, Mudam Luxembourg—Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (2019), Breathing Spell (Un respire), Palacio de Cristal del Retiro, Madrid (2018); Déformation Professionnelle, Museum der Moderne Salzburg, and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2017); S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent (2016); Nairy Baghramian: Scruff of the Neck (Supplements), Zurich Art Prize, Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich (2016); Hand Me Down, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2015); Fluffing the Pillows, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Mass. (2013), and Kunsthalle Mannheim, Germany (2012); and Class Reunion, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2012).

Kevin Beasley (b. 1985, Lynchburg, Va.) lives and works in New York. Working at the intersection of sculpture, installation, and performance, Beasley constructs revelatory formal and sonic experiences. In works that embed found objects in substances such as resin, foam, and tar, or incorporate unconventionally manipulated audio equipment, he amplifies the cultural resonances of his materials to excavate personal and shared histories of class, race, and institutional power.

Kevin Beasley, Your face is / is not enough, 2016. Performance view: Liverpool Biennial, July 14, 2018. © Kevin Beasley. Photo: Pete Carr, courtesy Casey Kaplan, New York

Beasley has presented and performed in solo exhibitions such as ASSEMBLY, The Kitchen, New York (2019); a view of a landscape, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2018); Kevin Beasley, The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2018); Movement V: Ballroom, CounterCurrent Festival, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, Houston (2017); Hammer Projects: Kevin Beasley, Hammer Museum at Art + Practice, Los Angeles (2017); Rubbings, Kim? Contemporary Art Center, Riga, Latvia (2017); and inHarlem: Kevin Beasley, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2016).

Deana Lawson (b. 1979, Rochester, N.Y.) lives and works in New York. Her large-format photographs channel vernacular, art-historical, and documentary traditions within the medium, in compositions that valorize black diasporic culture. Picturing individuals she encounters over the course of her everyday life within carefully staged domestic settings, Lawson choreographs every nuance of scenery, lighting, and pose to create tableaux that powerfully evoke the agency of her subjects.

Deana Lawson, Mama Goma, Gemena, DR Congo, 2014. Pigment print
35 x 44.125 inches (88.9 x 112.1 cm). © Deana Lawson, courtesy Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York, and Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago

Lawson’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions including Deana Lawson, Huis Marseille, Museum voor Fotografie, Amsterdam (2019); Deana Lawson: Planes, The Underground Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Deana Lawson, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2018); Deana Lawson, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2017); Deana Lawson, The Art Institute of Chicago (2015); and Corporeal, Light Work, Syracuse, N.Y. (2009).

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Walker Art Center Presents the 33rd British Arrows Awards this Holiday Season

BRITISH ARROWS AWARDS 2019
Friday, November 29–Sunday, December 29
Walker Cinema
Program length: 72 Minutes
Total screenings: 95

Celebrate the UK’s most innovative and daring commercials from the creative world of British advertising. One of the Walker’s most popular traditions back for the 33rd year, the British Arrows Awards showcases an eclectic mix of riveting mini-dramas, high-tech extravaganzas, wacky comedy, and vital public service announcements.

The British Arrows is a much-loved program in the Twin Cities with many people attending year after year. The audiences are moved by the program, which can be a unique cross-cultural experience, as they try to figure out brands and products that are not available in the U.S., but are cleverly conveyed. It’s a unique experience for American audiences to view ads that are not invested in the hard sell; rather, gaining interest in products and services through humor, pathos and a dynamic cinematography. Although there are 95 screenings this year, they are sure to sell out quickly.

Megaforce’s Nothing Beats a Londoner for Nike. Photo courtesy British Arrows 2019.

BRITS NIGHT, Friday, December 6, 7 and 9 pm

Come early and celebrate with a cash bar, plus music by DJ Simon Husbands of KFAI’s True Brit Radio. Introduced by Clare Donald and Jani Guest, British Arrows board co-chairs, and Lisa Lavender, operations director.

Megaforce’s Nothing Beats a Londoner for Nike. Photo courtesy of British Arrows 2019.

SCREENING SCHEDULE

  • Friday, November 29: 3, 5, and 7 pm
  • Saturday, November 30: 3, 5, and 7:30 pm
  • Sunday, December 1: 3, 5, and 7 pm
  • Friday, December 6: 7 and 9 pm: Brits Night. Introduced by Clare Donald and Jani Guest, British Arrows board co-chairs, and Lisa Lavender, operations director.
  • Saturday, December 7: 5 and 7 pm
  • Sunday, December 8: 1, 3, and 5 pm
  • Thursday, December 12: 6, 7, and 8 pm
  • Friday, December 13: 6, 7, and 8 pm
  • Saturday, December 14: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 pm
  • Sunday, December 15: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 pm
  • Tuesday, December 17: 6, 7, and 8 pm
  • Wednesday, December 18: 6, 7, and 8 pm
  • Thursday, December 19: 6, 7, and 8 pm
  • Friday, December 20: 6, 7, and 8 pm
  • Saturday, December 21: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 pm
  • Sunday, December 22: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 pm
  • Thursday, December 26: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 pm
  • Friday, December 27: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 pm
  • Saturday, December 28: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 pm
  • Sunday, December 29: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 pm
Sam Brown and Tom Barbor’s The Dragon Challenge for Jaguar Land Rover. Photo courtesy of British Arrows 2019.
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Walker Art Center Presents a Dialogue and Retrospective, Julia Reichert: 50 Years in Film

Independent documentary filmmaker Julia Reichert has been asking defining questions about workers’ rights, gender roles, taboos, and social change in America since the early 1970s. The pioneering Emmy Award–winner and three-time Academy Award–nominee comes to the Walker Arts Center for a retrospective of her distinguished body of work, Julia Reichert: 50 Years in Film, Feb 1–29, 2020 (at the Walker’s Bentson Mediatheque). Reichert will be on-site February 28 and 29, 2020 to discuss her career and her two recent, widely celebrated documentaries, American Factory and 9 to 5: The Story of a Movement.

Julia Reichert. Image courtesy the artist.

Indiewire on Julia Reichert
Women and Hollywood on Julia Reichert

Schedule of Events

Double Feature: Growing Up Female and Union Maids

Julia Reichert’s Growing Up Female, 1971. Image courtesy the artist.
Julia Reichert’s Growing Up Female, 1971. Image courtesy the artist.

Growing Up Female Directed by Julia Reichert and Jim Klein

Thursday, February 20, 7 pm Free

I wish every high school kid in America could see this film.” —Susan Sontag on Growing Up Female

Growing Up Female is the very first feature-length film of the modern women’s movement. Considered controversial and exhilarating on its release, the film examines female socialization through a personal look into the lives of six women, ages four to 35, and the forces that shape them—teachers, counselors, advertisements, music, and the institution of marriage. A time capsule of a generation’s feminist issues, sometimes intersecting with race and class, the film illuminates a complex system of institutions upholding internal and external oppression. Selected to the National Film Registry in 2011. 1971, DCP, 52 min.

Julia Reichert’s Union Maids, 1976. Image courtesy the artist.
Julia Reichert’s Union Maids, 1976. Image courtesy the artist.

Union Maids, Directed by Julia Reichert, Jim Klein, and Miles Mogulescu

Reichert interviews three “Union Maids” on their experiences as organizing women of the Labor movement. Fighting for humanitarian rights, these radical workers reflect on their lives filled with purpose and struggle. Frustrated by the privileged class’ participation in the women’s movement and caught up in race and gender discrimination within class warfare, their voices echo and contextualize many social justice issues today. 1976, DCP, 48 min.

Julia Reichert at her film editing table in 1973. Image courtesy the artist.

Seeing Red: Stories of American Communists, Directed by Julia Reichert and Jim Klein

Julia Reichert’s Seeing Red, 1983. Image courtesy the artist.

Friday, February 21, 7 pm; $10 ($8 Walker members, students, and seniors)

Reichert brings to light the forgotten history of Americans who joined the Communist Party and the high price many of them paid for their beliefs. Boldly countering traditional myths, the film presents engaging interviews and personal accounts that take on a new resonance in today’s charged political climate. 1983, DCP, 100 min.

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20th Annual SOUND UNSEEN | FILM + MUSIC FESTIVAL Announces 2019 Full Film Lineup

The Sound Unseen Film + Music Festival (November 12-17) announced the film lineup for this year’s 20th Anniversary edition of the film festival.

Highlights include a special appearance of John Doe with the screening of W.T. Morgan’s documentary X: THE UNHEARD MUSIC, award-winning filmmaker Ondi Timoner coming to Sound Unseen with a 15th Anniversary screening of her film, DIG!, as well as a special presentation of the MAPPLETHORPE Director’s Cut. Sound Unseen also announced that Scott Crawford’s BOY HOWDY: THE STORY OF CREEM MAGAZINE, would be the Closing Night selection.

In the fall of 1999, Sound Unseen introduced itself as a unique, cutting edge “films-on-music” festival in Minneapolis. Formulated as a cultural organization dedicated to the role of film and music as a conduit of powerful ideas and diverse viewpoints. Its mission is to foster a greater appreciation of cinema, to bridge cultures, create and expand community, provide cultural exchange, networking opportunities and educational outreach through regular interaction with great films, filmmakers, musicians and artists.

Since its inception, It has established itself as one of the premiere niche festivals in the country, but more importantly as a vital part of the regional cultural scene. Now in its 19th year, the festival has expanded to include year-round programming, unique pop-up events, and special screenings including world and regional premieres.

Mystify: Michael Hutchence will have its Minnesota Premiere at the 20th Annual SOUND UNSEEN | FILM + MUSIC FESTIVAL

Named “One of the 25 Coolest Film Festivals In The World” by Moviemaker Magazine in 2016, the “Best Winter Film Festival” by the Star Tribune 2012, and the “Best of the Fests 2010” from Mpls/St Paul Magazine, Sound Unseen continues its tenure as the region’s premiere films-on-music festival. While bringing the best in documentaries, short films, and music videos it also showcases rare concert footage, interactive panels, and live music events. As part of its year-round presence, Sound Unseen offers a successful monthly screening series and special events throughout the Twin Cities. This diversity in content is one of the things that separates Sound Unseen from the typical outdoor mega concerts and film festivals.

Sound Unseen Festival Director Jim Brunzell and Producer/Co-Programmer Rich Gill, said, “Our lineup this year is a wonderful mix of films hot on the film festival circuit, classics, and screenings that include appearances by wonderful filmmakers and musicians. We are really excited about this group of films and events built around them that should make our 20th Anniversary edition truly memorable.

Scott Crawford’s BOY HOWDY: THE STORY OF CREEM MAGAZINE joins the previously announced Seamus Murphy’s A DOG CALLED MONEY (Opening Night), and Brandon Vedder’s STRANGE NEGOTIATIONS (Centerpiece) to complete an impressive trio of Gala screenings. BOY HOWDY: THE STORY OF CREEM MAGAZINE looks at the seminal Creem Magazine‘s humble beginnings to becoming one of the publications of record for rock n’ roll. Fifty years after publishing its first issue, “America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine” remains a seditious spirit in music and culture. The film features interviews with Cameron Crowe, Alice Cooper, Kirk Hammett, Joan Jett, Michael Stipe, Gene Simmons, Paul Stanley, Chad Smith, Peter Wolf and Wayne Kramer.

The one and only John Doe of X will come to Sound Unseen as part of a presentation of W.T. Morgan’s X: THE UNHEARD MUSIC. Screened on 35mm, the film is one of the best music films of the punk era. Shot over the course of five years, this documentary presents spectacular live performances interspersed with interviews with the band members and associates.

The only filmmaker to be a two-time Sundance Film Festival Grand Prize Jury Winner, Ondi Timoner comes to Minnesota with two of her films. The first is the 15th Anniversary screening of DIG!. The 2004 documentary looked at the collision of art and commerce through the eyes of The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. The film was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art for their permanent collection. Timoner will also be on hand for her Director’s Cut of MAPPLETHORPE. Led by a devastating performance by Matt Smith in the title role, the stylish and well-crafted biopic covers the full life of its subject, world renowned and controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, most frequently providing an alluring view of New York in its grittiest era.

Other highlights include; ALL I CAN SAY, a film created from hours of home video footage shot by tragic Blind Melon front man Shannon Hoon; Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni‘s GORDON LIGHTFOOT: IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND, a portrait of Canada’s most famous singer-songwriter; Tyler Measom’s I WANT MY MTV, which traces the beginnings and exploding influence of the music video channel; Steven GaddisLIVE FROM THE ASTROTURF: ALICE COOPER, about a super-secret concert event at a record store in Dallas, featuring the legendary shock rocker; the North American premiere of Simon David’s TIME AND PLACE, about cult favorite Atlanta R&B artist Lee Moses; and Brent HodgesWHO LET THE DOGS OUT, which explores the history, influence, and story behind the famous (or infamous) song.

For more information about Sound Unseen, as well as how to purchase tickets, go to: http://www.soundunseen.com.

The 2019 Sound Unseen Film Festival official selections:

Opening Night Selection

A DOG CALLED MONEY MIDWEST PREMIERE

Director: Seamus Murphy

Countries: Ireland/UK, Running Time: 90 min

Alternative-music icon PJ Harvey’s ninth studio album, 2016’s “The Hope Six Demolition Project,” was created through a unique process that blended travelogue, photography, performance art, and now a documentary feature. It began when Harvey, looking to develop a new set of politically tinged songs that would also evoke a tangible sense of place, decided to accompany award-winning photojournalist and filmmaker Seamus Murphy as he travelled on assignments to war-torn regions in Afghanistan and Kosovo, as well as to the poor, mostly black neighborhoods of Washington, D.C.

CENTERPIECE SELECTION

STRANGE NEGOTIATIONS MINNESOTA PREMIERE

Director: Brandon Vedder

Countries: USA, Running Time: 91 min

After renouncing his long-held Christian beliefs and walking away from his critically-acclaimed band, Pedro the Lion, musician David Bazan retreated into a solitary life of touring solo, struggling to rebuild his worldview and career from the ground-up, and to support his family of four. STRANGE NEGOTIATIONS finds David a decade into his journey, during which he has become a sort of reluctant prophet to Americans reeling from their country’s own crisis of faith highlighted during the 2016 presidential election.

CLOSING NIGHT SELECTION

BOY HOWDY: THE STORY OF CREEM MAGAZINE MINNESOTA PREMIERE

Director: Scott Crawford

Country: USA, Running Time: 75 min

Capturing the messy upheaval of the ’70s just as rock was re-inventing itself, the film explores Creem Magazine’s humble beginnings in post-riot Detroit, follows its upward trajectory from underground paper to national powerhouse, then bears witness to its imminent demise following the tragic and untimely deaths of its visionary publisher, Barry Kramer, and its most famous alum and genius clown prince, Lester Bangs, a year later.

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