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ISSUE 118 VOL 19 PUBLISHED 5/6/2005

Visionaries amid chaos

By Lisa Gulya
Variety Editor


Friday, May 6, 2005

The newly remodeled Walker Art Center in Minneapolis will host the 12th annual “Women with Vision” film festival, a celebration of women’s cinema, from May 6-21.

This year’s offerings are united under the theme of women amid chaos. Global aggression and war serve as the backdrop, though not necessarily the content, of these internationally-ranging films. The festival includes short films, documentaries and feature films.

Argentinian director Maria Victoria Menis’ film “Little Sky” will show Saturday at 9 p.m. Inspired by a newspaper story, the movie focuses on the contrast between city and desert landscapes and the relationship between a drifter and an infant who is taken from an abusive household.

The segment of the festival entitled “Girls in the Director’s Chair” will showcase the work of female filmmakers, ages 8-18. It will include 53 films by Minnesota women, which can be seen Friday and Saturday.

Debra Granik’s first feature-length film, “Down to the Bone,” will show on May 13 at 7 p.m. In 2004, the film was presented with the Audience Award for Drama at the Sundance Film Festival. “Down to the Bone” follows a woman trying to raise a family while fighting to control and conceal her drug addiction.

Winner of the 2004 Cannes Film Festival’s Critics Week Grand Prize, “Sequins” centers on a 17 year-old runaway working as an embroidery apprentice in Paris and her friendship with her female employer. This film, by French director Éléonore Faucher, will be shown May 14 at 7 p.m.

Joanna Priestley, an experimental animated filmmaker, will lecture and present a screening of her latest work, “Andaluz,” a film which draws on the culture and imagery of southern Spain, at the Walker Cinema May 15 at 5 p.m.

The same evening at 9 p.m., Miranda July’s 95-minute film “Me and You and Everyone We Know” will be shown. The film won acclaim at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival for originality of vision, appropriate for a film at the Walker’s festival; it focuses on the isolation of everyday people in the modern world.

May 18-20 offers viewers a chance to enjoy and study films directed by and about women in the 20th century, from 1981 to 1986. The six films focus on working girls coming to cities to find work and, possibly, men.

May 21 brings director Pola Rapaport to Minneapolis to introduce the 3 p.m. showing of her film, “Writer of O.” The Story of O was published under a pseudonym in 1954 because of its sensual nature. In her old age, the author chose to reveal herself.

This film mixes documentary with drama; interviews with Dominique Aury, the author, and her acquaintances are interspersed with scenes from the novel.

The festival’s final screening, “Yes,” directed by Sally Potter, will show May 21 at 8 p.m. Oscar-nominated actress Joan Allen, whose film “The Upside of Anger” is currently in theaters, plays “She,” an Irish scientist, in “Yes.” Allen will be at the Walker to introduce this poetic film (dialogue is delivered in rhyming, iambic pentameter couplets).

Tickets to individual screenings are $6 for members and $8 for the general public. More information and a schedule of all the screenings can be found at walkerart.org.





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