Director Lawrence Kasdan
, Warner Bros
What: Six Kasdan movies, plus a Regis Dialogue (April 14) with the veteran director.
When: April 11-20.
Where: Walker Cinema, 1750 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.
Tickets: $6-$8 for screenings and $15-$20 for the Regis Dialogue. 612-375-7600, or www.walkerart.org.
Kasdan classics at the Walker
- Article by: COLIN COVERT
- Star Tribune
- April 8, 2012 - 9:31 AM
As a screenwriter, director and producer, Lawrence Kasdan has told stories of every kind, from space operas ("The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi") to erotic film noir ("Body Heat"), swashbuckling adventure ("Raiders of the Lost Ark"), westerns ("Silverado" and "Wyatt Earp"), musical romance ("The Bodyguard") and big-budget horror (Stephen King's "Dreamcatcher"). Now, after nearly a decade on the sidelines, he's making a comeback story -- his own. Kasdan's ensemble comedy "Darling Companion," produced by Minneapolis-based Werc Werk Works, will have its local premiere April 13 at Walker Art Center.
The screening is part of a six-film series of Kasdan-directed features. On April 14, Kasdan comes to the Walker for a Regis Dialogue.
The program opens with Kasdan's 1983 hit comedy-drama "The Big Chill," in which a clique of college friends reunite following one member's suicide. The film was a structural novelty, featuring eight co-protagonists played by mostly undiscovered actors at the beginning of their careers (including William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Jeff Goldblum, Glenn Close, Mary Kay Place and Meg Tilly). (7:30 p.m. April 11.)
Kline returns as a successful Los Angeles lawyer in 1991's "Grand Canyon," another sprawling multi-character saga. Danny Glover plays a tow-truck driver who rescues him following a breakdown in a dicey part of town. Their atypical friendship echoes the crevasse of the title, symbolizing the huge gulfs separating races and classes in modern America. Steve Martin adds a dash of humor as a crass movie producer. (7:30 p.m. April 12, free.)
In "Darling Companion," Kline and Diane Keaton play a long-married couple whose fraying relationship is further strained when he loses the dog she dotes on. Their friends (including Richard Jenkins, Dianne Wiest and indie actor/director Mark Duplass) abandon everything to join in the search. Sam Shepard co-stars as the bemused local sheriff. (7:30 p.m. April 13.)
Kasdan's directing debut, 1981's "Body Heat," came hot on the heels of his blockbuster scripts for "Empire" and "Raiders." The remarkably assured film pays homage to the hardboiled mystery genre, while pushing it forward into steamy new territory. Hurt and Kathleen Turner play a sleazy Florida lawyer and a crime chief's restless wife, locked in a passionate mating dance. Richard Crenna is menacing as the apparent villain of the piece and Mickey Rourke has a dazzling one-scene cameo as an arsonist who warns Hurt that there are 50 ways a crime plan could go wrong. "If you think of 25 of them, then you're a genius... and you ain't no genius." (7:30 p.m. April 18.)
Kasdan's love for a powerhouse cast is on display again in 1994's "Wyatt Earp." In addition to Kevin Costner in the title role, the 191-minute epic stars Gene Hackman, Michael Madsen, Isabella Rossellini, Catherine O'Hara, Bill Pullman and Dennis Quaid, who lost 40 pounds to play tubercular Doc Holliday. More a biography than a shoot-'em-up, it follows the Tombstone lawman's journey from tenderfoot to deadly gunslinger. (7:30 April 19, free.)
Hurt and Turner star with Geena Davis in 1988's romantic drama "The Accidental Tourist." They play a travel book author grieving his son's death, the wife who leaves him and the eccentric dog trainer who helps put his life back on track. (7:30 p.m. April 20.)
- Twitter: @colincovert
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