Over the last quarter century, Walker Art Center’s program of Dialogues & Film Retrospectives has presented outstanding filmmakers from a broad variety of backgrounds. The series has hosted Hollywood celebrities (Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Harry Belafonte, Jodie Foster and Robert Altman) and international notables (Taiwan’s Ang Lee, Germany’s Werner Herzog, France’s Marcel Olphus, Thailand’s Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Hungary’s Bela Tarr, and Heddy Honigmann, the Peruvian-born Dutch director of Polish heritage). The 57 public conversations have included some prominent oddballs (John Waters and Guy Madden), and even Minnesota-bred talents (Jessica Lange, Terri Gilliam, Joel and Ethan Coen).
But never in its 25 years has it presented a billion-dollar box office genie like Christopher Nolan. The 44-year-old London-born filmmaker is a 21st century pop wizard whose closest British rival might be Mick Jagger. He’ll be the guest at a dialogue with Variety chief film critic Scott Foundas May 5, and the focus of a Walker full-career retrospective running May 7-24.
As director and screenwriter Nolan has created some of the last two decades’ most critically praised and commercially successful films, adding unusual levels of humanity, pathos and metaphysical inquiry to outstandingly popular mysteries. His 2000 feature “Memento” was followed by “Insomnia,” “Batman Begins,” “The Prestige,” “The Dark Knight,” “Inception,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and 2014’s much discussed and debated sci-fi epic “Interstellar.” Each will screen, along with Nolan’s 1998 debut “Following,” a stylish 69-minute black and white film noir.
Fitting Nolan’s traditionalist filmmaking preferences, each film will be shown in 35mm. Screenings of “Following” and “The Prestige” are free. Triple admission to the films in The Dark Knight Trilogy is $15 for Walker members, seniors and students, $20 for the public. The other features are $7 for members and $9 for the general public.
Tickets for Nolan’s appearance and dialogue (which he does outstandingly well) will go on sale for $25 for Walker Film Club members April 7, Walker general members April 14, and $30 for the public beginning April 21, though the Walker advises that it could draw an early sellout. Tickets are available to Walker Film Club member by calling 612-375-7641, to Walker members and the general public at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612-375-7600.