MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Over the course of the last three decades, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis has hosted retrospectives of many of the most internationally renowned contemporary filmmakers, as part of their Dialogues and Film Retrospectives series.
The roster of luminaries highlighted by the Walker since 1990 includes directors like Clint Eastwood, Spike Lee, Robert Altman, Jane Campion, Werner Herzog, Agnes Varda, Abbas Kiarostami, Joel and Ethan Coen, Claire Denis, and John Waters; and also actors like Jodie Foster, Tom Hanks, Lily Taylor, and Harry Belafonte.
Now, as the state’s population continues to operate under our current stay-at-home order, the Walker has dug deep into its archives to present a trove of digitized memorabilia from the series’ history, and made it available to everyone through their website.
As per an announcement by the Walker on Tuesday, “Dialogues and Film Retrospectives: The First Thirty Years” presents “archival sound and video interview recordings, transcripts, photography, and ephemera, as well as essays and articles written for the esteemed series of intimate onstage interviews and film retrospectives that screened between 1990-2020.”
As founded by Walker’s then-film and video curator Bruce Jenkins, the program kicked off in the early ’90s with conversations with the likes of John Sayles, Ken Burns, and Danny Glover. And, under the helm of senior curator Sheryl Mousley, the most recent discussions prior to the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic included a just-under-the-wire conversation with the newly-Oscar-winning “Parasite” director Bong Joon Ho. (You can see that video above.)
The digital exhibition offers countless hours of one-on-one interviews, program notes, all organized by topics of genre (e.g. documentary, experimental, animation) and role behind the camera (e.g. producers, writers, actors).
And, if anyone was concerned that the archive would only be available during the stay-at-home order, fear not. There are currently no plans to remove it from the website once social distancing restrictions are lifted, so cinephiles shouldn’t feel the need to shotgun everything all at once.