There are plenty of indie filmmakers whose "personal visions" translate to little more than the existential ponderings of privileged solipsists. Far rarer is the indie filmmaker whose idiosyncratic sensibilities are finely tuned to the outside world, offering penetrating views of multifaceted (and often deeply conflicted) personalities. Throughout his 18-plus year career, writer/director Noah Baumbach has been heralded for bringing such characters to life with a sense of authenticity that can be painfully acute, especially as these deeply flawed figures grapple with strained relationships and damaged psyches. But while semi-autobiographical details abound, none of Baumbach's films succumb to melancholy navel gazing, preferring to emphasize a kind of bittersweet humor that cuts to the bone. The Walker Art Center's five-film retrospective, Noah Baumbach: Visibly Human, offers a wonderful study in the auteur's empathetic perspective. Starting with Baumbach's debut feature, Kicking and Screaming (1995), the retrospective proceeds through the critically lauded The Squid and the Whale (2005), Margot at the Wedding (2007), and Greenberg (2010) before concluding with the area premiere of Frances Ha (2012). Baumbach himself will be on hand to discuss filmmaking during an April 5 Regis Dialogue with Village Voice film critic Scott Foundas, elaborating on a personal vision that remains resoundingly universal. $9 screenings; $20 Regis dialogue. Screenings at 7:30p.m. March 15 through April 4; Regis dialogue at 8 p.m. Friday, April 5.
Thu., April 4, 8 p.m., 2013