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Walker Moving Image; a weekend at Franconia Sculpture Park

ALSO: Peter Geye presents “Northernmost” on Zoom; the Met’s “Porgy and Bess,” streamed; and more.

A still from E.G. Bailey's "I Love."
A still from E.G. Bailey's "I Love."
Courtesy of the artist

Four contemporary films and an artist talk form the core of September’s Walker Moving Image. Starting next Tuesday (Sept. 8), continuing through Sept. 22, they’re grouped around a single complex theme: “Black Living, Jazz, Gentrification & Get’n By.” The program also includes a clutch of shorts by local filmmakers.

“Black Living” is a series of films that examine everyday realities of Black lives, free of the disortions of the early film and media industry. Curated by Steffan A. Spencer, a historian of Africa and its diaspora, they reveal ways Black life in America is a creative response to the daily struggles of simply existing.

“Sunday on the River” (1961, 30 min.) examines Black life and culture in 1960s New York. Directed by Ken Resnick and Gordon Hitches. “Music from the Edge of the Allegheny Plateau” (2018, 7 min.), a Walker commission, features rappers and gospel singers on the streets and in their homes. Directed by Kevin Jerome Everson.

A still from "Rondo: Beyond the Pavement."
Courtesy of the artist
A still from "Rondo: Beyond the Pavement."
“Rondo: Beyond the Pavement” (2018, 33 min.) is a student produced-film that chronicles the history of a once-thriving American neighborhood in St. Paul. Directed by Bianca Rhodes. “I Love” (2020, 8 min.) is a love poem to the Twin Cities with vocals and percussion by Truthmaze, singer Aimee K. Bryant and other local musicians. Directed by E.G. Bailey.

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An artist talk with Minnesota-based filmmakers E.G. Bailey and Bianca Rhodes in conversation with Spencer will take place Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m.

Starting Tuesday, Sept. 22, continuing through Oct. 6, “We Take Everything With Us” includes work by Xiaolu Wang, Gisell Calderón, Leila Awadallah, Ryan Stopera, Julianna Villarosa, Ellen Mueller, Lyn Corelle, Traci Hercher, Sarah Abdel-Jelil, Trevon Jakaar Coleman and Fionn Warren. The guest curators are Valérie Déus and Merit Thursday.

Check back for more details at the Walker website. Everything is free.

The picks

V is virtual, L is live and in-person.

Northernmost bookV Next Tuesday (Sept. 8) on Zoom: Next Chapter Booksellers; Peter Geye presents “Northernmost.” In his follow-up to the Minnesota Book Award-winning “Wintering,” Minneapolis-based author Geye returns to the Eide family in a story knit across generations and between Minnesota and Norway. In 1897, Odd Einar Eide is lost and struggling to survive in the Arctic; in 2017, Greta Nansen, Odd Einar’s great-great-great-great-granddaughter, is searching for meaning in her marriage and her life. Sounds like a perfect book to add to your winter reading list. 7 p.m. Register here.

A still from “Made in Bangladesh.”
Courtesy of the MSP Film Society
A still from “Made in Bangladesh.”
V Starts Friday (Sept. 4) at MSP Film Society’s Virtual Cinema: “Made in Bangladesh.” Trailing a train of awards from film festivals around the world, Rubaiyat Hossain’s film takes us into the lives of garment factory workers in Dhaka, Bangladesh, as they form a union. The New York Times praised its “quiet power.” FMI, trailer and tickets ($10). Currently, there are 15 more films available at the Virtual Cinema. Take a look.

V Friday (Sept. 4) on Zoom: Theatre Pro Rata Virtual Playreading Series: “Queen” by Madhuri Shekar. A play about bees, Ph.D.s, friendship, and impossible choices. Winner of the 2019 New York Innovative Theatre Awards, Outstanding Original Full Length script. With Ankita Ashrit, Nissa Nordland, Jonathan Feld, Andrew Troth and Jeremy Motz. 7 p.m. Pay-what-you-can. Donate any amount through the Paypal link by 6 p.m on the night of the show and they’ll send you the Zoom meeting link and code in a confirmation email.

V Friday and Saturday (Sept. 4-5) at the Metropolitan Opera website: The Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess.” The Met will stream the Feb. 1 performance free for two nights. The James Robinson production stars bass-baritone Eric Owens and soprano Angel Blue. David Robertson is the conductor; the choreography is by Camille A. Brown. Before you watch the opera, here’s a behind-the scenes interview with three cast members. 6:30 p.m. CST.

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L Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 4-6) at Franconia Sculpture Park in Shafer. Franconia has planned a whole weekend of events, each a good excuse to explore its 43 acres of art, walking paths and fresh air. Friday: Yappy Hour with Ruff Start Rescue. Bring your dog – or leave with one. Tag your dog in front of your favorite sculpture, enjoy a Dog-tini, and enter your dog in a peanut-butter-eating contest. 5-7 p.m. Register here. Saturday: Film at Franconia: “The Wicker Man (Director’s Cut).” There’s not exactly a theme to Franconia’s monthly summer films. July’s was “Fantastic Fungi” and “Fly Amanita,” two movies about mushrooms; August’s was “Liquid Sky,” a No Wave sci-fi flick about a shrimp-size alien in search of drugs; and now the 1973 British horror classic “The Wicker Man.” Films start at 9, probably too late to have the kids out anyway. Parking $5, snacks and drinks available for purchase. Register here. Sunday: Franconia Art & Farmers Market. New for 2020, this monthly event (held on the first Sunday) connects handmade craft with fresh produce. Check out the vendors here. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Franconia is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 365 days a year. FMI.