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Joel and Ethan Coen: Raising Cain – A Regis Dialogue and Retrospective – Fall 2009!

The Walker celebrates the 50th Regis Dialogue and Retrospective with Minnesota’s own Joel and Ethan Coen in the 25th-anniversary year of their stunning debut, Blood Simple, and prior to the release of their 14th feature, the locally filmed A Serious Man. A Regis Retrospective will run from September 18 – October 17 and feature 35mm […]



The Walker celebrates the 50th Regis Dialogue and Retrospective with Minnesota’s own Joel and Ethan Coen in the 25th-anniversary year of their stunning debut, Blood Simple, and prior to the release of their 14th feature, the locally filmed A Serious Man.

A Regis Retrospective will run from September 18 – October 17 and feature 35mm prints of all 13 films the Coens have written, edited and directed, including: Blood Simple; Raising Arizona; Miller’s Crossing; Barton Fink; The Hudsucker Proxy; Fargo; The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou; The Man Who Wasn’t There; Intolerable Cruelty; The Ladykillers; No Country for Old Men; and Burn After Reading.

More information can be found here.  The complete retrospective schedule (as well as tickets for all of the screenings) will be available there by August 18.

  • Ricahrd says:

    Regis Dialogue with Joel and Ethan Coen
    Friday, September 25, 8 pm in the Walker Cinema
    Price: $100 (includes post-dialogue reception)

    Regis Dialogue tickets will be on sale exclusively to Walker Contributing members from August 17 to September 9. To purchase tickets, call the Donor Line at 612.375.7641. Beginning September 10 at 11 am, all Walker members can register to be on a waiting list for any remaining tickets at or by calling 612.375.7655. Available tickets will be sold only through this member waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis.

    Given the high demand for tickets, you may wish to upgrade to a Contributing-level membership. To join, call 612.375.7641.

    This pricing policy is outrageous and exclusionary. I agree with a comment made on the Minnesota Film Board site that it creates “gilded-gate communities of access to the arts” and excludes the poor, our youth, minorities, and artist communities that traditionally struggle financially. This is not a fundraiser. It is a funded program by the Regis Foundation and you should not be giving exclusive access to the rich.

  • Joe Beres says:

    Thank you for your comment and concerns. The Walker film program is proud to offer a variety of programs throughout the year ranging from our free Summer Music & Movies to Expanding the Frame to Women with Vision as well as the year-round free screenings in the Lecture Room and Best Buy Film and Video Bay. Some of these programs, like the renowned Regis Dialogues, have for years had a special pre-sale window for Walker Contributing Members prior to tickets being made available to members and the general public. As a membership organization, the Walker provides pre-sale access to its members not as an act of exclusion, but as a benefit of their membership support. As you might expect, ticket prices associated with some higher profile programs, such as the Regis Dialogues, are often higher than standard Walker film prices. The film program’s funding, like all other Walker programs, comes from a variety of sources including these ticket sales, memberships, donations, and corporate and foundation support.

  • Ricahrd says:

    Are you suggesting that the Regis Dialogue is a fundraiser and not a program? The Regis series is fully funded. Tickets to the events, over the years, have cost $12, $15, $20 and sometimes $25. The ticket price increase to $100 is completely out of scope with previous programs in this series and prohibitive to diverse economic and cultural communities. The Walker’s pricing for this event is an act of arrogance and contempt for any one but its richest patrons. You’ve done the very same with special “cinema club” patrons with Bill Pohlad, Sarah Pillsbury and now Joel and Ethan Coen. You’ve taken your place in the community and made yourselves the for-profit gatekeepers to our cultural heritage. It reeks of your high-minded cultural elitism and arrogance and the community should respond in kind and not support the WAC with contributions or your tax-exempt status.

    This is a question of mission vs. greed and money and you’ve failed miserably.

  • leslie oppermann says:

    I have to agree with Ricahrd as far as pricing. I live in AZ and while visiting I heard a promo for the festival on MPR. I would like to come back for the festival but at $100 without at least a couple movie showings thrown in, I probably will not come. That also means that a few friends will probably not go as well. We had thought to make it the center piece of a group activity. We can just rent the movies and have a party at home.
    I will take a look at the website on the 18th and hope for a better package to be offered. Leslie

  • Richard says:

    I’m sure the Walker will try to blame this excessive price greed on the Coen’s and their handlers. That’s how they usually excuse their exclusive events and barriers they create to the community. Blame it on the artists. I cannot believe that film curators Sheryl Mousley or Dean Otto would support this pricing strategy because they know the value of diversity and access to communities unrepresented in elitist culture. Mousley and Otto have always fought for marginalized and diverse communities so this decision had to be made higher up in the organization.

    I think the Walker has a lot to answer for especially since the Coen’s are home town examples for youth and local filmmaking. The Walker stands directly in the way of growth of the community to satisfy its excessive greed. This is truly appalling.

  • jack silverman says:

    I have noticed something interesting because I have been traveling. In any public institution, like a public library in Northern WI on the way here, the people who have some authority become a sort of class. When the staff at such an institution talk to one another, they sound so professional and sophisticated and relaxed. But they cannot relate in a spophisticated (or even minimally humane) way to the public who make their institutions possible.
    So it must be that what they are doing is creating themselves as a class. Creating their class system.

    As ‘Merica becomes more authoritarian, that is what they do.

    They exist as a class. It is funny — because somehow they know they have to present the real art. I mean the art itself is fine. Right?

    written by proletarian genius Jack Silverman (hate mail to

  • Matthew says:

    To add my voice to the protest, I was also quite disappointed to see that the Coens’ Regis Dialogue was as exclusive a party as it seems to be. Having very much enjoyed past Regis Dialogues with the likes of Werner Herzog and Guy Maddin, I was surprised to see that this event was limited strictly to Walker members (with further priority given to the $500-and-up donors).

    Obviously the allotment of certain privileges to members is to be expected and understood. But to literally exclude the general public seems like quite a slight. I could even understand it as an incentive to non-members to *become* members… but to then charge $100/ticket on top of a membership fee… it is pretty ridiculous, guys.

    I’ve lived in the Twin Cities as well as in Los Angeles and have had the opportunity (in one place or the other) to see such tremendous filmmakers as Terry Gilliam, David Cronenberg, John Carpenter, David Mamet and David Lynch (twice!)… and have never paid anything close to $100 for the opportunity. Earlier this summer I saw James Cameron speak for $15 (which included 70mm screenings of ALIENS and THE ABYSS!). All of these screenings have taken place at venues which rely on the contributions of members to stay in operation and all of them are facing hard economic times, but none of them had the effrontery to charge the kind of money the Walker is charging.

    I look forward to the retrospective program, but feel that the Regis Dialogue this time around is something of a slap in the face.

  • Joe Beres says:

    I appreciate the thoughtful comments, Matthew. Thanks. I understand the frustrations as well. As a longtime fan of the Coens, I know they rarely appear publicly, so I certainly can appreciate the interest and excitement in an opportunity like this. We share that enthusiasm and are incredibly honored that the Coens have chosen to participate in this program, continuing the relationship that began with our premiere of Blood Simple in 1984. The Coens agreed to participate in the Regis Dialogue based in part on it being an intimate experience in the Cinema at the Walker. As much as we would have loved to open the experience up to more people in a larger venue, it was not a possibility. As you indicated, we are indeed a membership organization, and we do offer certain privileges to our members, and we have done so with this Regis dialogue as we have with the others in the past. In this case, we knew this would be an incredibly popular event and that the tickets would sell out to our membership before we would have had a chance to offer tickets to the general public. We opted to not discuss a price or sale date for the general public not as an exclusion, but in an effort to not mislead anyone knowing that tickets would be sold out before that time. I also want to point out that the $100 ticket includes a catered reception that follows the Regis Dialogue. There is a $45 ticket option (dialogue only) available to any tickets that are made available through the wait list that opened up this morning. Thanks again for your comments and interest.

  • Matthew says:

    Thanks for the response, Joe — That actually makes a significant amount of difference.

    For the benefit of future events, while I can appreciate the honesty of the full-disclosure approach, I think the whole thing would go down a lot smoother if the Walker simply announced a date the tix would be made available to the public… even if it turned out (as it very possibly would) that the event was sold out by then. I think everyone would understand that and, while they might be disappointed, there wouldn’t be the sense of flat exclusion that I (and apparently others) read into this.

    Also, I was unaware of the $45 option — maybe it’s been publicized, but I hadn’t seen that anywhere. Again, just as constructive feedback… while that’s still quite a price tag, I think “Tickets – $45, Premium Tickets – $100 (includes post-screening reception)” would’ve made more sense to those of us cinephiles who don’t comfortably have $100 to drop (which is most of us). Heck, I may have even considered joining had I know that the membership + dialogue would’ve run me $105 rather than $165.

    Thanks again for clearing this up – I wish you the best with the series and look forward to being able to participate in more great programming in the future.

  • Liz Schultz says:

    ‘Raising Arizona’ still hits my funny bone. The camera work was stunning when it first came out and still inspires me. Looking forward to this series of films!

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