The Willits Arts Campus is putting ‘cinema on the road’ on the menu Saturday for a ‘Dinner and Movie(s)’ event that embraces a Thai cinema tradition of ‘cinema that takes place in unexpected places’, according to the executive director of TACAW, Ryan. Honey.
TACAW will screen two critically acclaimed films by Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul, with a three-course dinner from Epicure Catering for a particularly tasty intermission. Julia and Allen Domingos’ Epicure also operates Tabl, an in-house cafe at TACAW that adds culinary arts to the creative offerings on campus.
The event is the result of a partnership between TACAW in Basalt, the Aspen Art Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
It is linked to the Mountain/Time exhibition at the Aspen Art Museum, which presents a selection of immersive and organized video works. The exhibit is accompanied by special events that include the TACAW screenings and, fittingly, another “Roading Cinema” event by Korakrit Arunanondchai and Alex Gvojic in an aspen grove on August 4.
“The opportunity in our valley to have such a deep dive with these artists is incredible,” Honey said. “It’s not only a unique experience, but there are multiple opportunities to experience the art to understand the motivations and inspiration behind it.”
A $100 dinner and movie pass allows ticket holders access to both screenings and the meal in between; individual tickets for film screenings (without dinner) are $10 per seat per film.
First on the docket: “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” a subtitled film that explores life, death, and reincarnation as it follows its titular character (played by Thanapat Saisaymar) through his final days. It was the first Thai-language film to win the Palme d’Or award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010; it screens at 3 p.m. Saturday at TACAW. Doors open at 2:30 p.m.
Dinner will be from 5:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. The movie-worthy meal will feature Thai cuisine, Honey said. The menu will be based on locally available ingredients.
Then it’s back to the theater for “Memoria,” an English-language film about a Scottish woman (played by Oscar winner Tilda Swinton) living in Colombia who hears a loud “bang” at dawn and experiences a mysterious sensory syndrome as she goes to bed searching for answers. “Memoria” won the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2021. For this week’s event, it screens at 7 p.m. at TACAW. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.
Attendees should expect an immersive and sensory experience, whether they just pop in for one of the big-screen projections – Honey reckons it’s one of the biggest in the region – or take a marathon viewing and dining event that spans nearly nine hours from start to finish. TACAW expects most diners to watch the afternoon or evening film with their meal, but people are also welcome to sandwich dinner with both screenings, Honey said.
“I know, visually, they’re both going to be stunning,” Honey said. “I mean, it’s just a given for (Weerasethakul’s) work. … To be immersed in this visual experience with our sound system, I think it will be quite an exciting way to experience these films.