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Roy’s World: Barry Gifford’s Chicago, courtesy of the filmmaker


Barry Gifford on Screen

Sunday, Jun 19, 2022 at 4:00 pm

Location: Bartos Screening Room

Hailed by Jonathan Lethem as “William Faulkner by way of B-movie film noir, porn paperbacks, and Sun Records rockabilly,” poet, author, and screenwriter Barry Gifford has produced more than 40 works, including the Sailor & Lula novels that inspired David Lynch’s Wild at Heart. In this double feature, MoMI presents the New York premiere of Roy’s World: Barry Gifford’s Chicago, a dexterous documentary that visualizes Gifford’s writing about his hometown and includes voiceover performances by Willem Dafoe, Matt Dillon, and Lili Taylor, followed by a 35mm presentation of Wild at Heart. Filmmaker Rob Christopher will appear in person for the screening, while Gifford will join remotely.

Roy’s World: Barry Gifford’s Chicago
With director Rob Christopher in person
4:00 p.m.
Dir. Rob Christopher. 2020, 75 mins. With Willem Dafoe, Matt Dillon, Lili Taylor. In a style to match its singular subject, Roy’s World: Barry Gifford’s Chicago is a sui generis work of creative nonfiction, bringing to life the author’s autobiographical collection of stories. Christopher conjures a vanished 1950s Chicago through a jazzy, impressionistic combination of archival footage, animation, and voiceover performances by the ideal trio of Dafoe, Dillon, and Taylor, “His writing is pure and minimal and it sparks things and gets your imagination going,” two-time collaborator David Lynch (Wild at Heart, Lost Highway) has said about the film. “Roy’s World captures his childhood and that time in Chicago, and many other places. I really enjoyed watching it and then contemplating what goes on inside a person with this history.” View trailer.

Followed by:

Wild at Heart
6:00 p.m.
Dir. David Lynch. 1990, 125 mins. 35mm. With Nicolas Cage, Laura Dern, Willem Dafoe, J. E. Freeman, Crispin Glover, Diane Ladd, Calvin Lockhart, Isabella Rossellini, Harry Dean Stanton. In his follow-up to the critically acclaimed sleeper hit Blue Velvet, David Lynch cast rising stars (and second-generation Hollywood royalty) Cage and Dern as Sailor and Lula, two sexed-up lovers on the run through an even weirder and more perverted American landscape. Sailor is an Elvis-obsessed wild man, while Lula is an orgasmic southern belle whose mother (Ladd, Oscar-nominated for her audacious performance) has put a bounty on Sailor’s head. Cavorting and pantomiming in a classic convertible, the couple, based on characters created by novelist Barry Gifford, encounter a host of weirdos, deadbeats, murderers, and roadkill, including Dafoe’s wicked, slobbery, gargoylish Bobby Peru. Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival. 

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / Free or discounted for MoMI members (classic $11). Order tickets. Please pick up tickets at the Museum’s admissions desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.