Peter Sellars, one of America's most adventurous and creative artists, will deliver this year's State of Cinema address on Sunday, April 29, at 4 pm, at the Sundance Cinemas Kabuki. As Andy Bailey writes in the Festival Program Guide, Sellars' unique vision continues to transform theater and opera; but he is certainly no stranger to the world of film and filmmaking. Sellars cowrote and costarred (as William Shaksper Junior the Fifth) in Jean-Luc Godard's own radical reimagining of King Lear (1986) before making his directorial debut with The Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez (1991), a silent color film starring Joan Cusack and Mikhail Baryshnikov. making his directorial debut in 1991 with The Cabinet of Dr. Ramirez. In fact, Sellars commissioned seven films for the New Crowned Hope Festival celebrating Mozart's 250th birthday, two of which, Garin Nugroho's Opera Jawa and Mahamat-Saleh Haroun's Daratt are showing at the 50th. In addition, Sellars' 2005 collaboration with the great composer John Adams on Doctor Atomic for the San Francisco Opera forms the subject of Jon Else's fascinating local documentary Wonders are Many, which screens first on Saturday April 28 at the Castro Theatre. Sellars is expected to be in attendance for the April 28 Wonders are Many screening and April 29 screenings of Daratt and Opera Jawa before his State of Cinema address.
As long as gleefully eclectic multimedia visionary Sellars continues to transform theater and opera with his utterly unique vision, there will be no reason to write a requiem for art that surprises, challenges and transforms receptive audiences. His endlessly inventive stage designs and productions world's most adventurous creative forces have catapulted him to the first rank of contemporary American artists.