On Monday, December 16, it will be three years since the iconic Sag Harbor Cinema suffered a devastating fire. But rather than remember that date with sorrow, the folks from the new Sag Harbor Cinema are celebrating the date by launching a new film series about — what else? — the power of film.
For the weeks leading to Sag Harbor Cinema’s reopening, Here Comes the Cinema! is a feast of movie houses of all kinds and a tribute to the magic of cinema as a shared experience.
The series starts on December 16 with a free screening of Giuseppe Tornatore’s classic and endearing ode to his childhood, “Cinema Paradiso,” at the Bay Street Theater at 7 PM. The screening will be followed by a conversation with SHC board member and screenwriter Bill Collage.
“Whether it’s a scene or an entire film, cinemas and the movie-going experience have been at the heart of so many movies. It seemed a natural theme for this last pre-opening series, and also a good way to acknowledge the extraordinary collective effort that made possible the rebuild of the Sag Harbor Cinema,” stated SHC’s founding artistic director Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan in a press release.
Set in a small village in Sicily just after the World War II, “Cinema Paradiso” follows the friendship of a young boy with the town projectionist. In the dark of a cramped movie theater, the boy, who later in life becomes a prominent Cinecittà movie director, is exposed week after week to the wonders of film by his mentor. The film won the 1989 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, as well as a special jury prize at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival.
Collage has been a feature film screenwriter for over 25 years. His produced credits include “Exodus” starring Christian Bale; “Assassin’s Creed,” starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard; “Tower Heist,” starring Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy, and more. He has worked with directors Martin Scorsese, Ridley Scott, Zhang Yimou, Ron Howard, Darren Aronofsky, Cary Fukunaga, and Anton Corbijn, among others.
Coming up on Sunday, December 22, at 2 PM is Woody Allen’s “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” and a conversation afterward with Sag Harbor artist Eric Fischl. To find out more about this winter series, which continues through February, visit the Sag Harbor Cinema’s website.
Admission is free, but must be reserved by going to www.sagharborcinema.org. To make a reservation by phone, contact the Bay Street box office at 631-725-9500.