Staying home might be getting rough for many, but East End arts organizations are keeping culture alive and well with enriching programs the community can enjoy from the safety and comfort of our living rooms. Among the offerings, such as virtual gallery exhibitions, lectures and more, local film screenings are a great way for people to watch a good movie and learn a little something at the same time.
HamptonsFilm, parent company of the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF), is continuing its popular Now Showing series via streaming video, and offering a new Friday Flashback series, which includes conversations about each selection. Both programs are informed by folks who know film, and they make for excellent viewing beyond simple popcorn blockbusters.
Under normal circumstances, the Now Showing series features notable films that are still in theaters and screens them for one night at local arts venues. In the new social-distancing paradigm, these movies are, for a small fee, available to watch at home for one week. Proceeds support HamptonsFilm, Guild Hall and the respective distributor of each film—all supporters of independent movies who are suffering as theaters around the country remain closed. HamptonsFilm has already screened directors Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’ Bacurau and Alex Thompson’s Saint Francis, and they’ve lined up a full schedule of others.
This week (April 13–19), Now Showing presents an exclusive arthouse screening of Magnolia Pictures’ Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (image at top of page). Directed by Daniel Roher, the film blends rare archival footage, photography, iconic songs and interviews into a confessional, cautionary and occasionally humorous tale of Robertson’s young life and the creation of one of popular music’s most enduring groups: The Band. The film is a moving story of Robertson’s personal journey, overcoming adversity and finding camaraderie alongside the four other men who would become his brothers in music, together making their mark on music history. It includes interviews with Robertson’s friends and collaborators such as Martin Scorsese, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison and more. $12.99 for one-week pass.
Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance’s Slay the Dragon is also available to screen this week (April 13–19). Deemed “the most important political film of the year” by Variety, the documentary shines a light on gerrymandering following the 2008 election. The secretive and well-funded partisan initiative poured money into state legislative races in key swing states to gain control of their redistricting processes and used high-tech analytics to dramatically skew voting maps based on demographic data. The result is one of the greatest electoral manipulations in U.S. history, one that poses a fundamental threat to our democracy and exacerbates the already polarized atmosphere in Congress and state houses across the country. $6.99 for one-week pass.
Visit hamptonsfilmfest.org/now-showing-series-east-end to order these and upcoming Now Showing films.
HamptonsFilm’s Friday Flashback series simply suggests a classic film—many from HIFF’s SummerDocs series—that viewers can find on one or more of the various streaming services. Each screening is followed by a YouTube conversation about that film, mostly recorded during SummerDocs, the Hamptons International Film Festival or Screenwriters Lab. While they officially air on Fridays, movie buffs can still access the films and conversations on any other day that week through the HIFF website.
Most recently, on Friday, April 10, Friday Flashback spotlighted their 2017 SummerDocs selection Trophy. The post-film conversation features HamptonsFilm Co-Chair Alec Baldwin and Artistic Director David Nugent chatting with the film’s directors, Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz, and the film’s subject, hunter Philip Glass, during that year’s screening. Baldwin also recorded a new intro for the event.
Learn more about Friday Flashback at hamptonsfilmfest.org/introducing-friday-flashback.
HamptonsFilm isn’t the only organization showing movies right now. Keep an eye out for more info about East End home screenings, and don’t miss our streaming binge lists to find shows and films you’ve never heard of but would almost certainly love to watch.