Sag Harbor Cinema Presents ‘Adventureland’ at the Drive-In & ‘Jazz on a Summer’s Day’ at the Virtual Cinema
Adventureland and Jazz on a Summer’s Day
AT SAG HARBOR CINEMA’S DRIVE-IN & VIRTUAL CINEMA
While you work on that sunkissed glow with a juicy summer novel and a stiff beachside cocktail by day, it is imperative that you recuperate with decidedly fabulous films by night with Sag Harbor Cinema. Throughout August, the Cinema continues to bring outstanding cinematic experiences safely and comfortably to you – both at home with the Virtual Cinema with Bert Stern’s Jazz on a Summer’s Day and to your car at the Havens Beach Drive-in with Greg Mottola’s Adventureland.
Sag Harbor Cinema Drive-in at Havens Beach
This Sunday, August 16th we head to the summer of 1987 in Adventureland – Greg Mottola’s bittersweet comedy with an all-star ensemble cast following recent Oberlin graduate James (Jesse Eisenberg) whose summer plans to explore Europe before graduate school are thwarted by his parents’ financial problems. James ends up back in his hometown of Pittsburgh, and – though he feels overqualified and superior – he is forced to take a job at the local amusement park.
The characters who work at Adventureland are vibrant: sarcastic misanthrope Joel (Martin Starr), self-proclaimed casanova-musician Mike (Ryan Reynolds), sexy Rides operator Lisa P (Margarita Levieva), and the dopey but loveable park managers Bobby and Paulette (Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig with undeniable comedic chemistry). But it is his fellow Games operator – the mysterious Em (Kristen Stewart) – who slowly burns through James’ stroppy exterior over the summer.
Often compared to iconic twentysomething comedies such as Dazed and Confused and Clerks, the heart of Adventurelandbeats like your most intimate memories: those dreadful summer jobs where you think everyone and everything is trivial but, really, they’re forever shaping your entire perception of the world; those passionate young love affairs that feel, at the same time, so indestructible yet so fragile; and those tough lessons you know you had to learn, but refused to without a teenage-angst-ridden scowl. The film transcends the 80s – mainly an era just serving as a backdrop with punchy music and stretchy neon clothes, which it does gleefully in Adventureland – and takes on the universal story of what it’s like to be forced to finally grow up. It’s a slightly lyrical antidote to Mottola’s more famous and raunchy, Superbad.
In 2009 when Adventureland was released, its star Jesse Eisenberg was only just starting to kick Hollywood alive with his old school renaissance man approach to art (when he’s not directing, writing, and starring in films, tv, and plays; he’s contributing articles to The New Yorker or McSweeney’s). In the next few years, Eisenberg would rocket into the spotlight with, not only this coming-of-age gem, but also with his magnetic performances (just to name a few) as a neurotic survivor in Zombieland, neurotic Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, and neurotic Woody Allen-esque characters in two of the director’s films: To Rome with Love and Café Society.
This week, Eisenberg made news for releasing an original audio drama – that is, fiction created exclusively for audio – entitled “When You Finish Saving the World.” The five-hour and 17-minute piece is mainly voiced by Eisenberg, but also stars the voices of Finn Wolfhard (Stranger Things, It) and Kaitlyn Dever (Unbelievable, Booksmart). The story and, frankly, the much needed pandemic-time flash of creativity from Eisenberg has already been optioned for a film starring Julianne Moore. Adventureland at the SHC Drive-in offers viewers the rare opportunity to witness an early and wonderful Eisenberg performance on the big screen.
Sag Harbor Cinema’s Havens Beach Drive-in will present three more films on Sunday evenings throughout August: Adventureland (2009) on August 16th, Thelma & Louise (1991) on August 23rd, and Stand by Me (1986) on August 30th. Drive-in tickets are available only online. Screenings start approximately at 9:00pm and the park opens at 8:30pm. Go to sagharborcinema.org for tickets and information. Havens Beach is located just off Bay Street in Sag Harbor.
Sag Harbor Cinema Virtual Cinema
Opening this Friday, August 14th in the Sag Harbor Cinema Virtual Cinema is Bert Stern’s Jazz on a Summer’s Day(1959). Considered one of the most extraordinary, and possibly the first concert film ever made, this sparkling new 4K restoration by IndieCollect, with color correction by Oskar Miarka, recently premiered at the 57th New York Film Festival with sold out shows.
Filmed at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island and directed by Brooklyn-born fashion photographer Bert Stern, Jazz on a Summer’s Day features extremely intimate (even “embarrassingly intimate” as the Saturday Review called it in its original review) performances by an all-star line-up of musical legends including Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Anita O’Day, Chuck Berry, Dinah Washington, and closes with a beautiful rendition of The Lord’s Prayer by Mahalia Jackson at midnight to usher in Sunday morning.
Richard Brody of The New Yorker says that the performances are “among the treasures of filmed music; all of them, whatever their musical merit, are filmed with a rare artistry, a rare attention to making images of music that are themselves musical.” Jazz on a Summer’s Day was named to the National Film Registry in 1999, and its restoration was funded by the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress in time to celebrate the film’s 60th Anniversary.
Stay tuned for more programming updates from Sag Harbor Cinema!