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Sag Harbor Cinema Presents “Cinema Live” Conversations

January 24, 4:30 pm5:30 pm.



While virtual cinemas and streaming platforms may have helped hold our sanity (mostly) intact the past 10 months by giving us access to exciting new films and great classics, there is one key ingredient missing from our homemade movie binges: community.

From the beginning, Sag Harbor Cinema has strived to bring filmmakers and artists to its audience of dedicated film lovers. And while we still can’t all be together, we have decided to honor that tradition with a series of weekly conversations with special guests, moderated by SHC’s artistic director Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan. We invite you to tune in each week to listen, discuss, and ask questions amongst our community of friends.

“One of the great joys of our path towards the new Sag Harbor Cinema has been discovering how supportive filmmakers and artists in general are. Their in-person participation has made so many of our screenings special. Given that a virtual appearance has no geographic limitations we thought that, for these conversations, we may as well reach far and bring Rome, Paris, Mexico City, Pasadena.. to Sag Harbor,” says D’Agnolo Vallan.

While most of the discussions are inspired by our virtual cinema entries, we will also conduct conversations that are tied to popular new releases or films that deserve a deeper dive. Below find a sneak preview of the “Cinema Live” conversations as well as films slated to join the SHC Virtual Cinema this winter.

The conversations can be accessed through our website (www.sagharborcinema.org) and our social media channels. They will also be recorded and will remain available online.


Sunday, January 24th at 4.30pm
Conversation with Gianfranco Rosi (director of Notturno, Fire at Sea)

Filmed over three years on the borders between Iraq, Kurdistan, Syria and Lebanon, Notturno captures the everyday life that lies behind the continuing tragedy of civil war, ferocious dictatorships, foreign invasions and the murderous apocalypse of ISIS. Gianfranco Rosi (Sacro Gra, Venice Golden Lion Winner; Fire at Sea, Berlin Golden Bear winner and Oscar nominee) constructs a sublime cinematic journey through the region finding peace and light within the chaos and despair in the aftermath of war. A mosaic of intimate moments and luminous images, Notturno is a profound and urgent cinematic achievement, from a master of the documentary form. Notturno will be available in our virtual cinema starting January 22nd.

Conversation with Fernanda Valadez (director of Identifying Features)

Middle-aged Magdalena (Mercedes Hernandez) has lost contact with her son after he took off with a friend from their town of Guanajuato to cross the border into the U.S., hopeful to find work. Desperate to find out what happened to him—and to know whether or not he’s even alive—she embarks on an ever-expanding and increasingly dangerous journey to discover the truth. At the same time, a young man named Miguel (David Illescas) has returned to Mexico after being deported from the U.S., and eventually his path converges with Magdalena’s. From this simple but urgent premise, director Fernanda Valadez has crafted a lyrical, suspenseful slow burn, equally constructed of moments of beauty and horror, and which leads to a startling, shattering conclusion. Winner of the World Cinema Dramatic Audience, Screenplay Awards at the Sundance Film Festival, and the 2021 Gotham Award for Best International Feature. Identifying Features will be available in our virtual cinema starting January 29th.

Saturday, February 6th at 4.30pm
Conversation with Pietro Marcello (director of Martin Eden)

Adapted from a 1909 novel by Jack London yet set in a provocatively unspecified moment in Italy’s history, Martin Eden is a passionate and enthralling narrative fresco in the tradition of the great Italian classics. Martin (played by the marvelously committed Luca Marinelli) is a self-taught proletarian with artistic aspirations who hopes that his dreams of becoming a writer will help him rise above his station and marry a wealthy young university student (Jessica Cressy). The dissatisfactions of working-class toil and bourgeois success lead to political awakening and destructive anxiety in this enveloping, superbly mounted bildungsroman. Winner of the Best Actor prize at the Venice Film Festival and the Platform Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival. Back by popular demand, Martin Eden will be available in our virtual cinema starting February 5th together with Pietro Marcello’s acclaimed The Mouth of the Wolf (2009).

Sunday, February 14th at 4.30pm
Conversation with John Powers (critic at large for NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross and co-author, with Wong Kar Wai, of WKW: The Cinema of Wong Kar Wai; Rizzoli, 2016)

Wong Kar Wai is known for his romantic and stylish films that explore—in saturated, cinematic scenes—themes of love, longing, and the burden of memory. His style reveals a fascination with mood and texture, and a sense of place figures prominently. In the first book on WKW’s entire body of work, Wong Kar Wai and writer John Powers explore Wong’s complete oeuvre in the locations of some of his most famous scenes. The book is structured as six conversations between Powers and Wong (each in a different locale), including the restaurant where he shot In the Mood for Love and the snack bar where he shot Chungking Express. Powers explores Wong’s trademark themes of time, nostalgia, and beauty, and their roots in his personal life. World of Wong Kar Wai (including seven of his best films, released each week) are now available in our virtual cinema through February 28th.


Conversation with Ramin Bahrani (director The White Tiger)
Date TBD

Balram Halwai (Adarsh Gourav) narrates his epic and darkly humorous rise from poor villager to successful entrepreneur in modern India. Cunning and ambitious, our young hero jockeys his way into becoming a driver for Ashok (Rajkummar Rao) and Pinky (Priyanka Chopra-Jonas), who have just returned from America. Society has trained Balram to be one thing — a servant — so he makes himself indispensable to his rich masters. But after a night of betrayal, he realizes the corrupt lengths they will go to trap him and save themselves. Based on the New York Times bestseller and 2008 Man Booker Prize-winning novel.

Ramin Bahrani is the Iranian-American writer, director, and producer of the Netflix feature film, The White Tiger, based on the Man Booker Prize-winning novel. As the internationally renowned, award-winning writer/director/producer of critically-acclaimed films—including Man Push Cart, Chop Shop, Goodbye Solo, At Any Price, and 99 Homes—legendary film critic Roger Ebert proclaimed Bahrani as “the director of the decade” in 2010. The White Tiger will be available on Netflix starting January 22nd.


February 5th
Escher: Journey to the Infinity
Directed by Robin Lutz

M.C. Escher: Journey To Infinity is the story of world famous Dutch graphic artist M.C Escher (1898-1972). Equal parts history, psychology, and psychedelia, Robin Lutz’s entertaining, eye-opening portrait gives us the man through his own words and images: diary musings, excerpts from lectures, correspondence and more are voiced by British actor Stephen Fry, while Escher’s woodcuts, lithographs, and other print works appear in both original and playfully altered form.

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