Freshly Chosen Films for May with Sag Harbor Cinema @ HOME!
Following a successful first four weeks of virtual programming, Sag Harbor Cinema brings audiences a new selection of films, accessible 24/7 through our website (www.sagharborcinema.org).
With an offbeat French classic, an Oscar-winning documentary and a gripping debut drama from Belgium/Guatemala, SHC’ s “virtual cinema” has a story to shake the monotony of our ongoing lockdown. Adding to the mix- as the Movie of the Week selection- a superb (and autobiographical) slice of Brooklyn family life by Spike Lee.
Starting May 15th, we will introduce three new Virtual Cinema titles. Included is a must-see portrait of poverty in Reagan-era America and winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature: Down and Out in America(1986) by film icon Lee Grant. Also is Jean-Luc Godard’s Band of Outsiders (1964) which, originally a flop, has now become a cult favorite of New Wave enthusiasts. Audiences will immediately recognize its often-imitated, famous dance sequence in a Parisian café.
The final title, Our Mothers (2019), comes from Guatemala/Belgium first time feature director César Díaz. The film tells the story of a young forensic anthropologist searching for his father as he is investigating the killings during Guatemala’s civil war in the 80s; and of the older women left in the villages that witnessed it all. A festival winner from last year (prizes include the Camera D’or at the 72nd Cannes Film Festival), Cinemania confirms “You can’t look away or stop listening.”
This week’s SHC newsletter will continue its well-received Movie of the Week recommendation with Spike Lee’s Crooklyn (1994). As always, Lee’s slice-of-life story of a family in 1973 Brooklyn is both intimate and universal. A lesser known but stunning film with an almost entirely 70s soundtrack, Crooklyn is a wild ride and a must-see summer escape.
The newsletter will also reprise Good Reads, sharing the most interesting articles that are being published about film and cinema during these unusual times.
A portion of the proceeds from our virtual cinema tickets sales goes to support the Sag Harbor Cinema. Ticket prices may slightly vary according to each distributor’s policy.
ABOUT THE FILMS
New Titles Starting May 15th
Down and Out in America
Directed by Lee Grant (USA 1986; 57 mins. in English)
“These people were riding high on the American dream. They had homes and jobs and hopes for the future. Suddenly the bottom is dropped out of their world, and they are down and out in America.” – Lee Grant
In an eerily familiar world, director Lee Grant explores poverty in Reagan-era America. Winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, Down and Out in America takes us from the heartland, where Minnesota farms that have fed the U.S. for a century are being pulled apart by local banks, to welfare struggles in New York and Los Angeles. Down and Out in America is an unforgettable look at life inside an America we have been too quick to forget.
Band of Outsiders
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard (France 1964; 95 mins. in French with English subtitles)
Adapted from Dolores Hitchens’ 1958 novel Fool’s Gold (a legendary title of France celebrated Serie Noire) Band of Outsiders switches the Texan writer’s Los Angeles setting for 1960s Paris. The film follows two petty criminals, Franz and Arthur (Sami Frey and Claude Brasseur) with a penchant for quoting old Hollywood movies, as they recruit the beautiful Odile (Anna Karina) to help them with a low-level heist. A gem of the French New Wave, Band of Outsiders features two iconic, cinematic spectacles: the trio in a free-spirited race through the Louvre and a memorable dance in a Parisian café.
Directed by César Díaz (Belgium/Guatemala 2019; 78 mins. in Spanish with English subtitles)
Belgium’s submission to the Oscar’s for the Best International Film earlier this year and winner of multiple awards, including the Camera D’or from the 72nd Annual Cannes Film Festival, Our Mothers is a gripping story that spans 50 years of Guatemalan history and the civil war. The film follows a young man searching for his own father as the country works to reconcile its past. The story mirrors certain elements of Director César Díaz’s own life: his father also disappeared during the civil war in the early 80s and, like many, Díaz was forced to leave Guatemala. After moving to Mexico and then Belgium, Díaz became a Belgian citizen to launch his career with this remarkable directorial debut.
*Films available for streaming until May 14th*
Directed by Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra (USA 2019; 95 mins. in English and Spanish)
A docu-thriller that tells the true story of young immigrants who are detained by Border Patrol and thrown into a for-profit detention center—on purpose. Marco and Viri are members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of Florida Dreamers who are on a mission to stop unjust deportations. And the best place to stop deportations, they believe, is in detention. However, when Marco and Viri attempt a daring reverse ‘prison break,’ things don’t go according to plan. By weaving together documentary footage of the real infiltrators with re-enactments of the events inside the detention center, The Infiltrators tells an incredible and thrilling true story in a genre-defying new cinematic language.
Directed by Jules Dassin (France 1955, 118 mins. In French with English subtitles)
In the words of Francois Truffaut*:
“Out of the worst crime novel I have ever read, Jules Dassin has made the best Film Noir I have ever seen. In fact, this is not a minor genre. Dassin shot the film on the street during high winds and rain, and he reveals Paris to us [Frenchmen] as he revealed London to the English (Night in the City) and New York to the Americans (Naked City). Everything in Rififi is intelligent: screenplay, dialogue, sets, music, choice of actors…Beyond that, the real value of the film lies in its tone. The characters in Rififi are not despicable. The relative permissiveness of the French censors allowed Dassin to make a film without compromises, immoral perhaps, but profoundly noble, tragic, warm.”
*Quoted from: The Films of My Life (1975, Simon and Schuster)
What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael
Directed by Robert Garver (USA 2018; 95mins)
Arguably one of the most powerful film critics in American history, Pauline Kael was admired as much as she was feared. Kael was famous for the passion and intellect she brought from the screen to the page, as well as for her fierce partisan spirit. Her “New Yorker” reviews helped the career of directors like Robert Altman, Walter Hill and Brian De Palma, and ruthlessly panned works by David Lean and Stanley Kubrick. Robert Garver’s love letter includes interviews with filmmakers such as Francs Coppola, Quentin Tarantino, Paul Schrader and David O. Russell as well as with films critics like David Edelstein, Michael Sragow and James Wolcott that were influenced by her work.