Artists Love Movies

Inspired by the rich tradition of artists that defines the East End and by the fascinating, ever growing relation between film and visual arts. A conversation with each featured guest followed the screening.

with Eric Fischl

OBLAKO-RAY

Released right after the dissolution of the former Soviet Union, Oblako-ray (Cloud Paradise), directed by Nikolai Dostal, was voted the best Russian movie of 1992. It also won awards in international film festivals. It was in the lake-side Swiss town of Locarno, as a member of the festival’s jury, that Eric Fischl first came across it, in 1991. Oblako-ray tells the story of a young man who makes up some exotic travel plan to attract attention in his depressed provincial town. As the “fake news” spreads, disinterested locals come alive, getting very busy with the youngster’s big send-off. The absurdist quality that permeates Dostal’s story reflects strong influences from Nikolai Gogol and Samuel Beckett. Running Time: 79 minutes.

Eric Fischl is an internationally acclaimed American painter and sculptor. His achievements throughout his career have made him one of the most influential figurative painters of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Fischl has exhibited extensively in major museums and galleries throughout the United States and Europe. Recent solo exhibitions of his work have been held at the Albertina, Vienna, in 2014; the Centro de Arte Contemporáneo de Malaga in 2010; and the Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover in 2007-2008. He lives and works in Sag Harbor, NY, with his wife, the artist April Gornik.

6pm | Jul 1, 2018 | Pierson High School Auditorium

with David Salle

THE MISFITS

Directed by John Huston, from an original screenplay by playwright Arthur Miller (written with his then-wife Marilyn Monroe in mind), this tale of a Reno showgirl, a ragged cowboy, a rodeo performer and mustangs, set in contemporary Nevada, had complex characters, inventive mise-en-scène and breathtaking vistas (photographed in B&W by Rusell Metty). But the real soul of the film belongs to the fierce and melancholic performances given by its three main stars – Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift and Monroe. The famously difficult shoot was documented, in a period of three months, by nine famous photographers from New York’s news agency Magnum Photos. Sadly, this would be the last film of both Gable and Monroe’s careers. Running Time: 125 minutes.

 

David Salle helped define the post-modern sensibility by combining figuration with a varied pictorial language. Solo exhibitions of his work have been held at museums and galleries worldwide, including the Whitney Museum of American Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; MoMA Vienna; and the Guggenheim, Bilbao. Although known primarily as a painter, Salle's work grows out of a long-standing involvement with performance. Over the last 25 years he has worked with choreographer Karole Armitage, creating sets and costumes for many of her ballets and operas. In 1995, Salle directed the film Search and Destroy, starring Griffin Dunne and Christopher Walken. Salle is also a prolific writer on art. His collection of essays HOW TO SEE: Looking, Talking, and Thinking about Art, was published by W.W. Norton.

6pm | Jul 15, 2018 | Pierson High School Auditorium

with Sara Driver

BOOM FOR REAL

New York-based filmmaker Sara Driver, breaking a long hiatus (her last film, When Pigs Fly, was made in 1993) has chosen Jean-Michel Basquiat’s pre-fame years as the focus of her documentary Boom For Real, just released by Magnolia Pictures. This evocative, insightful look at the painter’s formative period, full of haunting footage of the very young artist, is also a tribute to 70's New York and Lower East Side's art scene, from which both Basquiat and Driver have sprung from. The documentary has interviews with, among others, filmmaker Jim Jarmusch (Driver’s life partner), author Luc Sante and costume designer Patricia Field. Running Time: 78 minutes.

 

Sara Driver is an American writer/filmmaker. Her work originated in the independent film and art scene that flourished in lower Manhattan from the late 1970s through the 1990s. She gained initial recognition as producer of two early films by Jim Jarmusch, Permanent Vacation (1980) and Stranger Than Paradise (1984). But quickly developed her own poetic style starting with the short You Are Not I, about the writer Paul Bowles. Before Boom For Real, she had directed two feature films, Sleepwalk (1986) and When Pigs Fly (1993).

6pm | Jul 22, 2018 | Pierson High School Auditorium

with Alex Israel

SPF-18

The first feature-length film made by Los Angeles-based artist Alex Israel is a coming-of-age story about four sun-kissed teenagers who get to spend their post graduation summer in Keanu Reeves’ Malibu beach house. It is also a tribute to beach culture and teen surfers films from the 80’s and 90’s, featuring icons of the era: Molly Ringwald, Rosanna Arquette, Pamela Anderson and Reeves himself (who was the lead in Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991’s surf & robbery classic Point Break). The vibrant palette that is a hallmark of Israel’s sky paintings – which are evocative of film backdrops - also colors his movie début, full of interesting and fun cinematic choices. The music for the film was composed by acclaimed indie rock duo from Brooklyn, with a fitting name: Tanlines. “When you grow up in L.A., life and the movies can get a little mixed up”, says film narrator Goldie Hawn. Running Time: 75 minutes.

 

Alex Israel lives and works in Los Angeles. Deeply entwined with his hometown, his work explores popular media, Hollywood, and the cult of celebrity, while positing L.A. as central to an understanding of American culture and the American dream. His art has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Le Consortium, Dijon; The Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California; and the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo. His work is included in numerous museum collections worldwide including: MoMA, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

6pm | Jul 29, 2018 | Southampton Arts Center

with Robert Wilson

THE GENERAL

Today this Buster Keaton’s comedy (co-directed with Clyde Bruckman) is considered one of the five masterpieces of Hollywood’s Silent Era, along with works of D.W. Griffith and Charles Chaplin. Based on William A. Pittenger’s Civil War memoir The Great Locomotive Chase, it tells the story of a Confederate engineer (Keaton) trying to save his train engine (nicknamed The General) from the Union army. Keaton performed all of his own stunts, putting him in great danger. But what really alarmed studio United Artists was Keaton’s going way over the budget with his attempt to use historically accurate locomotives, sets and costumes. A sequence of a train crashing from a bridge cost over $42,000, making it the most expensive single scene ever shot in silent films. Critics and the box office were tepid at the time of the its release. The General was eventually rediscovered to great acclaim in 1960, in time for Keaton to see one of his favorite movies. Running Time: 67 minutes.

Robert Wilson is among the world’s foremost theater and visual artists. His works for the stage unconventionally integrate a wide variety of artistic media, including dance, movement, lighting, sculpture, music and text. Wilson’s artistic collaborators include many writers and musicians such as Heiner Muller, Tom Waits, Susan Sontag, Laurie Anderson, William Burroughs, Lou Reed and Jessye Norman. He has also left his imprint on masterworks such as Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape, Brecht/Weill’s Threepenny Opera, Debussy’s Pelléas et Melisande, Goethe’s Faust, Homer’s Odyssey, Jean de la Fontaine’s Fables, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Verdi’s La Traviata. Wilson has been honored with numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize nomination, two Premio Ubu awards, the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale, and an Olivier Award. Wilson is the founder and Artistic Director of The Watermill Center, a laboratory for the Arts in Water Mill.

6pm | Aug 5, 2018 | Pierson High School Auditorium

with Maria Bacardi

CUBAN FOOD STORIES

It’s the Buena Vista Social Club for foodies. In the documentary Cuban Food Stories, filmmaker Asori Soto went to his native country for a personal journey to the rescue of the traditional flavors of his youth, at a time when even ingredients and cooking styles were swept away by the winds of change that followed Castro’s death in 2016. Soto visits nine distinct locations across the Cuban island, some very far and only reachable by boat or horseback. The result is a fascinating (and mouth-watering) reflection on how the rich contemporary cuisine of the country was influenced by different parts of the Carribean and how the population dealt in the 90’s with food shortages after the collapse of former Soviet Union. Running Time: 82 minutes.

 

Maria Bacardi is an actress, singer, artist and poet born in Cuba. In the early 70’s, when 4-years-old, Maria’s family seeked political asylum in Spain. She left Europe in 1977 and moved to New York City to finish her education and pursue an acting career. In 1991, after moving to East Hampton, she launched her own not-for-profit theater company, Oddfellows Playhouse. She is the founder and honorary co-chair of the Community Fellows of the Watermill Center. Over the years, Maria acted in theater productions in New York City and in the Hamptons. As an artist, she creates troves, collections of delightful and magical objects. She had exhibitions at Renee Fotouhi Fine Arts East, Elaine Benson Gallery, Ashwagh Hall, Guild Hall, Benson-Keyes Art, The Watermill Center, Hampton Road Gallery, Arlene Bujese Gallery and Karyn Mannix Contemporary. In 2013, Maria made her music debut, releasing the album Deseo, in which she performed some of the traditional Cuban songs her mother used to sing in exile.

6pm | Aug 12, 2018 | Pierson High School Auditorium

with Wendy Keys

CEUX DES CHEZ NOUS

Directed by Sacha Guitry, the brilliant French actor, playwright and filmmaker, "Ceux de Chez Nous" is a rare glimpse of early 20th century artists at work. Using footage he took in 1914 as a young man visiting twelve of his father's famous friends, he created an astonishing document of these artists at home, at work and in the streets. We see Claude Monet painting his water lilies in Giverny, Sarah Bernhardt flirting on a park bench, Auguste Rodin chipping away at a sculpture and Jean Renoir wrapping a bandage around his aged father's arthritic hand so he could continue painting the fish they were about to eat for lunch. In 1939, Guitry added his own commentary to the footage. Watching the film and seeing these people move in front of you is an experience you will never forget. This is art history walking around. Running Time: 44 minutes.

 

Wendy Keys is a filmmaker and former executive producer of programming at Film Society of Lincoln Center. She now is a board member of the organization. Over the years, as a programmer, she directed and produced 30 of the Film Society's annual gala tributes to distinguished actors and directors including Laurence Olivier, Federico Fellini, Bette Davis, Al Pacino, Mike Nichols and her last, Meryl Streep. She was on the selection committee of the New York Film Festival and curated film programs at the Walter Reade Theater. As part of her involvement with the Film Society, Ms. Keys continues to do onstage presentations – such as, most recently, conversations with Woody Allen, Mike Nichols and Jeff Bridges. Ms. Keys is the Vice Chair of the International Board of Human Rights Watch. Ms. Keys programmed the first Human Rights Watch Film Festival at the Public Theater in 1988. She has directed and produced a documentary on the designer, Milton Glaser and continues to show it around the world. She is currently involved in the production of 2 compilation films, one for Friends of the High Line and one for the Film Society.

6pm | Aug 19, 2018 | Ross School Senior Lecture Hall

with Laurie Simmons

MY ART

Introduced at the 2016 Venice Film Festival, and released in the U.S. this past January, the directorial debut of acclaimed artist and photographer Laurie Simmons is a funny and lyrical feminist take on midlife crisis. It is also a moving and insightful film on the artistic process. Simmons plays Ellie Shine, a 65-year-old New York artist whose career needs a jolt. Spending the summer house-sitting upstate for a friend, she makes a very good use of two jobless actors (Robert Clohessy and Josh Safdie) for a new project intended to bring her creative mojo back: a series of stylish, reenactments of classic Hollywood films such as Some Like It Hot, Clockwork Orange and The Misfits. The movie also stars Parker Posey and has a cameo of Simmons’ daughter, actress and writer Lena Dunham. Running Time: 86 minutes.

 

Laurie Simmons has staged scenes for her camera with dolls, ventriloquist dummies, objects on legs, and people to create photographs that reference domestic scenes. She is part of The Pictures Generation, a name given to a group of artists from a 2009 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art that includes Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, and Louise Lawler. Solo gallery exhibitions include Artists Space, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Metro Pictures, and the Jewish Museum. She is in the permanent collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Hara Museum (Tokyo), Museum of Modern Art, NY, Metropolitan Museum of Art, MOCA LA, Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Walker Art Center, MN, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

6pm | Aug 26, 2018 | Pierson High School Auditorium

with April Gornik

SPIRITED AWAY

A masterpiece from the cinematic eye-popping wonders of Studio Ghibli, the higly infuential house of animation that Japanese master Hayao Miyazaki helped to create in 1985. Often compared to children classics such as Alice in Wonderland and to the film The Wizard of Oz, Spirited Away is the story of Chihiro, a 10-years-old girl who see her parents turned in to pigs and finds herself plunged into a haunting (and marvelous) fantasyland populated by spirits, sorceress, ghosts, monsters and other creatures of wonder. The film is to this day the highest-grossing title ever released in Japan, and scored an Academy Award for Best Animated movie in 2003. Myazaki would win a second statue, an Honorary Oscar, in 2015. One year later, in London, the BBC commissioned a poll of critics to determine the 100 greatest films of the 21st Century. Spirited Away was listed among the top 5. Running Time: 125 minutes.

 

April Gornik is a painter and cultural philantropist whose celebrated work focuses on stunning atmospheric landscapes. Born in Cleveland, OH, she studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Canada, receiving her BFA there in 1976. Her works are presently held in the collections of institutions such as Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY, the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the National Museum of American Art in Washington, DC, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, the Cincinnati Museum, the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, the Modern Art Museum of Art of Fort Worth, the Orlando Museum of Art, and other major public and private collections. She has shown extensively, in one-person and group shows, in the United States and abroad. Gornik and her husband, artist Eric Fischl, live in Sag Harbor. Gornik and Fischl are also greatly commited to important cultural projects and philantropic initiatives to support the local art community and give opportunity for emerging artists to make a difference.

6pm | Sep 02, 2018 | Pierson High School Auditorium

with Jamie Bernstein

LEONARD BERNSTEIN: REACHING FOR THE NOTE

In 1998, award-winning filmmaker Susan Lacy succesfully chronicled the life of composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein for PBS’ American Masters, the prestigious television series she created in 1986 and worked as an executive producer. The documentary Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Stars offers interviews Lacy conducted with Bernstein’s most important collaborators such as composer Stephen Sondheim, lyricists Adolph Green and Betty Comden and coreographer-director Jerome Robbins. The result is a richly illustrated and heartfelt portrait of the man behind the iconic musicals as West Side Story, Candide and On the Town. “Part autobiographical and altogether affectionate, this tribute brings out the qualities that endeared him to generations of collaborators, students and audiences”, television critic Walter Goodman wrote in his review for The New York Times, in 1998. Running Time: 117 minutes.

Jamie Bernstein is an author, narrator and filmmaker. Her memoir, Famous Father Girl, was published by HarperCollins last month. Inheriting her father’s passion for sharing and teaching, Jamie has devised several ways of communicating her own excitement about music. In addition to The Bernstein Beat, a family concert about her father, Jamie has also written and narrated concerts for audiences of all ages about Mozart, Aaron Copland, and Stravinsky, among others. A frequent speaker on musical topics, Jamie has presented talks around the world. In her role as broadcaster, Jamie has produced and hosted shows for radio stations in the U.S. and U.K.  Jamie is the co-director of a film documentary, Crescendo: the Power of Music (2014), now streaming at Netflix. In addition to writing her own scripts and narrations, Jamie writes articles and poetry, which have appeared in several publications as Symphony, DoubleTake, Town & Country, Gourmet, Opera News, and Musical America. She also edits the newsletter Prelude, Fugue & Riffs.

4pm | Sep 16, 2018 | Pierson High School Auditorium

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The Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center is a project of The Sag Harbor Partnership