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TOMMASO

 

Directed by Abel Ferrara  (Italy 2019; 115 mins. in English and Italian with English subtitles)

Abel Ferrara’s first dramatic feature since 2014’s Pasolini reunites the filmmaker and his frequent collaborator Willem Dafoe in the story of a American artist living in Rome with his young European wife Nikki (Christina Chiriac, Mr. Ferrara’s partner in life) and their 3-year old daughter Dee Dee (Anna Ferrara). 

Tommaso -a Buddhist with active visions of the passion of the Christ; an ex-addict in recovery; and still a foreigner in Rome- grapples with the ghosts of his former life and the demands of the present one, as the film slyly dances between the real world and his imagination. 

A deeply personal tale of a man’s search for redemption and of an artist’s creative process, Tommaso is based on Ferrara’s own reality. The director is portrayed by Dafoe, in a performance that is both transformative and moving and that, in its depth, brings to mind the actor/director relationship between Antonio Banderas and Pedro Almodovar in last year’s Pain and Glory.

BEYOND THE VISIBLE - HILMA AF KLINT

 

Directed by Halina Dyrschka (Germany and Austria 2019; 93 mins. in English, German, and Swedish with English Subtitles)

Hilma af Klint was an abstract artist before the term existed, but she has only become a part of the art world’s vernacular in the past few years. She was, for years, an all-but-forgotten figure in art historical discourse before her long-delayed rediscovery. Today, af Klint is regarded by art historians as a pioneer of abstract art with works pre-dating even Wassily Kandinsky .

af Klint was a visionary, trailblazing figure who, inspired by spiritualism, modern science, and the riches of the natural world around her, began in 1906 to reel out a series of huge, colorful, sensual, strange works without precedent in painting. Klint was born in 1862 and was classically trained at the Royal Academy of Stockholm, but she developed a sincere love of the obscure and magical world. 

af Klint’s visionary work was the subject of a recent smash retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum. Now, director Halina Dryschka’s dazzling, course-correcting documentary describes not only the life and craft of af Klint, but also tracks her lost status in the history of abstract art. 

CANE RIVER

 

Directed by Horace B. Jenkins (USA 1982; 104 mins. in English)

Written, produced, and directed by Emmy Award-winning documentarian, Horace B. Jenkins, and crafted by an entirely African American cast and crew, Cane River presents a racially-charged love story in Natchitoches Parish, a “free community of color” in Louisiana. 

In the film, a budding, forbidden romance lays bare the tensions between two black communities. Peter (Richard Romain) has recently graduated from college and has turned down an offer from the NFL to instead return to his family farm and pursue poetry. He meets college-bound Maria (Tômmye Myrick) who is eager to escape to the larger world, and they easily fall in love. 

However, the small town’s history is quick to upend their affair. The community is split into two factions. Each is descended from slaves but of disparate opportunity—the light-skinned, property-owning Creoles and the darker-skinned, more disenfranchised families of the area. 

This lyrical, visionary film disappeared for decades after Jenkins died suddenly following the film’s completion, robbing generations of a talented, vibrant new voice in African American cinema. A brand-new, state-of-the-art 4k restoration created by IndieCollect in association with the archive of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences has finally allowed for its rediscovery after almost forty years. 

SHIRLEY

 

Directed by Josephine Decker (USA 2020; 107 mins. in English)

Held over due to audience enthusiasm, Shirley will be showing for an additional week. From Susan Scarf Merrell’s novel about a chapter of writer Shirley Jackson’s life, a film adaptation that also captures the soul of Jackson’s work. 

"One of the things that I think is really wonderful about Jackson ... is the way it looks as if a story is simply unfolding ... Josephine's work has the same quality of looking like 'hey, it just happened,' but it's flawlessly happening." - Merrell on horror writer Shirley Jackson, director Josephine Decker, and the film Shirley based on her hit 2014 novel.

Audiences can also watch Artistic Director Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan's interview with Sag Harbor resident Susan Scarf Merrell here:  https://www.facebook.com/SagHarborCinemaArtsCenter/videos/251283672628511/

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