Hamptons International Film Festival Marquee
This weekend is the 26th Hamptons International Film Festival (October 4-8, 2018). It seems appropriate to continue our series on Hamptons Movies. I thought I would start with some of the films set in or about the Hamptons which have been screened (or are scheduled to be screened this year) at HIFF.
Each year, there is a showcase at the Film Festival for Views From Long Island. The following are some of the films which are actually based in the Hamptons:
- Killer Bees (2017), a documentary by Benjamin and Orson Cummings about the Bridgehampton boys basketball team. Premiered in the 2017 HIFF, this film has been picked up for distribution by Gravitas Productions and has been released on iTunes and at other Film Festivals. While it focuses on the storied Bridgehampton boys Killer Bees basketball program – which has won nine state championships, a feat that ranks second all time in New York State, the documentary also touches on issues such as race, income inequality, gentrification, the criminal justice system, politics, education and the seasonal economy in the Hamptons. Produced (in part) by Shaquille O'Neal.
Shaquille O’Neal with the Bridgehampton Killer Bees – Courtesy of 27East
- Spielberg (2017), an Emmy nominated documentary directed by Susan Lacy for HBO, premiered at the New York Film Festival and HIFF. It is a deep dive into the psyche of the auteur behind decades worth of pop culture, one of the most influential film directors of all time, Steven Spielberg. To sit down with Spielberg, Lacy traveled to wherever he might be available for over a year’s stretch of time — his homes in Los Angeles & East Hampton, his office in New York, and the sets of “The BFG" in Vancouver and “Bridge of Spies" in Berlin. This would be why his outfit changes frequently over the course of the film: “We couldn’t even try to make him [wear the same T-shirt] because, you know, he’s all over the place. So I just went with it," Lacy said.
Steven Spielberg, Courtesy of HBO
- Pollock (2000), directed by and starring Ed Harris, is about the tumultuous life of the artist, and was filmed in the town of East Hampton at his actual house in Springs (the Pollock-Krasner House, now a National Historic Landmark) with other scenes at the Southampton railroad station, the old Miller Store and Springs Fireplace Road. Marcia Gay Harden received the Oscar and New York Film Critics Circle awards for best supporting actress for her performance as Pollock’s wife Lee Krasner.
Ed Harris as Jackson Pollock
- Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock? (2016). Directed by Harry Moses, the film follows a woman named Teri Horton, a 73-year-old former long-haul truck driver from California, who purchased a painting from a thrift shop for $5, only later to find out that it may be a Jackson Pollock painting. She had no clue at the time who Jackson Pollock was, hence the name of the film. Veteran filmmaker Harry Moses exposes the controversy in the world of high priced artwork and paints a vivid picture of how art is bought and sold in America.
- Black Swell (2016), directed by David Rysdahl: Shot at Daunt’s Albatross Motel in Montauk, Black Swell, is a short film about a man contemplating suicide. Starring Richard Kind (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and Mr. Rysdahl, who also wrote and produced the short. Black Swell was shot on one 15-hour day. The nine-minute film aired in the Views from Long Island showcase at the Hamptons International Film Festival 2016.
Black Swell Movie Poster
- Only the Wind is Listening (2018), directed by Emily Anderson. Set against the backdrop of an unforgiving Montauk winter, the lives of a fisherman and a writer intertwine as they attempt to navigate off-season loneliness. Premiering in the Views from Long Island showcase at the Hamptons International Film Festival 2018.
- Still Plays with Trains (2018) Directed by Ross Kauf. In the basement of his East Hampton home, John Scully reconstructs his idyllic 1950s childhood in the form of one of the world’s largest model train sets. John and his wife, Regina, used to stay with us at the Mill House Inn. After they built and moved into their stunning new home on Gardiners Bay, they put up a gentleman at MHI over the course of several years. Every day he dressed in his blue and white striped overalls and engineer’s hat to go to work - hand building this remarkable $400,000 model train set to an exacting "32 scale," which means that most of the model is 1/32 the size of real life (a 6-foot-tall man measures two-and-a-quarter inches). And it’s not just trains . . . The Documentary Premieres in the Views from Long Island showcase at the Hamptons International Film Festival 2018.
John Scully and his dream train set
Be sure to check out our earlier “takes" on the Hamptons Movies scene:
That’s all for now folks! We’ll be back with more Hamptons Films soon! Hope to see you at the HIFF. Call us or email us to book your stay.
A special thanks to the following sources for information on Hamptons Movies: