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Film Fest's Full Reveal

Tue, 09/19/2023 - 08:58
Jeffrey Wright plays an underappreciated author in Cord Jefferson's "American Fiction."

Whether it's Toronto, New York, or here in East Hampton, fall is for film festivals, and the Hamptons International Film Festival has quite a lot for the film enthusiast to enjoy. 

But there is also much more, like the music of Paul Simon, who lives in Montauk and will sit down for an interview in conjunction with a screening of Alex Gibney's "In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon," a new documentary on his career, or the art of Mary Heilmann, a Bridgehampton resident who is the subject of another documentary, by Matt Creed. 

Leonard Bernstein fans will have a chance for an early glimpse of "Maestro," Bradley Cooper's new film about the composer, starring himself in the lead role and Carey Mulligan as his wife, Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein, before its November release.

"Maestro" will close the festival, which will officially end on Oct. 12. It opens on Oct. 5 with Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin's "Nyad," a narrative biopic starring Annette Bening as Diana Nyad, a record-breaking long-distance swimmer.

Todd Haynes is coming as well to screen his latest film, "May December," sit down for a full interview, and receive the festival's award for directing. And the director Celine Song, whose "Past Lives" charmed critics and audiences alike this summer, will receive the festival's Breakthrough Artist Award after its screening.

Other recently announced films bound to be festival "hot tickets" are Alexander Payne's latest, "The Holdovers," which reunites the director with his "Sideways" star Paul Giamatti, who plays a gruff instructor at a private school left to monitor students who must stay on campus during the holidays. Angus MacLachlan's "A Little Prayer" is about a man who discovers his son's affair and is caught between an urge to protect his daughter-in-law and loyalty to his son. 

Cord Jefferson's "American Fiction" stars Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, Issa Rae, Leslie Uggams, Sterling K. Brown, and Adam Brody in a satire about outrageous stereotypes. Kristoffer Borgli's "Dream Scenario" has Nicolas Cage as a man haunting people's dreams. William Oldroyd's "Eileen" casts Anne Hathaway as a beguiling woman who entangles the title character in a shocking crime. 

Griffin Dunne and Rosanna Arquette, who starred in the classic film "After Hours," reunite in Noah Pritzker's "Ex-Husbands," about the fallout of divorce. Jeremy Allen White of "The Bear" stars in Christos Nikou's "Fingernails," in which a machine places couples together, but may not work as advertised. And Jessica Yu's "Quiz Lady" has Sandra Oh and Awkwafina as sisters, one of whom is obsessed with a game show and its host, played by Will Ferrell, who need to find a way to cover their mother's gambling debt.

A series of informal talks on film industry topics at Rowdy Hall will focus on adapting books, plays, and comics for the screen, the writers' and actors' strikes and the implications of artificial intelligence in filmmaking, and a talk by Matt Singer about his new book, "Opposable Thumbs," which examines the pre-Rotten Tomatoes impact of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert.         

Mr. Creed's documentary, "Mary Heilmann: Waves, Roads, and Hallucinations," is part of the festival's Views From Long Island program along with Junior Gonzalez's "These Days," a docudrama set in Brentwood about a 15-year-old muralist.

The festival also has a full program of World Cinema narrative and documentary features, competition films, and several shorts programs.

According to the festival, 49 percent of this year's selected films are directed by women, and 42 countries are represented. The 70 features and 46 shorts include eight world premieres, two North American premieres, 11 U.S. premieres, 13 East Coast premieres, and eight New York premieres.  

The East Hampton Star's program guide, which lists all films and programs, is now on newsstands and also available at festival venues and The Star's office.

Passes and packages are now available on the festival's website. Individual tickets will go on sale online or by phone on Monday, and the in-person box office will open on Oct. 9.

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