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Summerdocs Aim High

Tue, 05/21/2024 - 12:08
“Skywalker: A Love Story,” above, is about a couple of Russian rooftoppers who are determined to climb the last great skyscraper and perform a dangerous stunt on its spire.

HamptonsFilm’s 2024 Summerdocs series features a Russian couple united by their determination to climb the world’s tallest buildings; a simulation of a crisis in the White House’s Situation Room starring real-life senior political figures, and a documentary about the life, career, and legacy of Christopher Reeve.

David Nugent, HamptonsFilm’s artistic director, and Alec Baldwin, its chairman emeritus, will lead conversations with filmmakers and guests, including Maria Bukhonina, co-director with Jeff Zimbalist of “Skywalkers: A Love Story”; Tony Gerber and Jesse Moss, directors of “War Game,” and Reeve’s son Will Reeve for “Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story.”

“Each year we strive to program our popular SummerDocs Series with some of the season’s most talked-about documentaries, and our 2024 edition is no exception,” said Mr. Nugent. “The three titles we have curated this summer have each been met with incredible audience reception thus far, and it is a privilege to now preview them for our communities out east.”

“Skywalkers: A Love Story,” filmed over six years in six countries, follows Angela and Vanya, Russia’s pre-eminent rooftoppers, on their quest to climb to the top of Merdeka 118 in Malaysia, the world’s “last great skyscraper,” and perform a death-defying stunt on its spire.

The film is both a tale of adventure and a love story. As Lovia Gyarkye wrote in the Hollywood Reporter, “At the heart of this terrifying and exhilarating Sundance entry about two Russian daredevils trying to save their relationship is a poignant lesson in trust.” The film will be shown on July 5 at 7 p.m. at Guild Hall in East Hampton.

“War Game,” clearly inspired by Jan. 6, 2021, is set four years later and imagines a nationwide insurrection in which members of the military defect to support the losing presidential candidate. It is set in the Situation Room, where the winning candidate and his advisers “war-game” the crisis.

Among the real-life political figures playing the president’s advisers racing to save the country from civil war are Heidi Heitkamp, a former senator from North Dakota; Lt. Col. (ret.) Alex Vindman, former member of the National Security Council; Maj. Gen. (ret.) Linda Singh, formerly of the Maryland National Guard, and Gen. (ret.) Wesley Clark, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander. The screening will take place at the East Hampton Cinema at 7 p.m. on July 20.

Directed by Ian Bonhote and Peter Ettedgui, “Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story,” follows Reeve’s rise from unknown actor to the star who portrayed the Man of Steel in four films and starred in others, among them “Deathtrap” and “Noises Off,” before being injured in 1995 in a near-fatal fall from a horse.

The film also chronicles his role as an activist in the search for a cure for spinal cord injuries and disability rights and care. It includes never-before-seen home movie footage, personal archive material, and interviews with Reeve’s three children and the actors who were his colleagues and friends. The screening is set for Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. at Guild Hall.

Hamptons Film has also announced its schedule of free outdoor screenings, starting July 17 at Herrick Park in East Hampton with “Jurassic Park.” Subsequent titles are “Singin’ in the Rain,” July 24, also at Herrick Park; “Moana,” July 31 at Main Beach in East Hampton; “The NeverEnding Story,” Aug. 7 at Herrick Park, and “Jaws,” Aug. 21 at Main Beach. All shows start at sunset.


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