Sag Harbor Cinema continues its celebration of the great filmmaker Frederick Wiseman joining the national release of the director’s epic last work City Hall, on Friday November 6th

City government touches upon almost every aspect of our lives. Most of us take for granted necessary services like sanitation, veterans affairs, elder support, parks, licensing bureaus, record keeping, as well a myriad of other activities that support the citizenry. In City Hall, through a series of his trademark masterfully edited vignettes, filmmaker Frederick Wiseman explores the inner-workings of the government of his native Boston. Headed by earnest, progressive Mayor Martin Walsh, a diverse, passionate network of public servants works to keep Boston running while grappling with pressing issues like racial justice, affordable housing, climate action, and homelessness.

The film will be followed by a conversation between Mr. Wiseman and Mayor Walsh.


Read what the critics are saying about City Hall


Even in a filmography with more than its fair share of impressive achievements, it deserves consideration as one of Wiseman’s greatest.

Peter SobczynskiRogerEbert.com


Constitutes a love letter to civic governance, and the notion of democracy, at a time when public discourse seethes with scorn for urban life.

Joe MorgensternWall Street Journal

Magisterial… An exploration of civil society and the common good… Wiseman has answered that laugh line (‘The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help’ – Ronald Reagan) and its cruelty with a titanic body of work that – meeting by meeting, institution by institution – serves as a powerful refutation. His is the art of resistance at its finest.”
Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

“Serenely and thrillingly observant… [Wiseman] turns bureaucratic procedure into a kind of poetry, and finds both comedy and profundity in the banal idioms of governance. CITY HALL also provides a powerful and precise account of what democracy looks like beyond the rhetoric of campaigns.”
A.O. Scott, The New York Times

“Essential viewing. Frederick Wiseman is American cinema’s foremost sociological auteur. Even at the age of 90, Wiseman continues to churn out non-fiction gems like no other, and that definitely holds true with regards to his latest, CITY HALL… a sprawling panorama of government and community work… Proves a celebration of the power of storytelling to unite—and, also, a masterful example of it.”
– Nick Schager, Daily Beast

The a four-and-a-half-hour sprawl of a movie that will leave you admiring its agility and concision  

Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times


Leading to City Hall, the retrospective tribute Wednesdays With Wiseman continues with Hospital (1970), starting November 3rd. In this most timely revival, paired with a conversation between Mr. Wiseman and Academy Award nominees Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady (Jesus Camp), the director leads us into an exploration of the day-to-day activities of the Metropolitan Hospital Center in East Harlem, on the frontline with its emergency room and walk in clinic workers.


Also in Our Virtual Cinema


La Strada

Directed by Federico Fellini, Italy 1954 (108 mins) in English with Italian subtitles

Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film that year, La Strada is one of Fellini’s most beloved works and one of his most cherished collaborations with wife Giulietta Masina, whose indelible, heartbreaking face is the soul of the movie. “She’s singularly able to express astonishment, dismay, frenetic happiness, the comic somberness of a clown.” said Fellini of “La Masina” in a 1991 interview. Those qualities, he added, allowed him to “crystallize” the tone of the film. Here Fellini directs her as Gelsomina, sold by her mother into the employ of Zampanò (Anthony Quinn), a brutal strongman in a traveling circus. When Zampanò encounters an old rival in highwire artist the Fool (Richard Basehart), his fury is provoked to its breaking point. With La Strada Fellini left behind the familiar signposts of Italian neorealism for a poetic fable of love and cruelty, evoking brilliant performances and winning the hearts of audiences and critics worldwide. The perfect way to celebrate Fellini’s centennial!

Restored in 4K by the Criterion Collection and The Film Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna’s L’Immagine Ritrovata laboratory, from a 35mm dupe negative preserved by Beta Film GmbH. Restoration funding provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.


Beau Travail

Directed by Claire Denis, France 1999 (93 mins) in French with English subtitles

With her ravishingly sensual take on Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, Sailor, Claire Denis firmly established herself as one of the great visual tone poets of our time. Amid the azure waters and sun-baked desert landscapes of Djibouti, a French Foreign Legion sergeant (Denis Lavant) sows the seeds of his own ruin as his obsession with a striking young recruit (Grégoire Colin) plays  out to the thunderous, operatic strains of Benjamin Britten. Denis and cinematographer Agnès Godard fold military and masculine codes of honor, colonialism’s legacy, destructive jealousy,  and repressed desire into shimmering, hypnotic images that ultimately explode in one of the most startling and unforgettable endings in all of modern cinema.

With reviews going from “masterpiece” (‘Chicago Reader’), to “perhaps one of the most beautiful films ever made” (‘The Oregonian’), to “a stunning work of beauty, mystery, contemplation and grit” (‘The Austin Chronicle’) Beau Travail cemented Denis’ reputation among US critics and audiences alike. It is a supremely interesting film to revisit today.


All the above films will be accessible 24/7 through our website (www.sagharborcinema.org). A portion of the proceeds from our virtual cinema tickets sales goes to support the Sag Harbor Cinema. Ticket prices may slightly vary according to each distributor’s policy.



AAQ / Resource: Space(s) Landscape Architecture