SAG HARBOR CINEMA ANNOUNCES

“BOXING ON FILM”

 SHC celebrates the love story of cinema and the sport with Martin Scorsese, Buster Keaton, Stanley Kubrick, Luchino Visconti, Fred Wiseman, Karyn Kusama, Clint Eastwood and more starting June 22

Sag Harbor – Celebrating the movies’ long-held fascination with boxing, Sag Harbor Cinema will host a series of screenings in conjunction with The Church’s exhibit, “Strike Fast, Dance Lightly: Artists on Boxing,” (June 24 – September 3rd, https://www.thechurchsagharbor.org).

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“I was thrilled when (co-curators) Sara Cochran and Eric Fischl asked if I may be interested in creating a film program that would parallel The Church’s ‘Strike Fast, Dance Lightly’ art show. Movement and conflict being at the very essence of cinema, boxing has always been a natural subject for film. Its beauty and its dread, as well as its dramatic, psychological, social and political implications have inspired a rich and fascinating portion of cinematic history. I also love the sport,” says SHC’s Founding Artistic Director Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan

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Kicking off the summer-long program on June 23rd will be the new 4K restoration from the original 35mm camera negative of Martin Scorsese’s Raging Bull. The film’s esteemed producer, Irwin Winkler (who is also the producer of the Rocky and Creed franchises), will appear for a live Zoom Q&A following the 6pm screening, Sunday June 25th. Raging Bull stars Robert De Niro as Jake LaMotta in a biographical film that won both De Niro and longtime editor for Scorsese, Thelma Schoonmaker, Academy Awards. It is widely considered one of Scorsese’s best films and has long been praised for its innovative cinematography.

Silent stars often ventured into the ring. Among them is Buster Keaton, in Battling Butler (1926), which will be shown on June 22 and 23 as part of the the Kids and Families Matinees program. Keaton –also directing this adaptation of a famous stage play– brings his signature physical comedy to the plot of a pampered, wealthy man who pretends to be a champion boxer to win over the family of the girl he loves. Recently restored by Cineteca di Bologna and Cohen Film Collection, Battling Butler will be shown with a score composed by Robert Israel.

Also part of the opening week of the program will be Fred Wiseman’s Boxing Gym (2010), an exploration of the daily life of a boxing gym in Austin, Texas. Known for his documentaries about dance (Ballet, La Dance, Crazy Horse), Wiseman captures the kinetic beauty of the sport as he documents its function in a community’s everyday life. Paired with the 90 minute film will be Stanley Kubrick’s short, Day of the Fight (1951) from his days as a photojournalist at Look magazine. The debut film was shot and funded by Kubrick, who documented the day of a fight through the eyes of middleweight Walter Cartier at the height of his career.

The program will run through the summer, spanning different genres and eras, such as the gritty noir of 40s boxing films like Robert Wise’s The Set Up (1949); Italian neorealism (Luchino Visconti’s 1960’s film Rocco e i suoi fratelli – Rocco and His Brothers), indies (Karyn Kusama’s 2000’s film Girlfight), documentaries, as well as films by Clint Eastwood and Michael Mann.

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For more details about the films, see below: 

RAGING BULL

Dir. Martin Scorsese

USA, 1980; 129 mins, in English

Rated R

With this stunningly visceral portrait of self-destruction, Martin Scorsese created one of the truly great and visionary works of modern cinema. Robert De Niro pours his blood, sweat, and brute physicality into the Oscar-winning role of Jake La Motta, the rising middleweight boxer from the Bronx whose furious ambition propels him to success within the ring but whose unbridled paranoia and jealousy tatter his relationships with everyone in his orbit, including his brother and manager (Joe Pesci) and his gorgeous, streetwise wife (Cathy Moriarty). Thelma Schoonmaker’s Oscar-winning editing, Michael Chapman’s extraordinarily tactile black-and-white cinematography, and Frank Warner’s ingenious sound design combine to make Raging Bull a uniquely powerful exploration of violence on multiple levels—physical, emotional, psychic, and spiritual.

Approved by director Martin Scorsese, and overseen by Scorsese and 2007 Coolidge Award winner Thelma Schoonmaker, this new master was created in 4K resolution on a Lasergraphics Director film scanner from the 35mm original camera negative. The original 2.0 surround soundtrack was remastered from the 35mm three-track magnetic track.

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BATTLING BUTLER

Dir. Buster Keaton

USA, 1926; 71 mins

Based on a Broadway play and British musical, the story revolves around a case of mistaken identity between two Alfred Butlers – one an effete millionaire, the other the heavyweight champion of the world. Coincidence brings them to the same backwoods Kentucky neighborhood, where Butler-the-fop finds love with a mountain girl, but not before antagonizing Butler-the-brute into a Madison Square Garden grudge match.

Restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory in association with Cohen Film Collection. Music composed and conducted by Robert Israel.

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BOXING GYM

Dir. Frederick Wiseman

USA, 2010; 91 mins, in English

The subject of the film is an Austin, Texas institution, Lord’s Gym, which was founded over twenty years ago by Richard Lord, a former professional boxer. A wide variety of people of all ages, races, ethnicities and social classes train at the gym: men, women, children, doctors, lawyers, judges, business men and women, immigrants, professional boxers and people who want to become professional boxers alongside amateurs who love the sport and teenagers who are trying to develop strength and assertiveness. The gym is an example of the American “melting pot” where people meet, talk, and train.

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DAY OF THE FIGHT 

Dir. Stanley Kubrick

USA, 1951; 12 mins, in English

In Stanley Kubrick’s first ever short film, he documents the fight of popular middleweight fighter of the 50s Walter Cartier. Kubrick was inspired by a photo feature he shot for Look Magazine and funded his own black-and-white film as a follow-up.

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IRWIN WINKLER

Irwin Winkler’s career as a producer, director and writer encompasses popular and influential movies that have impacted contemporary culture. With a passion for big, bold, meaningful stories, his 58 films include an array of true screen classics, garnering among them 61 Oscar nominations and 12 Academy Awards. Winkler’s multiple iconic titles include Rocky, which forged one of most globally recognizable movie characters and themes in history and won an Oscar for Best Picture in 1977; Raging Bull, which turned the biopic into a gritty, lyrical work of art; the history-capturing look at the U.S. space program, The Right Stuff, the gangster tale Goodfellas and most recently 2020’s The Irishman.

Winkler’s motion picture producing career started in the late 1960s, with the Elvis Presley movie Double Trouble, directed by Norman Taurog. He began his decades-long collaboration with director Martin Scorsese with New York, New York (1977), followed by Raging Bull, Goodfellas, The Wolf of Wall Street, Silence and The Irishman.

The Rocky franchise became a powerhouse cultural touchstone and commercial blockbuster as Winkler produced not only the original, Rocky, but also its five sequels, spanning the years of 1976- 2006. With an eye towards bringing the saga into modern day, Winkler entrusted a young director, Ryan Coogler, with Creed in 2015. Starring Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, the film garnered both commercial and critical success; earning a Golden Globe nomination and Academy Award nomination for Sylvester Stallone.

In 1989 Winkler made his directorial debut from his own screenplay, Guilty By Suspicion, set against the backdrop Hollywood’s all-too-real blacklisting era. Starring Robert De Niro as a prominent director asked to “name names,” the film presaged a writing and directing career that would, like Winkler’s producing career, be focused on taut human drama and politically-charged themes. With Home of the Brave, Winkler became one of the very first American filmmakers to portray the return of U.S. veterans from the war in Iraq.

His most recent films include MGM’s Creed III, directed by and starring Michael B. Jordan alongside Tessa Thompson and Jonathan Majors. Also at MGM, Winkler will produce Drago, which will center on the Russian boxer and his son Viktor Drago. Next for Winkler will be Wise Guys for Warner Bros. Starring Robert De Niro and directed by Barry Levinson from a script by Nicholas Pileggi, the film follows two of New York’s most notorious organized crime bosses, Frank Costello and Vito Genovese.

For his contributions to popular culture, Winkler has been the recipient of numerous American and international honors. He was honored in 2017 by the Producers Guild of America with the David O. Selznick Achievement Award which recognized his lifetime body of work.

Winkler published his memoir A Life in Movies: Stories From 50 Years In Hollywood in 2019 to critical praise. Director Martin Scorsese said “…this book is valuable on multiple levels—as a lively memoir with more than one amazing inside story, as a first-hand work of cinema history, and as the testament of a pivotal figure in American moviemaking.”

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As a not-for-profit 501(c)3, community-based organization, Sag Harbor Cinema is dedicated to presenting the past, present and future of the Movies and to preserving and educating about films, filmmaking, and the film-going experience in its three state-of-the-art theaters. The Cinema engages its audiences and the community year-round through dialogue, discovery, and appreciation of the moving image – from blockbusters to student shorts and everything in between. Revitalized and reimagined through unprecedented community efforts to rebuild the iconic Main Street structure after a fire nearly destroyed it in 2016, SHC continues a long historic tradition of entertainment in the heart of Sag Harbor Village. SHC Members enjoy discounts on tickets and merchandise and have access to our member-only rooftop lounge, The Green Room. 

www.sagharborcinema.org

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