and other new titles at

Sag Harbor Cinema @ Home Virtual Cinema


The film adaptation of Susan Merrell’s acclaimed novel Shirley starts June 5th at SHC’s Virtual Cinema. The novelist and Sag Harbor resident will appear in a conversation with Artistic Director Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan on June 7th at 6pm. Please join us by visiting our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/SagHarborCinemaArtsCenter/. The event is organized in collaboration with Canio’s Books.


Susan Scarf Merrell’s celebrated 2014 novel about renowned horror writer Shirley Jackson has become a movie. Shirley, starring a brilliant Elizabeth Moss, is directed by Josephine Decker (of 2018 standout film Madeline’s Madeline) and executive produced by Martin Scorsese.


Merrell first discovered Jackson’s writing during graduate school at the Bennington Writing Seminars in Vermont, where Jackson herself was a local for almost 20 years. Jackson’s body of work (six novels, two memoirs, and 200 stories) includes the “New Yorker”-published short story The Lottery (1948) and The Haunting of Hill House (1959), widely regarded as one of the best horror novels ever written.


Years after moving to Sag Harbor, Merrell was still taken with Jackson’s startling work and peculiar life. She wrote the novel Shirley, which was quickly (and secretly) optioned for the big screen. Merrell portrays Jackson almost as mystical as one of Jackson’s own characters; a brilliant and intuitive writer who manages to access supernatural worlds through her work.


Elisabeth Moss with Odessa Young in SHIRLEY.


In Merrell’s story, a (fictionalized) pair of newlyweds are dropped into Jackson’s home in the midst of her complicated relationship with husband and local college professor Stanley Hyman. In the film, Jackson and Hyman (superbly played by Moss and Michael Stuhlbarg) seem to orbit in a relentless marital battle of wits soaked in booze, and all but (maybe) sink their teeth into their naïve houseguests (Odessa Young and Logan Lerman). “Freud would’ve had a field day,” Moss’s Jackson eerily whispers as the characters quickly go to pieces. 


Michael Stuhlbarg with Elisabeth Moss in SHIRLEY.


Moss’ masterly approach to the ultra-complex character “veers from grumpy to menacing to touching, turning in what may be her best — and is surely her wittiest — film performance to date”, wrote “Entertainment Weekly” after the film premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won a U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize in Auteur Filmmaking.


Shirley Jackson was a wildly unorthodox human and storyteller. Encountering her work was like finding a map towards becoming the kind of artist I would like to be. Daring. Intimate. Structured yet dreamlike”, says director Josephine Decker, who tirelessly worked to create a visual language that matched the dual dimension of Jackson’s work: “Shirley’s work rides on the skin between imagined and real, seducing with its oddness and humble cracks until you can’t tell if you’re looking up the stairwell or into your own mouth. I felt strongly that this film needed to feel like a Shirley Jackson story”.


Shirley can be seen starting June 5th at SHC’s virtual cinema by accessing our website, www.sagharborcinema.org. Tickets are $ 5.99. Susan Merrell’s novel Shirley is available at Canio’s Books in Sag Harbor, bookshop.org/shop/caniosbooks




New Titles Starting May 29th


A Lee Grant Double Bill

… A Father… A Son… Once Upon and Time in Hollywood

Directed by Lee Grant (USA 2005; 95 mins. in English)


What Sex Am I?

Directed by Lee Grant (USA 1985; 60 mins. in English)

As part of our ongoing tribute to the documentary work of Academy Award winner actor/director Lee Grant we are introducing a double bill which includes two of her most fascinating docs. Grant’s intimate portrait of Kirk and Michael Douglas’ Hollywood Dynasty in ​… A Father… A Son… Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2005) is at once a celebration, an indictment and a fabulous dinner party. Next, Grant follows a group of transgender individuals struggling to make their way in What Sex Am I? (1985), an ever-relevant reflection on sexual politics in America.


Ms. Grant will join us in conversation through our Facebook page. Please follow our website, www.sagharborcinema.org for date and time.


Zombi Child

Directed by Bertrand Bonello (France 2019; 103 mins. in French and Haitian with English subtitles)

A daring new take on classic horror tropes – “a zombi drama that’s not undead but bracingly alive” (​Screen Daily)​ . Spanning time and place between present day girl politics in a Parisian high school and the living hell of sugarcane fields in 1960s Haiti, Bonello chillingly unravels the stories’ mysterious zombie connection.


The Grey Fox

Directed by Phillip Borsos (Canada 1985; 92 mins. in English)

A beautiful new 4k restoration of Phillip Borsos’ Canadian Western starring Richard Farnsworth as a stagecoach robber who, after decades in prison, is inspired again to do what he does best: rob! “One of the loveliest adventures of the year…director Phillip Borsos is able to make this a human story and still keep it exciting as an action picture.” (Roger Ebert, ​Chicago Sun-Times​)


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