Documentary Recalls a Pair of Legendary Newspaper Columnists

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Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill, from “Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists.” Courtesy of HBO Films.

This week, the Hamptons Doc Fest adds another Fest Favorite to its website. This time, it’s “Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists,” directed by Jonathan Alter, John Block and Steve McCarthy. To access the film, visit hamptonsdocfest.com.

“Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists” (2018, 106 min.) follows the lives, triumphs and tragedies, and five-decade careers of two brilliant, gritty and controversial New York City newspaper columnists — Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill — in the great era of print journalism, writing for the New York Herald Tribune, Daily News, New York Post and Newsday. It draws directly from rare archival footage, family archives, and interviews with both columnists as well as major figures on the New York and national scene. It also follows them to the Hamptons, as they retreat to rented seaside homes to find the peace and quiet to write their novels.

The film is being shown in tribute to the recent passing of Pete Hamill, who died at the age of 85 on August 5. Hamptons Doc Fest first showed the film on May 5, 2019, at the Southampton Arts Center in partnership with the Press Club of Long Island, the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. The screening included a riveting post-film interview with co-director Steve McCarthy, Breslin’s son Patrick Breslin and Hamill’s brother Denis Hamill, in conversation with Brendan J. O’Reilly of the Press Club, who is also the features editor of the Express News Group. This interview will also be available on the Hamptons Doc Fest website.

In addition, Hamptons Doc Fest is co-presenting with the Parrish Art Museum, on Friday, September 11, at 8 p.m., an outdoor screening of “Leaning Into the Wind: Andy Goldsworthy” (2017, 97 min.), directed by Thomas Riedelsheimer. This documentary, part of the Parrish’s Landscape Pleasures event, tells about Goldsworthy’s life, art and deep connections with the environment. Advance tickets and preregistration are required for this screening at the Parrish Art Museum, 279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill. Tickets are $20 ($10 for members) at parrishart.org.

Other films still available through the Hamptons Doc Fest website, most with Q&As from the directors’ appearances at the Hamptons Doc Fest film festival in previous years, are “Terrence McNally: Every Act of Life,” “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,” “In Search of Israeli Cuisine,” “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise,” “The Biggest Little Farm,” “Three Identical Strangers,” “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” “Spielberg,” “Life, Animated,” “Very Semi-Serious,” “Free Solo,” “To a More Perfect Union: U.S. v. Windsor,” “Marvin Booker Was Murdered,” the new first-run documentary “Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint,” “Dads” for Father’s Day, “Pick of the Litter,” “Jane Fonda in Five Acts,” the new first-run documentaries “John Lewis: Good Trouble” and “Spaceship Earth,” “A Moment in Time: Hamptons Artists,” “What Happened, Miss Simone?” new first-run documentaries “The Fight” and “Denise Ho: Becoming the Song,” and Fest Faves “Mike Wallace Is Here,” “Merchants of Doubt,” and “Driven To Abstraction.”

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