Sag Harbor Cinema Screens Keaton Classic

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"The Cameraman" starring Buster Keaton.

The next installment of Sag Harbor Cinema’s “Here Comes the Cinema!” is “The Cameraman,” a 1928 film directed by Edward Sedgwick and Buster Keaton, which will be screened on Sunday, February 2, at 2 p.m. at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor. Writer and director Mary Harron will lead a post-screening discussion.

In “The Cameraman,” after buying a movie camera to impress Sally (Marceline Day), a pretty young secretary working for MGM Newsreels, Keaton fearlessly attempts to become a news cameraman. One of Keaton’s own favorite films, and a wonderful showcase for his passion for the medium, it was largely shot in New York. Locations included Midtown Manhattan, Coney Island, and an empty Yankee Stadium. Considered one of the best of Keaton’s comedies, it was his first film for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, a studio he joined in 1928, under legendary producer Irving Thalberg.

His relationship with the studio went sour one year after he signed his deal (in his words: “the worst mistake in my career”) and he lost creative control over the work. According to silent film historian David Robinson, “The Cameraman” stands as a summation of Keaton’s career up to this point. It was a leading box-office success of 1928.

Harron made her debut as a writer and director of a feature film in 1996 with “I Shot Andy Warhol,” followed by “American Psycho” in 2000, “The Notorious Bettie Page” in 2006 and “The Moth Diaries.” Her most recent film, “Charlie Says,” debuted at the Venice Film Festival in 2018.

Harron was born in Ontario and grew up in Canada, the United States, Italy and England. She studied at Oxford University. Before working in film, Harron was a rock journalist. In the late 1970s, she helped start Punk Magazine and was the first to interview the Ramones and Talking Heads and was the first writer from an American publication to interview the Sex Pistols.

She began directing shorts and documentaries in the UK in the late 1980s. In the U.S., she has directed many episodes of acclaimed television series, including “Homicide, Life on the Street,” “Oz,” “The L Word,” “Six Feet Under,” “Big Love” as well as the TV movie “Anna Nicole.” In 2017, she directed all six episodes of the award-winning Netflix series “Alias Grace” adapted by Sarah Polley from the Margaret Atwood novel. Harron’s next project is a film on the late years of Salvador Dali written with her husband, the writer and director John C. Walsh.

Tickets to the screening are $15. For more information, visit sagharborcinema.org.

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