HIFF2013: Day 4 Highlights

Two full days left of the 2013 Hamptons International Film Festival, and we want you to make the most of it. In addition to today’s conversation with living legend Bruce Dern, the films on today’s docket cover topics including fly-fishing, extreme sports, urban design, women and student filmmakers, urban design, medical system, the Redwood Forest, rebellious teenagers, WWII, and films in competition. Also, Spike Jonze’s fourth film features Joaquin Phoenix, and tickets are still available!

Reminder: if the ticketing site says “Sold Out,” keep in mind that we hear that patient filmgoers on rush lines are having excellent luck getting into films they want to see. Good luck!

On the outskirts of the Scotland, the enigmatic Megan Boyd learned and perfected the obscure craft of fly-making for fishermen. She twirled bits of feather, fur, silver, and gold into elaborate fishing flies, at once miniature works of art and absolutely lethal, which garnered her a cult-like status. Eric Steel captures the beauty and mysticism of Boyd and the fly fishing art in this lyrical documentary. Interview with the filmmaker.

Bruce Dern‘s career includes a long list of classic roles, from Tom Buchanan in the 1974 The Great Gatsby to his Academy Award® nominated performance in Coming Home to HBO’s Big Love. This year, Dern delivers the finest work of his career in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, for which he was honored with the Best Actor prize at Cannes. Dern will talk with Time Out New York’s Joshua Rothkopf and recent co-star Will Forte about the craft and artistry behind his unforgettable performances.

When tennis great Jimmy Connors arrived at the 1991 U.S. Open, the one-time tennis superstar was ranked 174th in the world and approaching his 39th birthday. But Connors unexpectedly re-captured his magic, embarking on an extraordinary run than included an epic contest with Aaron Krickstein. This is What They want explores how Connors became a provocative personality who helped make tennis a high-octane spectator sport.

Any single race in the 4 Desert Ultramarathon Series is a life-threatening challenge. Desert Runners is a thrilling documentary about ordinary people who endure the 150-mile ultra-marathons through the world’s four most treacherous deserts in one year: the Atacama Desert in Chile, the Gobi Desert in China, the Sahara in Egypt, and Antarctica. Interview with the filmmaker.

We are very pleased to continue our partnership with New York Women In Film and Television for our tenth annual showcase of outstanding achievements by female filmmakers. The short films showcased include EvaOne Last Hug…Ben: In the Mind’s Eye#SlutwalkNYC, and Diner en Blanc.

The Golden Starfish Award for Best Short Film honors new talent in the field of short form filmmaking. The winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and qualify for consideration at the Academy Awards for best Live Action Short Film. Short films featured include KushWhale ValleyThe Horse and the NightingaleGypsy, and The Runaway.

Curtains of rain spoil the vacation that divorced dad Alberto has eagerly arranged at a hot springs; because he seldom sees his kids, he refuses to allow anything to ruin his plans. Nothing could be worse for teenage Lucía than to be cooped up indoors with Dad and little brother Frederico. But the springs are closed until further notice, and Lucía’s adolescent rebellion clashes against her father’s efforts toward quality family time. A taut, wondrous gem.

Inspired by a true story, Walking With the Enemy follows the heroic lives of a world leader and a young man during the horrors of WWII in Hungary. Academy Award® winner Ben Kingsley is faced with ceding power to German adversaries or witnessing the execution of his son, while countryman Jonas Armstrong watches as his family is ripped away from him. Determined to be reunited, the latter takes on the German enemies by becoming one of them. Disguised as a Nazi Officer, he embarks on an unforgettable mission.

Written and directed by Spike Jonze, Her is an original love story that explores the evolving nature—and risks—of intimacy in the modern world. The film follows Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a complex, soulful man, heartbroken after the end of a relationship, who becomes intrigued with a new, advanced operating system promising to be an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. He meets “Samantha,” a bright voice who is insightful, sensitive, and surprisingly funny. As their needs and desires grow in tandem, their friendship deepens into an eventual love.

After one of the worst earthquakes to hit New Zealand, the people of Christchurch took a different approach to rebuilding their city. They studied how their city could serve humans better. They studied car culture, bike lanes, and pedestrian walkways. They studied the work of Jan Gehl, the Danish architect who for 40 years has been analyzing the symbiosis of cities and their inhabitants. Director Andreas Dalsgaard takes us around the world.

Catch the next wave of up-and-coming filmmakers! This year, six industry judges looked for imagination and storytelling skills. In this program of five shorts by graduate and undergraduate film students, each the recipient of a $500 cash prize grant, you’ll find murder, love, animation, culture-clash, and searching. Programmed by: Jeremiah Newton, Student Films Showcase Director.

Through vérité interviews and hidden camera footage, God Loves Uganda, deftly directed by Academy Award®-winning documentarian Roger Ross Williams, follows evangelical leaders in America and Uganda along with politicians and missionaries as they attempt the task of eliminating “sexual sin” and converting Ugandans to fundamentalist Christianity. Shocking, horrifying, touching, and enlightening, the film raises complex issues about religion, sexuality, and their uneasy intersection.

A brutal crime. A rookie cop out of his depth stands alone between two worlds, where the mystery lies just below the surface. In this incendiary and impeccably shot noir-meets-Western by writer/director Ivan Sen, an indigenous cowboy detective, Jay Swan, returns to his Australian outback home town to solve the murder of a teenage girl whose body is found under the highway out of town. Jay stands alone in his determination to fight back for his town and his people.

Imbued with a mesmerizing, dreamlike quality, Liesbeth De Ceulaer’s confident first feature takes us to the majestic Redwood Forest and introduces us to people who have strong personal connections to this once isolated region of California. Through seamless vignettes and stunningly saturated cinematography, we meet activists, scientists, loggers, tree dwellers, and Native Americans who share their compelling stories and their bond to these impressive ancient woods, which are now being threatened by excessive logging.