HIFF Heats Up: Friday Films


“Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing” opens today at HIFF. 

I can’t wait to head to East Hampton this morning to check in and check out all the HIFF happenings.

There are a ton of things on the schedule for today but I think the highlight of the day for me will be the Conversation With Aaron Eckhart at Guild Hall at 1 p.m.


Still from “Bleed for This.”

The actor stars as boxing trainer Kevin Rooney in the HIFF Spotlight Film selection BLEED FOR THIS, which screens today following the Conversation at 3:45 p.m. The film also stars Miles Teller and Katey Sagal. Aaron Eckhart, who became famous for his breakout role in “Erin Brockovich,”  has also starred in “Sully,” “Olympus Has Fallen,” “The Dark Knight,” and my personal favorite, “Thank You for Smoking.”

Another thing that looks really interesting on the schedule today is the screening of “Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing.” Those who are at the Hamptons International Film Festival will get the biggest sneak peak of this documentary, as it doesn’t air on HBO until November 21. Not only is the subject matter completely compelling–it’s a powerful, intimate and unprecedented look at how an act of terrorism impacts people long after the incident itself, depicted through three families over the course of the three years that followed the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013–the  director, Ricki Stern, is from Shelter Island.  Click to view the trailer of Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing  .

Spotlight Films that open today include “Burn Your Maps,” “Lion” and “Una.”




Still from “Burn Your Maps.”

BURN YOUR MAPS is a road trip movie for the ages, full of wonder, enlightenment, and a goat or two. After a tragedy, Connor (Marton Csokas) and Alise (Vera Farmiga) can’t seem to reconnect. As their marriage is falling apart, their 8-year-old son Wes (Jacob Tremblay, ROOM) copes with loss in his own way: he’s convinced he’s meant to be a Mongolian goat herder. Accompanied by an immigrant Indian filmmaker, Alise and Wes bravely journey halfway around the world in search of answers. Along the way, our intrepid trio manages to find acceptance, forgiveness, and most of all, love.

Dev Patel and Rooney Mara star in LION

Dev Patel and Rooney Mara star in LION

LION tells the tale of  Saroo, who, when he was five years old was accidentally separated from his family on a train traveling thousands of miles across India. After learning to survive alone in Kolkata, he was ultimately adopted by a loving Australian couple (Nicole Kidman and David Wenham). Now, 25 years later, armed with only a handful of memories and his unwavering determination, Saroo (Dev Patel in a career-making performance) sets out to find his lost family and finally return to his first home. Prompted by Lucy (Rooney Mara) and with the help of revolutionary Google Earth technology, Saroo embarks on an uplifting and moving journey in Garth Davis’s phenomenal debut LION.


Still from “Una.”


UNA stars Rooney Mara and Ben Mendelsohn, who deliver gripping performances in the screen adaptation of David Harrower’s award-winning drama Blackbird. A decade after their relationship ended, Una tracks down her former lover Ray, who now goes by a new name in a new city. Her abrupt appearance forces him to revisit their illicit affair–a tryst that ended with him in prison and her on a path of total self-destruction. Furious that he has been allowed another chance at life while she remains continuously haunted by the past, Una turns Ray’s quiet, suburban world upside down. With confidence and grace, veteran theater director Benedict Andrews makes his film debut with this harrowing story of love and trauma.


Holly Hunter stars in”Strange Weather.”

And don’t forget that “Strange Weather” opens tonight in Southampton. The film is a portrait of an unconventional woman (Holly Hunter) discovering what it takes to change your life mid-stream. A lyrical, emotionally rich drama, STRANGE WEATHER tracks a strong southern woman as she travels the deep south with her best friend (Carrie Coon), looking for answers to the unanswerable. A story about how to be fully alive in the face of tragedy, about forgiveness, grace, redemption and the power of moving on. In support of the film, there will be an Opening Night Party at Union Cantina tonight from 9 to 11 p.m.

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