DISPATCH – October 13, 2011 (Thursday; 9:17 a.m.)

East Hampton, NY

The Hamptons International Film Festival opens tonight, filling theaters from Montauk to Westhampton with great stories. If you're a fan of the visual arts, the festival's extensive lineup won't disappoint.

Documentaries and films inspired by artists are part of the program. So are movies placing a microscope on the creative process. Panel discussions and director talks are part of the fun. So are two separate art events that link to Hamptons International Film Festival. Screenings, discussions, workshops and special events take place from Oct 13 to 17.

A scene from "Hands & Eyes" by Michael Meredith. The film features Hampton Fancher and Richard Edson. Courtesy Boltax Gallery.

Directly tied to the Hamptons International Film Festival is an art opening of paintings by Suzanne Unrein at Design Within Reach in East Hampton. The pop up exhibition is presented by Boltax Gallery of Shelter Island.

The exhibition opened on Oct 11 and remains on view through Oct 17. On Friday, an artist reception with a twist is being held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The "twist" arises from the fact that exhibited paintings are featured in the short film, "Hands & Eyes." The film has its North American debut at the Hamptons International Film Festival immediately following the art opening.

In fact, the movie was made after filmmaker Michael Meredith became inspired by Unrein's art. Her paintings play a central role in the short comedy.

The artist and filmmaker are expected to attend Friday's art opening. The premiere takes place at 9:30 p.m. at the Regal East Hampton Cinema 6. "Hands & Eyes" screens again on Sunday (Oct 16) at 5 p.m. at the same theater.

"Del Fango" by Suzanne Unrein. Courtesy Boltax Gallery.

"The Ledge" by Suzanne Unrein. Courtesy Boltax Gallery.

"Hands & Eyes" is a fast-moving comedy where an eccentric art critic has three minutes to discover and reveal the profound complexities of a group of paintings while keeping the artist silent on the matter. The movie was filmed in Unrein's NYC studio.

A scene from "Hands & Eyes" by Michael Meredith. Courtesy Boltax Gallery.

Unrein is friends with "Hands & Eyes" screenwriter and director Michael Meredith, said Karen Boltax.

Meredith wanted to make a film about Unrein's work but Unrein balked about appearing in the movie. Meredith hired a professional actor to play "the artist" and let the story unfold as it would.

The actors appearing in the film are familiar with Unrein's work so the comments and insights are specific to her paintings, Boltax said. "Hands & Eyes" is entirely improvised, she said, contributing to the feel of a ringside seat to the way art is "discovered."

Unrein began exhibiting with the Boltax Gallery several years ago. Her museum credits include the City of Brea Art Museum in California, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Berkshire Museum in MA and more. Most recently, Unrein's painting were exhibited at artMRKT Hamptons with the Boltax Gallery in July.

Tickets and more information on the film can be found at http://hamptonsfilmfest.org. For information on Suzanne Unrein and the Boltax Gallery, visit www.boltaxgallery.com.

Visit http://hamptonsfilmfest.org for festival programming, screening times and locations, ticket prices and for ticket purchase.

THERE ARE OTHER ARTISTS MAKING APPEARANCES in film during this year's festival. Here's a snap-shot of films where art plays a role:

“Harmonium  Mountain I” is a short animated film that presents a “lyrical odyssey through an unlikely mixture of natural and digital landscapes,” according to HIFF. The filmmaker is artist and photographer Clifford Ross. The film score is by Philip Glass. The 5-minute film is screening tonight (Oct 13) at 5:15 p.m. and on Friday (Oct 14) at 4 p.m. in East Hampton.

“Butter” is a dark comedy about the “undisputed king of butter carving throughout the Midwest.” When the King decides to withdraw, antics explode as contenders vie for the title. The film screens on Friday (Oct 14) at 7 p.m. in Southampton and on Sat (Oct 15) at 3:45 p.m. in East Hampton. There will be a Q&A after the Friday screening. The filmmaker(s) are expected to attend.

"BEATON BY BAILEY" is a documentary joining two photographers--one as subject and the other as documentary-maker. "BEATON BY BAILEY" centers on Sir Cecil Beaton, who "influenced the course of modern photography," according to HIFF. Photographer and filmmaker David Bailey, a "giant of 20th century photography," was influenced by Beaton. Mic Jagger, Truman Capote and Twiggy also appear in the film.

A screening and panel discussion between David Bailey and Bruce Weber takes place on Sat (Oct 15) at 7 p.m. at The Watermill Center in Water Mill. The discussion is moderated by Rajendra Roy, the Celeste Bartos Chief Curator of Film at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Roy is also the former programming director for the Hamptons International Film Festival.

David Bailey is also taking part in a special screening of "Warhol"  (1973) on Friday (Oct 14) at 7:30 p.m. in East Hampton. Bailey produced the documentary on Andy Warhol. A discussion  immediately follows the screening.

ALSO ON FRIDAY, THE GRENNING GALLERY IN SAG HARBOR shifts the focus from film to paintings and back to film for a fundraising exhibition of Paton Miller's paintings. The art show benefits the Hamptons International Film Festival. "Paton Miller: Latest Works" opens with an artist reception on Friday (Oct 14) from 5 to 7 p.m. The exhibition continues through Sunday (Oct 16).

The fundraiser was made possible because of the support of the HIFF Host Committee, according to gallery director Laura Grenning. Committee members include Alec Baldwin, an avid supporter of Guild Hall and local arts. Baldwin is a collector of Miller's work, said the artist. It was Baldwin who pitched the idea of holding a fundraising exhibition of Miller's work last year to HIFF's board, said Miller.

Paton Miller is a Southampton-based painter. He's known for his narrative and lyrical art. Many of his paintings are made through thick applications of oil paint.  Miller has exhibited internationally and nationally. His credits include the 1999 Florence Biennial and at the American Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Bogotá, Colombia. He's shown at the Parrish Art Museum, Guild Hall, the Heckscher Museum of Art and more.

For exhibition information, visit www.grenninggallery.com.

"Java Boats" by Paton Miller. Courtesy of the artist.

"Bird Dog" by Paton Miller. Courtesy of the artist.

BASIC INFO:

The Hamptons International Film Festival is being held from Oct 13 to 17 in theaters and venues in East Hampton, Montauk, Sag Harbor, Southampton, Water Mill and Westhampton. http://hamptonsfilmfest.org

Boltax Gallery: www.boltaxgallery.com

Design Within Reach: www.dwr.com

Suzanne Unrein: www.suzanneunrein.com

Grenning Gallery: www.grenninggallery.com

Paton Miller: www.patonmiller.com

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Want to know what’s happening in the Hamptons art community? How about the North Fork or NYC? Visit HamptonsArtHub.com to find out.

There’s plenty of art news, art fair coverage and artists with a Hamptons / North Fork connection.

Hamptons Art Hub. Art Unrestricted.

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© Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub 2010-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. This includes all photographs and images. Text excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pat Rogers and Hamptons Art Hub with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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