Monsters Run Amok In ‘Matinee,’ A Cold War-Era Tribute - 27 East

Arts & Living

Arts & Living / 1679082

Monsters Run Amok In ‘Matinee,’ A Cold War-Era Tribute

icon 2 Photos
A scene from the Joe Dante's 1993 film

A scene from the Joe Dante's 1993 film "Matinee."

John Goodman as B-movie impresario Lawrence Woosley in a scene from the Joe Dante's 1993 film

John Goodman as B-movie impresario Lawrence Woosley in a scene from the Joe Dante's 1993 film "Matinee."

authorStaff Writer on Feb 18, 2020

In the 1993 film “Matinee,” director Joe Dante pays homage to William Castle, the master of exploitation who provided his audiences with extra frissons by wiring movie theater seats to give electric shocks during his 1968 film “The Tingler.”

Though the seats won’t be wired, the story of Castle will be told when the Sag Harbor Cinema (SHC) screens “Matinee” as the final film in its “Here Comes the Cinema!” winter series. The film will be screened on Sunday, February 23, at 2 p.m. in Pierson High School auditorium in Sag Harbor and will be followed by a conversation with Museum of Modern Art curator Dave Kehr.

A ferocious satire of Cold War fever and a loving ode to B-monster movies, in “Matinee,” John Goodman channels Castle in his role of Lawrence Woosley, a B-movie impresario who arrives in Key West, Florida in 1962 — right in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis — for a special Saturday matinee preview of “Mant,” his latest opus, starring a very large mutant and announced by an ad campaign that promises “Half Man…Half Ant…All Terror!!!”

The clips of the movie-within-a-movie are dead on, with hilarious in-jokes, surprising cameos (including Kevin McCarthy, the star of the original “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and fellow independent filmmaker John Sayles) and special attention for historical details from the ’50s and ’60s.

“Joe Dante’s passion for film as reflected in his very special blend of horror, subversive comedy and sharp political satire makes for very unique voice in American cinema,” says SHC’s artistic director Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan. “After the ‘Gremlins’ director kindly appeared via skype for SHC last year to introduce his rarely seen ‘The Second Civil War’ as part of our Present Tense series, we chose one of his most beloved titles, ‘Matinee.’”

Dave Kehr, who will take part in a conversation after the film with D’Agnolo Vallan, is a curator in the Museum of Modern Art's Department of Film. In a previous life, he worked as a critic and journalist for the Chicago Reader, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Daily News and the New York Times. Among his books are “When Movies Mattered: Reviews from a Transformative Decade” (2011), “Movies That Mattered: More Reviews from a Transformative Decade” (2017) and “Italian Film Posters” (2003). Described by Roger Ebert as “one of the most gifted film critics in America,” Kehr was an early supporter of Joe Dante’s work.

Tickets to “Matinee” are $15 for adults (free for ages 14 and under) at or at the door. Pierson High School is at 200 Jermain Avenue in Sag Harbor.

You May Also Like:

‘Simply Halston’ By Steven Gaines Soon To Be A Netflix Series

Through an unmarked door, the glass-enclosed headquarters of Halston Enterprises soared high above New York, ... 19 Mar 2020 by Michelle Trauring

On The Road: The Ides Of March Are Upon Us

In hindsight, maybe I should have taken the signs more seriously. But back then, my ... 16 Mar 2020 by Annette Hinkle

TV Series Reflects A Truth And Finds A Home In Greenport

Two and a half years ago, Tony Spiridakis found himself seated in the Greenport Theatre, ... by Michelle Trauring

COVID-19 Won’t Stop Bibliophiles And Their Books

In these uncertain times, the blue door at Canio’s Books in Sag Harbor has not ... 15 Mar 2020 by Staff Writer

SOFO’s Outdoor Adventures Are On

Though virtually every museum in the area, including the South Fork Natural History Museum (SOFO) ... by Staff Writer

Stuck At Home And Looking For A Dose Of Art And Culture? There’s A Virtual Solution For That!

On Friday, March 13, in response to the developing situation with the novel coronavirus, Terrie ... by Annette Hinkle

Amber Ferrari Channels Janis Joplin

Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor will present a concert-theater performance of “Joplin’s Pearl featuring ... 14 Mar 2020 by Staff Writer

Laugh With The All Stars

Bay Street Theater’s third installment of its All Star Comedy 10th anniversary season brings comedians ... by Staff Writer

Bridgehampton Chamber Music Celebrates Spring With The Work Of Beethoven

Update: Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, the Saturday, March 21, Bridgehampton Chamber ... 13 Mar 2020 by Michelle Trauring

The View From Bonac: Acabonac Farms Overwinters In Yaphank

Acabonac Farms owner Stephen Skrenta is happy his cattle are spending their first winter on ... by Kelly Ann Smith

Welcome to our new website!

To see what’s new, click “Start the Tour” to take a tour.

We welcome your feedback. Please click the
“contact/advertise” link in the menu bar to email us.

Start the Tour
Landscape view not supported