Movie Review

From left, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe in a scene from ‘Some Like it Hot'. Photo courtesy of Fathom Events

The film that holds the top spot on the American Film Institute’s list of the funniest American movies of all time will return to select cinemas nationwide for two days only on Sunday, June 11, and Wednesday, June 14, at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events will present the screenings of “Some Like It Hot” (1959) along with specially produced commentary from TCM host Tiffany Vazquez before and after the film.

Billy Wilder’s beloved comedy is about two jazz musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) who find themselves on the run after they inadvertently witness a gangland murder. With no money and nowhere to hide, the two masquerade as members of an all-girl band, leading to a number of romantic complications when one falls for the band’s lead singer played by Marilyn Monroe in one of her most iconic roles.

Participating theaters in our neck of the woods include AMC Loews Stony Brook 17, Farmingdale Multiplex Cinemas and Island 16 Cinema de Lux in Holtsville. For more information or to purchase your tickets in advance, visit www.fathomevents.com.

Marlon Brando stars in 'The Godfather'. Photo courtesy of Fathom Events

Here’s an offer you can’t refuse. In celebration of its 45th anniversary, “The Godfather” (1972) will be screened at over 700 select cinemas nationwide on Sunday, June 4, and Wednesday, June 7, courtesy of Fathom Events,Turner Classic Movies and Paramount Pictures, giving both longtime fans and a new generation a chance to see one of the most influential films ever made back on the big screen.

Al Pacino in a scene from ‘The Godfather’. Photo courtesy of Fathom Events

In the 45 years since its first release, Francis Ford Coppola’s American epic has become part of the American mythology. Ranked second on the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest American films, it remains captivating … and almost shockingly relevant, a dark mirror held up to an American fascination with power, wealth and privilege.

Director Coppola paints a chilling portrait of the Sicilian clan’s rise and near fall from power in America, masterfully balancing the story between the Corleones family life and the ugly crime business in which they are engaged. Based on Mario Puzo’s best-selling novel and starring Marlon Brando as the patriarch of the Corleone family, along with Al Pacino, James Cann and Robert Duvall, this searing and brilliant film garnered 10 Academy Award nominations and won three, including Best Picture.

Relive the wedding of Connie Corleone as ‘The Godfather’ returns to local theaters. Photo courtesy of Fathom Events

The two-day event will also feature an exclusive commentary from TCM Host Ben Mankiewicz who will give insight into this classic film.

Participating movie theaters in our neck of the woods include AMC Loews Stony Brook 17, 2196 Nesconset Highway, Stony Brook (at 2 and 7 p.m. on both days), Farmingdale Multiplex Cinemas, 1001 Broadhollow Road, Farmingdale (on June 4 at 2 p.m., June 7 at 2 and 7 p.m.) and Island 16 Cinema de Lux, 185 Morris Ave., Holtsville (on June 4 at 2 p.m., June 7 at 2 and 7 p.m.). For more information or to purchase your ticket in advance, visit www.fathomevents.com.

Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich star in ‘The Fifth Element.’ Photo courtesy of Fathom Events

Calling all sci-fi fans! In celebration of the 20th anniversary of “The Fifth Element,” Sony Pictures will bring the cult classic back in a new 4K restoration to select cinemas nationwide on Sunday, May 14 and Wednesday, May 17.

Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich and Gary Oldman star in acclaimed director Luc Besson’s outrageous sci-fi adventure. With story by Luc Besson and screenplay by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, this is an extravagantly styled tale of good against evil set in an unbelievable 23rd-century world. The film will be paired with a preview of what promises to be Besson’s spiritual follow-up “The Fifth Element, Valerian,” which focuses on a pair of special operatives on a mission to save Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets.

Participating theaters in our neck of the woods include AMC Loews Stony Brook 17, 2196 Nesconset Highway, Stony Brook (at 2 and 7 p.m. on both days), Ronkonkoma Cinema 9, 565 Portion Road, Ronkonkoma (at 2 and 7 p.m. both days) and Island 16 Cinema de Lux in Holtsville, 185 Morris Ave., Holtsville (on May 14 at 2 p.m., May 17 at 7 p.m.). For more information or to purchase your tickets in advance, visit www.fathomevents.com.

A scene from ‘Saturday Night Fever’. Photo courtesy of Fathom Events

You should be dancin’, yeah! Paramount Pictures will bring “Saturday Night Fever” to select cinemas nationwide on Sunday, May 7, and Wednesday, May 10. The all-new Director’s Cut celebrates the 40th anniversary of the iconic film that catapulted John Travolta to superstardom, garnered him an Oscar nomination and captivated audiences the world over.

When it premiered in 1977, the movie was an instant sensation, propelling Travolta from “Welcome Back, Kotter” star to international celebrity. It also gave the Bee Gees a new lease on life as a disco band. Both the sensational dancing and moving story are driven by the timeless music soundtrack that will forever define its era.

The two-day event will also include an exclusive introduction to the film from legendary hall-of-fame radio personality Scott Shannon. Plus, take a look back at the legacy of “Saturday Night Fever” with interviews from the director and cast of this groundbreaking motion picture.

Participating movie theaters in our neck of the woods include AMC Loews Stony Brook 17 (at 2 and 7 p.m. on both days), Farmingdale Multiplex Cinemas (on May 7 at 2 p.m., May 10 at 7 p.m.) and Island 16 Cinema de Lux in Holtsville (on May 7 at 2 p.m., May 10 at 7 p.m.). For more information or to purchase your ticket in advance, visit www.fathomevents.com.

'Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me, aren't you?' Photo from Fathom Events

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, “The Graduate” (1967) will be screened at over 700 select cinemas nationwide on Sunday, April 23, and Wednesday, April 26, courtesy of Fathom Events and TCM Big Screen Classics. Adrift after college, young Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) is seduced by much-older friend-of-the-family Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft). The movie, with a knockout Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack, defined a generation, made Hoffman a superstar and garnered six Oscar nominations, including a win for director Mike Nichols.

Dustin Hoffman stars in “The Graduate.’ Photo courtesy of Fathom Events

The two-day event will also feature an exclusive commentary from TCM Host Ben Mankiewicz who will give insight into this classic film. Participating movie theaters in our neck of the woods include AMC Loews Stony Brook 17 (at 2 and 7 p.m. on both days), Farmingdale Multiplex Cinemas (on April 23 at 2 p.m., April 26 at 2 and 7 p.m.) and Island 16 Cinema de Lux in Holtsville (on April 23 at 2 p.m., April 26 at 2 and 7 p.m.). For more information or to purchase your ticket in advance, visit www.fathomevents.com.

Cary Grant in a scene from ‘North by Northwest’. Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Inc.

Alfred Hitchcock’s suspense-filled action-adventure “North by Northwest” (1959) will return to more than 700 select movie theaters nationwise on April 2 and 5, courtesy of Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Warner Bros. The star-studded cast includes Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Martin Landau and Jessie Royce Landis. Audiences will also enjoy specially produced commentary by Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz before and after the feature.

Participating theaters in our neck of the woods include AMC Loews Stony Brook 17 (at 2 and 7 p.m. on both days), Farmingdale Multiplex Cinemas (on April 2 at 2 p.m., April 5 at 2 and 7 p.m.) and Island 16 Cinema de Lux in Holtsville (on April 2 at 2 p.m., April 5 at 2 and 7 p.m.). For more information or to purchase your tickets in advance, visit www.fathomevents.com.

Image courtesy of Disney Dan Stevens as the Beast and Emma Watson as Belle star in Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast.’ Image courtesy of Disney

By Daniel Dunaief

The latest version of “Beauty and the Beast,” which broke box office records when it opened last weekend, offers a visually stunning montage, as one magnificent set blends into the next in a familiar story that, not much of a spoiler here, tracks the well-known story.

The sets, cinematography and songs take center stage in this live-action remake, as Disney spared no expense to make the enchanted castle, the quiet village where every day is like the one before, and the journey through the forest between them as detailed and lavish as the animated version. The script and main actors, including Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast, are fine, but not extraordinary.

Disney may not have wanted to tinker too much with a classic film and its well-known dialog, leaving the original script largely unchanged. That is both for the better and the worse, as this current incarnation lacks a novel flavor, a new Disney humor and charm, or the opportunity to explore much more about the characters. There are a few welcome moments when the audience learns more about unfortunate events in Belle and the Beast’s past, but those are short-lived in a film that is over two hours.

Luke Evans does a serviceable job as Gaston, conveying the narcissistic brute who seems more in love with his own reflection than he is with Belle or anyone else. The charm or the irresistibility the villagers feel for him is not evident to Belle or to the audience.

Josh Gad provides welcome comic relief as Gaston’s companion LeFou, fawning over him and calming him down when things don’t go his way. Gad takes his character further than the animated version of LeFou, becoming impish and playful.

Like the Broadway version of the classic animated film “Aladdin” and its “Never Had a Friend Like Me” song, “Beauty and the Beast” somehow equals and, in some ways, exceeds the original film with its “Be Our Guest” feature. While Belle prepares for her meal, the creatures of the castle surround her with food, song and spectacle.

While the script and the characters stay true to the Broadway and animated versions of the story, the visual details truly make the film memorable. The finale in the castle looks like the kind of details an eager bride would include if she had an unlimited budget, with symmetrical floral arrangements, magnificent lighting, perfectly spaced dancers and a cast of characters delighted to share in the space.

For parents, the scenes of peril with the wolves outside the Beast’s castle are familiar and filled with the same kind of potential for danger. Young children will likely be as concerned for the welfare of Belle and the Beast in the wolf scenes of this film as they would be watching the animated version.

The fight scene between the Beast and Gaston also involves some peril, with Gaston displaying a combination of cowardice and villainy. At the same time, the fight scene between the villagers incited by Gaston to battle and the members of the enchanted castle who are defending themselves also contains some of the few moments of humor in a film that otherwise takes its tale and the retelling of it seriously.

Some of the other cast members, including Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, have a tough act to follow, repeating familiar phrases and songs from Angela Lansbury. Thompson holds her own, regaling the audience with the lyrics from a tale as old as time.

The three-dimensional version of the film included a few noticeable effects, including when Belle and the Beast engage in a snowball fight. It also adds some depth to the image of the castle and the trek through the woods. The additional expense, however, didn’t seem especially necessary, given an elaborate attention to other visual details.

From left, Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Allison Williams and Daniel Kaluuya in a scene from ‘Get Out,’ now playing at local theaters. Photo courtesy of Universal

By Daniel Dunaief

Race permeates Jordan Peele’s directorial debut “Get Out” so thoroughly that the film is like a battery, with the white people on one side and the African-Americans on the other. Between them, the electricity of an unusual horror film flows with a shocking effect.

The film starts off with the feel of Sidney Poitier’s masterpiece, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” with Rose Armitage, played by Allison Williams, bringing her African-American boyfriend Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) home to meet her parents. Even though she says he’s the only African-American man she’s dated, she makes it clear that her parents will be totally cool with her choice and that they’ll support the biracial couple. And yet, the film quickly disposes of any notion of a simple meeting between an African-American man and potentially liberal white America.

Daniel Kaluuya in a hypnotic scene from ‘Get Out’. Photo courtesy of Universal

While Chris meets several African-American people around his girlfriend’s parents’ house, each encounter has a Hitchcock quality, with an eerie disconnect that suggests an unexplained distance.

On the other hand, Rose’s parents and her over-the-top creepy brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones), who wants to fight with Chris at dinner, introduce a terrifying blend of personalities. Catherine Keener is at her creepy best, playing Rose’s hypnotist mother Missy while Bradley Whitford as Rose’s father Dean seems on the verge of supporting and attacking Chris at the same time.

Chris’s best friend Rod (Lil Rel Howery), who spends much of the movie talking to Chris by cell phone, threatens to steal the movie. A TSA agent, Rod provides comic relief, infusing the movie with humorous lines that seem straight out of a paranoid playbook, until he seems like the only one who might have a clue about what could be going on at Rose’s house.

The movie is a true horror film, which means there’s gore and an undercurrent of violence. Each scene, which occurs in upstate New York, could easily have been filmed in Salem, Massachusetts, home of mass hysteria and witch trials.

As the movie progresses, Peele gradually reviews details about the Armitage family, and the people who share the upstate neighborhood, that blur the line between mundane and creepy. When the plot unfolds, all the details about how Chris and the audience got there become clear.

The final 20 minutes of the film blend horror, gore, comedy and social satire. Some of the particular details of the plot reside in the willing suspension of disbelief. Thinking through the specifics detracts from the film’s value as entertainment and social commentary.

The audience in the packed theater reacted to the climactic scenes of “Get Out” in a way that would likely please Peele, as they shared the drama of a gruesome experience that strays from customary plot points to shocking drama and horror.

While the film offers a disturbing take on race, it also tells a dramatic story that drives the viewer through to the chilling end. While it’s not Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn,” it does reveal a captivating, literally at times, story that keeps the audience guessing and at times horrified.

The best element of “Get Out” is the balance between horror and comedy, provided primarily by Rod, whose fast-talking, high-pitched responses to situations he senses aren’t what they seem are endearing and amusing.

While “Get Out” offers the audience plenty to ponder after the movie ends, the action and the plot won’t appeal to everyone. It earns its R rating with violence, horror, foul language and dangerous, suspenseful situations. Still, the movie exposes a fresh look at the races, albeit with novel plot devices, and it seemed to satisfy its viewers with unexpected and jarring visuals, music and close-ups.

Patricia Bosworth

Renowned actress and journalist comes to Huntington for a night of film, stories

By Melissa Arnold

Patricia Bosworth has worn many hats throughout her lengthy career, but above all she is a storyteller. She’s written for the most well-known magazines and newspapers in America; she’s penned the biographies of Hollywood greats Jane Fonda and Marlon Brando, among others; and she’s graced stage and screen countless times in fulfillment of her childhood dreams. Now, Bosworth is telling her own story.

On March 15, Bosworth will appear at the Cinema Arts Centre in Huntington to share her new memoir, “The Men in My Life,” which was released in January.

“At the CAC we often have celebrities come in to talk about their memoirs. Here we have in Patricia Bosworth a true literary talent who is deeply respected,” said Jud Newborn, curator for special programs at the Cinema Arts Centre. “This book has everything juicy in it that you could want surrounding the world of acting, but it’s also a work that can sit proudly on your bookshelf. It’s placed in the context of crisis and transformation during a particular time in our history. It’s intelligent, fiercely honest, and entertaining.”

In a recent phone interview, Patricia Bosworth said she lived a lot of the time in a world of fantasy when she was a little girl.

Patricia Bosworth will be signing copies of her new book, above, at the event.

“I was always imagining, always pretending to be other people,” recalled Bosworth, who grew up in the shadow of her parents’ troubled marriage. Her father, Bartley Crum, saw his law career destroyed after he defended Hollywood’s infamous Big Ten from alleged communist sympathies in the 1950s.

Along with Bosworth’s fantastic imagination came two big dreams — to become a movie star and a writer. Buoyed by the support and love of her family, she set off in search of an acting career. It was not an easy life, however, and Bosworth suffered horrible abuse at the hands of the man she would marry and divorce before her 20th birthday. Shortly afterward, her beloved brother, Bartley Jr., took his own life following a long struggle with his sexuality. Just five years later, Bosworth’s father also committed suicide.

“I named my book ‘The Men in My Life’ after (my brother and father), because they really were the two most important men in the world to me,” Bosworth said. “I’ve spent my life trying to get over these huge losses and feeling guilty about their deaths.”

A self-described workaholic, Bosworth followed the path of many other suicide survivors, throwing herself completely into her career as a means of keeping the trauma at bay. “It was a thrill seeing myself on screen for the first time. It was challenging, and I wanted to change my hairstyle, but I wanted to do more,” Bosworth recalled.

She was eventually invited to join the prestigious Actors Studio in New York City, which allowed her to work with legends including Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Marilyn Monroe and others. It was in Bosworth’s words a “hotbed of creativity,” but it was also the most important workshop in America for recruiting new talent — thanks to skill and good timing, she quickly lined up jobs in television, Broadway and film.

While Bosworth’s resume is far too extensive to list, she singles out a few roles as career highlights. At 23, she played opposite Helen Hayes in a Palm Beach production of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie,” where she had the chance to meet Williams and talk about his inspiration for Laura, the character she played. Two years later, she appeared in the 1959 film “The Nun’s Story” alongside Audrey Hepburn, whom Bosworth called “a remarkable actress and beautiful human being.”

Patricia Bosworth

Developing close relationships with famed actors made Bosworth an easy choice for writing their life stories. Her first biography was of Montgomery Clift, whom she met as a teenager through her father. Later, she became the first woman to write a biography of Jane Fonda, a dear friend from the Actors Studio.

Bosworth’s career in journalism began with interviewing actors for New York Magazine, but her first mentor was Mario Puzo, author of “The Godfather.” She spent time at a variety of women’s magazines and freelanced for the New York Times for 15 years before becoming managing editor of Harper’s Bazaar and now serves as a contributing editor for Vanity Fair.

In “The Men in My Life,” Bosworth writes candidly about grief, surviving abuse, having a difficult, illegal abortion, and getting to know Hollywood’s finest in a way no one else could. “I wanted to tell my story because while we talk about many of these issues today, they were either considered taboo or rarely discussed (in the 1950s). I’m not the first one to write about this, but these memories have been in my head and my heart for decades,” she explained. “I wasn’t ready before. But now I am, and I’m very glad I did it.”

In addition to sharing the book at the March 15 event, the Cinema Arts Centre will screen the 1951 film “A Place in the Sun,” starring Bosworth’s friend Montgomery Clift and a 17-year-old Elizabeth Taylor.

An evening with Patricia Bosworth will begin at 7 p.m. March 15 at the Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. A dessert and Prosecco reception will feature local jazz guitarist Mike Soloway and give guests the chance to meet Bosworth. Tickets are $20 for CAC members and $25 for nonmembers. For information, call 631-423-7611 or visit www.cinemaartscentre.org.

‘Abacus: Small Enough to Jail’ will be screened on March 27.

By Heidi Sutton

Soul music, Asperger’s syndrome, circus life, terrorism, race in America — these diverse subject matters and more will be explored at length as the Port Jefferson Documentary Series (PJDS) kicks off its spring 2017 season Monday evening, March 13. Sponsored by the Greater Port Jefferson Northern Brookhaven Arts Council, the Suffolk County Office of Film and Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts, the PJDS, now in its 11th year, will present seven award-winning documentaries from March 13 to May 1, alternating between two venues — Theatre Three in Port Jefferson and The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook. Each screening will be followed by a Q-and-A with guest speakers.

‘Circus Kid’ will be screened on April 17 at Theatre Three.

The documentaries are chosen by a six-member film board, affectionately known as “the film ladies,” who each choose one film to present and then a seventh film is chosen unanimously by the group. The ladies, who include co-directors Lyn Boland and Barbara Sverd, Wendy Feinberg, Honey Katz, Phyliss Ross and Lorie Rothstein, recently found out that the PJDS was chosen by Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s Best of Long Island survey as the Best Film Festival on Long Island for 2017. The series beat out the Stony Brook Film Festival, the Hamptons International Film Festival and the Gold Coast Film Festival.

“Ecstatic would not be too mild a description,” said Boland. “We were really delighted [about the news].” Sverd added, “We never found out who had nominated us, but we are very grateful to that person!”

According to Sverd, the group started out 11 years ago sitting around a dining room table at the late Sondra Edward’s home “brainstorming about how to improve the Greater Port Jefferson/Northern Brookhaven’s existing film series. It was there that the idea of a documentary series began to emerge.” Back then, Sverd said, “We knew that documentaries were an emerging art form and that our community was missing opportunities to see them, as they mostly played in New York for a limited time. We now face new challenges in an age of streaming and HBO, but our mission [to present new documentaries] has remained the same.”

This past fall, the group traveled to the Tribeca Film Festival and the New York Documentary Film Festival in Manhattan and attended the Stony Brook Film Festival, searching for documentaries that generated a lot of interest and offered wide appeal.

‘I Am Not Your Negro’ will be screened on April 3 at the Long Island Museum.

This season, both Boland and Sverd are most excited about presenting “I Am Not Your Negro,” which is narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. Based on the writings of James Baldwin, it tells the story of race in modern America. One of the scheduled guest speakers, Prof. Michael Theiwill, was a colleague and friend of Baldwin. “It’s an exciting film, it’s very, very sophisticated and it’s so on point,” said Boland. “It’s a little demanding in terms of what it asks the audience to listen to and to be aware of, but it is very on point for what’s going on. You realize how you thought everything was changing, but there is still this basic unyielding racism that we find very difficult to understand.”

Boland is also looking forward to showing “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” on March 27. “It’s such a great story about this little bank in Queens that the district attorney decides to pick on for financial irregularities” and how the family that owned the bank fought back and won.

The co-directors encourage the audience to stay after the screenings for the Q-and-A part which can get quite spirited. “A documentary is like taking a college course,” said Sverd, adding, “I believe that the reason documentaries have become so popular is because people love to learn about other people, places and things. Having a director for an up-close and personal Q-and-A after each screening makes it an even more special classroom experience.” “For me it is much more exciting to get a little bit of the backstory after the movie. Having the director or someone from the film there to answer questions right away was something that we really wanted,” said Boland. The group is always looking for volunteers to help distribute posters and flyers, taking tickets and program assistance. To sign up, please call 631-473-5200.

The Port Jefferson Documentary Series will be held at 7 p.m. every Monday from March 13 to May 1 at Theatre Three, 412 Main Street, Port Jefferson or The Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook. Tickets, sold at the door, are $7 per person (no credit cards please). For more information, visit www.portjeffdocumentaryseries.com.

Film schedule:

▶ The spring season will kick off with a screening of “Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing” at Theatre Three on March 13. The dramatic story of the April 2013 terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon is recounted through the emotional experiences of individuals whose lives were forever impacted. The film follows events as they unfolded that day and over the next two years, to the death penalty sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Winner of the Audience Award Best Documentary at the Woodstock Film Festival, “Marathon” shows how cities and communities come together and find strength through dark times. Guest speakers will be directors Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg.

“The Uncondemned,” the second film in the series, will be screened at Theatre Three on March 20. Both a real-life courtroom thriller and a moving human drama, the documentary tells the gripping story of a group of young international lawyers and activists who fought to have rape recognized as a war crime and the Rwandan women who came forward to testify and win justice for the crimes committed against them. The film won the Brizzolara Family Foundation Award for a Film of Conflict and Resolution and the Victor Rabinowitz and Joanne Grant Award for Social Justice at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Department at Stony Brook University. Guest speaker will be director Michele Mitchell.

▶ On March 27, The Long Island Museum will host a screening of “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.” Directed by Steve James and produced by Julie Goldman and Mark Mitten, the film tells the fascinating David and Goliath story of the government’s decision to prosecute a small, immigrant-owned financial institution, Abacus Federal Savings of Chinatown owned by the Sung family, of mortgage fraud while overlooking far more egregious behavior at much larger institutions. The Sung family spent over $10 million in a five-year battle to save the family business, their honor and to stand up for their community. Producer Julie Goldman, Associated Producer Sean Lyness and bankers Jill and Vera Sung will be the guest speakers for the evening.

▶ The fourth film, titled “I Am Not Your Negro,” will be screened at The Long Island Museum on April 3. Built around James Baldwin’s unfinished 1979 book about the lives and successive assassinations of his friends Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, the film, directed by Raoul Peck, delves into the complex legacy of those three lives and deaths that permanently marked the American social and political landscape complimented by archival footage, photographs and television clips. Winner of the Audience Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, Best Documentary at the Hamptons International Film Festival, People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival, short-listed for the Academy Awards and countless other accolades, “I Am Not Your Negro” has been called “One of the best movies you are likely to see this year” by the New York Times. Guest Speakers will include Prof. Zebulon Miletsky, African American Studies, SUNY, and Author/Prof. Michael Thelwell, U. Mass, Amherst. Co-sponsored by the Africana Studies Department at Stony Brook University.

Director Lorenzo Pisoni will be the guest speaker on April 17.

▶ The series continues on April 17 at Theatre Three with “Circus Kid.” A ring of daring, danger, spirit and lunacy can lead many a young child into a romantic fantasy of running away to join the circus. But for Lorenzo Pisoni, director of this autobiographical documentary, and guest speaker for the evening, the reality of growing up as the golden child in his family’s cult classic Pickle Family Circus, his dreams were about running away from it. Archival footage of vaudeville-style acts and interviews include Pickle Family participants, including parents Larry and Peggy, daughter Gypsy and Pickle member Bill Irwin.

“Bang! The Bert Berns Story” will be screened at Theatre Three on April 24. Music meets the Mob in this biographical documentary, narrated by Steven Van Zandt, about the life and career of songwriter and record producer Bert Berns whose hits include “Twist and Shout,”“Tell Him,” “Hang on Sloopy,” “Here Comes the Night” and “Piece of My Heart.” Berns helped launch the careers of Wilson Pickett, Van Morrison and Neil Diamond and produced some of the greatest soul music ever made. Filmmaker Brett Berns, who will be the evening’s guest speaker, brings his late father’s story to the screen through interviews with Ronald Isley, Ben E. King, Solomon Burke, Van Morrison, Paul McCartney and Keith Richards and rare performance footage. Co-sponsored by the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.

▶ The final film for the spring 2106 series, to be screened at Theatre Three on May 1, will be “Off the Rails,” the remarkable true story of Darius McCollum, a man with Asperger’s syndrome whose overwhelming love of transit has landed him in jail 32 times for impersonating New York City bus drivers and subway conductors and driving their routes. Winner of Best Documentary at the DocUtah Film Festival, the Newport Beach Film Festival, the Woods Hole Film Festival and the Buffalo International Film Festival, to name just a few. Director Adam Irving will be the guest speaker via Skype.