In the cold dark days of January, Harbor Theater in Boothbay Harbor is planning four Thursday night special evenings to brighten one’s spirits and keep one entertained.
Starting off the series on Thursday, Jan. 4 will be “The Sounding,” a made-in-Maine film written and directed by Catherine Eaton and spectacularly shot on Monhegan.
The winner of the Audience Award for Best Film at the 2017 Maine International Film Festival in Waterville last summer, “The Sounding” will be introduced by members of the festival’s parent nonprofit organization, the Maine Film Center. Maine Film Center Executive Director Mike Perrault and Ken Eisen, director of programming for the center, will be on hand to introduce the film and lead a question-and-answer session afterwards. Eisen is also an important associate and friend of Harbor Theater as the booking agent for all films shown in the theater.
“The Sounding” tells the haunting story of a woman’s struggle to maintain her independence and find her own voice. On the island of Monhegan, off the coast of Maine, Michael (played by Teddy Sears), a revolutionary neuropsychiatrist, discovers Liv (Catherine Eaton), a woman who, after years of silence, now weaves a language from Shakespeare’s words. Brought to the island to protect her, Michael’s life collides with Liv’s as he struggles to define what it is he must protect her from. “The Sounding” is a film that resonates with Maine, with life, and with the beat of a different drum.
Eaton — writer, director, and star of the film — describes “The Sounding” as a film inspired by Oliver Sacks’ humanity and curiosity about the mind, and Shakespeare’s insights into the human condition.
The film plays at 7 p.m. on Jan. 4, with an introduction and Q&A. People are invited to come at 6:30 p.m. for free refreshments before the screening. A matinee is scheduled on Friday, Jan. 5 at 2 p.m., when all tickets will be $6.
Second in the series is “A Quiet Passion,” a film centered on the life of the reclusive poet Emily Dickinson. Manola Dargis, chief film critic for The New York Times, put this one on her list of top 10 films for 2017.
John Ward, retired chair of the English department at Kenyon College in Ohio, will give a short introduction on Dickinson before the film and lead a question-and-answer session afterwards. One should come early for refreshments and a chance to meet Ward before “A Quiet Passion” plays on Thursday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m. The film repeats on Friday, Jan. 12 at 2 p.m. when all tickets are $6.
On Thursday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m., Harbor Theater will honor all volunteer firemen on the peninsula with a special showing of “Only the Brave,” the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite firefighters who risk everything to protect a town from a historic wildfire.
With California wildfires much in the news, this will be a topical movie as well as a tribute to our own stalwart firefighters.
Boothbay Fire Chief Dick Spofford, Boothbay Harbor Fire Chief Nick Upham, and Southport Fire Chief Gerry Gamage will be present before the movie and will answer questions afterwards. One should come early to meet them and enjoy coffee and cookies.
January is the month that our volunteer firemen spend two weeks training in the snow and cold to learn the latest methods for handling any emergency. Come honor our own brave volunteers and enjoy this film with them.
“Only the Brave” is free for all volunteer firemen and their families from Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, Southport, and Edgecomb. Regular adult tickets are $10; tickets for theater members and youth up to age 18 are $8. The show repeats on Friday, Jan. 19 at 2 p.m., when all tickets are $6.
The end of January will be celebrated with a French feast. On Jan. 25, local chefs will provide French desserts, and Harbor Theater will serve free red wine and coffee to go with its feature film, “Paris Can Wait.”
The film is a feast for the eye and the palette. As her movie producer husband (Alex Baldwin) works, Anne (Diane Lane) takes a carefree trip with her husband’s business associate (Arnaud Viard) from Cannes to Paris, driving through picturesque southern France and finding fine wine, food, humor, wisdom, and romance along the way.
The show starts at 7 p.m., but one should come early to enjoy desserts and drinks with the chefs. The film will repeat on Friday, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m., when all seats are $6.
Harbor Theater is located at 185 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor.