The Maine-made movie “The Congressman” plays Thursday, May 19 followed by Tom Hanks in “A Hologram for the King,” this week at The Harbor Theatre.
“The Congressman” is a film that understands the politics that dominate 2016 all too well. Treat Williams (“Hair,” “Prince of the City”) headlines a stellar cast as Maine Congressman Charlie Winship, who’s having a bad day. After being caught on video refusing to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance, he knocks out another House member, confronts his angry ex-wife, and faces denunciation by the media for attacking one of the most cherished patriotic symbols in America. As his life spirals out of control, Charlie embarks on a journey to the remote Maine island whose eccentric inhabitants are in the middle of a shooting war in defense of their fishing grounds. Here is a homegrown-yet-world-class, humorous, and moving film with the smell of the Maine coast that raises the important question of what it means to be an American.
This is the first film for producer, writer, and co-director Robert Mrazek. Long before he ever made a movie, Mrazek yearned to be part of the cinema world, studying for a time at the London Film School. But the gods decreed a long, circuitous detour through the political forest before allowing him to embrace his muse. After a short stint as a senatorial aide, Mrazek was elected to the Suffolk County Legislature (1975-’82) and then to the U. S. House of Representatives for five terms (1983-1993), representing New York’s third district.
After leaving Congress, Mrazek built a new career as a writer of fiction, non-fiction, and screenplays. “The Congressman,” his first-produced script, harkens back to his previous life in politics and is peripherally autobiographical. The story also pays homage to the flinty, stalwart residents of Monhegan Island off the coast of Maine, where he lives part of the year and has owned a home for 30 years.
“The Congressman,” rated R, plays at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 19.
Cultures collide when an American businessman (Tom Hanks) is sent to Saudi Arabia to close what he hopes will be the deal of a lifetime. Set in 2010, before the Arab Spring, American consultant Alan Clay is depressed after losing his house and being divorced by his wife during the Great Recession; he arrives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to make a sale in an upcoming development called the King’s Metropolis of Economy and Trade (a fictionalized version of King Abdullah Economic City). Baffled by local customs and stymied by an opaque bureaucracy, he eventually finds his footing with the help of a wisecracking taxi driver (Alexander Black) and a beautiful Saudi doctor (Sarita Choudhury).
“A Hologram for the King” is based on Dave Eggers’ 2012 novel. It is rated R (for some sexuality/nudity, language, and brief drug use). It plays at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21, and Wednesday, May 25; and at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 22.
On Thursday, May 26 the theater will present a sneak screening of Johnny Depp’s new movie “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” opening nationwide on Friday, May 27.
For more information, call 633-0438 or go to facebook.com/harbortheatre or harbortheatre.net. The Harbor Theatre is at the junction of Routes 27 and 96 in Boothbay Harbor, across from Hannaford Supermarket.