Present Tense, presented by Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center, will highlight Joe Dante’s The Second Civil War during a screening at Pierson High School on Sunday, February 24. Dante, who directed the 1997 comedy, will take part in a post film Q&A via Skype.
The satire, which stars Beau Bridges, the late Phil Hartman, James Earl Jones, Elizabeth Peña and Denis Leary, revolves around the governor of Idaho, Jim Farley, who demands that the National Guard close access to his state to prohibit a plane load of Pakistan refugee orphans from entering. This leads to a clash between Idaho and the federal government, which is led by an incompetent president that entrusts major decisions with his advisors.
“You can’t do great satire if you don’t love what you satirize,” Dante told Film Comment in 2015. “Someone said I make my own movies and the Mad magazine parodies at the same time. I don’t know why this is. It’s just my sensibility.”
The film was based on a script by Canadian author Martyn Burke and produced by HBO.
Dante, a Philadelphia College of Art graduate, is also responsible for Matinee, Small Soldiers, Gremlins, Howling, and Innerspace. Homecoming, Dante’s episode of Showtime’s Masters of Horror series, was lauded as “the best political film of 2005” by The New Yorker, while The Hole, his 3D thriller, was awarded the first-ever award for Best 3D Feature at the 2009 Venice Film Festival.
The Second Civil War viewing will take place at 3 p.m. The screening is free, however there is a suggested $15 donation in support of the Sag Harbor Cinema Arts Center.
Pierson High School Auditorium is located at 200 Jermain Avenue in Sag Harbor. For more information, visit www.sagharborcinema.org.