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Two Gripping Films Presented At Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center’s December Movie Series

Sydney A. Braat

The Handmaiden is a ravishing new crime drama about a sensual tale of two women: a young Japanese woman living on a secluded estate and a Korean woman who is hired to serve as her new handmaiden. (Courtesy Photo)

As temperatures drop across the East End, the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center (WHBPAC) is bringing the heat with its "Finest in World Cinema" movie series. December will include screenings of The Handmaiden directed by Park Chan-wook and The Lovers and the Despot directed by Ross Adam and Robert Cannan.

"Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center's Finest in World Cinema series continues to showcase the best of foreign, documentary, art house and independent films," remarked Erin Young, Assistant to the Executive Director of the WHBPAC. "Movie goers should keep their eyes and ears open for more exciting films in the WHBPAC's pipeline!"

The Handmaiden is a ravishing new crime drama about a sensual tale of two women: a young Japanese woman living on a secluded estate and a Korean woman who is hired to serve as her new handmaiden. The servant plots with a con-man to defraud her mistress of a large inheritance. This movie was inspired by the novel Fingersmith by British author, Sarah Waters. The Handmaiden borrows elements of its source material and combines it with Director Chan-wook's vision.

NPR describes The Handmaiden as "lush and romantic - the year's most irresistible love story." Variety remarks, "Commercial and arthouse audiences alike will either thrill to its stylized potboiler elements or swoon over the opiate influence of Park's signature aesthetic beauty."

The Handmaiden will be shown on Friday, December 2nd at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, December 3rd at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, December 4th at 4 p.m.

Running time is 144 minutes and it is rated R.

The Lovers and the Despot is a gripping tale of the young, ambitious South Korean filmmaker Sin Sang-ok and actress Choi Eun-hee. (Courtesy Photo)

The Lovers and the Despot is a gripping tale of the young, ambitious South Korean filmmaker Sin Sang-ok and actress Choi Eun-hee. Sang-ok and Eun-hee met during 1950s post-war Korea and fell in love. In the 1970s, Eun-hee was kidnapped in Hong Kong by North Korean agents and taken to meet his biggest fan, Kim Hon-il. Sang-ok was later kidnapped while searching for Eun-hee. Follow the bizarre slavery of this couple as they rediscover their love and gather evidence of the dictator's crimes.

Variety describes the film as "a coolly gripping documentary account of one of the more bizarre true-crime stories ever to emerge from the film world."

The New York Times says The Lovers and the Despot is "a harrowing North Korea ordeal...Stranger than fiction and True."

The Lovers and the Despot will be shown on Friday, December 16th at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, December 17th at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Running time is 98 minutes and the film is not rated.

WHBPAC is looking for new Film Society members. Members enjoy 20 discounted admissions at $5 each per calendar year, free admittance on your birthday, and two freeform tickets for each new member your refer. To join the Film Society, call the Box Office at 631-288-1500 or visit ovationtix.com.

Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center is located at 76 Main Street, Westhampton Beach. For more information, call 631-288-1500 or visit www.whbpac.org.

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