Black History Through Film
In celebration of Black History Month in February, the Wellfleet Public Library (55 West Main St.) will be screening four films from the past decade highlighting different aspects of the Black American experience.
The series begins on Tuesday, Feb. 7 with director Kasi Lemmons’s 2019 historical biopic Harriet, starring Cynthia Erivo in an Academy Award-nominated performance as 19th-century abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Subsequent weeks will feature Loving (2016), starring Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton as the real-life couple whose 1967 Supreme Court case invalidated state laws prohibiting interracial marriage, on Feb. 14; The Butler (2013), Lee Daniels’s film about White House staff member Eugene Allen, on Feb. 21; and Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), a 2021 documentary that revealed long-unseen footage of the vibrant 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, on Feb. 28.
All screenings will begin at 5 p.m. and are free. See wellfleetlibrary.org for information.
Catherine Hess Paints the Seasons
The Truro Public Library (7 Standish Way) is showing a selection of paintings and prints by Wellfleet artist Catherine Hess through the end of February.
In her artist statement that accompanies the show, Hess explains how she responds to the constantly changing dynamics in the Outer Cape landscape. “Hour to hour, day to day, season to season, year to year … sun, tides, and wind transform what I see around me,” she says. “I am driven to capture moments in these movements, most often working onsite, or from my own photos.”
Hess’s Autumn on the Pamet Marsh captures this dynamism. The picture depicts a partly cloudy day on a marsh transitioning from summer greens to the browns of winter. It’s a static image of something unstable and shifting: a tricky thing to capture in paint. But Hess’s technique goes a long way towards achieving her effects. “Using a palette knife, I feel like I’m getting the movement in the scene,” she says.
In another piece, Partly Cloudy, Hess captures movement in shifting clouds. The scene is depicted in monotype, another medium known for its unpredictability.
“With monotypes, you really don’t know what you’re going to get out of the press,” says Hess.
In addition to oil paintings and monotypes, Hess is also showing watercolors and white-line prints. Although she paints predominantly in Wellfleet, she is focusing this show on works painted in Truro and Provincetown, including scenes of Pamet Harbor, High Head, and Ballston Beach. See trurolibrary.org for information. —Abraham Storer
Warm Tunes on a Cold Winter Day
The Winter Music Series continues at the Eastham Public Library (190 Samoset Road) with a concert by Tom Leidenfrost on accordion and vocals and Lary Chaplan on violin on Saturday, Feb. 4, 1 p.m.
Both musicians are familiar figures on the Outer Cape music scene. Leidenfrost has been performing locally and abroad for the past decade, while Chaplan has played violin in the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra for the past 29 years. The two have played together at the annual “Yule for Fuel” benefit at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, where Leidenfrost also performed as part of the theater’s children’s theater group for five seasons.
At the library, Leidenfrost and Chaplan will combine music and theatrics in a program that includes Irish and European folk music and jazz standards.
The free concert will be held in the library’s Greg Turner Room and is sponsored by the Friends of the Eastham Library. See easthamlibrary.org for information. —Dorothea Samaha
To Cape Cod, With Love
Of the many reasons to love Cape Cod — its natural beauty, its people, its world-class seafood — its built environment isn’t always at the top of most lists. But a recent documentary film makes the case that it should be.
Love Letter to Cape Cod will be screened at Wellfleet Preservation Hall (335 Main St.) on Saturday, Feb. 4 at 3 p.m. Produced by the organization Protect Our Past and sponsored by the Wellfleet Historical Commission, the 27-minute film celebrates Cape Cod’s history and distinctive architecture.
According to Merrill Mead-Fox, co-chair of the commission, the history of Cape Cod and its buildings is a big part of the history of the United States. “Some of the earliest buildings in the country are here,” she says. “The film includes photographs of historic houses on Cape Cod and interviews with people who are concerned about the cultural and architectural history that those houses embody and what needs to be preserved.”
The film has been screened on the Cape since its release last summer and is also available to view on YouTube. The screening at Preservation Hall will be followed by a discussion with Protect Our Past founder Ellen Briggs, film producer John Yacobian, and architect and historical commission member Gordon Kahn.
“A lot of people are entranced by these buildings,” says Mead-Fox.
The event is free. Register at wellfleetpreservationhall.org and see protectourpast.org for more information. —Eve Samaha
Going Once, Going Twice…
In these days of DMs and text messages, voicemail has fallen out of favor. But your friends might find themselves calling you in hopes you won’t answer when they know they’ll be hearing Kathleen Turner telling them you can’t come to the phone right now.
A custom voicemail greeting recorded by the Golden Globe-winning and Academy Award-nominated actress is one of the marquee items in the annual winter auction benefitting the Provincetown Film Society. The auction will also include an opportunity to win a private dinner with two-time Tony Award-winning actor and playwright John Cameron Mitchell in Provincetown or New York City.
Other items in the auction, which begins on Feb. 4 and runs through Feb. 12, include a private dune tour; a week-long stay in a Provincetown dune shack; luxury hotel and house rentals in Provincetown, New York, Florida, and Italy; an African safari; private dinners with celebrity chefs; gift certificates to local restaurants and shops; and original works of art.
According to the auction website, all proceeds will benefit the Provincetown Film Society in its mission “to present and advocate for gender, racial, and LGBTQ+ representation on screen by providing year-round programming and platforms that allow voices of all kinds to be heard.” The auction will also benefit this year’s 25th anniversary of the Provincetown International Film Festival, to be held June 14 to 19.
See biddingforgood.com/ptownfilm for a complete list of auction items and more information.