Legs: A Big Issue in a Small Town


Friday, Nov. 4 at 7:30pm

Set in Sag Harbor, a small, frozen-in-time village in the tony Hamptons, “Legs” recounts the controversy that results when a local gallery installs Larry Rivers’ large sculpture of a woman’s legs. Because the artwork is attached to the side of a building, local officials deem it a “structure” — equivalent to a garage or shed — and declare that the owners are in violation of the town’s zoning code. Using a chorus of voices with differing perspectives, the film engages in a lively discussion of public art but also widens its view to encompass a whole range of interesting issues: upholding tradition vs. embracing change, small-town locals vs. summer visitors, long-time residents vs. recent arrivals. And although everyone in Sag Harbor is relatively wealthy, the documentary also smartly explores issues of inclusion from the perspectives of race, gender, and sexual orientation. Unfolding like a long, fascinating conversation, “Legs” employs an impressive array of talking heads, folks who prove wonderfully articulate and often quite eccentric (the gallery co-owners preeminently). A few of the residents interviewed are well known — art-world power couple Eric Fischl and April Gornik, guitarist G.E. Smith (who also contributes the soundtrack) — but the film offers a real diversity of viewpoints and refuses to demonize anyone. “Legs” ends before the case is fully litigated, but as one of the subjects makes clear, the discussion is just as important as the resolution.

76 min.

Directed by

Beatrice Alda & Jennifer Brooke

Film Category

Art & Architecture Spotlight Leon & Mary Strauss Documentary Spotlight Women in Film Spotlight
With co-directors Alda and Brooke.

Shown with

All The Presidents' Heads

All The Presidents' Heads

Adam Roffman

A man makes it his mission to save giant statues of the presidents' heads.

8 min.