RED BANK: WOODY ALLEN FILM TO DEBUT HERE

IrrationalEmma Stone and Joaquin Phoenix pair up in IRRATIONAL MAN, the latest feature from writer-director Woody Allen, and the latest sneak-peek screening from the folks at the borough-based Monmouth Arts Council.

It’s as dependable as beach fees, summer gas prices or the annual appearance of a new feature film from writer, director and occasional star Woody Allen.

Once or twice each year, audiences on the Greater Red Bank Green are offered the chance to catch a buzzed-about arthouse movie, screened in advance of its general release as a fundraiser for the folks at Red Bank’s own Monmouth County Arts Council.

Coordinated by Middletown-based Tom Bernard of Sony Pictures Classics, and hosted at Bow Tie Cinemas on White Street, these events have often dipped into the seemingly bottomless well of the prolific Woodman’s cinematic legacy, as with last year’s preview of Magic by Moonlight. This Thursday evening, the stars align once more as the MCAC presents a sneak-peek look at the director’s 50th feature, Irrational Man.

The eighth collaboration between Allen and Sony Classics, and the final film credit for Allen’s longtime producing partner Jack Rollins, who died last month, the dramatic scenario marks the director’s second project with leading lady Emma Stone.

She’s paired here with the ever-quirky Joaquin Phoenix – whose recent roles included a ’70s stoner detective, an unbalanced cult member, and a man in a deep relationship with his smartphone operating system – as a college professor who “finds a will to live when he commits an existential act.” Indie-queen evergreen Parker Posey co-stars in the feature (first seen at the 2015 Cannes Festival) that screens Thursday at 7:30 pm, a day before its nationwide release on Friday, July 17.

As with all Sony sneak previews in the series, ticket proceeds are dedicated to the MCAC and its ongoing slate of programs in support of local artists and arts institutions. All those who attend the Bow Tie screening are invited to also take part in a 6 pm reception at Patrizias Pizza & Pasta on Broad Street. Take it here for tickets to the film and reception ($35 for Arts Council members; $45 non-members) or for the film screening only ($12 in advance; $15 at the door).