RED BANK: COMING ATTRACTIONS, FOR MCAC

I Saw the LightBritish actor Tom Hiddleston plays country music immortal Hank Williams in I SAW THE LIGHT, screening in a Thursday sneak-preview fundraiser at Red Bank’s Bow Tie Cinemas.

Beginning Thursday night, and continuing in monthly installments through Spring 2016, downtown Red Bank’s Bow Tie Cinemas is once again the scene for a set of feature film premieres.

Not the red-carpet, “who-are-you-wearing” variety, mind you, but still, a series of sneak-preview screenings that positions the Greater Red Bank Green as a go-to destination for talked-about indies from such major festivals as Sundance, Tribeca and Cannes.

Part of a long-running partnership between the borough-based Monmouth County Arts Council and Sony Pictures Classics (the distributor of top-shelf “arthouse” releases, whose president Tom Bernard happens to be a resident of Middletown), the sneak-peek series has offered up a first look at features that went on to become international box office hits (Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris) — as well as those (like Francis Ford Coppola’s failed comeback Youth Without Youth) that never went on to any sort of widespread release.

On Thursday, the action resumes on White Street, with a 7:30 p.m. showing of a music-infused dramatic biopic, I Saw The Light.

An R-rated study of the life and times of country music pioneer Hank Williams Sr., the film from writer-director Marc Abraham stars Tom Hiddleston — hitherto best known for his turns as Thor’s mischievously evil bro Loki in the Marvel superhero movies — as the ‘Bama-born singer, guitarist and songsmith who left behind such truly timeless classics as “Hey Good Lookin’,” “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Jambalaya” and “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” before passing away in proto-rockstar fashion at the age of 29.

The British actor (soon on display in the AMC miniseries The Night Manager) captures the crisply countrified elegance and radio-hayride voice of the iconic Williams, co-starring with fellow Marvel Universe resident Elizabeth “Scarlet Witch” Olsen in a film that’s been garnering mixed reviews around the internets. But judge for yourself when the fundraiser for the Arts Council’s programs unspools (tickets are $15 at the door) — or join the MCAC in a 5:45 p.m. pre-show reception at Patrizia’s Pizza & Pasta, with tickets to both film and reception available here for $45 ($35 for Arts Council members).

As always, all admissions benefit the not-for-profit MCAC and its ever-expanding array of ongoing programs and special events, a smorgasbord that includes last week’s 2016 edition of the annual Teen Arts Festival at Brookdale Community College.

The sneaky-peeky series continues on Thursday, April 21 with a showing of The Meddler, starring Susan Sarandon as a New Jersey widow (and meddlesome mom) who makes a big and life-changing move to Los Angeles. Then on May 19, the spring slate wraps with Maggie’s Plan, Rebecca Miller’s rom-com study of a thirtysomething New Yorker (Greta Gerwig) whose plans regarding love, career and parenthood have a big effect on the people in her orbit (Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph).

All screenings feature film-only options plus Patrizia’s pre-party, and cinema buffs have an opportunity to purchase discounted tix for all three events by taking it here.