Rooftop Films’ 2011 Summer Lineup and Schedule

Rooftop Films’ 2011 Summer Lineup and Schedule (photo)

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It’s pretty embarrassing that I live in New York City and haven’t been to a Rooftop Films event yet, since their whole thing is showing awesome indie movies — many of them New York premieres — in awesome outdoor venues (in my defense, I’m incredibly lazy). I met the guys who founded and run Rooftop at South by Southwest this year, and they’re smart, passionate, and cool. They even funnel one dollar from every ticket sold to Rooftop screenings to a grant they dispense to filmmakers they like in order to help them fund future projects (SXSW selection “The City Dark,” for example, was made with Rooftop funds).

For their fifteenth summer film series, Rooftop’s pulled out all the stops. Highlights include the NYC premieres of Fantastic Fest favorite “Sound of Noise” (with a live performance by the film’s “musical terrorists” [!!!]) and “Bellflower,” one of my favorite films of the year so far, on the lawn of Automotive High School (in honor of the film’s insane homemade muscle car, Medusa). Here’s the announced schedule so far; there are a few more events not listed here that are still location and date TBD.

Friday, May 13

Opening Night: This is What We Mean by Short Films

Rooftop opens our 15th festival with a flash of creativity, a splatter of inspiration, and short epic stories that could save your life.
Venue: Open Road Rooftop (350 Grand Street, LES)

Saturday, May 14


(Zachary Raines | New York | World Premiere)

It’s not easy being heart-broken, down on your luck, and out on your own in New York City — particularly when you’re a Grade A jerk. Rooftop presents the World Premiere of this insightful black comedy.
Venue: Open Road Rooftop (350 Grand Street, LES)

Thursday, May 19
Sound of Noise”

(Ola Simonsson & Johannes Stfarne Nillsson | Sweden | NY Premiere)

A clever and maniacally entertaining Swedish comedy about a group of “musical terrorists” who break into hospitals, banks, and other public places to play compositions using the surroundings as their instruments. The screening will feature a special live performance by the musicians from the film.
Venue: On the pier at Solar One, (23rd St. and the East River, Manhattan)

Friday, May 20
Dark ‘Toons (Short Films)

Our popular annual program of enjoyably evil animation.
Venue: On the pier at Solar One, (23rd St. and the East River, Manhattan)

Thursday, May 26
No Way Out (Short Films)

These fun and frantic short films–comedy, animation, music videos — tell the twisted tales of terrified souls trapped inside the machine.
Venue: TBA

Friday, May 27

The Pursuit of Love (Short Films)

Short romantic films about chasing love, by bicycle and bottle, on the internet and in the air.
Venue: Open Road Rooftop (350 Grand Street, LES)

Saturday, May 28
“Bad Posture”

(Malcolm Murray | Brooklyn, NY | US Premiere)

A nuanced, visually inventive vista of young life in Albuquerque, New Mexico, “Bad Posture” follows Flo as he seeks to make amends — and make a connection — with Marisa, a beautiful girl whose car his best friend has stolen.
Venue: Open Road Rooftop (350 Grand Street, LES)

Friday, June 10
New York Non-Fiction

It’s Your City. Take a Look.
Venue: Open Road Rooftop (350 Grand Street, LES)

Saturday, June 11

(Sophia Takal | Brooklyn, NY | Sneak Preview)

An eerily compelling sexual thriller from writer-director Sophia Takal, “Green” focuses on a young literary couple who encounter an alluring country bumpkin during their weekend getaway.
Venue: Open Road Rooftop (350 Grand Street, LES)

Saturday, June 18
“The Catechism Cataclysm”

(Todd Rohal | Brooklyn, NY | Part of BAM Cinemafest)

Rooftop alum Rohal’s madcap story about Father William Smoortser, who drops his bible into a toilet at a rest stop just before embarking on a day-long canoe trip, breaking loose all glorious hell.
Venue: Outdoor parking lot at BAM Cinematek

Sunday, June 19
“The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of Jose Gonzalez”

(Mikel Cee Karlsson and Fredrik Egerstrand | Sweden | NY Premiere)

Shot over a three year period in José González’s studio, at home and on tour, using a combination of video diary, surveillance camera, tour footage and animation, filmmakers Mikel Cee Karlsson and Fredrik Egerstrand provide a look into the life of one of Sweden’s most interesting artists.
Venue: Open Road Rooftop (350 Grand Street, LES)

Friday, June 24
“Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same”

(Madeline Olnek | New York, NY | NY Premiere)

Premiering on Gay Pride weekend, this playful send-up of 1950’s sci-fi follows a group of lesbian extraterrestrials banished to Earth because their feelings of love cloud up the atmosphere on their home planet.
Venue: Open Road Rooftop (350 Grand Street, LES)

Saturday, June 25
“The Redemption of General Butt Naked”

(Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion | Washington, DC)

Joshua Milton Blahyi (aka General Butt Naked) is a Liberian warlord turned evangelical minister in this stirring verité documentary about the nature of justice and absolution.
Venue: Open Road Rooftop (350 Grand Street, LES)

Friday, July 1
Northside DIY Film Competition Winner

Rooftop partners with Brooklyn’s Northside Festival to present a special outdoor screening of Northside’s first annual DIY Film Competition winner.
Venue: On the lawn in front of Automotive High School (Bedford Ave. and N. 13th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Saturday, July 2
“Where Soldiers Come From”

(Heather Courtney | Austin, TX)

On the weekend that we celebrate those who fought the first battle for our country’s freedom, Rooftop takes you on a four year journey from a snowy small town in Northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, following childhood friends forever changed by a faraway war.
Venue: On the roof of the Old American Can Factory (232 3rd St. at 3rd Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn)

Friday, July 15

(Evan Glodel | New York, NY | NY Premiere)

An apocalyptic love story for the Mad Max generation, Evan Glodell’s impressive feature debut paints a classic, yet urgently contemporary, tale of the destructive power of love.
Venue: On the lawn in front of Automotive High School (Bedford Ave. and N. 13th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Saturday, July 17
Creation, Construction, “Convento” (Short Films) 

Artists fashion a madcap dance between nature and machine, between past and future, between the living and the dead, featuring robo-animal sculpture installations by Christiaan Zwanikken of “Convento.”
Venue: On the roof of the Old American Can Factory (232 3rd St. at 3rd Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn)

Thursday, July 21
Hope and Heartbreak (Short Films)

Lonely romantics lost in limbo, in a program of comedies, dramas, documentaries and more about the brilliant anguish of new love and the bittersweet taste of love lost.
Venue: On the lawn in front of Automotive High School (Bedford Ave. and N. 13th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Saturday, July 23
“Orbit” (Film)

A collaborative, feature-length omnibus movie about our solar system where every planet is represented by a short film. Co-produced by Rooftop Films and Cinemad.
Venue: On the roof of the Old American Can Factory (232 3rd St. at 3rd Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn)

Friday, July 29
Animation Block Party 

Some call it punk rock, some call it grass roots, but labels aside, NYC-based Animation Block Party is dedicated to exhibiting the world’s best independent, professional and student animation.
Venue: On the lawn in front of Automotive High School (Bedford Ave. and N. 13th St., Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Saturday, July 30
Kill Screen Video Game Night

Rooftop partners with the avante garde video game magazine Kill Screen to bring you an evening of short films that ask the question, “What does it mean to play games?”
Venue: On the roof of the Old American Can Factory (232 3rd St. at 3rd Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn)

Thursday, August 4

Rooftop Films and IFC present

Female Mexican professional wrestlers!  Canadians assaulting rock stars in 7-Eleven! Moped gang wars in Virginia! It is time for some Dangerous Docs, PLUS a special sneak preview of “Whisker Wars,” the new docu-comedy from IFC about professional beard-growers!
Venue: Outdoors at the Crown Vic (South 2nd and Wythe, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)

Sunday, August 7
Rural Route

A program of film offering city dwellers a glimpse of the rural life, where the grass is indeed greener. This program will be fittingly screened on a brand new Rooftop Venue: The Brooklyn Grange, an organic rooftop farm in Long Island City, Queens.
Venue: On the roof of the Brooklyn Grange (37-18 Northern Blvd, LIC, Queens)

Wednesday, August 10
“At the Edge of Russia”

(Michal Marczak | Poland)

Bizarre rituals help soldiers develop powerful bonds amidst the tense existence of one of the Russian army’s last existing frozen outposts.
Venue: On the grass along the water at Socrates Sculpture Park (3134 Vernon Boulevard, LIC, Queens)

Friday, August 12
Public Places, Private Spaces

An intricate exploration of the emotions that fill the places we inhabit.

Venue: On the roof of the Old American Can Factory (232 3rd St. at 3rd Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn)

Saturday, August 20
Rooftop Shots

Closing Night! Short films fired from the roof one last time, with fiction, documentary, comedy and animations so sharp we call them shots.
Venue: On the roof of the Old American Can Factory (232 3rd St. at 3rd Ave., Park Slope, Brooklyn)

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.


IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines


The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.


Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.


A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.


Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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