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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

”Freeloader”

(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
“Green”

(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
“Bellflower”

(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
DANGEROUS DOCS AND WHISKER WARS (Short Films)


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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Bro and Tell

BFFs And Night Court For Sports

Bromance and Comeuppance On Two New Comedy Crib Series

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“Silicon Valley meets Girls meets black male educators with lots of unrealized potential.”

That’s how Carl Foreman Jr. and Anthony Gaskins categorize their new series Frank and Lamar which joins Joe Schiappa’s Sport Court in the latest wave of new series available now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. To better acquaint you with the newbies, we went right to the creators for their candid POVs. And they did not disappoint. Here are snippets of their interviews:

Frank and Lamar

via GIPHY

IFC: How would you describe Frank and Lamar to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Carl: Best bros from college live and work together teaching at a fancy Manhattan private school, valiantly trying to transition into a more mature phase of personal and professional life while clinging to their boyish ways.

IFC: And to a friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Carl: The same way, slightly less coherent.

Anthony: I’d probably speak about it with much louder volume, due to the bar which would probably be playing the new Kendrick Lamar album. I might also include additional jokes about Carl, or unrelated political tangents.

Carl: He really delights in randomly slandering me for no reason. I get him back though. Our rapport on the page, screen, and in real life, comes out of a lot of that back and forth.

IFC: In what way is Frank and Lamar a poignant series for this moment in time?
Carl: It tells a story I feel most people aren’t familiar with, having young black males teach in a very affluent white world, while never making it expressly about that either. Then in tackling their personal lives, we see these three-dimensional guys navigate a pivotal moment in time from a perspective I feel mainstream audiences tend not to see portrayed.

Anthony: I feel like Frank and Lamar continues to push the envelope within the genre by presenting interesting and non stereotypical content about people of color. The fact that this show brought together so many talented creative people, from the cast and crew to the producers, who believe in the project, makes the work that much more intentional and truthful. I also think it’s pretty incredible that we got to employ many of our friends!

Sport Court

Sport Court gavel

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?
Joe: SPORT COURT follows Judge David Linda, a circuit court judge assigned to handle an ad hoc courtroom put together to prosecute rowdy fan behavior in the basement of the Hartford Ultradome. Think an updated Night Court.

IFC: How would you describe Sport Court to drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?
Joe: Remember when you put those firecrackers down that guy’s pants at the baseball game? It’s about a judge who works in a court in the stadium that puts you in jail right then and there. I know, you actually did spend the night in jail, but imagine you went to court right that second and didn’t have to get your brother to take off work from GameStop to take you to your hearing.

IFC: Is there a method to your madness when coming up with sports fan faux pas?
Joe: I just think of the worst things that would ruin a sporting event for everyone. Peeing in the slushy machine in open view of a crowd seemed like a good one.

IFC: Honestly now, how many of the fan transgressions are things you’ve done or thought about doing?
Joe: I’ve thought about ripping out a whole row of chairs at a theater or stadium, so I would have my own private space. I like to think of that really whenever I have to sit crammed next to lots of people. Imagine the leg room!

Check out the full seasons of Frank and Lamar and Sport Court now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”


Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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GIFS via Giphy

On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”


But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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