Thursday, May 14, 2009

Underground Movies Outdoors

It's lucky thirteen as Rooftop Films kicks off its thirteenth year of “Underground Movies Outdoors” tomorrow night. Calling all AHDH sufferers -- they'll be showing short films that "don’t take long to astonish, amaze and inspire."

Venue: on the roof of the Open Road Rooftop
Address: 350 Grand Street @ Essex (Lower East Side, Manhattan)
8:00PM: Doors open
8:30PM: Sound Fix presents live music by Cymbals Eat Guitars
9:00PM: Films
11:30PM - 1:00AM: Open Bar at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge St), courtesy of Radeberger beer
Tickets: $9 at the door or online at

The summer starts for real this Friday--Opening Night of Rooftop Films 2009
Summer Series, our 13th year of Underground Movies Outdoors. Head to Open Road
Rooftop in the Lower East Side for a live performance by Pitchfork favorites Cymbals Eat Guitars, an open bar after party, and most importantly, an incredible program of short films--dramas, comedies, animations and documentaries that could only be shorts, in an array of tales about people, polar bears and pixel-based adventurers coming together for companionship.

At Rooftop Films, we bring people together. Warm weather is here: it’s time to leave the boob tube and the YouTube at home, gather your friends, trek to the roof, and watch new, original, independent films you won’t see anywhere else, in the company of your community, our community, and the New York City night.

Fittingly, we begin 2009 with a program of films about individuals of all types (and species) seeking companionship. We celebrate the start of our 13th year, our coming of age, with several films about growing up, finding your way, settling into new roles. We welcome back Rooftop alums (Huggins, Walker, Lees, Wardop, Lev), and invite new filmmakers into our family. And we kick off another year of underground movies outdoors with a stunning selection that represents the diversity and vision of Rooftop Films.

Before the films, Sound Fix presents Cymbals Eat Guitars. The Staten Island rockers have been getting a lot of attention for their first self-released album Why There Are Mountains and were just named "Best New Music" by Pitchfork (Read the REVIEW). And after the films, everyone in attendance is invited to the Rooftop Films after party at Fontana's where we will be serving complimentary Radeberger Pilsner until 1 AM and hanging out with the filmmakers and the band.

The Films:
Beholder (Eric Daniel Metzgar New York, NY 7:00) A perfect opening film for Rooftop, crafted in our signature style (the home movie), and investigating our home town (New York). Acclaimed feature-film director Metzgar reveals his new-to-NYC neuroses and offers a visionary way to reflect on this overwhelming urban experience.

Happy 95 Birthday Grandpa (Gary Huggins Kansas City, MO 5:40) A fleeting memory of a (fictional) celebration. Crafted with a daring sense of dislocation, the film spirals from the dancers, drunks and gossips, and settles on a boy, coming of age, unsure how to balance his desire to fit in as a bully and an indescribable desire for a stranger. He’s torn between this cruel sexually-charged teenage world, and the suddenly confining comforts of being a child in an adult world, with his family, his sister, a slice of cake at a party.

Thompson (Jason Tippet Bakersfield, CA 10:00) Since second grade Matt and Ryan have shared the bond of speech impediments, weapons, and things that go fast. But as their last days of high school speed by, the two friends find that their go-carts, dirt bikes, and RC cars can't outrun adulthood. Ryan is running out of options while his best friend Matt is moving on in a different direction.

Purple Sunrise (Nina Vukovic & Viktor Jalcovleski Germany 15:30)
John and Karen (Matthew Walker United Kingdom 3:30)A touching and quirky animation about two unlikely creatures who finagle their unusual and enduring bond.

She Walked Away Calmly Disappearing Into Darkness (Malik Hassan Sayeed New York, NY 10:00) Lying in a hospital bed, a man tries to piece together how he got there. Fragments of memories replay with subtle changes—a look from a driver, a bag in the street, a shooter on the left or the right. His family and friends gather round him, but offer no grounding for his fractured memory. Part of the Little Minx Exquisite Corpse series:

Pockets (James Lees United Kingdom 3:00) What’s in your pocket? Portraits of people’s lives, histories, connections, crafted from the trinkets and refuse carried by our sides.

The Herd (Ken Wardrop United Kingdom 4:00) A portrait of the filmmakers’ family, including a farmer playing at being hard-hearted, his stubbornly loving mother, and an adorable deer with an identity crisis.

Skhizein (Jérémy Clapin France 14:00) After being struck by a meteor, Henry has suffered an unusual dislocation, not just from his surroundings, but from his very self.

How We Managed to Not Really Date Each Other (Lev Yilmaz CA 6:00)Lev (and a “friend”) tell a story of comically awkward non-heartbreak. Lev’s work will be showcased at a special Rooftop show June 10.

The Adventures of Ledo and Ix (Emily Carmichael New York, NY 4:40) Ledo and Ix are friends on an unknown quest, scaling steep mountains, sailing choppy seas, avoiding dens of monsters and existential voids. Sleeping under the stars makes them philosophical, and sometimes they wonder if they should’ve chosen different careers, or if they’re really friends at all.

Which film do you want to see?

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