What I love about The Sandlot is that it’s a movie about how stories of childhood told through the eyes of an adult are filtered through the thin vaseline of nostalgic distortion, something we’re all guilty of using. This is why the story of a bunch of kids playing ball on an empty lot is suffused with hyperbolic events and characters out of proportion. The neighbor’s dog, Hercules, was never truly that big and monstrous, the fence never really that towering; Benny was a star of the friend group but rode to levels of mythic neighborhood hero on amplified waves of reverence for someone who loomed so large in their imaginations. When you’re a kid and your world is the neighborhood, even the next yard over seems like a vast unexplored chasm of unchartered territory. You look back and think, man, everything was so big then.
The Sandlot is the perfect summer movie because it lives in the sweet spot of all our collective memories of our childhood summers, those days that probably we remember with sunny glee but maybe never quite existed, running through the streets without any cares except where to find a baseball.
The good news is you’re an adult now so you can be as carefree as you choose with your time: We suggest using some of that time to go watch The Sandlot for free outdoors at Fort Greene Park on Aug. 4. Your childhood self would be proud (bring s’mores).
Doors open for the screening at 7:30pm at the Myrtle Lawn in the park at the corner of Washington Park and Myrtle Ave. The movie is sponsored by the Brooklyn Hospital Center’s Young Leadership Council.
You can help support the hospital’s Women, Infants and Children Program by reserving a fully loaded picnic kit ahead of time: It comes with a reusable, insulated picnic basket filled with local goodies and a fleece-lined picnic basket for $100. Go here to reserve one. And just a reminder that this movie is still killing it, Smalls, in our pop culture: remember that Broad City recreated one particularly memorable scene in an episode this past season.
Don’t forget to stay posted on all the free outdoor summer movies in Brooklyn this year with our ultimate guide.