New York on the screen, on the roof: 3 NYC-centric Rooftop Films to watch this summer

New York on the screen, on the roof: 3 NYC-centric Rooftop Films to watch this summer

New York Non-Fiction is a night of short documentaries about New Yorkers. image via @rooftopfilms

Watching movies outside in the summer is one of our favorite pastimes at Brokelyn. Rooftop Films, the NYC nonprofit that shows independent films on, you guessed it, rooftops across the city, literally elevates this experience; there’s something about being up high, gazing at the big screen with the backdrop of the big ol’ night sky behind it, that makes you feel, well, star-struck.

While we were browsing the offerings this summer, we noted a few films with a New York bent that we’re curious to check out. (Unfortunately, the showing of Goodnight Brooklyn-The Story of Death by Audio on July 9 is sold out.) New York Non-Fiction (a night of short documentaries), Little Men, and White Girl all feature the city as the setting in vignettes of real-life New Yorkers and fictional tales of gentrification and profligate summers. 

New York Non-Fiction 
Industry City
Friday, July 8
doors open at 8, film at 9
$15 online or at the door

New York Non-Fiction is a night of seven short documentaries that offer glimpses into the lives of New Yorkers. A few that caught our eye: We Live This profiles four boys who make up a ‘showtime’-style subway dance crew; Rothman tells the story of defense attorney Frank Rothman, whose pursuit of the law was inspired by growing up in the Lower East Side raised by a criminal father; and How to Act on Reality TV films students enrolled at the New York Reality TV School, capturing them on camera as they learn how to act naturally, on camera. Catch Brooklyn-based rapper Jay Boogie perform from 8:30-9pm.

_______

Little Men
Industry City
Friday, July 15
doors open at 8, film at 9
$15 online or at the door

From director Ira Sachs, known for Love is Strange, Little Men is a tale of changing Brooklyn. After his grandfather dies, 13 year old Jake and his family move from Manhattan to his old brownstone in South Brooklyn. Jake becomes buddies with Tony, the son of the downstairs shopkeeper, a single mother and Chilean woman named Leonor. All is well until Jake’s parents, a struggling artist and psychotherapist, respectively played by Greg Kinnear and Jennifer Ehle, attempt to raise Leonor’s rent an untenable amount, sparking a feud between the parents. The little men try to remain friends amidst the adult drama. It should be interesting to see how this story fits into the bigger narrative of gentrification in Brooklyn today.

_______

Check out White Girl, a story of a privileged college girl behaving badly in the summer in NYC. image via @rooftopfilms

Check out White Girl, a story of a privileged college girl behaving badly in the summer in NYC. image via @rooftopfilms

White Girl
The Bushwick Generator
Thursday, Aug. 11
doors open at 7:30, film at 8:30
10 PM Q&A with filmmaker Elizabeth Wood
$15 online or at the door

White Girl, the narrative directorial debut from Elizabeth Wood, a Columbia University MFA alum and one of Variety’s 2016 “10 Directors to Watch,” is the story of a hedonistic college girl who spends her last two weeks of summer partnering up with a Puerto Rican drug dealer to sell drugs to her privileged white friends. Before you cringe: “the cross section between New York’s mean streets and its gentrified alcoves makes for potent social satire,” as Rooftop Films describes it on their site. See for yourself at the Bushwick Generator on Aug. 11, and if you have any pressing questions, stay after for a Q&A with the director herself.