A star actress flees her crimes in 'You Can't Escape Lithuania.'

A star actress flees her crimes abroad in ‘You Can’t Escape Lithuania.’

For a while there, Bushwick’s reputation as a Brooklyn neighborhood was mostly infamous, its personality largely reduced to reports of cultural appropriation and brutally unfunny SNL skits. But that game has tired, and so Bushwick has made it out of the (Heavy) woods of Brooklyn-mocking to reemerge in its pupal form as a hub for creativity and culture.

A prime example of the aforementioned is the annual Bushwick Film Festival, a juried three-day festival that showcases the work of independent filmmakers, the majority of whom hail from Brooklyn. From Sept. 29 through Oct. 2, you can catch all kinds of exciting cinema that covers contemporary issues: otherness, reproductive freedom, gang violence, entrepreneurship and more. This year’s festival also features a Women in Film Day on Saturday, which includes brunch, a panel discussion on women in film & television, plus films directed by women.

The festival kicks off tonight at 7pm at Bushwick’s Lot 45 (411 Troutman St.) with a conversation between filmmaker Ira Sachs (Love is Strange, The Delta) and festival director Kweighbaye Kotee.

It’s a juried festival, so everything you see is bound to be at least baseline enjoyable. But here are our topic picks of a few special flicks to look out for this weekend: (more…)

07/20/16 11:00am
You missed Ghostbusters on opening weekend — how much cultural value are you missing out on?

You missed Ghostbusters on opening weekend — how much cultural value are you missing out on?

We’re in the thick of summer movie season and if you’ve fallen behind, you’ve got to start spending your dollars wisely. Summer movies aren’t especially known for their nuanced character portrayals and poignant storytelling (there are notable exceptions of course: Pixar crushed it last summer with Inside Out)But those are the exceptions to the rule: roll out the “serious movies” in the fall just in time for their stars to land on the red carpet in winter. Summertime is when you release movies with mass appeal. You know the type: explosions, naked ladies and several epic fight scenes.

And honestly? Bravo. Some days you want to take in a trenchant analysis of the suffrage movement, and other days you just want to watch teens in Los Angeles steal from famous people (Bling Ring, I love you forever). But, with so many blockbusters out right now, how do you know which one is worth shelling out anywhere from $15-$30 to see? You can’t look to your regular standbys, like Rotten Tomatoes, to guide you; this isn’t the time to care about character arcs! What you want to know is if this movie is worth seeing right now — both for its escapism and its place in the cultural conversation — or if you should wait two to six weeks to rent it on iTunes and watch from the comfort of your couch with a Bud Lime Light and a square slice of Ellio’s.

I get it, and, I’m here to help. I have no credentials, but lots of opinions, so if you are trying to decide what to spend your money on, scroll through the list below for a quick synopsis and a totally scientific calculation of the cultural currency each movie is worth.  (more…)

05/20/16 9:00am
(L-R)  Hugh Jackman, Andy Serkis

(L-R) Hugh Jackman, Andy Serkis

“Dinner and a movie” conjures visions of a too-simple date idea for dummies who don’t know how to harness all the wildly entertaining first date ideas in the borough. But here’s one Dinner and a Movie that isn’t for dummies though: in fact, it’ll make you smarter. Brokelyn is partnering with with Think Olio (who offer the classes you wish you took in college) and our friends at Berg’n (one of our Beer Book bars!) for the new Dinner and a Movie Film Series, which brings top professors to the beer and food hall to analyze a classic film, with drink specials.

The first screening will be on June 8  (It’s been moved to June 15) at 8pm with a screening of the gorgeously complex and star-packed Christopher Nolan film The Prestige (yup, that’s the one where Batman and Alfred faceoff against Wolverine and Black Widow, with David Bowie as Nikola Tesla). On hand to discuss it will be Oxford doctorate and BMCC professor Geoff Klock. (more…)

12/22/15 1:51pm

Even the most diehard Christmas-doers have heard of the winter holiday’s shadow-life, known informally as Jewish Christmas: a quiet, alternative holiday wherein those cast out from the Christmas tradition create their own rituals— usually involving some permutation of Chinese food and a movie. Maybe it’s because movies know no denomination. Maybe it’s because Chinese delivery is staple cuisine in New York City.

Whatever the reasons, you can be sure there’s a takeout joint and a cinema open when everything else is closed. And if you’re celebrating Jewish Christmas this year, you’re not alone. More to the point, there are better and worse ways to do it.

Brokelyn’s got you covered with a roundup of what’s worth catching in theaters and on Netflix this Christmas, as well as a roundup of the best cheap Chinese food in a few neighborhoods. Happy faux-lidays.  (more…)

05/13/14 4:30pm

Nope. No fucking way

New York has faced numerous challenges in its time as an incorporated city. Tammany Hall and its politicos who looted the treasury like it was their own personal piggybank. Robert Moses, financial mismanagement, the 1977 blackout looting, the crack epidemic, September 11, Hurricane Sandy. The city has come through those and many more challenges, which gives us a certain sense of confidence. We’re clearly drunk on said confidence though, since the Office of Emergency Management is giving multiple interviews insisting that New York is perfectly capable of reacting to an attack by Godzilla, King of the Monsters.  (more…)

05/09/14 9:18am
rooftop films

Unlike the other people here, you’ve saved $500. via Facebook

If you talk to anyone about the end of winter, you can tell everyone is ready to burst into summer like so many fireworks shot up into New York’s atmosphere. Rooftop Films is just as ready as you are, the proof being found in the fact that they’re holding 45 screenings all summer in places around the city. At $13 per movie, it could be tough for you to get out to a lot of them, and Rooftop Films gets that. So, that’s why they’re selling one-year memberships, a $585 value that get you into every screening, for just $75. That’s 45 potential screenings for the price of 6. (more…)

05/01/14 1:58pm
Look at this fucking hipster

Look at this fucking hipster

If for some reason you’ve spent time wondering what would happen if you gave someone who lives in The Edge a futuristic weaponized glider and if it would work out alright, you can get your answer in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 apparently.

“Amazing Spider-Man 2″ star Dane DeHaan, says he based his performance as Harry Osborn — a childhood friend of Spider-Man’s alter ego who becomes the bad guy Green Goblin in the movie opening Friday — on the hipsters and “trust fund babies” he meets in Williamsburg, where the 27-year-old lives.

“I live there (so) I understand this culture,” DeHaan tells the News. “Harry is not based on any real person, but I know people he could be friends with … in Williamsburg.”

So the answer is: It would not work out alright.

04/22/14 8:50am
netflix price increase

If you only want to pay $7.99/month to see Fargo and Lilo & Stitch back-to-back, sign up today

Have you been dawdling on getting a Netflix subscription because you’re mooching off your girlfriend or you want to be the modern version of one of those “don’t own a television” people? Well, there’s no hope for you if you’re the latter, but if you’re the former, you better prepare for the day you need to carry your own Netflix weight, and you better do it soon, because any day now, new members are gonna be paying more for a streaming subscription. And things just aren’t satisfying when you have to pay $9.99, which is basically $10 per month. (more…)

02/13/14 11:19am
big fan

If you haven’t seen Patton Oswalt in Big Fan yet, a snowstorm is as good a time as any.

So, you’re snowed in during Winter Storm Pax, which for the record, is not related to the more favorable Pax. Well, once you’re done posting on social media as if you’ve never seen snow in winter before, here are some cozy movies to cuddle up with, provided the icy tempest doesn’t down your internet signal. I chose a list of 3 films each from 3 different stream platforms, a bit of comfort, a bit of moody-broody, and a few of my personal favorites that rise above the muck.  (more…)