[Cody] Swanson’s independently produced feature film “Mostly Awake” — shot in bars and venues around the neighborhood, with a soundtrack by local bands and starring Bushwick-based actors — is debuting to lightly mock the struggles of his generation.
“If one of them had to go get unemployment, they’d still go out and get drinks and have their nice apartment, but I have friends who live in basements with no windows,” he said.
“If [the ‘Girls’ characters] go on unemployment they’re just like, ‘What’s going to happen to me?’ whereas with my friends, they’re like, ‘f–k, I have to go eat Ramen noodles for a month.'”
In Swanson’s film, the protagonist Max (played by first-time actor Trevor Hamilton), who is unemployed and “in a rut,” is violently mugged and then kicked out of his apartment after he fails to pay his rent…
Among Bushwick settings that include Pine Box Rock Shop, the Loom cafe, North Brooklyn Collective and street scenes on Bogart Street and Jefferson Street near the Morgan L station.
“Part of it was to try to be as accurate as possible to the parties and kinds of things my friends and I do,” Swanson said. “But a lot of it focuses on the main character.”
And as the protagonist experiences a “change in perspective” throughout the film, Swanson has redefined his own relationship with his neighborhood through completing the ambitious project.
“We raised three grand on Kickstarter from family, from friends,” he said of his team’s fundraising efforts last year. “It was really wonderful to see all the people who wanted the movie to be made.”
“Mostly Awake” will premiere at Bathaus on Starr Street Feb. 23. The free event begins at 8 p.m. and the screening is at 9 p.m.
And, after two years of conducting interviews, director John Weber is ready to tell the story.
“There were close to 90 breweries at the turn of the 19th century,” he said.
“Brooklyn was known as the beer capital of the world… and it went from 90 to zero in the 1970s.
“As things have turned around in Brooklyn it’s the beer industry that’s helping to lead the renaissance.”
Weber — a New Jersey native who decided to make the documentary along with Kim Bjorheim and Bennett Aube after a Brooklyn beer tour — said he was shocked the “fascinating story” had not yet been filmed.
Weber’s team interviewed Columbia University historian Ken Jackson, Brooklyn Brewery founder Stephen Hindy and local homebrewers as he sought to understand the dramatic evolution of beer in the area.
He even spoke with a former “Miss Rheingold,” the title given to the winners of Rheingold Beer’s bygone beauty pageant used to select a model who would appear on its cans.
“The Miss Rheingold contest could take a girl from the sticks and make her into a superstar,” said Celeste Yarnall, the 1964 winner who acted with Elvis Presley after her victory in the pageant.
“More people voted for Miss Rheingold than for the presidential elections in the New York area,” said Weber of its popularity.
More information at Kickstarter.
After substantial delays, Williamsburg Cinemas will finally open one week from today, becoming the first new first-run multiplex in North Brooklyn since… anyone can remember. Owner Harvey Elgart, who also operates Cobble Hill Cinemas, tells us the city inspected his establishment yesterday and he’s been given the green light to open on December 19th…. Tickets will go on sale soon, we’re told, via Moviefone and the Williamsburg Cinemas website. Make sure you bring a helmet and elbow pads; Elgart promises us that the 7.1 Dolby Digital surround sound system in his new theater will “knock you out of your seat.”
217 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Now, we’ll never have to venture into Manhattan on the weekend!
The final touches on Williamsburg Cinemas, Elgart’s long-planned seven-auditorium movie hub on Grand Street and Driggs Avenue, will wrap up this weekend for the 1,000-seater theater to open in December, he said.
“We were planning on opening Nov. 2…then Sandy hit,” said Elgart, the theater’s owner and operator.
The Department of Buildings’ final inspection of the space has been delayed by post-hurricane demands on the agency’s time, Elgart said.
“We were going to start with the ‘Life of Pi’ and the new James Bond movie,” he said. “Now we’re shooting for Christmas titles.”
Elgart, who already owns Cobble Hill Cinemas and Kew Gardens Cinemas, touted the theater’s 3D screens, 7.1 surround sound, “rocking chair seating,” and mix of indie and blockbuster movies.
“We’ll be showing ‘The Hobbit’ in 3D,” he said of one of the first planned films.
More at williamsburgcinemas.com.
On November 2, RZA will make his directorial debut with the pop-cultural smorgasbord The Man With the Iron Fists. Written by RZA with Eli Roth and directed by Quentin Tarantino, the film stars Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu and RZA himself.
The film’s soundtrack– which is out on October 23 on Soul Temple/STAX/Red Distribution– is packed, too. We’ve heard Method Man’s track with Freddie Gibbs and Streetlife; Pusha T, Raekwon, and Joell Ortiz’s track; Ghostface’s track with M.O.P. and Pharoahe Monch; the Wu-Tang Clan’s track, the Revelations’ track with Tre Williams, and RZA’s track with the Black Keys.
(Note: this film is directed by RZA not, as Pitchfork says, Quentin Tarantino.) And here’s the trailer: [Read more…]
Members of Vampire Weekend, Das Racist, Yeasayer, and Neon Indian appear in the film which will debut at Nitehawk Cinema on Friday 10/5, Saturday 10/6, and Monday 10/8! Dosas and samosas provided by Anjappar. From the Nitehawk:
“The Greatest Hunt For South Indian Food In NYC Ever Committed To Film!”
DOSA HUNT is an independent short documentary featuring Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij, Das Racist’s Himanshu Suri & Ashok “Dapwell” Kondabolu, Yeasayer’s Anand Wilder, Neon Indian’s Alan Palomo, jazz pianist Vijay Iyer, and Stereogum’s Executive Editor Amrit Singh — a group of music-world friends on a quest for their hometown’s best dosa. The traditional South Indian crepe is delicious enough to make a movie about, though our heroes’ journey doubles as an exploration of the shared and respective cultures of a vibrant group of NYC artists in the wilds of their city. DOSA HUNT is a snapshot of a transitional generation in America’s immigrant/art experience, in hot pursuit of good food.
The film’s premiere and opening run are at Nitehawk Cinema on Friday 10/5, Saturday 10/6, and Monday 10/8. Each ticket comes with dosa and samosa provided by Anjappar, while each screening will be followed by a Q&A moderated by music television great John Norris and an afterparty with free beer compliments of Kingfisher and DJ sets by DFA Records artist REWARDS (Friday), Jagjaguwar Records’ artist Small Black (Saturday), and Quinn Walker of Frenchkiss Records outfit Suckers (Monday).
Friday and Saturday doors and drinks start at 11PM, seating and food service is at 12:15AM, the screening is at 12:30AM, and the Q&A panel commences immediately thereafter. (Monday’s doors are at 1PM with the same schedule of events.) It will be a lot of fun, you should consider coming.
Get tickets here.
Williamsburg’s first new multiplex cinema has missed the summer season, and a premiere night is not in sight.
Months after the new Williamsburg Cinemas was slated to open, the moviehouse is sitting unfinished on the corner of Grand Street and Driggs Avenue as developers struggle to fit all of its seven viewing rooms into the corner lot.
“Fitting seven auditoriums on an 8,500-square-foot site is difficult,” said Robert McCall of Philadelphia-based JKR Partners, which is the architect on the project.
McCall said he is confident the theater will open before the lucrative holiday movie season, but wouldn’t pinpoint a date.
The Williamsburg Cinemas is owned by the same people who run the successful Cobble Hill Cinemas on Court Street between Butler and Douglass streets, and are expected to host the same mix of mainstream and indie films. It will be the first major moviehouse in the neighborhood.