Second Annual Williamsburg Film Festival

image c/o Williamsburg Film FestivalStarting tomorrow, the Williamsburg Film Festival will once again bring new independent full length features, short films and documentaries to the waterfront.

Find some potential faves from the schedule, and bask in some cinematic pleasure with film industry professionals, filmmakers and fans.

The 2nd Annual Williamsburg Independent Film Festival
November 17th to 20th
285 Kent at S. 2nd

Rooftop Films Busted For Some Reason

image c/o L Magazine

Gothamist reports that on Thursday, June 23, cops shut down a Rooftop Films screening on Wythe and South 2nd for public drinking despite having a valid liquor license.

Calling the incident a “permit misunderstanding,” Rooftop Films issued a statement saying:

If any patrons received summonses at the event, we will be more than happy to provide a copy of the valid liquor permit that covered the event, and Rooftop Films and the owners of the establishment will assist those patrons in dealing the NYPD in any way we possibly can. Please email Lela Scott MacNeil at [email protected]

Rooftop Films will also refund ticket sales from that night and offer two additional tickets to another show. Simply email [email protected].

Nighthawk Cinema + Booze = Heaven

Nighthawk Cinema

After all our complaints about wanting a movie theater in Williamsburg (in addition to IndieScreen) we can finally rejoice that not only has a theater opened that plays indie first run films, but also serves booze! Nighthawk Cinema officially opens this weekend with showings of Midnight in Paris, The Trip, and Submarine. Zagat has the full scoop on the theater.

“There are tables between every two seats, complete with drinks holders, and you can place written orders from a waiter throughout the flick. The drink list contains options that are themed around movies, while the food options range from homemade beef jerky to watermelon salad. If you don’t want to stay for a show, there is a bar area that is open to the public as well.”

Tickets are $11, and the food is all prepared by Chef Saul Bolton who won a Michelin star for his restaurant Saul on Smith Street. Here’s a peek at the whole menu.

Nighthawk Cinema; 136 Metropolitan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY; 718.963.2917

Just Gimme Indie Rock!

Indie rock is such an overused term that defining it and charting the genre’s evolution is almost impossible, but with his new film Just Gimme Indie Rock!: The Story of an Underground Uprising, Brad Katz is attempting to do just that.

Just Gimme will cover indie music history of the past 40 years, from genre pioneers Sonic Youth and Hüsker Dü to current heavy hitters Arcade Fire and Vampire Weekend. According to the website, the film, “will be the first to connect the dots between divergent eras of indie,” using archival concert footage and “insider” interviews.

For this epic undertaking Katz is relying on support from the fans themselves. Indie loving rockers can donate their funds to a Kickstarter account until August 23. Pledge today, and help preserve indie rock history so that future generations of hipsters can be as pretentious about their obscure music knowledge as the hipsters of today.

2011 Northside Picks: Film

image c/o Guerilla Geek

Why not break up the music monotony with some visual indie stimulation? Northside introduces the Do-It-Yourself Film Festival hosted by Union Docs, where emerging filmmakers will showcase shorts and features before a jury comprised of local luminaries. The winner will score a coveted Northside Rooftop Films screening among other prizes.  The screening series at indieScreen also returns.

The impressive full lineup can be found at the Official 2011 Northside Festival Site.

But here are some picks in the moving pictures category:

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A Tribe Called Quest Documentary At Tribeca Film Festival


Acclaimed actor Michael Rapaport (Zebrahead, Mighty Aphrodite) paints a remarkably personal portrait of the characters behind the group’s sonic genius through their five albums, their highly publicized breakup in 1998, and beyond. Emotionally honest and forthright interviews with group members are intercut with electrifying footage of live performances, music videos from back in the day, and commentary from Common, Busta Rhymes, Mary J. Blige, De La Soul, Kanye West, Common, Mos Def, Ludacris, and the Beastie Boys.

Check it out this Wednesday or Thursday at the Tribeca Film Festival. (A longer trailer after the jump.)

[Read more…]

‘Melancholia’ trailer: Lars von Trier’s New Apocalyptic Film

Melancholia from Zentropa on Vimeo.

This definitely sounds intriguing.

In the trailer for his latest, Melancholia — billed as a “beautiful movie about the end of the world” – starring Kirsten Dunst, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt and father and son Skarsgårds, Stellan and Alexander, we get a glimpse of what’s to come … and, um, wow does it look wonderfully weird….It’s not a spoiler to say this one isn’t going to end well. In an interview with a Danish paper, von Trier revealed that the film begins with the end of the planet. “We begin by seeing the world being crushed, then we can tell the story afterwards,” he says. “It could be beautiful if Melancholia could become this big submission. That is why it’s so awesome that the planet devours the earth. It’s like no more lying on the hilltop and looking at the larks,” he says, adding, “I think the larks will go too.”


As a family drama whose most inspiring character is an outsider and a sports comedy where the most significant wins and losses occur outside the gymnasium, Tom McCarthy’s newest is a small treasure that tweaks the conventions of familiar stories just enough to make something that is entirely his own. Win Win is a funny, warmhearted movie filled with the ordinary, though richly drawn characters that have become McCarthy’s trademark.

Paul Giamatti is Mike, and he’s in a rut. His New Jersey law practice isn’t doing well, he’s hiding his bad financial situation from his wife Jackie (Amy Ryan), the wrestling team he coaches hasn’t won a match all season, and constant stress is wearing down his body. When the opportunity arises for him to assume guardianship for one of his clients, a wealthy old man in the early stages of dementia named Leo, he jumps at the opportunity that will net him $1500 a month. Though assuring the court that he will allow Leo to stay in his own house, Mike instead moves him to an assisted living facility, collecting the monthly checks without having to keep much of an eye on the confused old man who just wants to go home.

As the checks start coming in and bills can finally be paid, Mike’s life shows signs of improvement. That’s precisely the moment 16-year-old Kyle, the son of Leo’s estranged daughter, shows up in town. Kyle’s mother is in an Ohio rehab center and, instead of staying with her scummy boyfriend, he decides to catch a bus to New Jersey to stay with the grandfather he’s never met. Though Mike initially tries to treat the situation as a day-long interference, Kyle (in a nearly perfect debut performance by Alex Shaffer) is quickly discovered to be in need or more than a mere night away from home. And much to the delight of Mike and his two best friends/assistant coaches (Jeffrey Tambor and Bobby Cannavale), Kyle is a champion wrestler, but with his talent comes family issues that may disrupt Mike’s guardianship.

Win Win moves at just the right pace while balancing the stories of Mike’s home, work, and coaching lives – each becoming increasingly complicated and intertwined once Kyle arrives. His presence is a necessary disruption in everyone’s life, and the cast is uniformly excellent at conveying the humor and heartbreak in all of their new wins and losses. These are characters who, though not always making the right decisions, are so intricately developed and performed that we can’t help but root for them when they’re down.

McCarthy (The Station Agent, The Visitor) has now made three movies about adults who are down on their luck, only to find themselves settling back into a quiet happiness after the introduction and reluctantly formed friendship of a surprise visitor. His movies have a way of ending without stopping, fading to black in the middle of perfectly realized moments between people who will continue living, breathing, losing, and winning long after we’ve finished rooting for them.