A Great Weekend For Independent Cinema in New York City

It looks like we won’t have the official design up and running until the end of July at the earliest, so I’ve decided to simply start posting more than just reviews, which has been the plan all along. I just wanted things to be a little more compartmentalized, but spreading the word about ambitious cinema is the most important thing.

This weekend is particularly exceptional for independent cinema in New York City…

AT THE QUAD CINEMA:

– Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou’s absolutely incredible Take Out gets a legitimate theatrical release. My official review will be posted within the next few days, but suffice to say, this is a docu-fiction so startlingly realistic that I felt like I was watching real life. Take Out is one of the most honest and accurate depictions of the immigrant experience in modern New York City that has ever been made. If you are a fan of truly independent cinema, I highly, highly recommend that you support this tiny, brilliant film!

– Martin Hynes’s The Go-Getter also opens. This is a trickier situation, for on the surface, the film is a Sundance-ready, hipster’s wet dream: Lou Taylor Pucci, Zooey Deschanel, Jena Malone, road trip with quirky digressions, a soundtrack by M. Ward. But there’s a hypnotic haze to it that reflects a deeper, underlying sadness. To learn that it was inspired by the loss of Hynes’s own mother perhaps explains this, for there is something about the entire endeavor that doesn’t feel like it was merely some hipster dude’s fantasy transferred to celluloid. It feels like a work of genuine personal healing.

– One of the year’s best films, Yang Chung’s lyrical and deeply resonant Up the Yangtze deserves to be experienced in a theater while it’s still there. I have seen a lot of films in the past month, but I cannot stop thinking about Up the Yangtze. Read my H2N review here if you haven’t already.

ROOFTOP FILMS BEGINS:

The onslaught of amazing events begins with tonight’s opening night festivities at the Open Road Rooftop on Grand St., followed by tomorrow night’s Krush Groove 2008 block party. There is wayyyyy too much information to even begin to recount here, so simply go to the official website to poke around for yourself. Do it. Rooftop Films is not only one of the highlights of living in New York City in the summer, it is an inspiring lesson in how to use cinema to bring the community together.

NEWFEST 2008 HAS OFFICIALLY BEGUN:

Last night was opening night for the 20th Anniversary of the NY LGBT Film Festival, which runs through June 15th. I will be seeing two movies on Sunday. Go to the official website for details.

That should get you started for now…

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