This is just the ray of sunshine we were hoping for on this soggy, dreary day: Rooftop Films has announced the lineup for its summer series, and there are some real treats among the 45 films that will be shown from May 19 to August 19.
This year, the fest will return to classic venues like the Old American Can Factory in Gowanus and Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, and it’s also taking up residence at Lower East Side venue New Design High School and North Brooklyn venues The William Vale hotel and House of Vans. The latter, in Greenpoint, will host a screening of the latest one from Ana Lily Amirpour, director of the excellent A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. This new one, The Bad Batch, switches vampires in Iran for cannibals in Texas. Yes, that’s Keanu Reeves in the trailer.
Also at House of Vans, Zoe Lister-Jones will preview her debut feature, Band Aid, in which she and Adam Pally (Joshy) play a couple that tries to save their rocky marriage by writing songs with Fred Armisen. Of course, Rooftop Films screenings always feature live music, but at this free one on May 20, the actual band from the movie will be on stage. (And they’ll be back on stage the next night, for a screening at Vulture Festival.)
You’ll also have to decide whether to see The Big Sick when it has its New York premiere at BAMcinemaFest or when it screens at Rooftop Films a little later. To refresh your memory, it’s the rom com written by Kumail Nanjani of Silicon Valley and directed by Michael Showalter of Hello, My Name Is Doris.
Also on the comedy tip is Rough Night, directed by Broad City writer-director Lucia Aniello and co-written with Paul W. Downs, who plays Trey on the show. It basically looks like a bachelorette version of The Hangover, with a powerhouse ensemble featuring Downs’s Broad City castmate Ilana Glazer, Scarlett Johansson, Kate McKinnon, Zoë Kravitz, and Jillian Bell.
McKinnon isn’t the only one who’ll be repping SNL at the summer series. Kyle Mooney will star in Brigsby Bear, which screens June 30 on the roof of New Design High School, on the Lower East Side.
Another TV-comedy fixture, Jessica Williams, will also make the leap to the big screen, in Jim Strouse’s The Incredible Jessica James. You’ll recall that this one, in which the Daily Show correspondent is a Bushwick playwright whose love interest is played by Chris O’Dowd, made a splash at Sundance. It’s also playing at BAMcinemaFest.
Set on the shores of Brooklyn, Beach Rats, promises to be summer-appropriate. The coming-of-age/coming-out drama won Best Director honors at Sundance for Eliza Hittman (It Felt Like Love).
Among the documentaries, the hot ticket promises to be The Road Movie, an absolutely bonkers-looking compendium of Russian dash-cam footage.
You can find this summer’s calendar here; select tickets are now on sale.