A film still from Skate Kitchen by Crystal Moselle. (Courtesy of Sundance Institute, photo by Ryan Parilla)
Crystal Moselle won the grand jury prize at Sundance in 2015 for her shocking, Lower East Side-set documentary The Wolfpack. Skate Kitchen finds Moselle moving into the narrative space with another study of New York City misfits: an all-girl skateboarding crew. After she met the real-life skate squad on the subway, Moselle teamed up with the teenage women to develop a fictional story script surrounding their lives. The result is an immersive, dynamic coming of age centered around Camille (Rachelle Vinberg), a Long Island native whose initiation into the Skate Kitchen gang launches a summer of downtown debauchery and newfound camaraderie. Critical Response: Variety says the “young women are mesmerizing to watch”; Hollywood Reporter says the script “often surprises, hinting at trauma that never arrives”; it’s “one of the more positive depictions of millennial community-building in recent cinema,” per IndieWire. Distributor: Seeking distribution
Following in the bloody footsteps of a vampire flick and a demon flick, the budding Bushwick horror genre now has a slasher flick. Psychotic! comes to theaters in Greenpoint and Williamsburg this week.
In Art of the Prank, set to release on October 9, longtime New Yorker and media hoaxer Joey Skaggs is gearing up to pull off the largest and most demanding hoax of his career.
Long before “fake news” or “alternative facts” had become a part of the public consciousness, Skaggs put together elaborate hoaxes to feed the media, like claiming to run a brothel for dogs or his portable confessional booth, to satirize the media’s gullibility and explore the media’s role in shaping and molding public opinion.
Last month we shared a Q&A with the directors of Bushwick, about a Texas army invading the Brooklyn neighborhood. In honor of the movie’s release and his first time scoring a film, Aesop Rock is performing tomorrow night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. The hip-hop artist and producer– who was raised in Long Island, broke through in New York City, and recently moved to Oregon– has said he agreed to do the soundtrack in part because he “lived in Bushwick long ago.” Tickets to tomorrow’s show are $25 and Bushwick hits theaters and video on demand this Friday. Check out our Q&A with the film’s directors, Cary Murnion and Jon Milott, to find out why they set a civil war movie in the neighborhood, and what filming there was like.
Representation matters. But unsurprisingly, it’s still lacking in nearly all fields. Especially in Hollywood. Casts, directors and producers are overwhelmingly white and male. So much so that in 2015 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated claims of systematic discrimination against female directors.
Does government surveillance really get your goat? (To be honest I have never really understood that expression but I am just going to run with it.) Is your ideal evening spent watching documentaries on the deep state? If so, then you’re in luck.
In a new film fest running today through Aug. 5 — ominously titled “Spy vs. Us” — the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space (MoRUS) in the East Village takes on national security and the surveillance state. Even better, like last year’s MoRUS-sponsored film and theater festivals, this year’s festival screenings will occur in the lovely environs of several community gardens. Tonight’s opening screening takes place in the roof garden of Alphabet City’s fabled Umbrella House.
From last year’s Flicks on the Beach. Credit: Alliance for Coney Island.
With the memory of the recent Mermaid Parade still warm in our hearts, we’re pleased to note that the Coney Island Flicks on the Beach festival has announced this year’s lineup.
The film selection is an eclectic mix of the heavily family-friendly — Beauty and The Beast, Finding Dory, The Lego Batman Movie — and a few edgier selections like Get Out. The series is sponsored by Amazon Studios, who will also be doing previews of two Amazon Studios originals — Landline, the new dysfunctional family dramedy from the Obvious Child team, and Crown Heights, a Sundance drama (adapted from a This American Life episode) about a wrongfully imprisoned man.
Today is the official start of summer and what better way to celebrate than getting excited for outdoor movie season. Williamsburg’s SummerScreen just released some colorful and spacey iterations of movie posters to go along with this year’s series, which kicks off July 5. Seven local artists created the posters for each film that will show in McCarren Park: Mean Girls, Office Space, Donnie Darko, Selena, I Know What You Did Last Summer and an audience choice. So fetch.
Tribeca’s Roxy Hotel has re-launched its much-loved cellar theater Roxy Cinema with new concessions and a big slate of summer programming — including free midnight screenings and events with indie acts like TV Baby and Beach Fossils.
The cinema, which specializes in “first-run, independent, classic, art-house and foreign film, both played on digital and 35mm,” is one of the few locations in New York where you can enjoy good beer, wine, and even champagne during a movie. Cocktails are also reportedly on the way. They’re also beefing up their snacks-and-candy concessions.
If you’ve ever been to Union Square, you’ve seen them: They chant, drum; sometimes they even give you a free copy of their scripture. Hare Krishnas are often shrugged off as an urban oddity on par with clipboard people, but what lies behind those orange robes and endless mantras?
Cinephiles, take note: the New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF) opens June 30, and this year’s roster has just been announced. With “just shy of 60 films,” including feature films and documentaries from seven countries, there’s a diverse lineup of films in every genre, from gangster flicks to romantic dramas to experimental stream-of-consciousness softcore porn. Truly, something for everyone.
China and Hong Kong are particularly well-represented, with a slate of popcorn-friendly thrillers, dramas, and crime flicks. Battle of Memories (2017, dir. Leste Chen) follows a novelist who wakes from an experimental medical procedure to discover he has acquired the memories of a serial killer. In Blood of Youth (2016), directed by “self-trained fireman-turned-filmmaker Yang Shupeng,” police and criminals alike race to hunt down a computer hacker.