New York City is nothing if not a metropolis filled with outstanding views, a culture of rooftops and high-rises in which many of the best and most exciting activities unfold stories above the ground.
It's also a movie buff's paradise, so of course the Rooftop Films festival has become an indispensable summer institution during the course of its nearly two decades.
The 19th edition opens Friday and unspools at rooftop screening locations throughout the city through August 22. Most events include live music and an after party. Movies begin at 9 p.m.
These are some highlights:
'7 Chinese Brothers'
The great Jason Schwartzman, who makes any film automatically better, stars alongside Tunde Adebimpe, Olivia Dukakis and a cute French bulldog in the latest from Austin-based indie auteur Bob Byington ("Harmony and Me"). Sat., Old American Can Factory
We've already encouraged you to see this documentary, which played at the Sundance Film Festival and Tribeca and chronicles the lives of shut-in, movie-obsessed brothers on the Lower East Side. But it can't hurt to do so again.June 6, Industry City
'Welcome to Leith'
It's a tired idiom, but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Case in point: This documentary about a small North Dakota town confronting an influx of white supremacists.June 12, Old American Can Factory
'New York Non-Fiction'
Rooftop's home city gets an affectionate treatment in this compendium of shorts, one of many being presented throughout the summer. June 19, Industry City
'Sam Klemke's Time Machine'
Some projects defy an easy, concise description. This film, a compendium of autobiographical documentary footage shot by a man named Sam Klemke, is one of them.June 26, Old American Can Factory
Sean Baker is one of the unique voices in independent film today, having crafted engaging, energized slice-of-life efforts such "Starlet" and "The Prince of Broadway" (not to mention the cult favorite "Greg the Bunny" TV show). Here, he follows two transgender women over the course of a long, hot day in Los Angeles. July 7, location tbd
'Romeo is Bleeding'
A production of "Romeo and Juliet" is helmed by a poet in the strife-ridden California town of Richmond in this documentary. July 11, Industry City
The official description of this documentary: "A man finds a dismembered foot in an auctioned meat smoker. Then things get strange." OK then. August 15, Industry City
'Digging For Fire'
Joe Swanberg, once the pre-eminent "mumblecore" artist, continues to make more mainstream independent films with this "relationship-adventure" featuring one hell of a cast: Rosemarie DeWitt, Jake Johnson, Anna Kendrick, Brie Larson, Sam Rockwell and more. August 18, Industry City
If you go: Rooftop Films runs Friday through Augusty 22 at venues across NYC. More info: rooftopfilms.com