Here are our best picks of this year's Rooftop Films
It's nearly summer, which means the return of one of the great New York City traditions: outdoor movies. And while there are a wealth of terrific options for your cinema-under-the-stars fix, none quite compare to Rooftop Films.
With its unique citywide venues and premiere-heavy lineup, the annual showcase of top-notch independent movies offers an unparalleled experience. Rooftop's 16th summer season, kicking off on Friday and running through Aug. 18, features a robust lineup of documentary and narrative features and shorts centered on a wide range of subjects. Put simply, you can't see most of these movies anywhere else.
We've parsed Rooftop's roster to spotlight some of the fest's many notable offerings:
'This is What We Mean By Short Films'
In addition to its 23 features, Rooftop will screen 183 shorts this summer. This opening night compilation is billed as "a rebellion against stale cinematic forms and status quo stories." Among the offerings: a documentary narrated by Tom Waits and an Occupy Wall Street-related short called "#Occupy Bat Signal for the 99%."
'Fat Kid Rules the World'
Matthew Lillard has come a long way: He garnered critical acclaim for his work in last year's "The Descendants" and brings "Fat Kid Rules the World," his directorial debut and a South by Southwest audience favorite, to Rooftop.
Tim Heidecker, of "Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!", stars in this dark comedy, about a contemptible hipster, that premiered to a divisive response at January's Sundance Film Festival.
'Her Master's Voice'
This intriguing doc follows renowned ventriloquist Nina Conti as she mourns the death of her mentor and lover Ken Campbell by traveling with his puppets to Kentucky's Vent Haven museum, the "resting place" for mannequins.
Accomplished filmmakers Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (who made the documentary, "Jesus Camp") pay tribute to Detroit with this doc depicting a wide swath of locals who remain devoted to the city, despite its dire straits.
If you go: Rooftop Films 2012 Summer Series runs from Friday through Aug. 18. Various venues, rooftopfilms.com $12 per film/program.