Jodie Mack, SXSW's MATEO and 10,000KM and More Set for Rooftop Films This Week

Jodie Mack, SXSW's MATEO and 10,000KM and More Set for Rooftop Films This Week

Tomorrow, Rooftop Films is on the roof of The JCC in Manhattan for multi-talented experimental filmmaker Jodie Mack's 'Dusty Stacks of Mom' with Documentary Shorts. Jodie will be in the house, performing the film's score live during the screening. On Wednesday we head to Socrates Sculpture Park in LIC, Queens for the FREE International Premiere of The Deadly Ponies Gang, a wild doc about two homies ridin' tricked out ponies, looking for trouble on the rural outskirts of New Zealand.

Friday begins Rooftop's SXSW showcase weekend with the NY Premiere of Mateo, about Matthew Stoneman, a redheaded white dude playing authentic, fluent Mexican love songs. We end SXSW weekend on Saturday with Carlos Marques-Marcet's 10,000KM, about a couple separated by great distance who much rely on virtual communication to keep the flame of their relationship alive. The film won a special jury prize at this year's SXSW Film Festival.


July 15th
DUSTY STACKS OF MOM and Documentary Shorts

7:00PM YouTube For Filmmakers Reception & Presentation (For Invited Filmmakers)
8:00PM Doors Open to the Public & Pre-Screening Reception sponsored by New Amsterdam Spirits
9:00PM Films Begin

Venue: On the roof of The JCC In Manhattan: 334 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY ?

This program of short films finds butts becoming beautiful instruments, gladiators struggling with existential crisis', a middle-aged German woman obsessed with Elvis, nomadic families transported throughout the world, and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon reinterpreted as a wildly unique, animated personal odyssey about a filmmaker's mom's failing poster store. No, these aren't your typical documentaries.


BUNDA PANDEIRO (Carlo Sampietro | 3 min.)
ARENA (Piotr Berna? | 16 min.)
GRACELAND (Christian Hödl | 11 min.)
BUTTER LAMP (Hu Wei | Beijing, China | 15 min.)

More info:

July 16th
THE DEADLY PONIES GANG (Zoe McIntosh | 65 min.)

8:00PM Live Music
8:30PM Film Begins
10:00PM Q&A with filmmaker Zoe McIntosh

Venue: Socrates Sculpture Park: 32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, Queens, NY 11106

The "Deadly Ponies Gang" is comprised of just two people - Clint and Dwayne. The name is not just a nonsensical gang title - they actually ride ponies. Living on the edges of New Zealand makes traveling from point A to B a chore, so the duo has decided to ride it and, of course, they have to ride in style. Accessorizing their ponies with bead necklaces, stunna shades, and nail polish, these "bestest of friends" are out to have a deadly good time. Not short of a suave move with the ladies, Clint worries that Dwayne's not pulling the way he once did - most likely because he has no teeth! As Clint so eloquently puts it, "Dwayne deserves some serious sexy times, and I'm gonna do my best to get him sexed up." You may wonder how a gaunt, toothless, balding guy is going to get "sexed up," but Clint has an answer: host a fundraiser to get Dwayne a new pair of teeth. The event is aptly named the "'Help my mate Dwayne get some teeth Fundraising gig." And so begins Clint and Dwayne's delirious adventure of scoping the streets for women to get with and dudes to sell drugs to (for supplemental income).

Billed as a docu-comedy, The Deadly Ponies Gang is a stranger-than-fiction story about a unique community and the lengths people go for their mates. Director Zoe McIntosh uncovers a friendship so odd, dudes so distinctive, and lines so quotable that it put's James Franco's Spring Breaker's character to shame. The two gleefully live their lives without shame, partying like its their last days on Earth, all the while riding their pimped-out ponies through the remote countryside, staying true to both themselves and each other. Unforgettable and uniquely off-beat, The Deadly Ponies Gang is sure to be a journey you won't regret taking.

More info:

July 18th
MATEO (Aaron I. Naar | 85 min.)

8:00PM Doors Open
8:30 PM Live Music by Matthew Stoneman
9:00PM Film Begins
10:30PM Q&A with filmmaker Aaron I. Naar and subject Matthew Stoneman (Mateo)
11:30PM After Party

Venue: Industry City: 220 36th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11232

At a nearly empty open mic night in Los Angeles, people sit on the floor listening to an unassuming, redheaded man with a guitar awkwardly introduce himself for far too long. For the last 13 years this man, known simply as Mateo, has been living and working as America's first white mariachi singer, playing guitar and singing in Spanish at Mexican restaurants and private events across the city. However peculiar his profession may sound, it is nowhere near as strange as his transformation from Matthew Stoneman, a New Hampshire born pop musician with an Elton John sound. In the mid-90s, with his personal music struggling to find an audience, Matthew took to a life of crime, and was eventually incarcerated for five years in a maximum-security state penitentiary for robbery. During his stint he struck up a friendship with a group of Mexican musicians in the prison recess yard who soon taught him hundreds of Spanish-language classics. He emerged as the mysterious, angelic-voiced Mateo.

For the last four years, director Aaron I. Naar has watched the enigmatic Mateo weave a strange path from the street corners of Los Angeles to the revered recording studios in Havana, Cuba. On the brink of completing an album of original songs in Havana, Mateo struggles to keep his demons in check, which seem all too plausible in derailing his goal. Shockingly candid onscreen, Mateo is revealed as complicated man living disparate lives - a simple, mostly solitary existence in Los Angeles and a self-indulgent, almost destructive one in Cuba. Mateo captures, with a piercing gaze, a portrait of a troubled artist living with a checkered past, fraught with poor management, Cuban women, and family turmoil as he moves towards a still unclear future.

Mateo will be on hand for a performance of bolero songs (romantic Latin tunes) prior to the film and will also conclude the evening by serenading audiences throughout Industry City.

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July 19th
10,000KM (Carlos Marques-Marcet | 99 min.)

8:00PM Doors Open
8:30PM Live Music by Adrianne Lenker
9:00PM Film Begins
11:30PM After Party sponsored by New Amsterdam Spirits and Bulleit Bourbon

Alexandra and Sergi have been together for years and are very much in love. They live in Barcelona, Spain and are planning to have a baby. But when an artist residency in Los Angeles offers Alexandra a one-year all expenses paid chance to re-launch her photography career, the couple's plan becomes complicated. Separated by 10,000 kilometers, Alexandra and Sergi must rely on virtual communication to keep the flame of their relationship alive. Does "distance" really test our love or does it justify our capacity to fall out of it?

Director Carlos Marques-Marcet's beautifully constructed feature debut seems to come out of nowhere with the perfect synthesis of style, acting and film technique. Natalia Tena (Game of Thrones, Harry Potter) stars as Alexandra alongside David Verdaguer, who plays Sergi, a student preparing for his teaching exam. Their relationship is skillfully established through an intimate 22-minute opening shot - exclusively inside their apartment - as they make love, eat breakfast and go about their day. Raw, passionate performances and palpable chemistry between the two leads make each frame exciting to watch. However, the email from the artist residency disrupts this calm and sends both the couple and the film's structure into disarray. The latter chapters are told through fragmented sequences of blurry video-chats, emails, facebook updates, and text messages and we see the characters begin to transform. In the hands of a less skilled storyteller, this narrative could have come across as gimmicky, but Marques-Marcet's clever execution instead reinforces the films core themes and sets 10,000 KM apart from others in its genre.

With their realities now only shared virtually, the technology that has supposedly brought the world closer together may just tear them apart. By structuring the film edit and varied techniques in order to mirror the characters' relationship, 10,000 KM manages to achieve one of the most singular and believable portraits of a modern-day relationship to date.

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