Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rooftop Film's next free show in the Bronx set for Thursday March 3rd at the Bruckner: "Up With Me", by Greg Takoudes's

It's that time of the month again when Rooftop Films, in conjunction with the Bruckner Bar and Grill, provide free shorts from up and coming film directors. Last time I went Stella Artois was handing out FREE PINTS, so make sure to bring your ID. It's a great event conducted monthly. If your an aspiring film maker this an organization that can help. Please do see more about their programs on the web site listed below. Once again thanks to NYC Councilwoman Maria Del Carmen Arroyo for helping to fund Rooftop films and helping to make these events possible.


Hi there,

Join Rooftop Films at this Thursday, March 3rd at the Bruckner Bar and Grill for Greg Takoudes's gritty and gripping drama UP WITH ME, where love and loyalty are put to the test when a Harlem teenager is offered a prep school scholarship upstate. The film is a remarkable collaboration between director Greg Takoudes and at-risk youth at the East Harlem Tutorial Program and is part of our monthly free screening series at the Bruckner.

And if you can, please help us spread the word about the screening to anyone who might be interested via your site, Facebook, Twitter, or email.


Show Details:

Thursday Mar 3, 2011
7:00 PM Doors Open
7:45PM Film Begins
9:15PM Filmmaker Q&A

Bruckner Bar & Grill
Indoors at the Bruckner Bar and Grill
(South Bronx)
1 Bruckner Blvd, Bronx, NY 10454
Subway: Take the 4, 5 to 138 St. Grand Concourse or the 6 to 138 Street 3rd Avenue

More info at:

The Film:
Up With Me (Greg Takoudes | New York, NY | 76 min.)
“In school, they taught us about great civilizations. But one day, they’ll count Harlem as one of them, and they’ll count us. No billionaire wants so much as us. . . . No one ever loved like I love Francisco. There were no better friends than ours.” But when Francisco, a teenager from Harlem, is admitted to an upstate boarding school on scholarship, he is torn between his life at home—his loyal girlfriend and his jealous best friend—and the new environment.

In tough and disadvantaged neighborhoods, people always face a dilemma choosing between local pride and worldly desire, between staying loyal and seeking a better life. How do you improve yourself (or even define “improvement”) in ways that don’t alienate your friends, your loved ones, your community?

Francisco wants the education, but doesn’t want to change. In a brilliant act of narrative restraint, the filmmakers barely show Francisco at the new school for most of the movie, leaving the audience wondering (like his friends) what the upstate academy is actually like for him. His tender scenes with Erika subtly highlight the way he’s not quite sure what to do with his newly acquired knowledge, embarrassed to embarrass her, even though she is clearly a poetically insightful and inquisitive person.

But as Francisco tries to leave his troubles in Harlem behind, his best friend Brandon puts his own life in danger—partly to test his own ability to hustle, and partly as a loyalty test to Francisco. Brandon is desperately needy, but also has a nihilist pragmatism about him that is both scary and sad. While Francisco tries to better himself through education, and seems to consider his friend’s cavalier thug life as childish, Brandon defends his lifestyle with a mix of defiance and defeatism: “What else are we gonna do? This is my life.”

This gritty, charming and dynamic narrative feature was created as a collaboration between director Greg Takoudes and at-risk youth at the East Harlem Tutorial Program. The screenplay is based on months-long writing workshops with the teenagers, who then starred in the movie, and—when they weren't acting in scenes—helped crew the set. “I wanted to turn these teens into filmmakers,” Takoudes said in IndieWire, “to teach them film skills, and make our movie in a way that the creative responsibility for the film rested as much with the teens, as with me. I thought that if they understood this responsibility, that they would rise to the occasion. And they did.”

No comments: