No Matter What
Fiction Feature
$10 online or at the door.
Saturday Jun 4, 2011
8:00PMDoors Open
8:30PMLive music by Secret Mountains
9:00PMFilm Begins
10:30PMQ&A with filmmaker Cherie Saulter
11:30PMAfter Party at Fontanas (105 Eldridge Street btwn Grand St. and Broome St.)
IN THE EVENT OF RAIN THE SHOW WILL HELD INDOORS AT THE SAME LOCATION. NO REFUNDS. SEATING IS FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED. PHYSICAL SEATS ARE LIMITED. THIS MEANS YOU MAY NOT GET A CHAIR. YOU ARE WELCOME TO BRING A BLANKET AND SIT PICNIC-STYLE, BUT NO ALCOHOL IS PERMITTED.

VENUE
The roof of New Design High School (formerly Open Road)
(above New Design High School)
Lower East Side
350 Grand Street, New York, NY 10002
F, J, M, Z to Delancey Street-Essex Street; B, D, Q to Grand Street

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This Show Presented in Partnership With
Vulture
New York Magazine
IFC
NY Premiere
NY Premiere

The story of Nick and Joey, two best friends living in the crumbling landscape of rural Florida, whose lives and friendship are changed by the journey to find Joey's mother.


Teenagers Joey and Nick are navigating the complex landscape of rural Florida on their own -- they don’t really have parents, they prefer skateboarding to school. When the pair set out to find Joey’s mother -- camping out in drug dealers’ backyards, hopping freight trains -- we wonder if, perhaps, they should just keep going. Filmmaker Cherie Saulter will be at the show in person for a Q&A after the film.


THE FILMS

No Matter What (Cherie Saulter | Chipley, FL | 90 min.)
No Matter What tells a story of resilience in the face of a dying small town. Joey and Nick are best friends -- we know this not because they have deep conversations, but because of their body language, they way they relate, often wordlessly, and in their mutual support. The two male leads, formerly non-actors, truly embody their characters -- both are skateboarders growing up in small Florida towns, much like the one in the film. First-time writer/director Cherie Saulter also grew up in small-town Florida, and spent some teenage years skateboarding with boys much like these characters.

One morning Joey wakes up to find that his mother, Laura, has left and has taken all of her necessary things. He sets off to find her and Nick joins him. We follow the boys on a meditative journey that takes them away -- we cannot tell how far away they are going, only that it is away, and away is good. Their travels are haphazard, often frustrating. They seek out Laura’s contacts -- a small group of connected drug dealers. They steal small things to keep themselves going, meet transients, learn to hop trains. The pace of the film is such that the viewer doesn’t ever quite know if they will, in fact, find Laura -- we can’t know if what they encounter will be good, or violent, or depressing. The futility of their travels weighs over the story -- does Joey simply want to ask her why? What will she say, this mother, about abandoning her teenage son -- not a child but certainly not a man -- to the world?

No Matter What is about connection -- the need we have as humans to connect, and, for some, the resistance to connecting. Nick’s lack of a mother (she has died) allows him to connect to Joey, not to question him or the possible futility of their quest, and allows him a seemingly infinite amount of patience with him. Nick’s need to connect with Laura, and her rejection of that echoes throughout the film like a shot -- he is dejected, abandoned, stoical. Their momentary connections to other travelers around campfires and to sympathetic folks who give them food and rides and maps stand out, glowing, in a bleak population of distrustful strangers. Ultimately, it is the connection between these two friends as they find their way, that is the strongest, that lasts, that carries, them, and us, through the film.

strikeanywherefilms.com/wp_nmw

- Sarah Palmer

MUSIC

Secret Mountains
The bulk of the last decade brought Baltimore's hyper-color acts—the dance epics of Dan Deacon and the guitar spirals of Ecstatic Sunshine and Ponytail, or even the expatriate pop exuberance of Animal Collective—to the central streams of indie rock. Maybe it's time to pull the shades: Maryland sextet Secret Mountains is a slow, subdued wonder, shaped by serpentine guitar lines that sigh and moan and busy drumming that sidles into the beat and shuffles around it. The surface is supplied by Kelly Laughlin, a singer whose muted alto seems wounded but resilient, like an autumn sun breaking through early morning clouds. This band is bound for bigger rooms.—Grayson Currin

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Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.


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