Zachary Raines 2010
Fiction Feature

Saturday May 14, 2011
$10 online or at the door
The roof of New Design High School (formerly Open Road)
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

8:00PMDoors Open
8:30PMLive Music by Emily Reo
9:00PMFilm Begins
11:30PMAfter Party
In the event of rain the show will be rescheduled for a later date. Restrictions: 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.


This Show Presented in Partnership With
World Premiere
World Premiere

Freeloader (Zachary Raines | New York, NY | 77 min.)

Official Link:

An establishing shot outside a Brooklyn apartment shows a graveyard, telling us it’s morning, and it’s not going to be a good one. Inside, Frank is hung over (again). He would’ve overslept work if he had a job, but he has missed his opportunity to have that relationship talk with Pearl he so desperately, drunkenly wanted to have late last night. It seems like Frank just can’t catch a break—or is it that he keeps breaking things?

When Pearl (Vassi Spanos) tenderly tries to break up with him, Frank (as usual) makes an awkward situation more difficult than it has to be: he simplifies things, spins them around, and simultaneously goes on the attack while feigning victimhood. It’s a masterful maneuver, as far as dick moves go. As uncomfortable as Frank’s faux pas are, they’re always uncomfortably funny.

Perhaps Frank’s gripes are justified, but he’s always digging in for a fight, overtly passive-aggressive, and he manages to make everyone involved feel badly. Even while living off the gifts of others, Frank makes sure to his best friend Bud (John Siciliani), his ex-girlfriend Pearl, and anyone else he encounters won’t be happy with or without him. At last, while shacking up with overly-eager Ray (“with the pedophile smile”), it appears that Frank might be recognizing something about himself, coming out of his bitter shell. Frank goes to Ray’s (Jesse Wakeman) comedy show—a blinding bomb of a performance that serves as the metaphoric epicenter of the movie—and for the first time Frank earnestly tries to project empathy. It’s almost tragic how badly that comes off. This is, after all, a dude who’s even sarcastic to the sea.

Writer-Director-Editor Zachary Raines delicately draws sharp and nuanced performances out of the entire cast, and cuts the naturalistic dialogue crisply, keeping each scene light and funny, even when the subtext sinks further and further into negativity. Freeloader is on some level a fantastic farce, set in a New York City neo-realism that satirizes some of our society’s delightfully nasty tendencies.

- Mark Elijah Rosenberg

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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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