The American Experience
Short Film Program

Wednesday Jul 4, 2012
7:00pmLive music by Arturo En El Barco
8:30pmLive Music By Dustin Wong
9:30 PMFilms

Socrates Sculpture Park
on the grass along the water
Long Island City
32-01 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, NY 11106
Take the N or Q train to the Broadway stop in Queens and walk eight blocks west on Broadway (toward the East River) to the intersection of Vernon Boulevard.


This Show Presented in Partnership With
NYC & Co.
Socrates Sculpture Park
New York Magazine
Free Show!
Free Show!

On America’s birthday, we celebrate the diversity, daring, and charm of our country, in a program of short films that is funny, revelatory, dramatic and All-American.

In an election year, we take an irreverent look at campaigning, and address opposition positions. We look at recent history through personal stories, and examine our national culture through the eyes of recent immigrants. People young and old express their views and display their passions, acknowledging the hardships and struggles which we hope make us stronger as a nation.

- Mark Elijah Rosenberg


Sweet Stream Love's River (Carl Skelton and Luke DuBois | Brooklyn, NY)
Developed by multimedia artists Carl Skelton and R. Luke DuBois, Sweet Stream Love’s River displays words of love, glowing in the rippling surface of a real-time animation of a virtual pool of water. Audience members are invited to share their own warm-to-hot feelings by sms from their smartphone directly to the screen. As one message dissipates, the next appears. Presented by AT&T.

MULVAR IS CORRECT CANDIDATE! (Patrick Désilets | USA | 1 min.)
Mulvar's shallow understanding of human politics does not keep him from running for office.
This is his campaign TV ad.

MONTH ONE (Micheal Galinsky and Joanna Arnow | USA | 10 min.)
A dynamic and compelling overview of the Occupy Wall Street beginnings.

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO AN ATTORNEY (Matt Bockelman | USA | 13 min.)
Two young public defenders in the Bronx strive to resolve hundreds of cases while facing the emotional burden of working in a system they consider fundamentally broken.

MY AMERICAN LIFE (Mohammed Yakub | USA | 6 min.)
The filmmaker, a Bengali-American teenager, is strikingly honest in expressing his internal conflicts between his Muslim heritage and his desire to lead a “normal” urban American life.

THREAD (Iva Radivojevic | USA | 7 min.)
Mesmerizing images show a group of Pakistani Americans battling kites in Dyker Park, a home away from home that helps them hold on to the threads (literally) of their roots.

NORMAN SCHWARTZKOPF MADE ME GAY (Sara Zia Ebrahimi | USA | 10 min.)
Supported by the Rooftop Filmmakers Fund / Chicken and Egg Grant for Women Filmmakers. A mixed media film that recounts how "Stormin'" Norman’s life has influenced the filmmaker’s, humorously weaving together personal history with world events.

NO MORE QUESTIONS (Rauch Bros | USA | 4 min.)
Kay Wang was a strong-willed grandmother begrudgingly dragged into a StoryCorps booth by her son and granddaughter. Sadly, Kay passed away weeks after this interview, but this animated film regales us with her wacky stories.

A Short Film about Ice Fishing (Jason Shahinfar | USA | 8 min.)
Two friends devote a winter afternoon in South Dakota to ice fishing, cold beers, friendly chatter, man’s best friend, guns, dynamite…all on a frozen lake. (courtesy of Rural Route Film Festival/this Aug. 3-5 at MoMI & Brooklyn Grange farm!)


Dustin Wong
"The output of guitarist Dustin Wong has gradually shifted from chaotic to crystalline. His early work with Ecstatic Sunshine veered toward shaggy guitar rock, while Ponytail was like an unhinged version of Deerhoof with odd hooks and wordless vocals. Wong's solo work, though obviously springing from the same headspace, consolidates and unifies his aesthetic.
Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads follows 2010's solo debut Infinite Love, a conceptual album based in part on a psychedelic experience. It featured the same material-- repetitive, layered guitar lines and a tiny dose of drum machine-- presented in two similar renditions across two discs. Dreams Say has a similarly out-there origin, with a title inspired in part by his dreams. But the album's actual construction is more compact and solid than its predecessor. Wong has explained his creative process-- the way he uses a guitar and a series of pedals-- in terms of a textile factory. The pedals that change the guitar's tone add texture, delay pedals weave a pattern, a loop pedal replicates the sounds, and an envelope filter colors them. It's a powerful explanatory tool for thinking about Dreams Say, View, Create, Shadow Leads, but after receiving piles and piles of such exquisitely crafted sonic fabrics, I'm left with the question of what to do with them.
The answer to that challenge is surprisingly broad. On the one hand, it seems as though Wong's music is naturally introspective. It lacks the rock immediacy of Ecstatic Sunshine, and there aren't Ponytail frontwoman Molly Siegel's pre-verbal vocal yelps to divert from all the intricacies. Some songs, such as "Space Tunnel Graffiti", sound like basalt blocks being dropped around your head. Alternately, "Feet Prints on Flower Dreads" starts with an urgent guitar figure and builds slowly into an industrious, vaguely conventional pop song with chorus-drenched chords and competing lead lines that cut sharply across the audible spectrum. None of the songs are simple, and they mostly all build to surprising and surprisingly weird heights.
A twin strength/weakness of these songs is that they generally start discretely, as simple guitar figures onto which Wong piles more loops and lines. The album's strong sense of pacing leads to moments where, as each song crests, you tend to think, This, right here, is the highlight. Then it ends, and the next song starts from point zero. Which is good and bad. "Toe Tore Oh", something of a centerpiece, builds slowly and doesn't hit a groove until about four minutes in. Two minutes later, it stops abruptly, and the listener's given a new fabric to examine.
In a way, each song's pattern is like an aural Rorschach test. (Wong's textile analogy is apt.) You hear the music, sure, but only the parts your brain latches onto. Even on good headphones, it's difficult to catch everything that's going on. Your mind wanders along one guitar path, and then you realize you've necessarily missed five or six branching paths. That's not a huge knock, though, since the album does reward repeat listens. In fact, it requires them. One go around might emphasize the Motown-style bassline in "Purple Slipped Right", and on another you'll notice the ghostly harmonic artifacts popping up among the pizzicato muted string rhythm. Wong uses the loop pedal like a factory machine stamping out parts, and the little imperfections and accidents that get captured and preserved only add to each layer's complexity." Pitchfork

Arturo En El Barco
Arturo en el Barco is the work of Angélica Negrón a young composer from Brooklyn, NY via San Juan, Puerto Rico. She writes lo-fi ambient compositions that are mostly crafted live through her ensemble which includes strings, toys, accordion, found sounds, music boxes and voices. Drawing inspiration from old family pictures, floating soap bubbles, random noises, marine creatures and puppets made by her friends, she is interested in creating a personal microcosm of recollections through sound.

The group has performed in venues such as Monkeytown (NYC), Le Poisson Rouge (NYC), Glaz’art (Paris, France), The Tank (NYC), Galapagos Art Space (NYC), and in the National Museum of Mexican Arts (Chicago) as part of the Latin American Electronic Music Festival. Releases include albums on Observatory Online (Austria) and Carte Postale Records (Belgium) and also various compilations from labels such as Aerotone (Germany), Tri-Postal (Belgium). At-At Records (México) and Si No Puedo Bailar (Brazil). Originally a solo endeavor, the project has recently evolved into a chamber ensemble for live presentations with performers Andie Springer (violin), Insia Malik (violin), Beth Meyers (viola & banjo), Evelyn Farny (cello), Matt Marks (french horn) and José Olivares (laptop).

Through combining these instruments with electronics mostly crafted through multiple layers of organic sounds, the project intends to evoke in the listener a sense of quiet adventures that happen when you travel to an imaginary past full of distant memories that are indistinct because they probably never actually happened.

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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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