Roof and Courtyard
232 Third St. at 3rd Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215
F/G to Carroll St. or R to Union
Rooftop Films, indieWIRE, and Snag Films celebrate our 16 year anniversaries with a special sneak preview of The Imposter. An engaging investigation into a bizarre 1997 case in which a French man impersonated a missing adolescent from San Antonio that combines non-fiction detective work with an alluring sense of mystery.
The location of tonight's film has been moved to The Old American Can Factory.
The Imposter (Bart Layton | UK | 95 min.)
Sustained by its weird-but-true hooks, The Imposter suggests a compelling marriage of The Tillman Story with Man on Wire (and was produced by the same people). Director Bart Layton's biggest coup involves a dominant interview with an outgoing Spanish man who remains unnamed for most of the movie. His espionage-like method of impersonating the missing boy, Nicholas Barclay, puts the movie firmly inside the anonymous man's head. Guided by a cosmic score and slickly constructed reenactments, "The Imposter" inhabits the con artist's perspective as he infiltrates a small Texas town, makes the local news and even manages to work his way back to high school.
The ruse begins with a phone call to Barclay's sister made by the con artist at the beginning of the movie. He preys on her fears with methodological precision -- or, in his own words, "I washed her brain." The Impostor does that to its audience as well, drawing us into each twist in Fake Barclay's experiences while making it clear, by virtue of the movie's existence, that at some point someone must catch on. But even when they do, for each answered question, another begs for further inquiry.
The supporting characters flesh out this requirement. A local investigator named Charlie Parker, whose tactics seem lifted straight out of a Raymond Chandler novel, grows increasingly suspicious of Barclay's return, begging a naive FBI agent to reopen the case. When the man's identity finally becomes clear, the magnitude of his scheme begs for further analysis, but Layton instead takes the plot in a surprising new direction that redefines everything that came before. You won't see it coming -- even when you think you have it all figured out.
- Eric Kohn
"Clearly these guys have thought about their music. Even the texture of their sound is meticulously crafted. Though you might call the music lo-fi, this is really a misnomer: lo-fi implies some degradation of sound quality, whereas these guys deliberately morph their sound to their own tastes. It takes a little getting used to, but the warmth conveyed on “The Prettiest Song in the World” has a lot to do with the texture they create, which sounds like an exaggerated version of the sound you get from vinyl." -Ampeater