Roof and Courtyard
232 Third St. at 3rd Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215
F/G to Carroll St. or R to Union
|8:00 PM||Doors Open|
|8:30 PM||Live Music by Christopher Paul Stelling|
|9:00 PM||Film Begins|
|11:00 PM-12:30 AM||Reception in Courtyard|
The Patron Saints (Brian Cassidy, Melanie Shatzky | USA | 72 min.)
After achieving success at the Rotterdam and Toronto film festivals, Rooftop is thrilled to be presenting this hauntingly unconventional and darkly humorous documentary. At once deftly lyrical and disarmingly realistic, The Patron Saints was shot over the course of several years, depicting the harsh and often bizarre reality of old age and conveying a palpable sense of the inescapable onslaught of time.
The Patron Saints is a film about confinement; the residents are forever in a state of stasis, physically confined to their wheelchairs and beds, mentally confined within their ever-deteriorating brains. Any fleeting glimpse of the outside world acquires a strange poignancy by virtue of its otherness, referring to a reality completely estranged from the residents. Yet while the film presents a visceral mediation on mental deterioration and old age, it maintains a poetic sensibility throughout, affording its child-like subjects tenderness and allowing the absurd humor of the situation to percolate.
The Patron Saints find its narrator in the nursing home’s youngest resident, Jim, who although is paralyzed from the waist down, remains mentally lucid. From this unique position Jim is able to lead us through the sterile corridors of the home and into the stories of the other residents. Rather than attempt to make any larger statement about the state of elderly care, the film concentrates on the daily minutiae of life in this home: the indistinguishable slop in the cafeteria, the earnest entertainers who come and visit now and again, the individual psychoses and disillusions of the patients which are so ingrained in daily reality they feel like part of the furniture. The Patron Saints places this institution at the center of the film’s reality and constructs a tapestry of experience to convey the inescapability of old age and ultimately death which pervades both the home and life itself.
- Cressida Greening