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
|8:30PM||Live music by Island Twins|
|11:30PM-1:00AM||After-party at R Bar (218 Bowery @ Rivington) courtesy of Radeberger Pilsner|
This Ain't California (Marten Persiel | 94 min.)
This movie is about skateboarding. This movie is about East Germany. This movie is about childhood. This movie is about a charismatic, irresistible, driven, complex, handsome personality. This movie is about free spirit and rebellion. This movie is about regrets. This movie is about the bizarre twists our lives take. This movie is about drinking and sex and pretty girls and cigarettes and trashing things. This movie is told in super 8 flashbacks, DSLR, photos, animation, 80’s German punk music. This movie is sad, this movie is fast, this movie is funny, this movie is intellectual, this movie is angry, this movie is sweet, this movie is clever, this movie is rad.
This fun and insightful documentary shows that behind the Iron Curtain, teenagers were still teenagers. It’s amazing to see youthful rebellion in the face of political and familial pressure in such a unique place. So while the film tells a universal and political story, what makes This Ain’t California such an emotionally powerful history is the personal touch – the filmmaker lived through the era, and was a key protagonist in the counter-cultural anarchy flashing brightly on screen. When the Berlin Wall fell, the members of the semi-secret GDR skate-punk community scattered, and many haven’t been in touch for years. Rallying around a seminal figure for all of them, the group comes together again, returning to their roots: the fascist architecture which shaped their skating, the rickety water-damaged wooden boards of decades ago. The resulting reunion is the spark behind emotionally-charged and dashingly cool archival footage that will make dazzle and touch skaters and non-skaters alike. Rooftop is proud to bring this radical film to the roof of Open Road, a working skate park.
- St John McKay