on the grass along the water
Long Island City
3134 Vernon Boulevard, Long Island City, NY 11106
Take the N or W train to the Broadway stop in Queens and walk eight blocks west on Broadway (toward the East River) to the intersection of Vernon Boulevard.
Presented with Socrates Sculpture Park. Wonderfully surreal, painfully real, this is a bittersweet comedy about animals that love people unconditionally and people who eat the animals they love.
Domestic (Adrian Sitaru | Romania | 82 min.)
Romanian New Wave Cinema is known for finding beauty in stark realism, seeking compassion in bleak circumstances. Acclaimed films such as The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Cristi Puiu, 2005), 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007) or The Tube with a Hat (Radu Jude, 2007 at Rooftop Films), paint a picture of country still suffering after decades of totalitarian rule, where resources are scarce but people show pragmatic ingenuity and fierce determination to achieve their modest goals. Romanian director Adrian Sitaru’s Domestic follows these emotional and intellectual traditions, but takes a slightly different path, with off-beat comedy, elaborate choreography and lush set decoration.
The film is centered in a single building, and it appears that the crumbling vestiges of Romania’s poorer more chaotic days are being patched over. Following three men and their families, we find their homes small but densely well-appointed, the carefully composed images often highlighting a plethora of strange objects, not the least of which are the family “pets” (or other unusually domesticated animals: rabbits, hens, pigeons). As scenes play out in single, long takes, with action taking place in multiple layers of depth, moving in and out of the complex takes on a fun house feel. These movements mirror the character’s emotional secrecy, from the confused and heartbroken man mourning the loss of his daughter with an illicit lover, to the blunt and bold dad who overshares the honest truth with his son. The passage of the animals -- from owner to owner, from playpen to dinner table -- structure the film, but they are ciphers (sometimes sentimental, sometimes darkly comic) for the emotional and intellectual lives of the characters.
"We've all had animals and loved them,” said Sitaru. “We all have responsibilities to the ones we love and live with and we all make mistakes." Sitaru is a master of crafting quirky situations in which the underlying ideas run counter to the obvious, and in this delightfully unusual film, Sitaru discovers love and tenderness (and humor) that is all the more exquisite for existing in such unexpected places, people and pets.
- Mark Elijah Rosenberg
Kiwi Artist Samuel Saffery and local musician Erik Meier teamed up shortly after the first collaborative release with featured artists in the Bushwick Community. The two are continuing to organically develop and refine a unique sound and share similar influences. They are constantly driven and focused on sharing their creations with the world; their passion and emotions through song.
Inspiration stemmed from 60s, 70s and contemporary folk rock, the self titled debut release displays local artist Erik Meier accompanied by a panel of creators and friends within the Bushwick Music Scene. The debut self titled showcases passionate vocals and harmonies from Joanna Levine (Pinkwing) and minimal appropriate acoustic leads performed by Bill Bartholomew and Dave Klym (The Golden Age of Transit). Upbeat and more innocent is the latter placed track Spring Song featuring Carin Beam’s cowriting and lead vocals as well as Noisycrane’s Jane Park on strings. Erik Meier manifests a soul searching journey to find sound a voice with help and strong influence from these raw-talented names and continues to develop it.