The Search For Emak Bakia
$13 at the door. Cash only.
Sunday Jun 15, 2014
8:00PMDoors Open
8:30 PMTrivia!
9:00PMFilm Begins
10:45PMQ&A with director Oskar Alegria
11:30PMAfter Party sponsored by New Amsterdam Spirits
No refunds. In the event of rain, show will be rescheduled. Please visit for rain details. Seating is first come, first served. No outside alcohol is permitted.

The Old American Can Factory
(Roof and Courtyard)
on the roof and courtyard
232 Third St. at 3rd Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215
F/G to Carroll St. or R to Union


This Show Presented in Partnership With
New Amsterdam
XO Projects
Runner & Stone

NY Premiere. In 1926, the Surrealist artist Man Ray created an experimental film titled Emak Bakia, shot along a forgotten stretch of the Basque coast. Today, a filmmaker retraces Man Ray’s steps by foot, using chance and the wind to guide him in this poetic, indefinable documentary.


The Search for Emak Bakia (Oskar Alegria | 84 min.)
The direct translation of the Basque phrase “Emak Bakia” is “leave me alone,” yet in The Search for Emak Bakia this simple phrase and what it represents taunts filmmaker Oskar Alegria. The saying is emblazoned on a house belonging to the celebrated artist Man Ray and is the subject of his 1926 experimental film by the same name. The “search” refers to all aspects of “Emak Bakia,” as Alegria is more interested in the journey, not the destination. The film creates room for wonder, adventure, and invention as he splinters the title into a multitude of cinematic visions and peaceful explorations.

Following Man Ray’s elliptical path of coastlines, columns, sculptures and sleeping eyelids the film inspects the art in the artifacts along the way, often stopping to daydream with others who have also been lured in by this enigmatic phrase. Inquisitive interviews ranging from Parisian clowns to aging Romanian Princesses, inspired cinematography, elegantly composed writing and an open heart create a shadow of Man Ray’s film, an interpretation of the past that informed the flickering images of the original Emak Bakia.

Alegria’s vision may mirror Man Ray’s, but it is his own unique voice that leaves the indelible mark. The slowed down flash of lightning against a vivid house façade becomes a frame of painterly feeling. Sounds recorded throughout the house whisper within the soundtrack. Horizontal planes force your eye across unthinkable perspectives. Light, sound, time and space somehow act at the will of this visionary director in this promising feature film debut.

Similar in spirit to the collaged musings of Agnes Varda’s documentaries and the philosophical wit of Herzog, this film meditates on the genre in a way that tests and pushes its conventions much like its subject. The Search for Emak Bakia is a captivating archive of a chimeric world making Rooftop Films the perfect venue for this New York Premiere.

-Donna K.


Alexander Turnquist
"Built on flickering runs of guitar harmonics and stretched melodies that wrap into spirals, the instrumentals of upstate New York guitarist Alexander Turnquist can occasionally feel precious, less like documents of experiences than mere suggestions of them. But “Wildflower,” from Turnquist’s wonderful new Flying Fantasy, is the sort of lived-in reflection that seems to stem from careful observation, translated into fastidious sound. There’s a wonderful springtime mimesis to this song’s six minutes, implying narrative amid exquisite, wordless motion. Lumbering spells of doubt, illustrated by Turnquist’s ever-cycling guitar, sublimate into sudden spells of wonder, aided by subtle horns and assured piano. The arrival suggests the emergence of a bloom following a late frost, less a new-age meditation than a here-and-now deliverance. Western Vinyl releases Flying Fantasy on June 10." - Pitchfork

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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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