by Mark Elijah Rosenberg
July 30th, 2010

On July 29 at Rooftop, the filmmaking fabulist Luis Nieto performed one of his fantastic experiments to a thrilled (albeit mildly frightened) audience. During the public Q&A following the screening of his film Capucine, a documentary about a monkey that’s been trained to make films, I asked Nieto what the monkey’s reaction has been to the portrait. Sadly, Nieto informed us that the monkey herself is deceased. I really put my foot in my mouth on that one.

Fortunately, Nieto was there to bail me out. He’s been working on a new project, using electrical probes to re-animate “dead” tissue, in the hopes of some day bringing back to life this beloved lower primate auteur. Coming to Rooftop—and indeed America—for the first time, Nieto brought with him his elaborate new device, and, conveniently, a deceased chicken. With a camera inside the large metal box, and the image projected on the big screen, Nieto wowed the crowd by making the chicken dance with just a few 220 volt electro shocks.

Of course, this was only a test. And chickens are stubborn, ungainly creatures that maybe don’t want electrical probes stuck up their butts, even if they’re dead. But a little chicken abuse never hurt anyone, and Nieto’s eye will recover some day. Now that the chicken is safely dead (again), we can proudly say the event was a tremendous success, not just for Rooftop Films, but for the history of science.

There will be video of that performance soon, but for now, you can find out more about Nieto’s films and wondrous scientific cinematic stunts at, and check this one out here:

If you think Rooftop deserves funding in the Sciences, or even maybe a Nobel Prize, please consider making contributing to our Kickstarter fundraising campaign (until 8/4/10) or making a regular tax-deductible donation.


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About Rooftop Films

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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