La Devocion
New York Premiere!
A deviant lifestyle leads to consequences later in life in this daring and gritty low-fi narrative freakout.

Buy Tickets

Saturday, September 1, 2007
8:30 - Live Music by Des Roar
9:00 - Showtime
TRT: 1:27:00

Rain date: Sun. September 2nd—Visit or call
(718) 417-7362 at 7 PM on Friday
Venue: The roof of 210 Cook Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn
Directions: L to Montrose, walk 7 blocks downhill on Bushwick Ave. to a left on Cook

Click here to read a special note about how this venue fits in with Rooftop Films' history

La Devocion
(Directed by Rex Hoss Thompson | Redding, CA | 87 minutes)

"God’s gonna punish us for this.”
“Since when did you care about god?”
“Since we did this fucked up thing.”

The dialogue is ragged, but real. The camera work is chaotic, but engrossing. The film opens with a furious montage of fire, food, drugs and destruction, but as the drama builds the pace amazingly steadies itself – the characters racing madly toward a cliff, then slowing, slowing, slowing, and drifting out to sea.

La Devocion is one of the most startling, stormy revelations Rooftop Films has ever shown.

The story follows a young woman named Ruby as she tries to save her own soul by untangling the complex web of relationships between her devoted boyfriend, her born-again brother, and her incestuous step-father. The plot builds on both Greek tragedy and B-movie trash, but the film transcends genre conventions through an artful combination of Hartley-like formalism, Zedd-like experimentation, and – most importantly – stunningly complex characters.

Early in the film, Ruby asks her boyfriend Lucien if he loves her enough to kill himself. Each character races along this razor-thin line between devotion and destruction, between the saintliness of self-sacrifice and the sin of suicide. They are acting in ways that are melodramatic in scale, but authentic and understandable. Shouting, tears, and an undercurrent of violent sexuality are balanced by surprising moments such as the genuine tenderness between Duke and Ruby, Lucien and Pike’s earnest attempts at bilingual communication (through Spanish and scripture), and Ruby and Lucien’s obsessively cyclical argument, which manages to be both plausible and meta-fictional. Despite the fever-pitch, these characters question their own motivations and decisions with an intellectual depth and emotional poignancy that is realistic and insightful. When Lucien learns things about himself from his antagonist Duke, when Ruby struggles with a confession (on a cell phone, no less), when Pike’s faith fails him, the audience is enticed into thinking along with them, grappling with moral and personal questions that have no simple answers.

This is a film that uses archetypal characters not for bullheaded grandstanding and uncomplicated tragedy, but to explore people's nuanced and fluctuating ideals. This is a hyperbolic movie that is also subtle and astute. This is the kind of daring cinema that Rooftop Films is proud to champion.

About the director:
Rex Hoss Thompson won Best Director for the feature God Drives A Pontiac at the Slamdance Film Festival in 1995. He's also the writer/director of the "Punchdrunk" trilogy. The feature La Devocion was shot run and gun style on the streets of Portland, Oregon, with no crew and amateur actors who were true believers and stuck it out for a year and a half of shooting on weekends.

Rex is presently shooting a personal documentary. He has an MFA in Creative Writing and teaches college part-time. He's just finished writing the seriocomic novel The Gimme and the play Holy Dreamer. This is this the first year he's ever planted tomatoes and they're coming in just fine.

Preceded by:
Three and a Half Thoughts (Khary Jones | Camden, NJ | 14:36)
After a disastrous date, a man goes on a rampage that twists in and out of reality. Under the influence of marijuana, the man has a night of freaking out and possible drastic and horrible consequences.

The Music: Des Roar

Des Roar emerged on to the New York scene in the summer of 2006 with a display of 50's rock n' roll and 60's soul. Catching the eyes and ears of many, they played a dozen shows around the city in just four short months. In January the band headed into the recording studio to record it's first offical demo. With the completion of their demo, the guys and girl are setting out to penetrate every seedy bar in the city with some good old fashioned rock n roll. You might want to jump on the train soon.

We at Rooftop Films are thrilled to return to our outlaw days on the warehouse roofs in the East Williamsburg Industrial Park, our home from 1998-2003. If you remember those gritty old days—showing movies on top of nearly abandoned buildings with car fires and gun shots crackling in the near-distance—you won't want to miss the opportunity to watch this renegade film on a gorgeous industrial roof on the border of Bushwick.