Political Shorts: Un-American Films
Amusing Americana, explosive music, fantastic fireworks view and a two-hour open bar. Films that examine American history through the eyes of historical re-enactors, war veterans, and counterfeit cartoon icons.

Last year's fireworks at Solar One. Photo by Sarah Palmer


$30 at the door or $25 online
All Proceeds go to benefit Rooftop Films and Solar One

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007
5:00 - Doors Open
5:00 - 7:00 - Open bar with FREE Dewar’s Scotch Whisky, Martin Miller’s Gin, and Beaujolais chilled red wine courtesy of Licensed to Chill.
6:00-8:00PM - music
8:00PM - Live music by Vic Thrill and the Saturn Missile (click for details)
9:00PM - The best fireworks view in the city
9:30PM - Films

On the East River at Solar One (@ 23rd St), just north of Stuyvesant Cove Park, Manhattan | DIRECTIONS
The show will go on rain or shine, so bring an umbrella.

Food and drinks will be for sale.

IMPORTANT NOTE: All audience members must be at the venue by 6pm, due to standard 4th of July NY Police Department restrictions. The matter is out of our control, and if you are late, the NYPD will not let you past their barricade. Please arrive early. Rooftop Films cannot refund your money if you are late.

Rooftop Films returns to the home of Solar One on East 23rd street and the East River for another incredible 4th of July extravaganza. Those of you who came to the show last year know that our view of the fireworks is unparalleled (see the picture above), and that we put on a great show with great music before the fireworks and fantastic, fascinating and playful political films afterwards. This year, we also have a two hour open bar with Dewar’s Scotch Whisky, Martin Miller’s Gin, and Beaujolais chilled red wine courtesy of Licensed to Chill. With the way things have been going in the world, it isn't always easy to get excited about the birthday of our nation, but after a couple of good drinks and a live performance by the amazing Vic Thrill and the Saturn Missile, everyone should be able to celebrate a bit during the fireworks. Plus, all of this is solar powered, courtesy of Solar One, the city's first solar-powered green energy, arts, and education center.

The Films
After the music and the explosions comes the films. Rooftop always uses our 4th of July programs as an opportunity to take a good, close, but often also lighthearted look at Americana, U.S. politics, and the history of our country. This year's selections are particularly poignant yet playful:

America is a pretty loony place. Our cartoons are more heralded than our soldiers, but there's nothing we like more than seeing celebrities crumble. Rugged individualism is often praised, but individual sacrifice for the greater good is considered the ultimate act. And 200 years after we launched an expedition to find the Northwest Passage -- which lead to the slaughter of countless Native Americans -- where else but in America would we choose to recreate such a failed journey?

We call this program "Un-American" not because we're anti-American, but because these films take a hard look at our modern relationship to American history, questioning what exactly American values should be. These films inform our current struggles by holding up a mirror to contemporary American society, inviting us to gaze back and learn from old soldiers, political philosophers, and singing gumdrops. Ahh, America.


Golden Age: "Marching Gumdrop" & "Mortimer Koon"
(Aaron Augenblick | Brooklyn, NY | 4:00)

The shocking true stories of the cartoons who shaped the modern American consciousness: In "Marching Gumdrop," a member of an advertising group for cinema snacks leads a classically hard life after he departs from his life with assorted concessions. In "Mortimer Koon," a prankster raccoon embarks on various failed enterprises, including a raccoon-themed family vacation park.

Leviathan (Simon Bogojevic-Narath | Croatia | 14:40)
Political philosopher Thomas Hobbes' seminal treatise on human governance, Leviathan, is brought to life in a stunningly vivid and surreal animation. Hobbes famously remarked that human life was "nasty, brutish and short," but that individuals might find some contentment if they sacrifice themselves to the commonwealth.

The Big Lie (Peter Everett | Scotland | 13:00)
In the 1930's, the world looked into the face of fascism, and turned the other way. When repressive governments with tremendous military power rose in Spain, Germany, Italy and elsewhere, most people around the world lied to themselves, and said that it didn't matter. In this powerful documentary, one of the last surviving volunteers of the anti-fascist International Brigades describes his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, and talks about the importance of fighting corrupt and despotic governments.

The 14th Morning (Sean Mullin | Los Angeles, CA | 9:24)
A young soldier home on leave from the war in Iraq struggles to find the will to return to his duty.

Arc Hive: Born Into a World (Gregory King | Brooklyn, NY | 4:00)
The fireworks continue in this gorgeous vision of a city ablaze with light.

Golden Age: "Wacksis Powers" & "My-T Boy"
(Aaron Augenblick | Brooklyn, NY | 4:00)

In "Wacksis Powers," cartoon parodies of Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito struggle to survive after evil dictators have gone out of style. Meanwhile, "My-T Boy" was a born mascot, but copyright couldn’t keep him from succumbing to the public domain.

They Proceeded On (James Price | The Northwest Passage | 26:17)
A US Army unit moves upriver, over land they will soon conquer. 200 years later, a group of enthusiastic patriots, retired military personnel and proud descendants of the original party spend two years reenacting America’s first imperial adventure, the voyage of Lewis and Clark. But what memories will they awake as they reach a 21st century Indian Reservation?


Rooftop Artistic Director Mark Rosenberg met Zeke when he was performing in the subway years ago and Zeke has been gracious enough to bring his folksy acoustic guitar blues back time and again. His beautiful music is always welcome on the roof.