Gut Renovation, a new documentary by filmmaker Su Friedrich, opens March 6 at Film Forum and takes a hard look at the changes that Williamsburg has undergone since the implementation of new zoning laws in 2005. Friedrich, who has lived in the neighborhood since 1989, has meticulously recorded all the changes happening in her neighborhood, from each new development that went up to all the small businesses that closed. The project is not only a personal one, but also one that has a wider scope, serving as a warning that what happened in Williamsburg could—and quite possibly will—happen to all of Brooklyn, and New York City at large. I had the chance to talk to Friedrich about this film, and about what she sees for the future of development in New York, and whether or not that future is impossibly grim.
Whether you're super into it or bury your emotions in pharmaceuticals in order to cope with it, we are officially living in the future. Ipso facto, Twitter! People love to use that thing during big, relevant public events like the Academy Awards. It's like they don't know we all die alone regardless, or something!
Anyway, while some people correctly spent time complaining about Seth MacFarlane and others offering armchair commentary on dresses and things, lots of other people on Twitter got pretty weird. And weird in sort of unexpected ways! In all honesty, seeing people barrage social media with a bunch of inappropriate updates was one of the night's bigger highlights once the show got boring, which was early on. So, here is a slice of humanity in 2013. Make of it what you will.
What neighborhood do you work in?
"Mondays at Racine" was started while I lived and ran a production company in Park Slope. I originally moved to Park Slope in 1990, when my dad and stepmother were living there. I am no stranger to Brooklyn—my grandmother, the first child of Young & Rubicam's cofounder John Orr Young, was born in Brooklyn Hospital in 1918; my husband's grandfather Harold Syrett was born on President Street and in the late 1960s became President of Brooklyn College; my father was remarried and lived in Park Slope in the 80s and 90s. I currently have two brother-in-laws and a slew of nieces and nephews in the borough.
Full disclosure: Max Nelson works as an intern for Film Comment, the magazine which curates this film series at Lincoln Center.
What neighborhood do you live in?
My neighborhood is the borderland between Crown Heights and Prospect Heights. You've got Golden Krust on one side of the street and hipster coffee houses on the other, which is perfect since my grandmother is Jamaican and I sometimes wear skinny jeans. I live near a lot of friends, and we play board games every other weekend. It's a great spot.
What inspired you to start up this series?
Well, Hammer to Nail is always looking for ways to get the films we like in front of audiences who may not know about them. We previously put together a screening series in 2009 with our friends at the Chinatown videostore Cinema Nolita, where we had a number of awesome screenings and guests, but that series died after the store went out of business following some frantic efforts to keep it afloat. But it's something we've always liked to do, and when I was approached by the people at Brooklyn Fire Proof it just seemed to make sense to give it another go. There are just no shortage of fascinating American indies, many of which don't have significant New York platforms beyond the burgeoning micro cinemas. And last year we started a short film contest on our site, so it seemed like a way to showcase some work we'd already been championing as well.
Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter, uh, Hollywood reported that the long-speculated-upon Bored to Death movie is really, truly happening. Alright! Good, maybe even great news for fans of detective stories and/or Jonathan Ames and/or any type of Brooklyn-related media. But what, precisely, will happen in this movie? Well, per the logline obtained by THR:
Finally a good break from hectic weekdays..
I would normally agree with the other comments on this board. Or I'd simply stop…