05/27/15 9:00am
by |
05/27/2015 9:00 AM |


With summer arrives a new season of Rooftop Films, bringing new indie features, docs, animations and shorts to rooftops across Brooklyn and Manhattan, along with Q&As, live music and receptions. The first feature of this year’s program, 7 Chinese Brothers, screens on Saturday night at the Old American Can Factory in Gowanus; bands play before the movie, which is followed by a party and Q&A with filmmaker Bob Byington and star Jason Schwartzman. The film, which takes its title from track 2 on Reckoning, has something of the underachiever’s charm of 80s and 90s indie rock. Schwartzman stars as Larry, fired from a restaurant in the opening scene for stealing booze, and over the course of the movie growing sputteringly dissatisfied at his own half-assed efforts in most things—learning Spanish, romancing his boss (Eleanor Pienta) at the lube-job place where he finds work, visiting his equally borderline-alcoholic grandmother (Olympia Dukakis)—though not in his ownership of his dog Arrow (Schwarzman’s real-life dog, playing himself). The writer-director is the Austin-based Byington, whose last film, Somebody Up There Likes Me, was more overtly absurdist, but similarly drily funny and well-acted in surveying the efforts of the lazy Sisyphuses who populate his film. Byington answered a couple of questions of mine over email.