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Rooftop Films (#110 of 3)

Lichman and Rizov "Live" at Grassroots Tavern: Season 6, Episode 4, "The Fake It So Real Podcast"

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Lichman and Rizov “Live” at Grassroots Tavern: Season 6, Episode 4, “The Fake It So Real Podcast”
Lichman and Rizov “Live” at Grassroots Tavern: Season 6, Episode 4, “The Fake It So Real Podcast”

Hello Lincolnton, North Carolina!

The summer keeps going as we talk shop with Robert Greene and his new documentary Fake It So Real, which opens tomorrow at Rooftop Films in Brooklyn with a special post-screening wrestling match. We talk a bit about his previous doc, Kati with an I, and delve a bit into wrestling terminology just to make Vadim’s eyes gloss over like a good mark would.

Then we go into a minor spoiler about the film, which you’d otherwise never learn; the cinema of grown men slapping each other around; and the rather intimate presentation that Greene brings to the week-in-the-life of this cultural event that is slowly becoming more and more commercial despite the local roots of the thing. I’d also add [INSERT COMMENTARY ABOUT INDEPENDENT FILM AND WRESTLING HERE]. It’s very apt, no? But we go into the day-to-day of these men who want nothing more than a chance to break into an industry dominated by a single conglomerate (WWE) that does get name-checked—and has been in the news recently as one of their more high profile stars audibly broke character and then left.

The Rural Life and Spirit at Rooftop Films

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The Rural Life and Spirit at Rooftop Films
The Rural Life and Spirit at Rooftop Films

From glitzy, hipster-courting sponsors—including IFC Films and New York magazine—to the free flavored beverages (courtesy of Vitamin Water during the show) and free alcohol (courtesy of Radeberger Pilsner at the after-party around the corner), Rooftop Films Summer Series 2010, at first glance, seems to have taken a page from the slick playbook of the Gen Art Film Festival. There’s the indie band to warm up the crowd before the screening and a bulky program the size of Interview magazine. There are trailers for the IFC channel’s latest TV hit and for YouTube-sensation-turned-documentary-feature Winnebago Man. By the time the nine o’clock program finally rolls, inevitably fashionably late, you’ve nearly forgotten what you came there to see in the first place.

But then the sky goes dark, and one of the 23 features or 21 shorts programs included in this “14th Annual Summer Series of Underground Movies Outdoors” begins. And the magic of cinema slices right through the hype.