It was a gorgeously warm evening to walk from Williamsburg to the Stockton Playground in Bed-Stuy
for the spring preview and introduction to a great new neighborhood outdoor summer film series, Chillin On Da Corner & Beyond,
organized by actor and community activist Ephraim “Fetti” Benton,
who was being interviewed by TV along with his associates in putting together Chillin On Da Corner.
We got to Stockton Playground by P.S. 297 - on the block bounded by Marcy and Tompkins, Park and MLK Place - just before 8 p.m., when it was still light out.
Until it got dark enough to show the movies, only a few people sat in the audience.
Later on there wasn't a chair in sight. Probably several hundred people were around, though we're not good at estimating crowds.
Fetti thanked Rooftop Films for the screen and lots of other people and neighborhood organizations for helping to put the event and the series together.
It was such a great evening to be out in the playground. Other films this summer will be at other Bed-Stuy playgounds and Von King Park.
Before the film, kids were swinging behind P.S. 297, which also houses the Ethical Community Charter School.
Also there were basketball players,
and people eating hamburgers and hot dogs off the barbeque.
Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ices; some will just eat burgers and helado.
It finally started getting dark enough so that we could discern the moon.
Ephraim Benton introduced the series and gave props to a whole crowd of people who helped with Chillin On Da Corner
among them Community Board 3; the NYPD; Xosha Roquemore; Dr Kim Best, President of the 79th Precinct Community Council; the Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union; Brooklyn Bodega's BIDH, Beyond Influencing Da Hood; and Black and Brown News; and closed with "I love you, Mommy."
The first film was the short trilogy of three stories Shades of Brooklyn Volume 1 by Sunshowa Films, directed by Daoud Abeid and Dahkil Hausif and shown on HBO. It's part of a forthcoming longer series of 18 slice-of-life stories about Bed-Stuy.
We found it both funny and true to life, with great dialogue. In the film's first section, "Temporary Insanity," boisterous teens bumrush a Brooklyn bound subway train and coerce their reluctant friend to dish his girl problemss. Meanwhile, in "Karma," on a Bed-Stuy stoop, an immature father is trying to refute the advice of an older friend after he explains how he blundered his way through a sex talk with his six-year-old daughter, and "The Longest Walk"
is a brilliant interior monologue by 17-year-old Allison (played by Xosha Roquemore, the character may be the girl of the same name mentioned by the boy in "Temporary Insanity") who has gotten all dolled up for the first time and discovers that the world no longer sees her as a little girl, but as a grown woman. The film was beautifully and skillfully shot in sepia and made us anxious to see more by the directors. After watching a piece on the Latino Film Festival, we all watched the amazing feature which premiered there in 2009 as Best Film: Inside A Change,
directed by BET Awards video director of the year nominee Rik Cordero
, which he co-wrote with Aaron F. Schnore and which stars Ephraim Benton, Karen Chilton, Donté Bonner and Darrell Vanterpool.
Check out this review at HipHopDX and you can buy the DVD here. Anyway, too tired to walk back to Williamsburg that late, we merely went up past the Marcy Houses down to the Flushing Avenue G train stop, where a cop greeted us at the entrance. Downstairs we saw why.
There was a wanted poster for the guy who robbed a woman last night at this station.
Anyway, we're really grateful to Fetti and everyone else who put together Chillin On Da Corner and Beyond, a great addition to Brooklyn's summer outdoor film series.