350 Grand Street
Manhattan, New York

Humpday (Lynn Shelton | Seattle | 1:34:00)
When Andrew unexpectedly shows up on Ben's doorstep late one night, the two old college friends immediately fall into their old dynamic of heterosexual one-upmanship. To save Ben from domestication, Andrew invites Ben to a party at a sex-positive commune. Everyone there plans on making erotic art films for the local amateur porn festival and Andrew wants in. They run out of booze and ideas, save for one: Andrew should have sex with Ben, on camera.

It's not gay; it's beyond gay. It's not porn; it's an art project. The next day, they find themselves unable to back down from the dare. And there's nothing standing in their way - except Ben's wife Anna, heterosexuality, and certain mechanical questions.

Lynn Shelton (My Effortless Brilliance, Summer Series 2008) returns to the roof with Humpday, a hilarious and poignant new comedy. In many ways, Shelton’s film is constructed like a classic Hollywood high-concept comedy—one can almost imagine Steve Carrell and Seth Rogen playing the leads in a film with the same logline. But Shelton doesn’t settle for the cheap contrived laughs, and the naturalistic dialogue--entirely improvised on-set--creates an exhilarating sense of immediacy and realism. The looseness of the dialogue and the sharpness of the plot structure allows Humpday to feel at once invigoratingly real, yet at the same time hilariously and outrageously absurd.

One of the central challenges in making a comedy film is that it is exceedingly difficult to draw the audience in to the story while the protagonists blunder their way into steadily more absurd situations. But from the very beginning of Humpday, we can sense the anxiety that Ben (Mark Duplass) and Andrew (Joshua Leonard) feel about growing older and more staid, and when the opportunity to break out and do something new arises, it’s easy to understand why they would be willing to embark on an otherwise improbably outlandish gambit. If we take a step back it might seem absurd that two entirely straight males would end up agreeing to sleep with each other for no particularly good reason, but as we watch the story unfold, their interaction flows so naturally that it seems to make perfect sense. When they awake the next morning and remember the acts they have committed to perform, they feel just as we do—well, that was funny, but how in the world did we end up HERE?

As with My Effortless Brilliance, Shelton lets her lead actors take the reins when it matters most, and once again she shows her trust is well placed. Leonard and Duplass bring tremendous charisma and impeccable comic timing to their roles, but most importantly they never ham it up or do anything to allow us to believe that they are actually anything but old friends who have gotten themselves into a pretty damn funny situation. It’s a winning formula, and hopefully Humpday will pave the way for a future filled with more intelligent and excruciatingly entertaining independent comedies like this one.

Humpday opens in theaters in New York and beyond, starting on July 10th. Support truly independent cinema and go see the film in theaters and tell your friends about it.

Venue: on the roof of the Open Road Rooftop
Address: 350 Grand Street @ Essex (Lower East Side, Manhattan)
8:00PM: Doors open
8:30PM: Sound Fix presents live music The Antlers
9:00PM: Films
11:30PM - 1:00AM: Open Bar at Fontana’s (105 Eldridge St), courtesy of Radeberger beer
Tickets: $9-$25

No refunds. In the event of rain, the show will be indoors at the same locations. Seating is first come, first served. Physical seats are limited. This means you may not get a chair. You are welcome to bring a blanket and sit picnic-style, but NO ALCOHOL IS PERMITTED.

Added by BKLYNfoot on June 1, 2009

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