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MCKAY’S F/X

The Brooklyn Paper
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To celebrate the recent HBO premiere of "Angel Rodriguez," Jim McKay’s latest examination of race, class and culture in Brooklyn, BAMcinematek is presenting a series of free screenings of the acclaimed Park Slope filmmaker’s borough-set works.

Frequently praised for the realism with which he depicts his subjects, the 44-year-old New Jersey native and would-be English teacher made documentaries, music videos (most notably for R.E.M. and Ziggy Marley) and public-service shorts before launching a career directing and writing low-budget narrative films.

The BAMcinematek series focusing on these films will begin Saturday evening with a big-screen showing of "Angel Rodriguez," which earned critical raves when it debuted on HBO on Oct. 30.

With this film, McKay skillfully trains his camera on the relationship between the titular character, an intelligent, troubled youth (Jonan Everett) and the white counselor (Rachel Griffiths) trying to help him, as both individuals are faced with difficult decisions. McKay and Everett will be on-hand after the screening to discuss the movie and take questions from the audience.

Slated to unspool Monday evening is "Everyday People," McKay’s 2004 valentine to the ordinary folk of Fort Greene. Featuring a cast comprised mostly of newcomers, the film explores what happens when a local diner is forced to close its doors to make way for a yuppie shopping paradise. The movie is a fictionalized version of stories collected by Brooklyn author Nelson George.

The last film in the series, set to screen Tuesday night, is "Our Song." Starring Kerry Washington, Anna Simpson and Melissa Martinez, this 2002 coming-of-age tale is about three Crown Heights teens navigating the rough waters of adolescence while finding time to perform together in the borough’s famed Jackie Robinson Steppers Marching Band.

"I create characters based on people that I am interested in exploring and based on images that are already out there," McKay told indieWIRE. "I am constantly trying to turn around expectations, not always just for the sake of turning them around - (but) to challenge the audience."

BAMcinematek presents "Three by Jim McKay" Nov. 18-21 at 6:50 pm at the BAM Rose Cinemas (30 Lafayette Ave. at Ashland Place in Fort Greene). Tickets are $10, $7 for students age 25 and younger (with valid I.D. Monday-Thursday, except holidays), seniors and children younger than age 12. Tickets are available through (718) 777-FILM; order by "name of movie" option. For more information, visit the Web site www.bam.org.

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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