2011-02-25 / Community

Sarnoff Film Pick For First Queens Festival


Wave columnist and noted local filmmaker Robert Sarnoff’s “THE ROMEOWS” to be screened on Sunday, March 6 at 1 p.m. in the Jackson Heights Cinema as an Official Selection of the First Queens World Film Festival. Wave columnist and noted local filmmaker Robert Sarnoff’s “THE ROMEOWS” to be screened on Sunday, March 6 at 1 p.m. in the Jackson Heights Cinema as an Official Selection of the First Queens World Film Festival. Denis Hamill, writing in the Daily News, called it “a movable feast, a collection of culinary gab fests … a love letter to enduring friendship.” Sunday, March 6 at 1 p.m. in the Jackson Heights Cinema on Roosevelt Avenue and 82 Street, the public will have the opportunity to see “THE ROMEOWS” by local filmmaker Robert Sarnoff, named as an Official Selection of the First Queens World Film Festival, which runs March 3-6. The Sunday Festival screening continues the attention and accolades the movie has received in the film world and in the community at large. It is now also an Official Selection in the prestigious Palm Beach International Film Festival, in its 28th year, running March 23-31. On April 6 at 6 p.m. it will be presented at the Brooklyn Historical Society.

“I have always felt compelled to make note of the fiber of life in general and life around me,” says Sarnoff. His films are told in close-up, revealing personal, private dramas and individual human comedies. An observer and chronicler of people, Sarnoff documents, through them, larger social issues, shining a light on a society often changing well in excess of the speed of light. Viewers may see themselves or people they know in those revelations. More often, these socially relevant films, Sarnoff explains, “allow the viewer to gain access to a world they never knew existed.” ... ‘The ROMEOWS’ [Retired Older Men Eating Out Wednesdays] is about men aging in America.” “No Rooms Lobby,” set in a Rockaway hotel, aims to pull back the curtain on people living on the fringe in this city, and is in the archives of the National Coalition for the Homeless and the Queens Cinema Collection. “Irish Ropes,” about a Far Rockaway boxing gym, “tells,” says Sarnoff, “of the aspirations of inner city kids to move on and out.” “Dispatch”takesusona3a.m.carride through the peninsula’s hardscrabble streets as we learn of the drivers’ plight. Buckle up, it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Sarnoff’s latest film, “GREEN,” is a close-up of the countless people we see peripherally at best, collecting bottles and cans in an attempt to survive, redeem, and/or “achieve the AmeriCan Dream.” It is a world more complex and fraught with indignities than we could imagine.

Autobiographical, and so attaining a poignant intimacy, and a knowing sense of humor, “THE ROMEOWS” follows the relationship of several septuagenarians who have been friends for more than five decades. Your grandfather? Your neighbor? You? Never heard of him? Eating out, kibitzing, commenting on their lives and on contemporary society, the men have much to contribute to the dialogue. As a member of the group says, “If not us, who?” According to Sarnoff, young people who have seen “THE ROMEOWS” are struck by the enduring closeness among the men. Many of this twentysomething group seem virtually unable to identify with a ‘non-texting,’ ‘non-tweeting,’ in-person relationship. To learn more about the films of Robert Sarnoff visit: www.robertsarnoffilms.com

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