Whether you’re a Mets fan, a Yankee fan, or — gasp — rooting for some non-New York team, everybody seems to be excited about the return of baseball. Sometimes, that can turn into gentle ribbing of a friend or co-worker’s team, which can turn into light-hearted teasing… which can turn into actual bullying.
That’s where the premise of Gimme the Loot, a movie that recently made the festival and small-theater rounds, kicks in. In the movie, Malcolm and Sofia, two graffiti artists living in the Bronx, are bothered that their artwork keeps getting defaced by Mets fans. (Even the orange and blue color combination is offensive to them.) As a result, they hatch a plan to get even by tagging the Mets’ home run apple in Citi Field.
I saw this movie about a week ago, and I loved it. Director Adam Leon, who won the Someone to Watch Independent Spirit Award for the movie, was at the theater for a Q&A, along with some of the actors. Leon said he wanted to make a movie about living in the Bronx that was a little more upbeat (it’s not all Precious, he said), and in that regard he succeeds 100 percent. Malcolm and Sofia are little hoodlums, sure — their plans mostly involve petty thievery to bribe a guard at Citi Field — but they’re a lot of fun to spend 80 minutes with.
At the end of movies, I actually like reading the “Special Thanks” in the credits. At the end of Gimme the Loot, some names that were familiar to me started popping up there. This included Steve Apkon, the executive director of the Jacob Burns Film Center, along with the Film Center itself.
I had no idea at the time that Adam Leon was actually a former programmer at the Jacob Burns. “Leon, 31, programmed events at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville from 2009 to May 2011,” Newsday reports. “While working in Pleasantville, Leon came up with an idea for a feature length film and started writing. ‘The staff knew I was working on my own project,’ he said. ‘They were incredibly supportive of it.’ ” Jonathan Demme, who runs a monthly series at the JBFC, even signed on as a producer.
Gimme the Loot is currently playing at the Jacob Burns Film Center, if you want to see it where it began. Otherwise, I highly recommend that you keep an eye out for when it shows up on home video.