Film at Lincoln Center and Governors Island Arts announce a program of free outdoor film screenings for summer 2023, opening a three-film series on June 9.
From June through August, Governors Island Arts and Film at Lincoln Center presents “Rule-Breakers and Troublemakers,” a lineup of free outdoor movie screenings for the 2023 season. This year’s outdoor film series will take place on the Island’s historic Parade Ground, an eight-acre lawn with expansive open views of Lower Manhattan. The series will be produced by Rooftop Films.
This year’s Governor’s Island screenings will feature a selection of films that celebrate relatable, resilient protagonists who refuse to accept the constraints that society has imposed on them. Films in this year’s lineup are F. Gary Gray’s Set It Off; Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, and Gurinder Chadha’s Bend It Like Beckham.
Organized by Madeline Whittle.
Entry to the Governors Island screenings is FREE via ferry service departing the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan. Detailed ferry information can be found here.
FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS
All Governors Island films will take place on the island’s historic Parade Ground
“Rule-Breakers and Troublemakers”
Set It Off
F. Gary Gray, 1996, USA, 124m
Former bank teller Frankie (Viveca A. Fox) is struggling to make ends meet, working a low-paying job as a janitor alongside close friends Cleo (Queen Latifah), Stony (Jada Pinkett Smith), and T.T. (Kimberly Elise) in mid-’90s Los Angeles. When the four women, angered and demoralized by the status quo of relentless injustice that curtails and undermines their aspirations, set about systematically robbing banks around the city, complications soon arise in the disparate forms of their tyrannical boss (Thomas Jefferson Byrd), an unsympathetic LAPD detective (John C. McGinley), and a budding romance between Stony and a charming bank manager (Blair Underwood). Director F. Gary Gray infuses the heist genre with bracing emotional clarity, sensitively yet unsentimentally dramatizing the challenges faced by working-class women of color who are forced to navigate an unacceptably inhospitable socioeconomic reality.
Friday, June 9 at 8:30pm
Out of Sight
Steven Soderbergh, 1998, USA, 123m
Razor-sharp wit and expertly deployed star wattage—not to mention crackling sexual chemistry between the two leads—were in abundant supply when Steven Soderbergh burst into the mainstream, directing Scott Frank’s ultra-cool adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s 1996 novel. George Clooney is Jack Foley, a career bank robber on the run after breaking out of a Florida penitentiary; Jennifer Lopez is U.S. Marshal Karen Sisco, the no-nonsense law enforcement officer who’s determined to put Foley back behind bars. Alongside a stacked supporting cast that also includes Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Albert Brooks, and Viola Davis in one of her earliest film roles, Clooney and Lopez bring humor and heat to a singularly sexy game of cat-and-mouse as Foley makes his way to Detroit in pursuit of a rumored stash of diamonds, with Sisco in hot pursuit. Edited with wry precision by the legendary Anne V. Coates, Soderbergh’s seventh feature is a master class in smart, ensemble-driven genre filmmaking, and remains a relentlessly entertaining crowd-pleaser 25 years after its release.
Friday, July 7 at 8:30pm
Bend It Like Beckham
Gurinder Chadha, 2002, U.K./Germany/USA, 112m
English, Punjabi, Hindi, and German with English subtitles
British Indian director Gurinder Chadha’s third feature tells the story of teenager Jess Bhamra (Parminder Nagra in a winning breakout performance), an avid soccer fan, dreams of living up to the example of her idol, star player David Beckham, against the wishes of her culturally conservative Punjabi elders. When new friend Jules (Keira Knightley) persuades her to join the local women’s team without her parents’ knowledge, Jess quickly wins the acceptance and respect of her teammates and their coach (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), but must struggle to reconcile her passion for the game with her family’s expectations. In the 21 years since its U.K. release, Chadha’s film—which remains the highest-grossing soccer film of all time, and boasts scene-stealing supporting performances by Anupam Kher, Archie Punjabi, and Juliet Stevenson—has continued to be hailed as a latter-day classic of its intersecting genres, simultaneously excelling as crowd-pleasing sports movie, winning romantic comedy, and heartfelt cross-cultural coming-of-age fable.
Friday, August 11 at 8:30pm
GOVERNORS ISLAND ARTS
Governors Island Arts, the public arts and cultural program presented by the Trust for Governors Island, creates transformative encounters with art for all New Yorkers, inviting artists and researchers to engage with the issues of our time in the context of the Island’s layered histories, environments, and architecture. Governors Island Arts achieves this mission through temporary and long-term public art commissions, an annual Organization in Residence program in the Island’s historic houses, and free public programs and events in partnership with a wide range of cross-disciplinary NYC cultural organizations. For more information, visit www.govisland.org/giarts.