Co-presented by Cinespia!
This joyous and fascinating tribute to the glory days of roller disco in Brooklyn’s black community was nearly lost for almost 40 years, but is now ripe for rediscovery. Independently made by a young black director (J. Terrance Mitchell), Get Rollin made the NY Times Top 10 list, but after a botched release, it missed the disco craze, and sank into obscurity. Looking at it now, Get Rollin is more vibrant than ever: an eclectic potpourri of neon-drenched documentary snapshots that capture the scene around the famed Empire Rollerdome, and a fantastic portrait of vintage New York – including street crap games, Bed-Stuy pool halls, and a custom van show. All this is staged around a kitchen-sink storyline starring “Pat the Cat,” a self-made roller disco cowboy, and a caseworker named Vinzerelli, who wants to be the Muhammad Ali of roller boogie – and to get into the Guinness Book of World Records as the first roller skater to make a million dollars. “But then,” he tells the camera from inside his shag-carpet-ensconced, airbrush-laden hippie van, from the other side of rose-lensed aviators, “I realized, ‘but I can’t skate.’” It’s all outrageously fun, and filled with a spirit as optimistic as this magical time and place where it was cool and sexy to do synchronized dance moves and wear sunglasses indoors.
Dir. J. Terrance Mitchell, 1980, 35mm, 90 min.