Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Watch: Spoiler-ific Local News Report On 'Batman v. Superman' That Caused WB To Lauch A Lawsuit Christopher Nolan Says 'Interstellar' Is About "What It Means To Be A Dad”; Plus Check Out New Pics Christopher Nolan Says 'Interstellar' Is About "What It Means To Be A Dad”; Plus Check Out New Pics Paul Schrader, Nicolas Winding Refn & Nicolas Cage Campaign Against Their Film 'Dying Of The Light' Paul Schrader, Nicolas Winding Refn & Nicolas Cage Campaign Against Their Film 'Dying Of The Light' WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting WTF: Horror Hit 'Annabelle' Yanked From French Theaters Due To Rioting Retrospective: The Films Of Paul Thomas Anderson Retrospective: The Films Of Paul Thomas Anderson WB Reveals Full DC Slate Through 2020, Including Two 'Justice League' Pics, 'Wonder Woman,' 'Green Lantern' & More WB Reveals Full DC Slate Through 2020, Including Two 'Justice League' Pics, 'Wonder Woman,' 'Green Lantern' & More Brad Bird Explains Why He Passed On Directing 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Brad Bird Explains Why He Passed On Directing 'Star Wars: Episode 7' Shia LaBeouf Cut His Own Face, Fought The Cast & Got A Tooth Pulled Making 'Fury' Shia LaBeouf Cut His Own Face, Fought The Cast & Got A Tooth Pulled Making 'Fury' Robert Downey Jr. To Join Chris Evans In ‘Captain America 3’ Which Will Help Launch A New Phase Of Marvel Robert Downey Jr. To Join Chris Evans In ‘Captain America 3’ Which Will Help Launch A New Phase Of Marvel BFI London Film Festival Review: Susanne Bier's Long-Delayed 'Serena' Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper BFI London Film Festival Review: Susanne Bier's Long-Delayed 'Serena' Starring Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper Oscar Buzz: Who's Going To Challenge For Best Actress This Year? Oscar Buzz: Who's Going To Challenge For Best Actress This Year? Robert Downey Jr. Says Superhero Films Are Becoming “Old" And Showing "Signs Of Fraying Around The Edges” Robert Downey Jr. Says Superhero Films Are Becoming “Old" And Showing "Signs Of Fraying Around The Edges” Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 6 ‘Devil You Know’ Recap: 'Boardwalk Empire' Season 5, Episode 6 ‘Devil You Know’ Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

BAMcinemaFest Kicks Off Its Opening Night With A Celebration Of Brooklyn Featuring Mike Birbiglia's 'Sleepwalk With Me'

Photo of Cory Everett By Cory Everett | @modage June 22, 2012 at 11:00AM

On Wednesday night the Brooklyn Academy of Music kicked off its 4th annual BAMcinemaFest, a 10-day showcase of independent films culled from Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, SXSW, and other festivals from around the world. Highlights from this year’s line-up include Sundance sensation “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” controversial true crime story “Compliance,” found-footage horror anthology “V/H/S,” psychosexual comedy “Nobody Walks” and many, many more. Check out the full line-up here. While some might have guessed ‘Beasts’ to be an obvious choice to open the fest as it's the film coming off the festival circuit with the most deafening buzz, BAM instead selected Mike Birbiglia’s “Sleepwalk With Me.” After seeing the film, which set and filmed in Brooklyn, it was clear that it was the perfect choice. Based on Birbiglia’s autobiographical one-man show, the story follows Matt Pandamiglio, (a proxy for the comedian), a struggling stand-up who moves in with his long term girlfriend and develops a sleeping disorder that causes him to act out his dreams. Both hilarious and surprisingly sincere, the film is a triumph for Birbiglia who directed, co-wrote and stars in the film.
0
BAM Opening Night

On Wednesday night the Brooklyn Academy of Music kicked off its 4th annual BAMcinemaFest, a 10-day showcase of independent films culled from Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, SXSW, and other festivals from around the world. Highlights from this year’s lineup include Sundance sensation “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” controversial true crime story “Compliance,” found-footage horror anthology “V/H/S,” psychosexual comedy “Nobody Walks” and many, many more. Check out the full line-up here. While some might have guessed ‘Beasts’ to be an obvious choice to open the fest as it's the film coming off the festival circuit with the most deafening buzz, BAM instead selected Mike Birbiglia’s “Sleepwalk With Me.” After seeing the film, which was set and filmed in Brooklyn, it was clear that it was the perfect choice. Based on Birbiglia’s autobiographical one-man show, the story follows Matt Pandamiglio (a proxy for the comedian), a struggling stand-up who moves in with his long-term girlfriend and develops a sleeping disorder that causes him to act out his dreams. Both hilarious and surprisingly sincere, the film is a triumph for Birbiglia who directed, co-wrote and stars in the film.

This American Life” host (and co-writer/producer on the film) Ira Glass came out to introduce the screening, reminding the the audience that the film is set in Brooklyn. He told the audience that Birbiglia’s character’s apartment in the film is merely a few blocks from the very place we were sitting, which was the beautiful 150-year-old Howard Gilman Opera House. Glass remarked, “It’s an incredible thrill to be able to present our film here in this amazing room. Usually in my family, when we want to put up a show here at the BAM Opera House we go through the trouble to write an opera first.” (Composer Philip Glass is his cousin, once removed.) Later on Birbiglia cracked, “If I knew when I first dreamt of wanting to make a film that it would be premiering at an Academy of Music...I would just be so confused. I just don’t know why you would have it there? But this is going to work out great.” To assist in the hometown celebration, the picture also features a cadre of local comics including Eugene Mirman, Jesse Klein, Hannibal Buress, Wyatt Cenac, John Lutz and Kristen Schaal among others.

BAM Sleepwalk party

The occasion was also special because it was Birbiglia’s 34th birthday. To celebrate, his friend Glass surprised him with a cake shaped like a pizza (a salute to the numerous pizza eating sessions in the film). The cake was then brought upstairs to the afterparty along with other “themed” junk food including pizza, falafel and ice cream sandwiches that was served to the capacity crowd. Many of the film’s cast were in attendance for the screening including Birbiglia, Glass, David Wain (“Stella”), James Rebhorn (“The Game”), Loudon Wainwright III (“Undeclared”), Alex Karpovsky (“Girls”) and 'SNL' writer John Mulaney, (who wasn’t in the film but came out to support his friend) and they happily chatted with fans and friends afterwards. But the comedian made sure to remind the audience that the film would still need our help getting the word out for its August release.

“This film does not come out today. This is a festival,” Birbiglia deadpanned. “I’m just going to start from zero here. I’m going to build up from nothing. We are at a film festival. You are in a seat. This film does not come out until August 24th at the IFC Center. If you like the film, it’s you guys who will make it popular because you know how there’s all those shitty movies that we hate? And they’re everywhere? And they’re really annoying? And you want them to stop?” He then encouraged the crowd to bring friends when 'Sleepwalk' opened, which, judging from the reaction, many seemed to agree to.

Sleepwalk  With Me

The Brooklyn love-fest didn’t stop there. Before the screening Glass also told a story about producer/director Judd Apatow, whose own "Funny People" had covered similarly autobiographical territory on a much larger scale. “Judd Apatow saw a screener of the film a few weeks ago and sent a note to Mike Birbiglia afterwards. And after praising the work Mike did as the writer, director and star of the film, he closed his email by saying, ‘Also, your film looks great. Why are my films so expensive? I must be wasting money,’ ” he continued. “And our secret ingredient to make our million dollar film look like a multimillion dollar film is the incredible crew, many of them based in Brooklyn, most of them here tonight. It was my first film and Mike’s first film and they just made us look so good.”

BAMcinemaFest runs through June 30th.

This article is related to: Sleepwalk With Me, BAMcinematek, BAMcinemaFest, Mike Birbiglia, Lauren Ambrose


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates