December 4, 2011, 6:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


Outside the Box [Office] and Little Teeth Pictures invite you and a guest to a special preview screening of

Gabi on the Roof in July

Directed by Lawrence Levine
Written by Lawrence Levine and Kate Kirtz
Produced by Sophia Takal and Katherine Fairfax Wright

6:00 P.M. on Sunday, December 4th, 2011

The Ray Stark Family Theatre

George Lucas Building, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007


About Gabi on the Roof in July

A portrait of young New York and the misguided hopefuls who can't afford to live there but do anyway, Gabi on the Roof in July is an ensemble comedy about ex-girlfriends, sibling rivalry and whipped cream in a city that's constantly in flux. Gabi, a rambunctious Oberlin undergrad, heads to New York City to spend the summer with her older brother, Sam, seeking solidarity in the wake of her parents’ divorce. When she gets there, she finds Sam too busy juggling women and too irked by her provocative antics and almost constant nudity to give her the guidance she needs. In an effort to get Sam's attention, Gabi seduces his free-loving, freeloading college buddy, only to find she's in over her head.

Provided courtesy of Little Teeth Pictures. Not rated. Running time: 101 minutes.

To learn more about the film and to view the trailer, click here.


Director's Statement

I have always believed that film can be a powerful tool for personal and collective transformation–a quest to discover spiritual truths, to uncover buried ecstasies, to purge repressed rages and passions, to break out of our ruts and explore new ways of being, thinking and feeling. These ideas may seem naïve to anyone who has spent time on typical film sets, which often operate with the cold efficiency of a factory floor, but the disengaged timbre of the average movie production is precisely what this project is attempting to avoid. Rather than employing the same old hierarchical (usually patriarchal) structure, this production has sought to establish a more collaborative form. For me, the actors and technicians on a film set should function like a jazz combo in which the ensemble creates and interprets together, seeking the unexpected, the extraordinary, the miracles only a well prepared combo can play.

Inspired by directors like Rob Nilsson, John Cassavetes and Mike Leigh, I worked with the actors intensively in the months leading up to production, building characters based on real people and developing relationships between these characters. This series of improvisations soon became the basis for a shooting script, which provided the blueprint for the film, though at no point in the process was an actor tied to the literal text of the script. The shoot was not a mechanical exercise in the presenting of the written text, but instead a continued investigation of fully developed characters and their internal and external conflicts. If something truthful happened in a given scene that required a change of direction, we simply made the necessary adjustments. Each actor, totally comfortable with and fully aware of their character, played off the others, searching for the interesting and inspiring tones, clashes and harmonies. My method forced me to reflect the empirical, to avoid hackneyed plots and to ensure that the actors were in complete, truthful control of their characterizations.

Consequently, the world that the film reflects is not a simple one. The characters are captivating performers, but their shimmering surfaces belie the darker material below. Their general exuberance tempered by moments of narcissism and insensitivity. At times, they perform their lives with little understanding of the real consequences of their actions, seemingly consumed by the quest to project a perfect image, to come off right, to be the people our culture has pushed them into being. I judge them for it, but I hold myself up to the same judgment. My goal as a filmmaker was not to scold or praise, but guide the audience into taking a sober look at the foibles of our age and to move forward with renewed awareness of our generation’s shortcomings.

-- Lawrence Michael Levine

About Outside the Box [Office]

Outside the Box [Office] is a weekly showcase for upcoming releases highlighting world cinema, documentary and independent film titles. Recognizing a need for greater diversity on campus, the series will draw from around the globe to present movies that may challenge, inspire or simply entertain. The weekly screenings will be on Wednesday and Sunday nights (and other select dates, as they arise) in the School of Cinematic Arts Complex, George Lucas Building.

To view the calendar of screenings, click here.

Check-In & Reservations

This screening is free of charge and open to the general public. Please bring a photo ID or print out of your reservation confirmation, which will automatically be sent to your e-mail account upon successfully making an RSVP through this website. Doors will open at 5:30 P.M.

All SCA screenings are OVERBOOKED to ensure seating capacity in the theater, therefore seating is not guaranteed based on RSVPs. The RSVP list will be checked in on a first-come, first-served basis until the theater is full. Once the theater has reached capacity, we will no longer be able to admit guests, regardless of RSVP status.


The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $8.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Free street parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: Alessandro Ago