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documentaries

Rock-afire Explosion

So this might mean more to some of you than it does to others, but it’s pizza-relevant nonetheless…

Back in the ’80s there was a pizza chain called Showbiz Pizza Place. If you’re not familiar with it, you might have heard of a similar place called Chuck E Cheese’s. The basic idea of both restaurants was that they served pizza, had a bunch of arcade games, and provided entertainment for kids via large anthropomorphic animals.

Showbiz, which is now defunct, featured a live music act (if you can call it that) called the Rock-afire Explosion, manned by animatronic animals.

Since the Showbiz chain has gone down, there has been a group of obsessive Rock-afire Explosion fanatics that collect and maintain the musical robots. As is the case with so many quirky hobbies nowadays, there is a documentary about the phenomenon coming out (scheduled to be released in Fall 2008, according to the documentary’s MySpace page).

Here’s the trailer:

Keep your eye out for the film’s full site here.

NYC Food Film Fest (Pizza Night) / Grimaldi’s Pizzeria

NYC Film Food Fest, Pizza Night

I attended the previously mentioned NYC Food Film Fest‘s Pizza Night in the parking lot next to Grimaldi’s in Brooklyn the other night. It was great to be around a bunch of other pizza fanatics directly under the Brooklyn Bridge.

While I was waiting around for the show to start, I had the pleasure of finally meeting the mastermind behind the amazing Slice pizza blog, Adam Kuban, in person. He told me some interesting stuff about his life as a full-time pizza blogger, but that’s a whole other story…

After a couple short speeches from the Food Film Fest crew and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, they screened 3 short films: Pure & Simple, which is a view in to the daily life of hardcore pizzeria Una Pizza Napoletana (I’ve never been, but I definitely intend to check it out soon); Brooklyn Pizza which showed what Adam Kuban described as “pizza porn” — the pizza-making process at 3 different Brooklyn pizzerias (Di Fara, Totonno’s, and Grimaldi’s); and finally In Pignata: Calabrian Fireside Cooking, which wasn’t really about pizza at all, but followed around an aging traditional Italian farmer as she prepped food from her own harvests.

NYC Film Food Fest, Pizza Night

NYC Film Food Fest, Pizza Night

Grimaldi’s sent out a couple rounds of sampling pies for the salivating crowd throughout the night. Much appreciated, but after the event I decided to wait in line to get a proper dose. Nothing has changed about Grimaldi’s pie since I first had it: it’s still one of the best pizzas I’ve ever eaten. So good.

Grimaldi's Pizzeria

Grimaldi's Pizzeria

Hello NYC / Pizza film screenings

Last night I moved in to the room I will be subletting in Brooklyn for the summer. Needless to say, I’m excited about the pizza potential (and other general food stuff) for the next few months. I’ve decided that I want to eat out as much as possible while I’m here, even if it ends up costing me more.

It seems that I timed my move perfectly: the 2nd annual NYC Food Film Festival is under way, and tomorrow there will be a screening of 3 short pizza-related films in the parking lot next to one of my all-time favorite pizzerias, Grimaldi’s, in Brooklyn.

NYC Food Film Festival

The event is free, with food starting at 7:30pm and the screenings at 8:30. Tomorrow, 17 June. Rain or shine.

Grimaldi’s is at 19 Old Fulton St in Brooklyn, literally underneath the Brooklyn Bridge.

For more info, check the Film Festival schedule.

©2010