Gimme the Loot, writer-director Adam Leon's feature debut, both drips with the gritty, spent energy of so many discarded spray paint cans and hums with the natural buoyancy of two scrappy young Bronx graffiti artists, Malcolm (Ty Hickson) and Sofia (Tashiana Washington). After a rival gang destroys their most recent bit of artistic vandalism, Malcolm and Sofia set out to realize their pièce de résistance — graffiti "bombing" the large plastic apple that pops up in the Shea Stadium stands whenever a Mets player hits a home run. To gain access to the stadium, they need $500, and to get $500, they use a string of less-than-legal methods: wheeling and dealing, petty theft, even a touch of breaking and entering. Run-ins with the aforementioned rival gang set them back. A sketchy bodega owner rips them off. And as their quest for this white whale unfolds, they come face-to-face with a white minx instead, a rich Manhattanite who tantalizes and spurns Malcolm in an expertly handled clash of New York's stratified society. Still, the film bubbles with optimism, and even Malcolm and Sofia's criminal exploits for the sake of their art radiate with the promise of a never-ending summer. A Grand Jury Prize winner at the SXSW Film Festival last year, Gimme the Loot made its Memphis debut last fall at Indie Memphis and returns for a solo screening this week.
Gimme the Loot screens at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 20th, at the Brooks Museum of Art. Admission is $8, or $6 for museum members.