Celebrated Brooklyn film finally gets borough premiere

Celebrated Brooklyn film finally gets borough premiere
Photo by BAMcinématek / Drew Tobia

Mona is the most annoying pregnant woman you have ever met — and you just cannot get rid of her.

Such is the premise of the cheekily=titled “See You Next Tuesday,” Drew Tobia’s dark, Brooklyn-based dramedy chronicling the plateaued, dysfunctional life of a friendless, young, mother-to-be, which is set to screen at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Dec. 14 after a whirlwind tour abroad.

Filmed in Greenpoint, Sunset Park, and Bushwick, the film seeks to explore the flimmaker’s own stories about family and relationships, all against the background of the quickly-gentrifying Greenpoint, where Tobia previously resided. At times, it can be squirm-in-your-chair viewing. Audiences are treated to cringe-inducing scenes such as Mona (Eleanore Pienta) pooping into a bag in a moment of panic, and her sister repeatedly and drunkenly referring to her fed-up black girlfriend by a racial slur. According to Tobia, it is a film that relies and thrives on familial and racial conflict — much like the borough in which it is set.

“There’s a lot of different kinds of characters coming together and different worlds being forced upon each other,” Tobia said. “Conflict sometimes arises not necessarily because of that, but also when someone like Mona comes in and stirs up the pot.”

Tobia was inspired to make “See You Next Tuesday” after coming across one of Pienta’s photography projects featuring a pregnant woman named Mona who was afraid of flies infecting her unborn baby. With Pienta’s okay, Tobia took the character for his film and transformed her into a wild, cigarette-smoking grocery store clerk with an attitude like nails on a chalkboard.

“It’s not easy material, but I think it’s an honest portrait,” said Pienta.

After penning a script and adding Mona’s sister and alcoholic mother to the mix, Tobia had a recipe for engrossing dysfunction. The crew filmed the whole project in three weeks, then toured the film to festivals such as the Chicago Underground Film Festival and London Film Festival, where it was enthusiastically received. Now “See You Next Tuesday” is finally coming home to Brooklyn, where it will screen in the borough for the first time at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s avant-garde film festival, “Migrating Forms,” which is incorporating a more diverse line-up of films this year.

“I think we unconsciously shied away from films that were working the underground film circuit as we were developing an independent identity for the festival, but our goal has always been inclusivity,” said festival curator Nellie Killian. “The only requirement for inclusion is that the film is good — and ‘See You Next Tuesday’ is great.”

“See You Next Tuesday” at Brooklyn Academy of Music [30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street in Fort Greene, (718) 636–4100, www.bam.org], Dec. 14 at 9:45 pm. $13.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.