This afternoon, comedian and producer Louis C.K. sent out an email, announcing a brand new release available on his website: documentary film Check It, a Steve Buscemi-produced look at LGBT street gangs that premiered last year at the Tribeca Film Festival.
C.K. hosts his own specials, a few from pals Barry Crimmins and Todd Barry, and his web series, “Horace and Pete,” on his personal site, louisck.net — be independently releasing his own work, and projects from colleagues, he’s turned DIY producing into quite a side gig, and he takes it pretty seriously, ad evidenced by his lengthy self-written PR blast.
Here’s the full announcement, from C.K. himself to his mailing list:
Check It is a documentary that I saw a little over a year ago at the Tribeca film festival here in New York. Steve Buscemi is an executive producer on the film and we were, at the time, winding up production of our series “Horace and Pete” (also still available on my site/app). Anyway Pete, I mean Steve! invited me to a screening of this film and I went because he’s a good guy.
The film knocked me right over. It was an amazing emotional ride. It was funny and moving, I learned a lot and it gave me a lot to think about after.
“Check It” was made over 4 years. Directed by Toby Oppenheimer and Dana Flor. It’s about a gay black street gang in DC (the only one documented in the country) made up of kids who were living on the streets and easy targets for violence and harrasment. They started this gang to protect each other. They made a family where they didn’t have one.
It’s not an easy film. It takes on life right where the rubber hits the road. What made me love it was just the kids themselves. They are like any kids, like anyone’s children. They are trying to cope against terrible odds, they are funny and full of hope and life. Their lives are difficult and complex. They are very generous in sharing this with the filmmakers and you, if you watch the film.
The film also portrays a wonderful guy who is a social worker and he looks after the gang and tries to influence them to have a better life. That guy is an inspiration. Also a young guy who teaches them fashion and is incredibly patient and focused, trying to teach kids who live on the streets, and give them guidance when all they’ve known is neglect and violence. Also there’s a guy who is teaching one of the kids to box. All these people are examples that show that the will to reach out and help someone with consistency and love is everywhere.
Look, I know this isn’t what you’re expecting from me. Nor am I the guy you’re expecting to get this film from. I guess that’s why I’m doing this. When I saw this film, I knew that no one I know will ever see it. Documentaries are MUCH harder to make than the things that I do and they are FAR more expensive to the filmmakers in terms of their time and their lives and their emotional energy. And nobody much watches them. Those who do watch documentaries are usually people who are likely to be interested in the subject they cover already. But what a great value there is in showing people films about something that just isn’t on their radar. So that’s why I asked Steve, and Wren Arthur, who produced the film, if I could host “Check It” on my site so that lots of people can see it who may not have had it put in front of them.
I do this with great confidence because it’s a powerful film and I know that, whoever you are, you’re going to love it.
Check It can be bought, like everything else on my site, for 5 dollars. A simple pay and then download or stream process, or even more easily on my app, where you can just pay and watch with one click on any device or on your Apple TV.
I cut together an introduction, mixed with their trailer, which you can watch here or you already have on your device if you have my app installed.
Anyway, that’s it. I hope you all have a terrific summer. I hate the word terrific. But it just fits there so well.