Archive for January, 2006

Are we that lonely?

A man came into my store today and we were having nice conversation. Out of nowhere, he says something to the effect of “I’m sick of women not talking. How am I gonna pick someone up if no one is talkin’?” I replied by laughing a little bit. Then he turned and left. On his way out, I heard him say “I really need a date and fuckers aren’t talkin’!”

I wonder if we as a culture in the midwest are sometimes too nice. I have actually run into this before. I will go up and talk to someone in a bar, which by the way ladies takes a HUGE amount of confidence, and instead of responding, they just pretend I’m not there. Maybe they are just trying to be polite by not wanting to shut someone down. To me, it comes across as incredibly rude. I would much prefer a woman saying, “I’m sorry, but I just want to hang out with my friends tonight, ok?”

It was a weird encounter and it really got me thinking. I know this guy was kind of creepy, but he actually said something I had often thought. Has anyone else had this experience?

Oak Street Calendar extended

Films at the Oak Street are now playing through 9 February 2006. I’ve never seen either of them, but they both look interesting. Support your local theater! I know my previous entry sounded a little defeatist, but I really don’t want the Oak Street to close. I love the little theater that could. One of the great ideas I read in the comments of mnspeak.com is to have theme nights with costume contests and prizes. If the Saloon can get people to dress in karate gear and Willy Wonka outfits, surely all of us film hipsters can pull out the trenchcoat and fedora for a Noir Night at the Oak Street.

Zoo wedding update

Well, the wedding went off without a hitch, but unfortunately, the zoo had a sad day today. The six-month-old baby dolphin died in a training accident today. You can read about it here. Zoo security was very helpful at keeping the news media at bay. What sad news to be met with when we arrived, though. Nevertheless, I would recommend the zoo for a wedding anytime. The accommodations were spectacular. The setting was beautiful. Poor dolphins, though. The mommy dolphin, Rio, understandably only poked her head out a couple times the whole night. I wanted to reach in to the tank and give her a big hug. *frowny face*

When the lights go down…

A lot of us have been following the story of the Oak Street and MFA on some of the other news and blog sources around town, and there have been lots of comments about what should be done to save the Oak Street. I love the movies that are shown there, and the theater itself is pretty quaint, but I do have to admit that the place needs work. Granted, if there’s not money to keep it open, there’s also not money to improve it. I hate to sound defeatist about it, but if the board voted to close it in December, even though they changed their minds and kept it open, its days are probably numbered. What will happen then?

If the Oak Street closes, the debt may get paid down, but I can’t imagine that that would completely cover the debt that MFA has. The board has been mostly uncommunicative about what role it wants MFA to have in the film exhibition community in the TC. Their mission statement on the Oak Street website is out of date, considering it lists events that it doesn’t run anymore. What responsibilities does the board have to MFA members, and what say do the paying members have in the organization? How much longer does the MFA have as a voice in the TC film community if it loses the respect of those it is supposed to serve?

With many of the staff members at MFA resigning, and the future of the Oak Street uncertain, it looks more and more like an upcoming vacumm in the TC film community is likely. What organizations will step in, which individuals will move into leadership positions, what will happen to our various beloved film festivals? Even with the advent of DVDs, Netflix and HD televisions, I believe the TC is still an area that will go out to see a show. If they’re not, you can only pass the blame to new technology so much. Even the studios and record companies are admitting that maybe piracy isn’t solely to blame for their so-called declining sales (actually it’s more like “soft growth”).

I honestly believe that we can have a viable repertory theater, successful film festivals of all types, International, LGBT, animation, what have you. The lack of audience for the 2004 LGBT film festival really seemed to be blamed on the potential audience themselves. “Hey, we threw a film festival, how come you didn’t show up?” I know that it’s purely anecdotal, but most people I asked about it didn’t know that there was an LGBT film festival. Hopefully, the Flaming Film Festival will help to fill that void this year, and I’m really looking forward to getting involved with it.

It’ll be interesting to see how all this plays out, and see who survives the coming shake-up. Maybe this is a “wake up call” to both the audiences and to the exhibitors and programmers, and if we can all weather this storm, hopefully we’ll have something even better and brighter afterwards.

U.S. Pond Hockey Championships

I’m on my way over to Lake Calhoun to check out the pond hockey. Report to follow!

It’s gonna be a zoo wedding

I am attending a wedding tomorrow night at the Minnesota Zoo. Rumor has it that the ceremony will be taking place near the dolphin tank. In fact, the whole shebang is taking place there–ceremony, reception, including dinner and dancing. Who knew the zoo provided such a service? I haven’t been to this zoo in ages. First of all, it’s kinda pricey. Secondly, I remember never really seeing any animals when I went there, probably because they’re all at their most active before the zoo opens. (Um, open earlier, zoo?) I wonder if we’ll get to see any animals tomorrow night, or even explore the zoo at all. I’ve never been there at night. Me? I’m excited to see the sharks. And the Dairy Queen. (Do they still have the DQ?)

What I did on my day off.

I did indeed go see a movie yesterday, after having lunch at Chiang Mai Tai. I managed to eat a two-flames-hot plate of pineapple fried rice without my eyes watering. I will defeat my northern European heritage yet!

My friend and I chose to see Walk The Line. I’ve been a fan of Johnny Cash’s music practically my whole life, but I didn’t know much of the details of his life. The smattering I did know I was able to gel with the bits that were depicted on screen.

I heard Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon both learned to play their instruments and sang their own parts. I must say I was impressed. While their singing registers weren’t exactly the same, they did well in imitating Johnny Cash and June Carter.

I saw this film at the Mann 6 in St. Louis Park, near Excelsior and Hwy 100. I’d never been to that theater before, which has a 2-down, 4-up screen setup. Stadium seating and a comfortable temperature were among its advantages. I didn’t try the snackbar, but it looked well-stocked. Not a bad little place.

MFA Meeting about the Oak Street Cinema

Minnesota Stories has a video up from the meeting that Minnesota Film Arts held at the Oak Street last weekend.

Haven’t heard what’s happening? In short, there’s been some financial mismanagement and now folks are scrambling to keep the theater open. Plenty of related links over at Minnesota Stories.

Buster is coming!!!

The Children’s Theater production of “Reeling” based on the lifes work of Buster Keaton opens this weekend. It is a silent movie on stage using some gags taken directly from his films. I have a VERY small role in it, but that gave me the chance to watch it last night. I have to say that it is one of the most unique theater expieriences I have had in a long time. Tremendous physical acting, wonderful music, and a folly artist on stage. How could you go wrong?

I recommend that people of all ages check this show out. It is short, only 55 minutes long, so if you take the bus the transfer will still be good when you get out ;) The acting is absolutly incredible. The guy they nabed to play the “buster” role is spot on. He even looks a bit like him. I laughed and stared in wonderment the entire time. Please come and support this very different work. You will be glad you did.

Not a GLBT film festival, but pretty damn close

Homocore is hosting a short film festival tonight at the Bryant Lake Bowl. The Bearded Child Film Festival is at 7pm tonight, doors open at 6. Admission is 7 bucks and the program is listed on the website.

Alleviate some of the concerns about Minnesota Film Arts and the future of the Oak Street for a few hours tonight. See you there!

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