If you ever go to our blog you might notice a new banner on the right side of the page which is a link to the 3/50 Project home page. Darcy at Heartfelt told me about this project, and it resonates very strongly with me. I have posted a few flyers in the window of the store and at the cash register about it. In a nutshell, the 3/50 Project invites you to pick some stores in your neighborhood that you want to directly affect and hopefully keep in business.
Among many interesting stats they offer is this: “For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. If you spend that in a national chain, only $43 stays here. Spend it online, and nothing comes home.”
Fascinating, isn’t it? There must be a ton of people out there right now thinking and philosophizing and writing about community and economic survival. It makes me feel very hopeful and willing to sacrifice in order to do my part to keep my community strong. If anyone knows of anything else like this, please pass it on!
This week Four Star Video is psyched to bring you THE READER, one of the two lauded roles that Kate Winslet played in the last year. She won the Best Actress Academy Award for her role as Hanna Schmitz, a former Nazi concentration camp guard who befriends a teenage boy with the desire for him to read to her. Also new this week is DARK MATTER, starring Meryl Streep and Liu Ye. Based on a true story, Ye plays a Chinese student studying in the United States whose desire for academic success comes with a terrible price. THE SPIRIT stars Gabriel Macht and a serious posse of beautiful actresses in a film by Frank Miller about a superhero from beyond the grave whose job it is to protect Central City from bad guys, including The Octopus, played by the excellent Samuel L. Jackson.
There is bunches of new television at Four Star this week, including some older things we are dabbling in such as BOSTON LEGAL and HOTEL BABYLON. A new season of THE RUTH RENDELL MYSTERIES is here as well as the HBO mini-series HOUSE OF SADDAM. In the new additions section we have the 1970’s historical BBC drama THE DUCHESS OF DUKE STREET. Chris’ Highlighted New Addition section receives another in the WHOLPHIN series, this time No. 3. All that’s left is No. 5 and hopefully that will be in soon.
There are a couple of noteworthy documentaries here this week. The first is CRUDE IMPACT, a revealing look at the world’s addiction to petroleum and the cost of that addiction. The second is a new look at Andy Warhol’s screentest series. In 13 MOST BEAUTIFUL…SONGS FOR ANDY WARHOL SCREEN TESTS, Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips record, re-record and compose some striking music, ambient and otherwise to flow with some of the more amazing screentests from the series including Nico, Edie Sedgwick and Dennis Hopper.
Parents and caregivers: don’t forget! On Thursday, April 23 @ 4:30. Eddie Madril will tell stories of the United States Plains Indian tribes from Southern Canada, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Eddie has performed throughout the western United States and teaches residency programs in schools in the San Francisco Bay area. This event will happen here at Four Star Video in our backyard screening patio.
Film Festivals we want you to apply to:
Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema festival.
Videofest 2009 at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts.
By the way, my wife Amy (who is a local estate planning attorney) is offering a wide range of interesting and affordable new services for those of you who are needing estate plans (wills, powers of attorney, etc.) but not ready for the full bells and whistles variety. Here is a recent blog entry where she talks about the possibilities.
Alrighty, that’s all folks, hope to see you at the store.
Love and Kisses,
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2) DAE JANG GEUM Vol 2 and 3.
3) I’M A CYBORG, BUT THAT’S OKAY.
4) PLAYBACK: MUSIC VIDEOS OF MAUREEN EGAN AND MATTHEW BARRY
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Directed by Christopher Hutson.
* Blood sucking and multi-dimensional crossings in the arty and hipster warehouse district.
Liu Ye/Meryl Streep/Aidan Quinn/Bill Irwin.
Directed by Chen Shi-Zheng.
* Based on the true story of Gang Lu, this tale follows Liu Xing (Ye) a young Chinese student studying in America and hoping for some prestigious academia honors who is befriended by a wealthy patron (Streep). Things go terribly wrong for him as he doesn’t receive the accolades he feels he deserves, and tragedy strikes.
FOREST OF DEATH.
Shu Qi/Cheng Ekin/Li Rain.
Directed by Danny Pang.
* Seriously, it’s a bad bad forest. Some people die there. Others receive messages from the plants and the trees, like the Lorax, except I’m not sure if they speak for the trees in this movie. And I don’t think their message is an environmental one. And I don’t think there is a little kid with a seed at the end who is hoping to bring back the Truffula Trees. No, the more I think about it, this movie is nothing like The Lorax, except I think there is a bad guy, but I am uncertain if he is anything like the Once-ler. Ah, fuck it. I’m babbling.
Kate Winslet/Ralph Fiennes/Bruno Ganz/David Kross.
Directed by Stephen Daldry.
* The wonderful and versatile Kate Winslet won a Best Actress Academy Award for her performance as Hanna Schmitz a former Auschwitz guard during the Nazi rule who is living out her punishment for her role in that horror. As the film begins, she is a free woman who befriends and eventually seduces a teenage boy. She wants him to read to her, and their short affair is laden with scenes of this voluptuous older woman being read to by a teenager. Although she is never busted for statutory rape, she is eventually put on trial for her past and sentenced to a life imprisonment. The experience of their relationship weighs on the boy – Michael (Kross as a boy, and Fiennes as man) and shapes him as he ages. He is forever affected by both the affair, and his silence during her trial, and it is only years later that he is able to play a role in her life that leads to his own personal salvation.
RICKY GERVAIS: OUT OF ENGLAND.
Directed by John Moffitt.
* The creator of THE OFFICE and EXTRAS delivers his particularly funny and biting brand of humor.
SHE FELL AMONG THIEVES.
Malcolm McDowell/Eileen Atkins/Michael Jayston.
Directed by Clive Donner.
* Aired in 1978 as a “BBC2 Play of the Week” this murder mystery is set in 1920’s France.
THE SPIRIT.****ALSO IN BLU-RAY****
Gabriel Macht/Samuel L. Jackson/Scarlett Johannson/Paz Vega/Eva Mendes/Jaime King.
Directed by Frank Miller.
* How many hot young actresses does it take to make a superhero movie? By my count, at least four in this graphic novel style dark comic film directed by the guy who brought us SIN CITY. Macht plays Denny Colt, a cop who gets killed and comes back (from the beyond!) as The Spirit, a force of good whose job it is to protect Central City (and the hotties who live there). Jackson plays the Octopus, who is a meany who wants to destroy the city.
Directed by James Jandak Wood.
* A doc that examines that way that humans are slaves to their addiction to petroleum and the destruction to our environment that addiction has wrought. Walk to the store to pick it up.
13 MOST BEAUTIFUL…SONGS FOR ANDY WARHOL SCREEN TESTS.
Nico/Edie Sedgwick/Lou Reed/Dennis Hopper.
Directed by Andy Warhol.
* From the famous series of screentests from the mid 1960’s, if you are a fan of Warhol at all, these are not to be missed. They are featuring music by Dean Wareham and Britta Phillips (formerly of Luna). There are also many great special features, including a 40 page book filled with great tidbits.
BOSTON LEGAL: SEASONS 1 AND 2.
James Spader/William Shatner/Candice Bergen.
Created by David E. Kelley.
* A spinoff from THE PRACTICE, this show was recommended to us by a customer and we are giving it a shot. Tell us what you think. It’s rated super duper highly by viewers on imdb.com. Look at that cast!
HOTEL BABYLON: SEASONS 2 AND 3.
* Another couple of seasons of the sexy comedy-drama about the people working at and staying at a posh hotel.
HOUSE OF SADDAM.
Igal Naor/Shohreh Aghashloo/Said Taghmaoui.
Directed by Alex Holmes and Jim O’Hanlon.
* Gritty and realistic portrayal of Hussein and his ruling party from 1979 until he was executed in 2006.
THE RUTH RENDELL MYSTERIES: SET 4.
* More great British crime television.
............// HIGHLIGHTED NEW ADDITIONS//............
WHOLPHIN No. 3:.
Directed by Many.
* All we are missing is No. 5 now in our collection of these McSweeney compiled short films.
............// NEW ADDITIONS//............
THE DUCHESS OF DUKE STREET: THE COMPLETE COLLECTION.
* Our first DVD’s of this historical drama from the 1970’s about a woman who works her way up to being the owner of a hotel in the early part of the twentieth century.