Help Save Cinema Revolution

For readers in the Minneapolis area:

If you are like me, you enjoy a good cup of coffee, a nice tumbler of whiskey, rain storms, and movies. Particularly movies that are not going to be found at your local Blockbuster. Also you probably enjoy all of these things at locally run businesses (damn those FOXNEWS sponsored thunderstorms...).

This isn't just a random rant about something that pissed me off so stick with me here.

I frequented Cinema Revolution (and they are good friends of InDigest) for many years, it's easily one of the best video stores (if not the best) in Minneapolis/St. Paul, and they are in trouble. The store is having some financial difficulties and I thought I'd throw something up in hopes that you value what John and Cinema Revolution do for the community as much as I do. The store is run by volunteers who support film screenings around town, host cinema discussion evenings, allow you to rent local filmmakers (often for free) and have a selection that no one else in town can compare to. So here's a little bit of an e-mail John Koch (owner) sent out to some today, about why Cinema Revolution is important:

We believe that a local store run by live local people is something of value - a store that curates film as a gallery would curate any other form of art, a store that actively promotes film in the community, a store with a real, tangible personality. Cinema Revolution creates an artistic context for your DVD rental experience; we help guide you through innumerable choices, and celebrate films that otherwise are marginalized or ignored. We are active in the community as well. Through the nearly five years of our existence, we have shot a feature film using all local talent, we have held dozens of film screenings through Cinema des Artistes and our Film Society, commissioned new original short films from local artists, held weekly live film discussion groups, started a local record label, and have helped actively promote countless festivals, performances and screenings by local producers. It is a major part of our mission to connect, support and inspire our local artistic community. If you value what we do for the community, we ask you to please help us continue in these endeavors.

So, if you can donate a little bit to help them out, if you can't do that, make an effort to rent some films from there, go to a screening hosted by Cinema Revolution, or participate in one of their weekly film discussions.

Here are the details sent out about how you can help out:

We are seeking to raise $5,000 by September 15th to help make our move to a new location a reality, as it cannot be done without this additional support. The suggested donation is $20 (and if 250 people can do this, we will make our goal), but please feel free to give at any level you can afford. With your collective help we can make this happen.

We are also seeking volunteers to help in this fundraising effort. If you are interested in helping out, contact john@cinemarevolution.com. We are also open to any suggestions or advice anyone may have to help us along.

In just the past two years we have lost legendary video stores Discount Video and Box Office Video. We have seen the Oak Street and Bell Auditorium film programs vanish, we have watched the entire film editorial staff at the City Pages lose their jobs, and Hollywood fare is now seeping into our beloved Lagoon Cinema. Please help keep an active, inspiring film culture alive in the Twin Cities and donate securely via PayPal today at www.cinemarevolution.com (Click on the link below).

Please note that if for any reason we do not achieve our financial goal, your generous donations will be refunded directly through PayPal. If we should raise more than our goal, the extra money will be applied to growing our movie collection to help fill our new space. Also be aware that we are not organized as a non-profit organization for tax purposes, so your donation is not tax deductible.

That's all I've got, it's well worth a little bit of your time or money to help keep filmmaking in the city alive. Adios.

Correction to the Last Post

Our boy Tom printed the hippo t shirts; he didn't design them. Keep an eye out for his stuff in the coming weeks.

Still I'm gonna get one of those hippo ts.


Buy Uniquely

By now we all know the importance of buying locally. Whether we follow through on this or not is another case. But, I preach enough, so I'm not going to do it here, because God knows someone could hold up a mirror when I get started, and I would have to shut up.

Instead, I'm going to tell you about a cool new collaboration that has just begun. It's called Overproof and I'll let them describe themselves to you:

Overproof Affiliates is a group of individuals with a variety of creative backgrounds working together to conceive, produce, market and exhibit art. We are not limited to specific artistic mediums and seek to embrace new challenges that help ourselves push creative boundaries. The Overproof network consists of a diverse assortment of trained professionals practicing fine arts, fashion design, graphic design, arts administration, photography, music production, jewelry, sculpting, screen printing and graffiti arts, just to name a few. Through Overproof, affiliates are provided with facilities and material to produce and hone their craft, assistance with marketing, promoting and selling their work and given opportunities to expand their artistic talents by collaborating with other artists.

My favorite description they give comes later: "Our t-shirts and upcoming product lines are all hand crafted original pieces that are usually produced in limited runs and seek to be exceedingly unique."

Exceedingly unique. Right on! That's what people need to strive for. And I think they're pulling it off so far. Just look at the hippo t-shirts designed by our friend Tom. That's unique as all get out. I'm getting one.

Now, Overproof is just getting up and running, so be patient as they work out the kinks that come with any new endeavor. Dustin and I are very sympathetic to kinks in online endeavors. And flood them with orders. Nothing like demand to work out kinks a little bit quicker.

So, next time you go to your local farmer's market and buy something locally, treat yourself by buying something uniquely, too. Exceedingly unique. Like a shirt with a damn hippo on it.


Dissenting literary giant Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn Dies at 89

One of the great dissenters of the Soviet regime, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, passed away Sunday evening. At 89 the author died of heart failure, his son reported. Solzhenitsyn came of age during Stalin's Russia working as a science teacher in a Rural town. His first novel "A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" propelled him into the literary world, and eventually winning the Nobel Prize in 1970. His novels sold over 300 million copies worldwide, and that isn't really his great achievement. He was an author of a type that is rarely seen right now (at least in the west), someone who stood up against an entire school of thought and was cast away for it, but managed to outlive the system by nearly two decades. Check out the article in the New York TImes if you're interested in learning a little more about his life and work, this is a blog, so that's all you get.