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The Forth from its Hinges art show, now in its second year, starts tomorrow and continues for four days. It is totally and completely awesome to see young people getting together, supporting each other, and putting themselves out there.

Roger and I will be reporting from the show on Friday, but I wanted to give you all some advance notice so you can catch the first couple of days.

Here’s their (really well-done) video: (oh, side note- I just discovered, through the link on the video site, that it was done by my friend David Meiklejohn. I didn’t know that when I said that it was well done, so no accusations of nepotism, thank you. Although, plug for David, he makes lots of good stuff)

Forth From Its Hinges from losingstrategies on Vimeo.

And you can click HERE to visit their site for more info.


About two months ago, there was a lot of buzz around the Ypsi-blog-osphere about this video, which was created by the family of former Ypsi mayor Cheryl Farmer and her family sell the city to potential investors. I think I got a press release about it too, but I could be making that up.

(I wanted to post maproom systems’ response video, but it won’t seem to embed in my browser, so you’re just going to have to find that one yourself)

I then went on a quest to find more videos and came up with this, which is pretty hilarious. I like the part where the guy extolls the virtues of the Red Roof Inn. What amazed me is that the youtube commenters didn’t seem to realize that this is a parody and seemed truly incredulous that ANYONE would be excited about the Red Roof Inn.
But today I saw the following video and, I have to say, it’s all over for me. This is the best “Come to Ypsilanti”-type video I’ve seen. Basically, the message is that Ypsilanti totally kicks a– (this is a family blog, since it’s somehow loosely related to a family newspaper).
So here it is, the masterpiece of marketing entitled, “Ypsilanti is Better”:

I love movies. I really do. And I LOVE going to see movies for free, outside, in the summer.

So now that Top of the Park is over, let me give my official review: I hardly went this year. I stopped by once after A Prairie Home Companion long enough to buy Roger LeLievre a slice of pizza. One night a friend and I walked over because we were downtown on a Sunday night and wanted to see a movie, only to discover that the showing for that night was “Evan Almighty.” And the last time I went to see NOMO, and they were really good for the few minutes that I was able to wrangle my 3-year-old son before we had to leave. So I don’t fault them for that.

As a middle schooler, I remember watching MASH and Grease with my friends, sitting on a blanket on the concrete ground, happy to be allowed out past our normal curfews. I’m excited every year for the James Bond movie, and was especially happy in 2007 when they showed “Dr. No,” my favorite.

But the movie line-up this year was, well, pretty weak. I understand that they have to show movies that a wide range of people can enjoy. That doesn’t mean they have to be totally vanilla. “Blades of Glory”? “The Pursuit of Happyness”? Really? I wouldn’t rent those movies, let alone make a night of going to see them outside.

And the movies that I did want to see were relegated to the early nights of the week, when a lot of us are busy with kids and tired from work and know that we have to get up at 6 a.m. the next morning. “Some Like It Hot,” “Goldfinger” and “Vertigo” were all shown on Monday or Tuesday. And who picked “Fearless” as the only foreign OR martial arts movie? That’s a pretty unimaginative choice. Actually, really, most of the film selections were.

There were good things. “Goldfinger” was a good Bond choice. Like “Vertigo,” I was bummed that I couldn’t see it ’cause it was so early in the week, but I can’t keep griping about that. There are only so many days. And “L.A. Story” is a great comedy.

I don’t know how the Summer Festival handles the movie schedule and selection. It could be a committee, it could be one person, I’m not sure. I think I heard something about there being a new person in charge of the movies this year, but that is unsubstantiated, and I don’t really have time to substantiate it. But however they do it, let me put in my vote: Next year, do it differently.

Don’t show movies that everyone has already seen in the last year or two (“Juno”) that don’t merit a big screen showing (I loved “Juno,” but I was perfectly fine watching it in my living room). Don’t relegate the classics to Monday or Tuesday nights. Those are the best movies for a night out. 

Pick a martial arts movie that’s really good. May I suggest “Drunken Master,” which isn’t too violent, or, if you want to do Jet Li, “Fist of Legend” (a remake of my favorite Bruce Lee movie, “Fist of Fury.”)

Or let me nominate your movie selection committee. May I suggest Ben Malciewski of the Ypsilanti District Library (seriously, if you haven’t seen the film library that he has created, you really need to get over there), and that one guy who works at Liberty Street Video whose “Employee Favorites” shelf is always really good. 

Just kidding. Sort of. Okay, I’m not.

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