Thursday, March 15, 2007

Alternative Videos of Woodstock CLOSED

Their name was already outdated, as they were replacing tapes with DVDs. So is our other local store, Alice in Videoland. "Alternative DVDs of Woodstock" and "Alice in DVDland" sure don't sound too poetic, but they wouldn't have lasted long anyway.

Members filed into the store at noon to pick over the stock. Hard choices. My son and I wound up with a bag full—a Scooby Doo tape, Cirque de Soleil and an episode of Ghost Writer (scored by a family friend) for him. For me and the rest of the family:

Documentaries: The Wobblies, Sister Helen (I thought it was about Helen Prejean; it's not; I hope it's good), Kilowatt Ours, In the Mirror of Maya Deren, Yours for a Song: The Women of Tin Pan Alley; Cinema Verite: Defining the Moment
Animation: Hiroshima No Pika; The Adventures of Prince Achmed (scroll down for the altfilmskids review)
Features: I Know Where I'm Going, Alexander Nevsky, Last Year at Marienbad
Compilations: America's First Women Filmmakers; Treasures from the American Film Archives
Performance: Great Pas de Deux for the ballet dancer in the family.

I didn't take the best stuff there but what I did get took two hours of standing in line at lunch hour and it was hard to choose.

I ran into four friends there and chatted with strangers. The woman next to me on line and I praised Tilda Swinton's performance in Deep End and discussed other films about motherhood. Another woman held up Black Stallion and said the opening was one of her favorite films, with which I heartily concur. Another woman bought every episode of The L Word. It was like a funeral—nice to be with people but for such a sad occasion, with all our favorite store employees pacing the aisles behind the counter to match empty boxes with tapes and discs. This is one of those stores where the staff is learned, like librarians, not like the vapid crew at Blockbuster, where you go in and ask for Meet Me in St. Louis and the kid has never heard of Vincent Minelli. This is a real loss to the community, and you probably have a similar story in progress in your town.

I wish everyone at Alternative Video a future of luminous endeavors.

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