Cary's got counterculture
Last week's article about the likely reopening of the Madstone cinema in Cary was the best news I've read in a long time ("Filmbeat," July 21). While I appreciated the insights from the movie experts quoted in the article, I have to take issue with Bill Peebles' pessimistic attitude that Cary can't support an art-house theater. It did, and I believe it still can. As a Madstone member, I loved having a local place to see films such as 21 Grams and Bubba Ho-Tep. Maybe the Madstone didn't get every film as early as the Rialto or Chelsea did, but it was successful at showing films that wouldn't have been shown anywhere else in Cary.
Sure, the old Madstone theater can't compete with Crossroads 20, and it shouldn't! It was so refreshing to go to a theater where the employee at the box office actually looked you in the eye and where the concierge inside shared the patrons' enthusiasm for independent film. I only hope the new owners will continue the tradition of excellent customer service and a variety of foreign and independent films. Bring on the "human trailer"!
It would appear that I have enough to think about in my personal life with a new house and job search going on without getting riled up about Bill Peebles' comments regarding the closure of Madstone in Cary ("Filmbeat," July 21). I think it is because we just relocated from the D.C. metro area, where there are not just more films, but also a larger variety of films to keep the population of cinephiles busy and engaged. While I respect Mr. Peebles' business acumen, I found his comment, "I don't see anyone making it out there. Raleigh is as saturated as it can be for what it is," extremely disappointing and short-sighted.
The Triangle is pretty well covered as far as the number of screens is concerned if you are talking about cash cow blockbusters like Spider Man 2. There are, however, scads of independent films out there now that may not ever come to the Triangle, and if they do, it will be months before we are privileged to see them. My point in raising this issue is not that I desire to remake the Triangle into a baby New York or L.A., but that a venue such as Madstone has the potential to provide a lot more than just "more screens" to the public at large in a market like Raleigh/Durham. The success of events like the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in this area is a testament to the fact that there is already a strong film tradition in the Triangle and that should be reflected in the movies and venues that are made available to us.
In case the future owners of Madstone are reading, I would really like to see Maria Full of Grace sometime soon. It's playing on five screens in Manhattan.
That's V for Victor
One has to wonder, at this moment in U.S. political history, how there could be anyone left standing who still thinks it's a good idea to tout an "alternative" to the Democrat or Republican candidates for president. Yes, it's great that the Libertarian candidate for president is a "true" antiwar candidate. ("Backtalk," July 28) So are Norman Thomas and Eugene V. Debs, and you can write either one of them in, too, and assuage your ache to vote against the "system." But come on, people. In the real world, it's either Bush or Kerry. Draining votes from one of them helps the other. That's it. Wanna help Bush, vote for Eugene V. Debs. That's the deal. Four more years of Bush/Cheney and we're living in Italy circa 1935.
In last week's fashion issue we left off the name of a very important, absolutely essential co-owner of The Untidy Museum, Jennifer Donner. The state of Untidy-ness would not rule without her wonderful contributions.
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