There are some who think that just because something is new it's good. That sort of thinking got us Thalidomide Babies. No, sometimes the old ways are the best ways, and while I love streaming movies and digital downloads, nothing will ever beat a good old fashioned video store.
And I mean good old fashioned. I'm not talking about a Blockbuster staffed by mouth breathers who couldn't get hired at McDonald's, I'm talking about a cineaste-friendly space staffed by smart, actually helpful (not snobby) people who act as curators, not just service industry automatons. Austin has two excellent independent video stores - Vulcan Video and I Luv Video - so why can't other cities? Why can't New York City?
That's where Aaron Hillis comes in. Aaron is a friend of mine who happens to be a film critic and the curator of the very cool reRun Gastropub in DUMBO, Brooklyn. He's a smart guy, a Fantastic Fest regular who loves genre films just as much as he loves art films. He's got the real Badass Digest spirit. He's also crazy, and he and his wife Jennifer have purchased a video store in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (the part of Brooklyn that Hannah on Girls referred to as 'grown up Brooklyn'). Their plan: turn the store, Video Free Brooklyn, into a great place to hang out, rent movies, see panels, engage in discussions, have screenings and support the local film community.
They've sunk their hard-earned money into the store, and now they need new investors. In the modern world that often means crowd funding, and Video Free Brooklyn is turning to fellow film lovers for help. They have the support of people like Patton Oswalt, Robert Downey Sr, David Cross and Bobcat Goldthwait - who are donating their time to the biggest donors. Ever wanted lunch with Robert Downey Sr? Ever wanted Bobcat Goldthwait to do a performance in your living room? Ever wanted David Cross to host a private screening for you and your friends? These things can be yours if you support Video Free Brooklyn.
There are lower support opportunities, and if you live in New York City they make a lot of sense - they offer free rentals at the store for up to a year, depending on how much you donate. You should click through to their IndieGoGo page to read more. This is a cool opportunity for New York film lovers to reclaim the community aspects of being into movies.