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  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Review: Holy Motors

Stop this crazy thing! Puzzling, absurd and over-the-top, Leos Carax’s latest impresses our critic

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Holy Motors | A-

Welcome to the latest in WTF cinema, the kind of movie that critics love, general audiences loathe and cinephiles puzzle over. Leos Carax’s Holy Motors is French, cryptic, absurd, garish and completely unfettered from a traditional plot line. Think of it as a flamboyant cinematic serpent swallowing its own tail or a deranged magical mystery tour that, if you’re game, will crawl under your skin and bounce around your brain for days afterward. What does it mean? What do you want it to mean?

Less a story and more a series of performance vignettes, we experience a day in the life of Monsieur Alex Oscar (Denis Lavant) — the name is an anagram of the director’s non de plume — a professional role-player who is driven in white stretch limo to a set of nine appointments scripted by his mysterious boss (Michel Piccoli) for mysterious purposes. At each, Oscar assumes a new guise, nay, complete persona, transforming himself into cool businessman, a homeless old gypsy woman, a sewer-dwelling freak, or a computer game motion capture model. He assassinates a man, abducts a fashion model (Eva Mendez), plays accordion in a renegade musical band, and gasps for life as a dying old man. He even gets stabbed and shot — though always emerges unscathed for the new assignment. Sometimes the performances have a purpose, sometimes no one seems to be watching or care. With every character, he completely immerses himself, never once breaking the reality he’s tasked with creating. Mr. Oscar has been doing this for 20 years, and while the money has clearly been good (he lives in an opulent home with many high end cars) it’s clear he’s grown weary of the business (whatever that is).

It’s obvious that Carax is trading on the meta notion that everything we are watching is a movie and therefore none of this is real and therefore anything can and will happen. The movie opens with a man waking to find a portal into a movie theater playing The Crowd only to then emphasize how we are watching him and down the rabbit hole we go. Intertwining satire (there’s a terrific passing joke with a cemetery tombstone reading: “visit my website”), fantasy and nightmare, Carax constructs a funhouse mirror maze of movie references, riffing on Lang, Cocteau and Buñuel as well as Carax’s own films. On and on it goes until late into the night: a mad act of cannibalism, an emotional exchange between father and daughter, gangster-like intrigue, a rooftop romance under Parisian stars. Even Mr. Oscar’s refined limo driver is played by Edith Scob, who 50 years ago was the daughter in Georges Franju’s Eyes Without a Face.

Who do others need us to be? Who do we need to be for ourselves? Holy Motors examines the liquidity of identity without ever being pedantic, inviting you to become a participant by purposefully evading specific intent or interpretation. It is a conversation about our “other” selves, a reflection on who we are asked to become in our day-to-day encounters, and the way we all blur the line between living and acting. Or as T.S. Elliot wrote: “To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet; There will be time to murder and create.”

Holy Motors is also, however, a glorious exercise in crackpot overindulgence. There are times when the movie seems too willfully weird, too in love with outré conceits and the martyrdom of performance. It’s those moments that’ll test the most open-minded film lover. But Carax is theatrical by nature, a showman who has found the perfect chameleon in his longtime collaborator Levant. With an incredibly expressive face and a physicality that seems to morph into each and every role, Levant is given a rare showcase for his unique and mesmerizing talents.

As we learn that Mr. Oscar’s assignments are part of an elaborate performance art installation played to hidden cameras for the entertainment of others, Carax’s observations on life, shifting identities and collective dreaming ultimately take on a wry, almost ironic tone. Is something real if no one believes in it? Then why go on? A notion of obsolescence is returned to again and again, and one can’t help but wonder if the film, which revels in the past but employs the digital technologies of today, is presenting itself as proof of its own demise. A final scene with Kylie Minogue arriving by white limo, singing about time, and jumping to her death, along with the final credit image of Carax’s late wife, Katerina Golubeva, who took her own life, suggest that, for all of Holy Motors’ crazed playfulness and anarchic indulgences in cosmic renewal, there’s a devastating sense of loss that haunts its creation. mt

In French with English subtitles.

Shows at 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Jan. 25-26, 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at the Detroit Film Theatre, inside the DIA, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-3237.

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