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  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times

    Turns out, our very own Jack Lessenberry knows the Grosse Pointer seeking to ban the MT: Ten years or so ago, a woman named Andrea Lavigne sat in on some media survey classes I was teaching at Wayne State University. She was in her late 30s or early 40s, and seemed to be searching for answers. She wanted to know how the media work, and told me she was a Maoist. This fascinated me, because I thought authentic Maoists were almost as rare as passenger pigeons. Chairman Mao, we now know, starved to death and slaughtered tens of millions of his own citizens, and kept China economically and intellectually backward. Intrigued, I got together one night before class with her and another Maoist, to find out what they were all about. Alas, they spouted a form of primitive, grade-school Marxism. They seemed to have very little historical knowledge of Communism or what it had actually been like. Yes. A Maoist. Read the full story at Michigan Radio here.

    The post Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’

    A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the owner of Detroit’s municipal solid waste incinerator Monday, accusing the company of nuisance and gross negligence violations According to the complaint filed by Detroit-based Liddle & Dubin P.C., “On occasions too numerous to list, Plaintiffs’ property including Plaintiffs’ neighborhood, residences and yards were physically invaded by noxious odors and contaminants … As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s’ negligence in operating and/or maintaining the facility, Plaintiffs’ property has been invaded by noxious odors.” The eight-page complaint charges that local property values have dropped due to the incinerator’s presence, “and has interfered with Plaintiffs’ use and enjoyment of their property.” The lawsuit, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, seeks a financial award in excess of $25,000 and all costs and attorney fees related to the case. In an email, a spokesperson for the company says, “Detroit Renewable Power is reviewing the complaint filed today,” but declined further comment. The suit comes weeks after a Metro Times’ cover story earlier this month found a growing number of odor complaints from nearby residents since Detroit Renewable Power LLC (DRP) took control of the facility in 2010. The investigation found a spike in citations from the Michigan Department […]

    The post Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup

    The High Times Medical Cannabis Cup is more than just a celebration — although with the recent shift in attitudes toward marijuana legalization, there certainly is much to celebrate.  HT‘s Danny Danko described it as “just like any other harvest festival or a county fair where people bring their best produce, their best pigs and horses and cows, and they compete with each other for bragging rights, basically.” Here are a list of winners from this year’s Cannabis Cup, who did indeed walk home with some well-deserved bragging rights — if anyone knows their marijuana it’s High Times: Indica 1ST - Oasis Medical Seeds - Paris OG 2ND - Herbal Solutions - Alien Dawg F2 3RD - Herban Legendz, LLC - Grape OX Sativa 1ST - Arborside Compassion - CATFISH 2ND - Organibliss - Ghost Train Haze #1 3RD - We Grow Education and Collective Centers - MelonGum Hybrid 1ST - Herbal Solutions - Gorilla Glue 2ND - Pure West Compassion Club - Death Star 3RD - Kushman Veganics for Buds & Roses - Veganic Candyland Concentrate 1ST - Mr. B’s Extracts - Raskal’s Lemon 2ND - 710 Savant - Kosher Kush Dewaxed 3RD - Oasis Medical / Vader Extracts / Dab Vader - Candy Jack Shatter Non-Solvent Hash 1ST - NLG - Jedi Kush Ice Wax 2ND - Arborside Compassion - HeadCandy Kush Hash 3RD - New World Seeds Resource […]

    The post Winners announced for the ‘High Times’ Medical Cannabis Cup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative

    So is the title of the press release we received this morning from The Satanic Temple. You may recall our interview with Doug Mesner from earlier this year. The Satanic Temple is, perhaps, best known for trying to build a child-friendly monument to satan in OKC: How Mesner and TST are rocking the Hobby Lobby ruling is interesting: The Satanic Temple Leverages Hobby Lobby Ruling to Claim Exemption From State Mandated ProLife Materials Reads the next line of the press release. And then their website: A number of states require that abortion providers give information to patients that maybe inaccurate or misleading. Demands that members of the Satanic Temple, or those who share our beliefs, be subjected against our will to anything but the best scientific understanding are a violation of our religious beliefs. Thanks to rulings such as Hobby Lobby, we can take a stand against these practices. Mesner points out how the Hobby Lobby ruling bolsters their position: While we feel we have a strong case for an exemption regardless of the Hobby Lobby ruling, the Supreme Court has decided that religious beliefs are so sacrosanct that they can even trump scientific fact. This was made clear when […]

    The post Satanists Leverage Hobby Lobby Ruling In Support of Pro­Choice Initiative appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio

    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Review: Sister

Despite the tough themes, this neorealist short story never gets maudlin

Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2011:03:24 18:01:14

In Sister, 12-year-old Simon, played by Kacey Mottet Klein, is a kid from the wrong side of the Alps.


Sister B+

If the stark neorealism of the Dardenne Brothers (The Kid With a Bike, Lorna’s Silence) is your cup of tea, then you may find French-born director and co-screenwriter Ursula Meier’s foray into the raw and uncomfortable agony of poverty, lost youth and parental abandonment a worthy companion piece.

Twelve-year-old Simon (Kacey Mottet Klein) is a scrawny, scrappy, self-sufficient kid who lives in a grim housing complex at the base of an Alpine ski resort. He takes care of his older sister Louise (Léa Seydoux), who is constantly losing both jobs and men, by stealing equipment from rich tourists at the resort and selling them to the locals. Meier starts off by following Simon on his thieving rounds, as he calmly slips a mask and helmet over his face then searches for high-end skis, goggles and boots. In a bathroom stall, he wolfs down sandwiches he’s pilfered from unattended backpacks. It’s the matter-of-factness of his routine that keeps us both riveted and disturbed. As we watch Simon rob from the complacent rich and redistribute their booty among the kids who live at the bottom of the lift, there’s never sense of victory or accomplishment. Only necessity and strain.

Despite his larcenous actions and Meier’s incisive subtext of class-warfare, Simon is just a wounded little boy who craves human connection. It’s something Louise reluctantly and rarely provides, mostly treating him as a nuisance. And so he attempts to connect with a sympathetic but opportunistic cook (Martin Compston) and a British mother (the always welcome Gillian Anderson) on holiday with her children. Neither provides him with the bond he’s looking for. And, so, he returns to self-destructive Louise, in search of the acceptance and comfort he so desperately needs.

Klein and Seydoux are remarkably naturalistic performers, and their relationship —filled with jealousy, tenderness, resentment and inside jokes —seems at all times authentic. Over time, we learn not only who these two are but, ultimately, what they mean to each other —even if they themselves are unsure. For every instance of kindness and connection there’s a heart-wrenching example of dysfunction, particularly when Simon must bribe Louise to let him sleep beside her.

Yet even with such instances of neediness and heartbreak, Sister is defiantly detached, never sentimental. Simon may not be a particularly likable child, but his mix of courage and vulnerability make for compelling viewing.

Meier captures his reality of his situation with an immediate, hand-held shooting scheme. Cinematographer Agnes Godard juxtaposes that offhand approach with gorgeously composed shots of the Alps and washed-out images of the housing project, contrasting the soaring natural beauty of the mountains with the functional austerity of the apartment flats. It’s a richly atmospheric exercise in displacement, highlighting the thin and envy-laden boundary between entitled opulence and quiet despair.

In many ways, Sister feels like a sensitive and penetrating short story. Some of its supporting characters may be a bit contrived and stock, but they provide Louise and Simon with small instances of hope, a path, however tentative, toward redemption. And just when you think Meier has committed her characters to a ruthlessly bleak and unforgiving ending, she provides a startling glimpse of love and concern that resonates long after the final credits have rolled. Whether it is enough or not is up to you.

In French and English with English subtitles.

Plays at 7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Jan. 18-19, at 2 p.m. Jan. 20, at 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday Jan. 25-26, and at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27, at the Detroit Film Theatre, inside the DIA, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-3237.

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