The Mezzanine Shuffle - Turn and face the strange

Posted by Eric Brightwell, February 25, 2010 02:55pm | Post a Comment

Do this don't do that can't you read the sign?

As some of those who know me know, I used to work in the movie department here at Amoeba Hollywood. I was assigned to Black Cinema and Latino Cinema. You could say they were my beat. But I was a bit of a lone wolf who played by my own rules. But after one too many high-profile disasters, the sarge stuck me with a desk job, writing this blog. But I still take interest in my old neighborhood and some (OK one) of the customers still tell me to come back... he also gave me a couple of candy canes for Christmas which (since I don't much like sweets) sit in the guampa on my desk. They're yours if you want 'em. ,

Anyway, so the mezzanine just went through a major overhaul, which I had/got to be a part of...

The Mezzanine - Officially the largest selection of movies in the universe

Occasionally, when something big like this goes down, the powers that be will promise me some nice change if I bust the right brains. Or, to paraphrase Sean P, "They callin' me to come back to the streets, Eric B, a.k.a 'Sharp Crease'/Said it was necessary, these sucka weddoz out here very scary/They comin' whole they livin' in the month of February" to which I replied, "OK den." Also I was promised pizza. More about that later.

      Documentaries (and some hokum - what the bleep?)                                 Action Jackson (and Willis and Bond)

Now, some may wonder why we needed to expand. With over 50,000 titles already and every other video store extinct, it may seem like overkill. But we've been sitting on a lot of titles we didn't previously have space for. Consider the documentaries. Every conspiracy theory spawns a thousand DVDs. And the already enormous Action Section literally exploded. (I like to misuse "literally," so shut it.) Sad to see we removed the poliziotteshi section. Even though I've never watched any of those movies, I felt an affinity for movies about mustachioed Italian cops who play by their own rules... 


The Blu-Ray (seriously, why'd they drop the "e"?) section grew considerably, as you can see. And now, it's a lot closer to the VCD section.

The TV section went vertical. Very nice. And don't let the sign confuse you, the BBC section includes British TV from all the English networks, whether it's Channel 4, Grenada, ITV, &c. It's just a case of a brand going metonomic -- like NPR, Coke, Kleenex and Band-Aid. To further complicate things, it doesn't include the BBC's many productions which aren't television series. Luckily the TV section is flanked by two info counters, where Amoeba staff can help make sense of it all.

Comedy, already massive, just got massiver. Everything from 1965 to 2010 that can possibly cheer you up is in there somewhere... except Oscar Wilde, it seems. The English language's second-most-read author and greatest comedian of all time no longer has a section. And gone too is Jane Austen's section... yet Kevin Smith remains -- although, to be fair, he's twice the man most of us are.

Once, under my watch, we absorbed Mystery/Thriller into drama, action, classics, &c due to space issues. When I informed this fact to a customer, he replied somewhat threateningly, "Big mistake." Well, as you can see, it's back and bigger than ever. Sadly, as with Action, the (in my opinion) most interesting section, Giallo, has been removed. But unlike Poliziotteschi, I actually did watch some of those. When I asked why we removed Giallo I was told, "Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown."

Lisa V. bringing the drama

With apologies to Mary J. Blige, there's a whole lot more Drama now.

Even the Short films had a growth spurt. 

By the way, the promised pizza proved to be a red herring -- and unlike my partner, Rakim, fish is my least favorite dish. No sweat. I went home and made my patented collard, turnip and mustard green pizza and ate the whole thing. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

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