Marwan Hamed's epic The Yacoubian Building opened Friday and plays nightly through Monday at the Oak Street Cinema, and if there was a time to rally around the Oak Street, it sounds like this is the time. Following is a personal note sent by Al Milgrom enclosed in the recent MN Film Arts e-mail newsletter:
"Dear Oak St Cinema friends,
The very engaging Egyptian prizewinner, "The Yacoubian Building", is showing at 7:30 pm Fri. thru Mon. Oak St. Cinema, is here on a very tenuous thread. Yours truly has promised many people that The Yacoubian Building WILL GET an audience, WILL break even, or, at least, WILL NOT lose money. So I appeal to all those who say they want the Oak to stay open to SHOW UP this weekend, schedules permitting. It's that simple! This worthy, strong "word of mouth" feature from the recent Mpls/St Paul Film Fest, about this down-at-the-heels Art Deco hotel in downtown Cairo, with its aging pasha and voluptuous sirens, will charm you with its acting, photography (and controversial but revealing) portrait of an exotic Mideast society.
-- Al Milgrom, Mn Film Arts"
I have to admit that I missed the one screening of this film at the Film Fest, so I can not give any critical comments on the film. However, it might be just the time for a practical joke on your friends: gather a group and tell them you want to go to Sex and the City or Indiana Jones (depending on which would work better) and take them to this 3-hour Egyptian film! In all seriousness, this may not be the best crowd-drawing film, but it is time to put words into action and show up at the Oak if it means anything to you. I'll be there Monday night.