MSPIFF and Garage Sales

Last Saturday was a fun, busy day for me in Minneapolis. After scooping up an impressive pile of cheap books at the Hennepin County Library book sale out in Mound, my home town, (more on this later!) my sister and I checked out the World’s Largest Textile Garage Sale, organized by the Minnesota Textile Center at the University of Minnesota Reuse Program Warehouse. Our mom is a basket weaver and often does events at the Textile Center, so we thought it would be an awesome place to pick up some early Mother’s Day gifts. Having never been to this long running even, though, we were not exactly sure what to expect. It was a little overwhelming! In the dim, cave like ambiance of the warehouse, packed with ratty old office chairs, battered file cabinets, much used beakers and petri dishes, and electronic components of no discernible origin, people scavenged through tables heaped with all manner of textiles and tools.  For crafty types, it was a smorgasbord of bargains, from looms, reams of fabric, guidebooks, and piles and piles of yarn. And a lot of stuff I had no idea what they were! We definitely got some stuff we think Mom will appreciate, and maybe next year we will bring her too!

The real highlight of the day, though, was seeing Letters to Momo at the St. Anthony Main Theatre, part of the wonderful Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF), a sure sign of spring in the Twin Cities. MSPIFF is a great way to encounter movies from around the world, as well as from right here in Minnesota and, even if you only end up seeing one or two, there are always very intriguing offerings. This year, they are showing films from more than fifty different countries, representing every continent (er, not including Antarctica). We chose A Letter to Momo, a lovingly animated modern fantasy from Japan.

A Letter to Momo was a great, heartwarming type of movie, one of those that can please all ages I would say, not unlike the work of Hayao Miyazaki (not surprising, as many of the crew here worked in Miyazaki’s films) that follows an eleven year old girl, who, having recently lost her father, travels with her mother to a remote fishing town in the Seto Inland Sea, where she tries to deal with her grief and new surroundings and encounters a trio of funny/creepy yokai. If I brought my Mom to this one, she would definitely have been weeping by the end! A very well thought out modern anime drama with enough humor and fantasy elements to satistfy anyone.

A Letter to Momo is playing again this Saturday at 9, and I definitely recommend taking the opportunity to see it on the big screen! In addition, there are a lot of other films to check out too, and I’m hoping to get at least one more in this year.

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