BEST VIDEO RENTAL Minneapolis 2002 - Nicollet Village Video
1601 Nicollet Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55403
You'd expect any video store that keeps Clerks in the "classics" section to have an agreeably flip service ethic and a working knowledge of movie arcana. But Nicollet Village Video somehow surpasses fiction in its almost surreal commitment to Kevin Smith aesthetics. One typical evening finds employee and ex-Magnolias frontman John Freeman puffing a cigarette behind the counter, ashing into a tray hidden by stacks of returned videos. The torture scene from Reservoir Dogs blares from several TV monitors overhead. And as Mr. White pulls a Van Gogh on Marvin the cop, the high ceilings rumble with heavy thumping from a teen dance night above (the queer-friendly District 202 resides upstairs). On the shelves sit more VHS trash and art than in any video hut save previously reigning City Pages favorites Discount Video, who lose out this year on prices alone. Nowhere else in town can you rent, for five dollars, Nagisa Oshima's erotic classic In the Realm of the Senses, four episodes from the second season of Sex and the City, Bridget Jones's Diary, and Memento director Christopher Nolan's first film, Following--all for four days. The big white room also provides one-stop shopping for letterbox movies, rare documentaries, pornos (in an 18+ room), and smutty Japanimation flicks (no Blockbuster-style censorship here). Even better, the staff is so steeped in trash and art themselves that they actually offer helpful suggestions on what to rent in any of the above sections, perhaps pointing you to Clerks for starters.