Archive for the ‘Film’ Category

We Recommend: Paris is Burning


Paris Is Burning

The 1990 documentary film, “Paris Is Burning” directed by Jennie
Livingston highlights the ball culture in late eighties New York City.
While it explores fashion and celebrates the expression of pride amongst
it’s LGBT contestants, it also examines racism and homophobia while
leaving an indelible mark on music, pop culture, and the shifting
perception of family and acceptance.

Derrick Jefferson, Public Services & Outreach Librarian

We Recommend: In the Mood for Love


In The Mood For Love

Directed by Wong Kar-Wai

Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood For Love takes us to Hong Kong in 1962. Mrs. Chan and Mr. Chow have just moved next door to each other and soon discover that their spouses are having an affair. They turn to each other for comfort and companionship and a romance develops between them, but they choose not to act as their spouses have. Much of the story is told without dialogue and not everyone will enjoy its slower pace. But it’s a beautifully shot film with amazing music; it’s one of those movies you watch for the experience. And on a personal note, I want to wear all of Mrs. Chan’s amazing dresses.

-Kayla Whitehead, Electronic & Continuing Resources Analyst

We Recommend: The Wrestler (Film)

The Wrestler

Directed by Darren Aronofsky

Starring Mickey Rourke and Marisa Tomei
The Wrestler poster.jpg Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler portrays a wrestler, Randy “The Ram” Robinson (Mickey Rourke), who struggles to get through life once his wrestling career is over. Randy’s prime was in the 80′s, and after retirement, he struggles with addiction and broken relationships. Like the style used in many of his other films, Aronofsky masterfully portrays a man’s tragic decline through the title character in The Wrestler. Considered by Aronofsky to be a companion piece to his 2010 hit Black Swan, The Wrestler is a beautifully crafted drama and a great choice for any fan of heart-wrenching film.

-Andrew Naquin, Student Library Assistant

We Recommend: Directions (Film)

Directions – Death Cab for Cutie

Directions is the video companion to Death Cab for Cutie’s critically-acclaimed album Plans. The DVD contains fan-made videos for all 12 songs on Plans, along with commentary from the band and two bonus songs and videos not heard on Plans. Directions is a must-watch for any Death Cab for Cutie fans or any fan of music videos in general.

Andrew Naquin, Student Library Assistant

We Recommend: The Road (Film)

The Road (Film)

Directed by John Hillcoat and starring Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee

The Road is based on Cormac McCarthy’s book of the same name. It chronicles a man and his son struggling to survive in the aftermath of the apocalypse. Viggo Mortensen masterfully plays a man who’s hope for humanity lies in teaching his son to “carry the fire” of goodness to the new civilization that will rise from the ashes of the apocalypse. This film tugs at your heartstrings by portraying a man’s deep love for his son in times of chrisis. The film also raises a deep ethical question: how far would you go to survive?

-Andrew Naquin, Student Library Assistant

WE RECOMMEND: Roman Holiday dir. William Wyler

Roman Holiday (1953), dir. William Wyler

Roman Holiday cover

Upon returning from a vacation in Italy, I was inspired to revisit a classic film from 1953. Roman Holiday follows the short-lived adventure of a runaway princess in the Eternal City. Audrey Hepburn, in her first starring role, plays Princess Ann. Hepburn’s performance earned her an Academy Award. Ann is heir to the throne of an unidentified country, and is making her way through a press tour of Europe. Frazzled by the constant and structured public appearances, she is given an injection to soothe her nerves. The princess breaks out from the embassy to begin an impromptu tour of the city while in an incoherent state. Joe Bradley, an American journalist played by Gregory Peck, reluctantly assists her.

Both the princess and the reporter attempt to conceal their true identities. Ann introduces herself as Anya, a schoolgirl on the run. Joe claims to be in the fertilizer industry. However, he has already recognized his new companion as the visiting dignitary. Indebted to seemingly everyone in the city, he is eager to publish an exclusive and lucrative interview with the royal. They soon engage in a carefree tour of the city on the back of a scooter.

Roman Holiday was shot entirely on location. The audience experiences the grandeur of many of the city’s famous sights, including the Coliseum, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, and the Victor Emmanuel II monument. Perhaps the most memorable scene in the movie involves the Mouth of Truth. The Church of Santa Maria has a large carving of a face whose mouth is purported to chomp off the hands of liars. Inserting a hand into the monument is problematic given the couple’s ruses. A thoroughly amusing film, Roman Holiday will make you long for a gelato or an espresso at a sidewalk café in some Italian square.

- Malia Willey, Instruction Coordinator

WE RECOMMEND: Sullivan’s Travels dir. Preston Sturges

Sullivan’s Travels (1942) dir. Preston Sturges

Sullivan's Travels DVD coverA steam locomotive barrels at high speed through the night, as two men desperately battle it out hand to hand until falling into a river.  This turns into three men in a screening room watching this film.  The director is unhappy, saying “I want to hold a mirror up to life.”  He argues with the studio executives about what kind of films to make in troubled times.  He wants to make a serious social commentary.  The studio wants light, fluffy entertainment.  The director decides to take off to travel, learning what problems common people have.  Everyone is against it; even his butler argues that the poor don’t need serious movies.  The studio threatens to sue him unless they can turn his travels into a publicity stunt.  They follow in a luxurious camper, with cook and staff in tow.  He tries to ditch the crew, but soon he gets into real trouble, first from a farm widow, and then he meets Veronica Lake in a diner.  She becomes his guide and companion through the underside of life.

Sullivan’s Travels is one of the funniest films about film and the place of art in everyday life.  It veers around, from slapstick to despair.  You have seen some of this before:  a kid driving hand-decorated car, prisoners watching a cartoon, even the title of the unmade film are all appropriated by the Coen Brothers in O Brother, Where Art Thou?  As the saying goes, “When you steal, steal from the best.”  And Sturges’ film is one of the best comedies of the nineteen forties or any time.

- Jim Hobbs, Online Services Coordinator


WE RECOMMEND: Philadelphia Story (Dir. by George Cukor)

The Philadelphia Story, directed by George Cukor

With its fast paced dialogue, its slapstick humor, and a plot revolving around an impending marriage; The Philadelphia Story is a classic “screwball comedy.” Katharine Hepburn plays Tracy Lord, a wealthy socialite who is to be married to a man from the “lower class,” George Kittredge (John Howard). Macaulay Connor (Jimmy Stewart), an aspiring writer and reluctant reporter for Spy Magazine, is assigned to cover the story of Tracy’s wedding. With the help of Tracy’s ex-husband, C.K Dexter Haven (Carey Grant), Macaulay and his photographer/ girlfriend Elizabeth Imbrie (Ruth Hussey) are introduced as friends of Tracy’s brother, and they are invited to stay at the Lord household for the wedding. Hilarity ensues as the characters discover that nobody is really who they appear to be and they soon learn the lesson that they cannot judge each other based on class membership (or any other preconceived notions). The characters learn the value of seeing each other simply as human beings.

The movie is a “must-see” especially because of the witty dialogue and the chemistry between the actors. Grant and Hepburn engage in such fast paced arguments and the clever insults fly effortlessly; the onscreen chemistry between the two is pretty remarkable. Hepburn and Stewart have many humorous and tender moments together as well, including a great scene which takes place in a library (library fans will be amused). Also, look out for Ruth Hussey’s character Liz, she has some of the best one-liners in the movie. Overall, The Philadelphia Story is a wonderful classic film; definitely not to be missed.

- Kayla Whitehead, Technical Services Assistant/Serials Specialist