Idlewild

According to Sunday's Ann Arbor News, Idlewild, the new film opening this week, is named after the famous Lake County Michigan resort, otherwise known as the Black Eden of Michigan in the 1920s and '30s and the Summer Apollo of Michigan in the 1950s and '60s. Idlewild, Michigan, hosted great jazz acts in its day, including Duke Ellington, and was the vacation spot of choice for such black luminaries as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston. Even W.E.B. Du Bois owned a home there. But the film itself is set in Georgia and its "Idlewild" is a small-town speakeasy. It does take place during the same period and features the music of OutKast (a bit of a historical stretch, but oh well). So far, reviews are mixed but Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gives it an A-.

You can read more about the real Idlewild in Idlewild: the Black Eden of Michigan by Ronald J. Stephens.

2006 Emmy Awards

Conan O'Brien hosts the Emmy Awards this Sunday, August 27, at 8:00 p.m. Here are a few of this year's contenders:
Made for TV Movies:
Flight 93 (on order, September)
Flight that Fought Back (not yet available)
The Girl in the Cafe
Mrs. Harris (on order, September)
Yesterday (on order, September)
Drama series
Grey's Anatomy
House
Sopranos
24
West Wing

Check out the Emmy Awards website or the Saturday Ann Arbor News for a complete listing.

Great Article on Wikipedia

New Yorker image

The July 31 New Yorker magazine has a fabulous article, "Annals of Information: Know It All: Wikipedia takes on the experts," which begins, "On March 1st, Wikipedia, the on-line interactive encyclopedia, hit the million-articles mark, with an entry on Jordanhill, a railway station in suburban Glasgow." Pulitzer Prize winner Stacy Schiff wrote the New Yorker article, which you can access through General Reference Center Gold. Or check out the July 31 New Yorker from the periodicals area of one of our libraries.

Gen Con or Bust!

I went to Gen Con, the Best Four Days in Gaming, this weekend in Indianapolis. It was really awesome. I saw tons of new card games, board games, and role playing games. I also found out some cool stuff like the book Dragonology is now a board game. The new video game based on Eragon was available to play even though it doesn’t come out until November, and there was big talk about the movie coming out in December.

Castro on Film

On Monday, prior to undergoing major surgery, 79-year-old Fidel Castro handed the reins to his brother, Raúl, leading many to wonder if it will soon be Springtime for Cuba? Now seems a good time to look back at the man on film. The Library carries the following DVDs: 2005's Fidel Castro and Fidel Castro: El Comandante. For more flavor, there's 1974's Waiting For Fidel; El Che; and various films detailing the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Beach Reads #5 (admittedly borrowed...)

beachreads6

Billed as the British version of Oprah's Book Club, the vastly popular "Richard (Madeley) & Judy (Finnigan)" talk show has its very own RICHARD & JUDY'S SUMMER READ!.

The 2006 list is selected by Amanda Ross who is the joint managing director of Cactus TV, which produces the show, and was recently named the No. 1 most influential person in British publishing.

Instead of the authors or experts, a panel of celebrities is invited to discuss the books (only paperback titles are considered) on air. Richard & Judy are pleased that "The books are there to be read and enjoyed and talked about sensibly, not in the rarefied ways of a wine buff or a food critic, but in the way the rest of the world does".

Don't be surprised to find U.S. titles and some very familiar names, and what a great way to get to know new ones.

WebSpace: The Movies?

An article from Sunday's NY Times, "Hollywood Clicks on the Work of Web Auteurs," discusses the 11-minute online hit, MySpace: The Movie and the type of filmmaking fare the web is likely to spawn in the future. Times contributor Walter Kirn, author of the novel Thumbsucker, which was recently made into a feature film, makes the following comments: "The Net is a self-consciously anti-authoritarian audience. They are spit-ballers, defacers, vandals, skeptics. It's a class without a teacher. The movies that succeed on it will have those properties....The Net is going to unleash a hybrid talent and a hybrid sensibility. What it needs is an Orson Welles, an unclassifiable polymath...."

Into the Wild

Sean Penn is currently filming Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild (1996) about Chris McCandless' ill-fated Alaskan wilderness odyssey of 1992. Although the book is dramatic enough, it's unlikely Penn will spin off, as Krakauer does, into the intriguing stories of other fanatical adventurers--Everett Ruess, John Waterman, Gene Rosellini--who also ventured off into the wild full of ideals and hubris, never to return. Part cautionary tale, Krakauer also does his bit to counter those who would dismiss the bright, Tolstoy-quoting Jack London-loving McCandless as mere crackpot by setting him within the context of other intensely motivated nature lovers (John Muir, Henry David Thoreau) who also retreated from society into the seductive refuge of nature.

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