Sundance Film Festival – January 19-29, 2006

Today marks the beginning of the Sundance Film Festival, one of the most well known celebrations of American and international independent film. The Sundance Institute was founded by Robert Redford in 1981 in Park City, Utah. To learn more about the institute and the festival, check out their website.

I know I always look forward to watching the films that gain recognition through Sundance. Check out some of the past winners:

Grizzly Man – Best Documentary Feature, 2005

American Splendor – Grand Jury Prize, 2003

Sir Anthony Receives Golden Globe for Lifetime Achievement

Sir Anthony Hopkins recently received the Cecil B. DeMille Golden Globe Award for lifetime achievement. Throughout his career Hopkins has impressed audiences with his intensity and range by playing characters such as a butler, a swashbuckling hero, a classics professor, a grieving theologian, a fallen president, an abolitionist, a painter, and, of course, a cannibal. More recently, he's received praise for his role in The World's Fastest Indian.

Brokeback Big Winner at Golden Globes

Brokeback

"Brokeback Mountain" won best drama at the Golden Globes last night, and its director Ang Lee and screenplay writers Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana also took home awards. Heath Ledger lost to Philip Seymour Hoffman's "Capote", and Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon took home awards for their portrayals as Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash in "Walk the Line." Lost won best television drama and Empire Falls won best TV miniseries or movie.

Favorite TV Shows this Season

Lost

I just finished watching 24, did any one else see that? I've never watched it before, but after watching the the beginning of this season, I am seriously considering getting the earlier seasons from the library.

I know there are also a lot of Lost fans out there, and just so you know, we have the first season. If you have any thoughts or theories on this season's shows, this is the place to add them.

Shelly Winters: 1920-2006

Winters was best known for playing the blowsy woman the leading man would prefer to leave behind--from the wrong (and seriously wronged) woman in 1951's A Place in the Sun, for which she earned an Oscar nomination, to the mother in the way of James Mason's crush on Lolita )(1962). Check out her filmography at the Internet Movie Database.

DVDs for MLK Day

Blue-Eyed 2

The Complete Blue-Eyed: For over 30 years Jane Elliott, left, has been America's most highly acclaimed diversity trainer. Her powerful and controversial "blue eyed/brown eyed" exercise has had a life-changing impact on thousands in schools, corporations and government. The original "Blue eyed," the definitive record of her technique, proved so powerful that it has been made into three separate versions so it can be conveniently used in any setting. Also available at AADL is the follow-up documentary titled A Class Divided, which reunites the teacher and students 15 years later to analyze the enduring effects of the experience.

Other recommended DVDs:
February One (2003)
Boycott (2001)
Citizen King (2004)
Martin Luther King: "I Have a Dream" (2005)

Memorable Movie Cars

With Motor Trend magazine recently announcing their 2006 Car of the Year and the Detroit Auto Show opening to the public later this week, I've been thinking of some of the more memorable cars featured in movies. Here are a few that came to mind: the Mustang in Bullitt, the DeLorean in Back to the Future, the Mini Coopers in The Italian Job (1969) and The Italian Job (2003), the Shelby GT 500 in Gone in 60 Seconds, and all the tricked-out cars in The Fast and the Furious.

So, what are some of your favorite cars in movies or television? Or favorite car chase scenes?

Fabulous Fiction Firsts #3

Love Walked In, the auspicious debut from award-winning poet Marisa de los Santos earned high praise from the hard-nosed Kirkus Review folks–a rare feat considering its genre - Chicklit.

In this The Philadelphia Story meets Sex and the City, romantic and ambition-challenged Cornelia Brown envisioned life as a series of cinematic moments. So when Cary Grant (a.k.a.Martin Grace) walked into the café that she managed, you could almost hear the violin section striking up the theme song from A Man and a Woman. Happily-ever-after was threatened by the sudden appearance of 11 yr.old Clare. You think you know what happened next? Wrong!

Do yourself a favor, read this “clever, engaging, (and)timeless gem". (Film rights to Paramount with SJP to star). Certain to make future lists of Cinematheraphy.

New DVD Titles

The Library has recently acquired the Criterion edition of 1960's swordplay classics The Sword of the Beast, Samurai Spy, Kill!, and the excellent Samurai Rebellion, left, starring Toshiro Mifune. Also new--and from the same decade--is 1963's Jason and the Argonauts, which showcases Ray Harryhausen's brilliant use of stop-motion animation, and the family favorite Born Free (1966). While you're in the 1960s, this may also be a good time to revisit 1964's Mary Poppins and lend your voice to the fray over this week's news that Steven Spielberg is considering a remake.

The Play Ground

How time flies. Mozart would have been 250 years old this coming January. Remember that movie Amadeus?-he would have been only 228 then. The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra is celebrating this important milestone with MOZART'S 250TH BIRTHDAY BASH. Saturday, January 21, 8pm at the Michigan Theater. Roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news.

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