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.

2005 National Film Registry Titles

On Tuesday, the Librarian of Congress announced his annual selection of 25 films to be added to the National Film Registry. Among the feature titles are The French Connection, Cool Hand Luke, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Music Man, The Sting, A Raisin in the Sun, Toy Story, Hoop Dreams (the current Criterion release, left, is one of Entertainment Weekly's top DVD picks for the year), and this cult classic.

One Thumb Up--Roger Ebert's Best of 2005

Roger Ebert has announced his list of the best movies from 2005. The library has many of these movies in its collection and more are on the way. The list includes Fear and Trembling, Millions, Hustle and Flow, and two movies starring Joan Allen, The Upside of Anger and Yes. Ebert also mentions several movies that are candidates for his annual Overlooked Film Festival, including The Woodsman, starring Kevin Bacon.

What's on your best of 2005 list?

Comedy or tragedy?

In The Apartment (1960) Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine star as C.C. Baxter, an upwardly mobile insurance clerk and Fran Kubelik, the whimsical elevator girl in Baxter’s office building. Little does Baxter know that Miss Kubelik is having an affair with his boss—in Baxter’s apartment! One of Billy Wilder’s more emotionally complex comedies, The Apartment was nominated for ten Oscars in 1961 and won five of them.

Unconstitutional: The War on Our Civil Liberties

Including bipartisan testimony by lawyers, politicians and victims of the USA Patriot Act, this DVD discusses how the Patriot Act of 2001 has taken away checks on law enforcement and continues to endanger the civil liberties of all Americans under the guise of being part of the war on terrorism. Following in the footsteps of Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election and Uncovered: The War on Iraq, this hour-long documentary illustrates how paranoia, fear and racial profiling have led to gross infringements on freedom and democracy without strengthening national security.

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