American Graffiti

Brother from Another Planet, starring Joe Morton and directed by John Sayles, comments on stepping outside color and observing culture simultaneously. This engenders the process that allows one to fully identify with what society deems adequate behavior. Even though the main character of the movie is unfamiliar with his new environment he quickly learns how to dress according to community standard and the consequences of reacting inappropriately. The most interesting part of the story includes the background graffiti. Harlem's graffiti allows the main character to exhibit his voice through tagging.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

breast cancer ribbon

Here are some of the titles available on VHS and DVD: Breast Cancer Journey, a PBS film which explores the emotional journey of 17 women who have had breast cancer; Breast Self Exam and Breast Health; Will Mom Be OK? Families Talk about Breast Cancer; and Fighting For Our Future, which features the stories of young women in their 20's and 30's battling breast cancer who are often misdiagnosed and are determined to make changes.

Is it safe? Is it safe?

Do you really hate going to the dentist? Well, I guarantee that you don't hate it as much as Dustin Hoffman's character in The Marathon Man. Directed by John Schlesinger, who also directed Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy, this thriller features one of the classic torture scenes in all of film history. After experiencing it, you'll definitely be yearning for the sound of silence.

Go to the head of the class

Make sure you've read the book before you see the movie. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe opens on December 9, 2005. This is sure to be popular.

Functional Filmmaking

When is a film more than just a movie? When the subject is portrayed in a way that the audience is forced to rethink their opinions? Try again. Randall Adams would contend that The Thin Blue Line had more of an effect on the world than any other. Adams was pardoned and released from Death Row as a direct result of this film by legendary documentary filmmaker Errol Morris. TBL was recently released on DVD as part of The Errol Morris Collection. Original music by Philip Glass.

While You're Waiting For...

...Lords of Dogtown, you might want to check out Thirteen (same director); or Yeah, Right, a documentary by Spike Jonze about some of the world's best skateboarders; or Dogtown and Z-boys, the true story of the Zephyr skateboarding team from Venice (CA's) Dogtown.

Good Night, and Good Luck

"Good Night, and Good Luck", the signature sign-off of legendary broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow, is the title of George Clooney's second directorial effort. Edward Murrow is most famous for taking on Joseph McCarthy and his aggressive tactics during the Red Scare. The library's collection includes The Edward R. Murrow Collection, a multi-disc DVD set featuring Murrow's work and his influence on broadcast journalism. Point of Order, a recent documentary featuring clips from the 1954 McCarthy-Army hearings, and Guilty by Suspicion, starring Robert DeNiro, are also recommended.

Viewing Chief Justice John Roberts

on our own terms

One thing we did learn about Chief Justice John Roberts during his confirmation hearings is that his two favorite movies are Doctor Zhivago and North By Northwest. Now that the Supreme Court is tackling the delicate subject of physician-assisted suicide, I might suggest A Death of One's Own. This episode from On Our Own Terms: Moyers on Dying "...unravels the complexities underlying the many choices at the end of life, including the bitter debate over physician-assisted suicide. Three patients, their families, and their doctors discuss some of the hardest decisions, including how to pay for care, what constitutes humane treatment, and how to balance dying and dignity." "...beautifully and sensitively illustrates the need to put humane and empathetic treatment back into the dying process...Highly recommended. Editor's Choice." (Video Librarian)

The lure of Madame Satã

The directorial debut of Karim Ainouz’s, Madame Sata, is a pictorial marvel detailing the life of Joao Francisco dos Santos, a black Brazilian living in 1930’s racially and socially oppressive Lapa (northern Brazil). Joao (Lazaro Ramos), along with Laurita, (Marcelia Cartaxo) his best friend and Tabu, (Flavio Bauraqui) his pseudo household maid, construct a colorful yet restrained, irrational yet tender, spellbinding yet dark world through prostitution, drug usage and fantasy. Having the desire to rise above his meager lifestyle, Joao aspires to be a celebrated stage entertainer and loved by the public.

In the Realms of the Unreal

"The term 'outside artist' has never been so apropos, or so wistfully sad, as it is in the true case of Henry Darger, who spent his childhood in a home for 'feebleminded children' and his adulthood in near seclusion, working as a janitor and, in secret, on a 15,000-page epic novel with accompanying illustrations. Even those closest to him, relatively speaking--his landlady and a neighbor--did not know about his creative output until his death at the age of 81, after which his fantasy world came to light. Jessica Yu's In the Realms of the Unreal is an extraordinarily respectful documentary portrait of this strange, childlike man....highly recommended." (Video Librarian) Nominated for the 2004 Grand Jury Prize, Sundance Festival.

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