Pretty in Pink 30th Anniversary!

Pretty in Pink will be back on the big screen in theaters next week! The movie will be shown in select theaters nationwide, including Ann Arbor, on February 14 and 17 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film. How cool is that?! Yes, it’s been that long since the film’s release.

The 1986 film is a classic 80s flick directed by John Hughes. It stars Molly Ringwald in pink as Andie. Jon Cryer wonderfully portrays her male BFF Duckie, and her hunky crush Blaine is played by Andrew McCarthy. It’s a classic high school love triangle in classic 80s fashion -- just a bit more pink. Add in more quirky friends, a rich vs. poor social dynamic, a popular bully, and a stellar soundtrack… and you’re all set! The film version shown in theaters will include the alternate ending where Andie ends up with the other guy.

It's Blind Date with a Book season!

Stop by any of the AADL locations for a sweet February surprise! Adults and teens will find Blind Date with a Book displays, where one can hopefully find the mysterious book of their dreams! Books (and movies!) wrapped in butcher paper have a short description of what the material inside contains… but you’ll have to check out the item and take it home to unwrap to find out if it’s really meant for you!

Kids aren’t left out either! There are Surprise Book displays at every location too, where kids will find mystery books and movies wrapped up with only hints written on them to imply what’s inside. These displays will be up for the entire month of February, so don’t miss your chance to find your match.

The End of the Tour

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of David Foster Wallace’s (1962-2008) magnum opus Infinite Jest, so it’s a great time to revisit the 1996 work.

At the time the book was published Rolling Stone Magazine sent reporter David Lipsky to follow Wallace on his book tour promoting the book.

The five-day interview didn’t get published in the magazine but became Lipsky's New York Times-bestselling book Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace in 2010. The book was recently adapted for screen which resulted in the film The End of the Tour.

The End of the Tour stars Jason Segel as Wallace and Jesse Eisenberg as Lipsky. Lipsky tags along on a road trip with Wallace and they have conversation after conversation on just about everything, with Lipsky getting it all on tape. It’s a striking look at how you view yourself, and then once you are well-known how others perceive you. It begs the question – does it really matter? I haven’t read Infinite Jest, but I’m super curious about the brain of David Foster Wallace, and found the movie provocative and thought provoking about what rests in the minds of those we label genius.

TV Spotlight: Broad City

Four and three and two and one. The hilarious Comedy Central show Broad City follows two best friends in their twenties living in New York City. Low on money and high on friendship, shenanigans and crazy situations, Abbi and Ilana never leave you starving for a laugh.

Bed Bath & Beyond lover Abbi is a struggling artist working as a custodian in a gym where she longs to be a trainer. Ilana is a crop-top wearing slacker who “works” at a nondescript office where she naps in the bathroom and does nothing but annoy her office-mate. Between jobs, relationships and partying there's plenty of time for big dreams and wacky schemes every day of the week in the big city.

The show initially started as a web series and was created by the show’s stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson who met while taking classes at Upright Citizens Brigade. Season three begins in February, so get yourself caught up with these mad funny women.

Alan Rickman's Legacy

London born British actor and director Alan Rickman died of cancer today, January 14, at age 69. His prolific and versatile acting career of almost forty years spanned stage productions with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the late 70s and early 80s, and Broadway productions as late as 2001, for which he was nominated for the Tony award. In film he was perhaps most beloved for his role as Professor Severus Snape in all eight Harry Potter adaptions. In 1997 he won both a Golden Globe and an Emmy for his performance in Rasputin ('96). His deep, hypnotic voice has been his un-asked for trade mark, and despite his late start as an actor at age 26, his master-hood of the craft places his legacy among the giants of film.

Three of my personal favorites from his film career are:

Sense and Sensibility ('95). This adaption of Jane Austin's classic 19th century novel about two sisters (actresses Emma Thompson and Kate Winslet), opposite in character, who learn from each others failures and triumphs in matters of the heart. Rickman plays Colonel Brandon, whose patience and trueness of heart triumphs over his better-looking but false rival in love.

Love Actually ('03). This British film with a host of beloved actors (Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Colin Firth, Kierra Knightley, Liam Neeson) charts the interwoven stories of eight couples, who must through different journies learn from their mistakes, forgive, and decide what matters. Rickman plays father and husband, Harry; a business executive who is tempted with infidelity.

Alice in Wonderland ('10). Tim Burton's adaptation of Lewis Carroll's famous children's story, where fantasy and adventure blend in a magical world of talking rabbits, live chess pieces, a vicious queen, a mad hatter, and an enigmatic and enlightened caterpillar (Rickman as the voice).

Rediscover your favorite Alan Rickman films, or be surprised by what you didn't know he played in through this list of his filmography.

Bowie Lives On

What can one say about such an influential icon as David Bowie that has not been said already? He was never one to be pigeon holed into one look or one style of music. From the '60s hippie days of Space Oddity with the hit “Major Tom” to the glam rock 70s of Ziggy Stardust, Bowie was forever changing and adding new personas. Following Ziggy were such blockbusters as Aladdin Sane (“Panic In Detroit” was on this one), Diamond Dogs with its soul/funk beats and the break out hit, “Rebel, Rebel”, then Young Americans with the popular song, “Fame”, co-written with John Lennon which became his first number one hit in the U.S.

In the late '70s he changed his persona again into the elegant Thin White Duke with the album Station to Station and another memorable tune, “Golden Years”. Ahead of his time in so many ways, he experimented with electronic, ambient, and world music alongside Brian Eno to create the experimental Berlin Trilogy of albums: Low, Heroes, and Lodger. Artists, like Philip Glass would be highly influenced by his work during this time.

With the '80s came the album Scary Monsters which some consider to be his last great album with hits such as “Ashes to Ashes” and “Fashion”. But then came the hit album, Let’s Dance, with Chic guitarist, Nile Rodgers, producing and the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughn on lead guitar. On this one album Bowie had several memorable songs including “China Girl” and “Modern Love”, and once again he led the way but this time in music videos especially for the title track. Next was Tonight with the hit, “Blue Jean” which garnered him a Grammy for best music video. Lesser albums like Never Let Me Down rounded out his '80s releases. He then had a short-lived rock quartet called Tin Machine at the start of the '90s. After they disbanded, he returned to solo work starting with Black Tie, White Noise but none of them quite lived up to the commercial success of previous albums. However his last album, Blackstar was just released, and has earned rave reviews. See music videos for the album here. If you are looking for a best of album check out Best of Bowie which includes the single “Under Pressure”.

Bowie was also a noted actor on stage as the Elephant Man and in some unique movie roles such as a vampire in the Hunger, an alien in the Man Who Fell To Earth, a prisoner of war in Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, king of the goblins in Jim Henson’s the Labyrinth, and portraying Andy Warhol in Basquiat. He produced albums as well like those for his good friend Iggy Pop (the Idiot), and was a well-respected post-modernist painter. This of course was a brief overview of his most notable works and to read more thoroughly about him there are plenty of websites and books to fill the gaps.

If you want to remember him on twitter type #bowieliveson or post a comment below. For me, the song "Blue Jean" still gets me dancing. You can watch the video to it here. He definitely has the cheekbones to pull off that makeup!
RIP Bowie

Golden Globe Award Winners

Last night the 73rd Golden Globe Award winners were announced in top categories for motion pictures and television from the past year. It’s always fun to see the winners and speculate who will also win at the Oscars.

Best Motion Picture – Drama went to The Revenant, which is in theaters now (also winning Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture for Leonardo DiCaprio and Best Director for Alejandro Iñárritu), Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy went to The Martian (also winning Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture for Matt Damon), Best Motion Picture – Animated went to Inside Out, and Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language went to Son of Saul.

As for TV Series… Best Television Series – Drama went to Mr. Robot, Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy went to Mozart in the Jungle, and Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television went to Wolf Hall.

Be sure to check out the full list of winners to see who won in all categories.

Ready, Set, BAKE!

Have you gotten hooked on The Great British Baking Show yet? Whether you are watching on Netflix or catching it on PBS, it's adorable and addictive, and will send you searching for a Victoria sponge recipe that uses American measurements.

Here are some ways AADL can foster your newly-awakened baking obsession:

Bakers looking to stretch their skill sets will find the recipes and instruction they need in The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion: All-Purpose Baking Cookbook, which covers everything from A (apple pie) to Y (yeast breads), and probably something that starts with Z, too. Along with helpful technique tips, this cookbook provides ingredient and equipment advice helpful to bakers at all levels.

Dorie Greenspan's Baking: from my home to yours is a gem - Greenspan is a true expert and offers recipes ranging from easy to ambitious, but she provides plenty of illustrations and guidance along the way. Her World Peace cookies are not to be missed.

There's also The Cook's Illustrated Baking Book: baking demystified with 450 recipes from America's most trusted food magazine, or Baking Illustrated: a best recipe classic, both produced by the team at Cook's Illustrated, and which are heavily tested and laboriously detailed. As the founder of Cook's Illustrated, Christopher Kimball has cemented his reputation as a provider of precise instruction, and he's built a dedicated fanbase through hosting PBS' America's Test Kitchen and his appearances on public radio's The Splendid Table.

If bread is more your cup of tea than sweet desserts, try Flour Water Salt Yeast: the fundamentals of artisan bread and pizza by Portland, OR-based Ken Forkish. Bakers who are serious about bread will find both excellent recipes and the reasons why they work in this bread-baking bible. For bread-lovers who do have a sweet tooth, Beard on Bread by the inimitable James Beard is a good fit. Like all of Beard's work, it is eminently readable, but the recipes within are a little sweeter and softer than bakers interested in a more artisan-approach may desire.

True disciples of The Great British Baking Show may have to check out Mary Berry & Lucy Young Cook Up a Feast just to satiate their Mary Berry fixation. She's a good-hearted master home baker who provides tried-and-true methods for foolproof recipes, and instructions for getting things done ahead of time so you can properly enjoy an event for which you are baking.

Fiction lovers might enjoy The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughn, a story about contestants in a baking competition who learn a thing or two about attempting to leave their real-life struggles behind and aiming for culinary perfection. There's also Simply From Scratch by Alicia Bessette, about a widow who enters a baking contest to shake off her grief, and ends up finding a friend in a motherless neighbor girl who came for the desserts, but finds more benefit in the companionship.

Knead any more proof of AADL's baking resources? No? How about another baking pun? No again? Well, happy baking, friends!

New TV Shows @ AADL

The library is always acquiring additional TV shows and new seasons of them, be they hot and new, or oldies but goodies. Here are some new-to-AADL series:

The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret
Follows the awkward misadventures of an American office temp and convenient liar named Todd Margaret. Margaret bluffs his way into a senior sales position heading up the London office for the new energy drink Thunder Muscle. His out-of-control farce reaches epic proportions when his gaffes and misfortunes wreak havoc on the city of London.

Shetland, Seasons 1 & 2
Follows DI Jimmy Perez and his team as they investigate crime within the close knit island community. In this isolated and sometimes inhospitable environment, the team have to rely on a uniquely resourceful style of policing.

Unreal, Season 1
A behind-the-scenes look at the chaos surrounding the production of a dating competition program.

The Soul Man, Season 1 & 2
Boyce 'The Voice' Ballantine was an R&B star living the life, until he got 'the calling' to become a preacher. Relocating from Las Vegas to St. Louis with his family, Reverend Boyce and his family have to get used to some changes. Not quite ready to give up their superstar lifestyles, wife Lolli and daughter Lyric have some trouble settling down.

Fore more TV shows, be sure to check out AADL’s lists for HOT TV shows, as well as NEW TV shows.

TV Spotlight: Sherlock the Abominable Bride

This past weekend the much anticipated Sherlock: The Abominable Bride aired on PBS with much buzz! For those that missed the 90 minute special, it will air again on January 10, and you can always add yourself to the list of holds if you need to see it again and again… because Sherlock!

This new episode takes Sherlock and Watson to 221 B Baker Street in the 1890s with new mysteries to solve, the big one being a murder involving the abominable bride. It was fantastic to see Sherlock, Holmes, Mrs. Hudson and the gang back together again. And it was a riot to see them during a different time period! You might be wondering how they can just go back in time and be themselves, but it all works swimmingly and is super fun! And as always, it's a great idea to view seasons 1-3 again.

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