Matt Feazell: Comics to Screenplay

Hamtramck Cartoonist Matt Feazell will be at the Downtown Library on Friday, September 30 from 7:00-8:30 pm to talk about how he turned his comic strip into a movie. Join us for a chance to speak to the artist AND a sneak peek of clips from the movie: The Amazing Cynicalman. Feazell has been creating comics since the Carter administration. He was a regular contributor to Disney Adventures magazine (before the magazine was discontinued in 2007) and appears as a character in Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics.

Set Your Halloween Holds!

Halloween is coming up next month and boy does AADL have some great books and movies to get you in the spirit of the season! Just take a look at the lists below. There’s sure to be something for anyone that loves Halloween.

Find non-spooky books for kids that have ghosts, witches, or pirates in them. But what if the kid in question doesn’t scare easy? “Who you gonna call?” You can call on these lists to give them a bookish scare: all-around scary books for kids or something on a more specific topic.

Taking it up a notch, what are some good horror reads for the teen and adult age sets? There is a lot of overlap in this area, resulting in this dual purpose list. Everyone love zombies so teens and adults alike might find something to satisfy their craving with zombie literature and zombie love. Plus there’s always the less cool, more overdone werewolf stories.

Each age group might get a kick out of hearing local lore. Look no further than our list on Michigan Ghost Stories.

After all that reading, kick back with some old school monster or zombie movies. Don't forget to request some milder flicks for ghouls and boys, too.

Put your holds on quick before the list gets too long! Otherwise you’ll end up watching Halloween in December and the timing will be all off. Set your reserves fast!

War, Peace and Love

BBC Radio 4 is currently broadcasting a wonderful dramatization of Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate, an epic novel about World War II’s Battle of Stalingrad starring Kenneth Branagh, Greta Scacchi and Janet Suzman.

Completed in 1960, the KGB had the book itself arrested because it was at odds with the way Stalin wanted the war to be remembered. Grossman’s portrayal of soldiers and civilians didn’t jibe with official Soviet ideology and wasn’t published until it was smuggled out to the West in 1985. Now it is considered to be one of the most important Russian novels of the last century and many compare it to War and Peace. His daughter said of him “Many people lost their belief in human beings. He never did.”

Russian novels and films that portray the Great Patriotic War (that’s what the Russian people call WWII) present a perspective unfamiliar to many of us.

Living and the Dead by Simonov, written after Stalin’s death, freed the author to question military decisions and mishaps that caused enormous suffering and perhaps could have been avoided. Mirroring real life during the war, the fates of many of the characters remain unknown at the end of the novel.

Forever Nineteen by Baklanov is the story of a young Red Army artillery soldier on the Ukrainian front that depicts war, romance and sacrifice.

David Benioff’s City of Thieves, is a riveting account based on the author’s grandfather’s stories of survival during the 900 day Siege of Leningrad. I loved this book and hope it will be made into a movie.

The Cranes are Flying is a film notable for its realistic portrayal of women dealing with loss and not knowing the fate of their loved ones. It won the Palme d'Or at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival.

Ivan’s Childhood is a film about a 12 year old boy used as a spy on the Eastern Front and the soldiers who exploit and care for him at the same time.

Banned Books Week Film: "Shouting Fire: Stories From The Edge Of Free Speech"

Tuesday September 27, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

In observance of Banned Books Week (September 24 - October 1) AADL will hold a special screening of the acclaimed 2009 HBO film "Shouting Fire: Stories From The Edge Of Free Speech." This 80-minute film is not rated.

Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Liz Garbus explores the current state of free speech in America and gives viewers a fascinating perspective on the First Amendment throughout our history, using contemporary case studies dealing with the complex issue of limits on free speech at public gatherings, in school, in print and on the Internet.

Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment. Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States.

Time to LOL: More MST3K Films

If you’ve been scarfing down the many Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVDs AADL owns, and are ready for some new additions, you’re in luck. Joel Robinson and Mike Nelson, with Crow T. Robot, Tom Servo and Gypsy (yes, all robots!) will keep you laughing as they poke fun of the best of the worst movies- often science fiction B movies. These guys are the best at what they do. Hot off the delivery truck are some new discs for you to get on the hold list for.

Volume 14: Mad Monsters, Manhunt in Space, Soultaker, Final Justice

Volume 15: The Robot Vs. The Aztec Mummy, The Girl in Lovers Lane, Zombie Nightmare, Racket Girls

Volume 17: The Crawling Eye, The Beatniks, The Final Sacrifice, Blood Waters of Dr. Z

AADL Staff Picks Searchable Online!

AADL offers so many ways to locate new finds to suit your interests. You can search by topic through the community made booklists, tags, and reviews. You can ask for reading recommendations from one of our many friendly librarians or visit our Staff Picks shelves located at the Downtown Branch. Best of all, a recent update to the catalog allows you to search staff recommendations from any computer! Simply run a catalog search for Call Number “Staffpick.” If you’re looking for a certain material type indicate it in the materials drop down menu. Now you are free to peruse selections made by the AADL staff. A diverse group of workers means a diverse set of tastes, and there’s sure to be something for everyone in the AADL Staff Picks.

Film & Discussion: Blueprint America: Beyond the Motor City

Detroit, a symbol of America's diminishing status in the world, may come to represent the future of transportation and progress in America. This 90-minute PBS documentary looks at what transportation in American could be in the future. Focusing on Detroit, the film suggests that with lots of space and currently lacking a major public transportation system, Detroit is a likely starting point for reform.

This event is co-sponsored by theUniversity of Michigan Community Scholars' Program. The Blueprint America film discussion will be led by Professor Gregory Markus from the University of Michigan.

Thursday, September 22 | 6 - 8:30 PM | Downtown Library, 4th Floor Meeting Room

September's Books to Film

Drive, an action-packed speed thriller starring Ryan Gosling as a Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway vehicles for armed heists by night.
When he falls for Irene (Carey Mulligan), a vulnerable young mother dragged into a dangerous underworld, he find himself shifting gears and going on the offense. Based on the mystery novel Drive by James Sallis (also available in audio).

I Don’t Know How She Does It is based on the novel by Allison Pearson. Sarah Jessica Parker plays Kate Reddy, whose daily life is a non-stop balancing act - between her job and family. Complicating matters is Kate's charming new business associate Jack (Pierce Brosnan), who begins to prove an unexpected source of temptation.

Straw Dogs is based on The Siege of Trencher's Farm-Straw Dogs by British writer Gordon Williams. In this re-make of a 1971 film, David and Amy Sumner, a Hollywood screenwriter and his actress wife, return to her small hometown in the deep South to prepare the family home for sale after her father's death. Once there, tensions build in their marriage and old conflicts re-emerge with the locals, including Amy's ex-boyfriend Charlie, leading to a violent confrontation.

Killer Elite is based on a shocking true story that pits two of the world's most elite operatives --- Danny, an ex-special ops agent, and Hunter, his longtime mentor --- against the cunning leader of a secret military society. Originally published as The Feather Men by Ranulph Fiennes.

Michael Lewis's Moneyball : the art of winning an unfair game (also in audio) is now adapted in a film starring Brad Pitt as Billy Beane - the Oakland A’s general manager who reinvents his team to outsmart the richer teams by signing undervalued players considered flawed but who have a knack for winning games.

What’s Your Number? is based on the novel 20 Times a Lady by Karyn Bosnak. When Delilah Darling reads a survey revealing that most people have 10.5 sexual partners in their lifetime, she begins to feel like a tramp. She’s slept with 19 men so far --- almost twice the national average. Unwilling to up her number, but also unable to imagine a life of celibacy, Delilah tracks down every man she’s ever slept with in a last-ditch effort to make it work with one of them.

Somewhere

Sofia Coppola, spawn of mega-talented director Francis Ford Coppola, has honed her own writing and directing talent over the years. The films she writes tend to be personal: with The Virgin Suicides, Lost in Translation, Marie Antoinette, and now Somewhere, she has offered viewers her own view of the world. Her films are sparse in dialog and rich in analytical thought. She described Somewhere as the most low-stress, pleasant shoot she’s had.

In Somewhere, Stephen Dorff portrays Hollywood star Johnny Marco. He’s a hot, young actor, living in the star-studded Chateau Marmont in LA, and living the life, but not having much fun. After we get inside Johnny’s head we are introduced to his eleven-year-old daughter Cleo, played by Elle Fanning. The film focuses on the story of the two characters and their relationship, especially while living in the unique and lonely world of Hollywood and stardom. This surprise visit ultimately shakes Johnny and wakes him up. After Cleo leaves, he’s faced with the fact that he has to make a change, to go somewhere, he’s just not sure where.

Oscar-Nominated Film "The Illusionist"

Tuesday September 13, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Ready for magic and animation? Watch "The Illusionist" at the library! The film features an outdated, aging magician, forced to wander from country to country and city to city in search of a stage to perform his act. Along the way, he meets a young girl at the start of her life's journey. Their destinies collide, but nothing - not even magic or the power of illusion - can stop this voyage of discovery. The girl does not realize that she loves the Illusionist as a father. The Illusionist knows that he loves her as a daughter and is willing to stop at nothing to provide for her.

This movie was nominated for 2010's Oscar for Best Animated Film. Sylvain Chomet, the Oscar-nominated and critically acclaimed creator of "The Triplets of Belleville," adapted the script by French comedy genius Jacques Tati and brought it to life in his distinctive hand-drawn animated style.

This compelling 80-minute animated film is rated PG.

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