Nonesuch Releases Philip Glass Box Set

In 1978, classical composer Philip Glass denounced Minimalism -- the term often applied to his work -- saying, "that word should be stamped out!" Thirty years later, as Nonesuch releases the ten disc set Glass Box: A Nonesuch Retrospective the composer may not have razed the word, but he has expanded his work in order to shed such trappings.

That said, Glass' most famous pieces are built around repetitive chord structures and stripped down instrumentation, where the most subtle changes become fault lines that resound in tonal shifts. The first four discs best exemplify this style, the standouts being his ambitious cycle Music in Twelve Parts and the solo piano elegy Glassworks. Also included are selections from Hydrogen Jukebox, his collaboration with poet-turned-librettist Allen Ginsberg, as well as the film scores for Koyaanisqatsi and Powaqqatsi, and the indelible opera, Einstein on the Beach. Although each disc contains pieces previously available as stand alone recordings, hearing the spectrum of Glass' work from the early 1960s to today clearly demonstrates the depth and breadth of his singular compositional vision.

Mysterious Skin

This amazing movie is based on Scott Heim's novel Mysterious Skin. The movie is an exploration into the sensitive and painful issues of childhood sexual abuse. One word can sum this movie up, "Powerful". It is powerful in its message, rawness, emotionality, acting, and its truth.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, plays the main character Neil, an emotionally detached gay teen who uses sex for money. Brady Corbet, plays the role of Brian, who has so effectively blocked the memory of his sexual abuse, that he has come to believe he may have been abducted by aliens.

Ten years after playing on a little league team together, the boys reunite. When Brian finally finds Neil again, he also finds his chance to unlock life altering secrets that he has been repressing for so long.

This shocking journey of discovery brings some closure to the years of insecurity and wondering Brian has had to endure. However, it also brings bitterness, hatred, anger, and finally acceptance for a chance at a new beginning. These characters are unforgettable. This movie takes no prisoners, and makes no compromises.

New dvds from Amazon now at Library

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Following are descriptions of four dvds that are new releases on Amazon and that are now either in our collection or on order. Get your name on the hold list now!

Sold Out: A Threevening with Kevin Smith. Smith, director of Clerks I & II is back, telling all as he reveals the hilarious true stories behind the making of Clerks II and Live Free or Die Hard.

Flight of the Red Balloon. Inspired by the classic 1956 Academy Award®-Winning short, The Red Balloon, Flight of the Red Balloon, like the original, is a tale of a boy, Simon and his increasingly fragile mother played by Juliette Binoche. When a Taiwanese film student, Song, is hired to help care for Simon, they form an extended family but each is locked in their separate dreams symbolized by the red balloon.

Son of Rambow on DVD

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The Son of Rambow is young Will Proudfoot, who is living in early 80s England in a tight religious household where music and television viewing are not permitted. He gets caught up in a mini-caper with the “bad boy” of the school, Lee Carter, and he ends up accidentally seeing part of a bootleg copy of Rambo: First Blood, which ends up turning his world upside down in the most delightful way. Will is a quiet, quirky boy who sits and draws in his notebooks, and after seeing the action-packed Rambo, his imagination runs wild. He also finds himself owing Carter “a favor”, which is to help him make a film to be entered in a film contest. Will is intrigued and quickly agrees to this chance to make a friend and be creative.

The film ends up being Will’s screenplay taken from his sketch pad, is inspired by the original Rambo, and is full of fun antics. As Will and Carter make the film they both have family issues to deal with that tests their unlikely, yet budding, friendship. The tagline on the DVD says “Make believe. Not war”, Which is what this charming and funny film encompasses. It’s about being young and carefree and lost in your own little world.

La Escuela Monday November 10

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There’s always a lot going on at the AADL and today is no different. Join us for the POV film La Escuela in the 4th Floor Meeting Room at 7:00 PM. A discussion will be facilitated by Deborah Hollands Des Jardin from the UM English Language Institute and Mabel Rodriguez of the UM Residential College.

Getting Your High School Musical Fix

Are you or your children fans of the High School Musical franchise? The third movie is in theatres now, not to be released on DVD until sometime in the spring of 2009, but AADL has both Disney channel versions. High School Musical the original and High School Musical 2 are both rated G and though made for the tween audience, are engaging enough for parents to enjoy.

Another movie similar in spirit to HSM is the 2007 musical Hairspray, based on the Tony-award-winning Broadway stage musical (itself based on the 1988 John Waters' directed Hairspray). Set in 1967, it tells the story of teenager Tracy Turnblad as she tries to broaden the minds of her peers in racially volatile Baltimore. Much of the movie takes place on an after-school dancing television show, and features HSM's Zac Efron in a starring role. John Travolta is almost unrecognizable as Tracy's mother. The movie is rated PG.

Gods and Monsters

The rush is on at the AADL to get a few scary movies before Halloween night, but if you're in the mood for something topical that's more riveting and less frightening, then check out Gods and Monsters on DVD. Released to critical acclaim in 1998, actor Ian McKellen plays the aging horror director James Whale, of Bride of Frankenstein and The Invisible Man fame, who is coping with the effects of a stroke when he befriends a young gardener, Clayton (played by Brendan Fraser), who sparks in him a reexamination of his life and work. Both an homage to Whale's pioneering horror films and a heartbreaking story of the deterioration of a brilliant mind, Gods and Monsters is a stirring film that sheds light on the early dark era of filmmakers.

More October Films

"The true-life tragedy of Evelyn Nesbit (1884-1967) supplies the framework for French director Claude Chabrol's latest romantic thriller" -A Girl Cut in Two, writes John Anderson of The Washington Post.

The story of Evelyn Nesbit is one of glamour, money, romance, madness, and murder. Famous by her sixteenth birthday in 1900, Gibson Girl Evelyn Nesbit was the most photographed woman of her era, an iconic figure who set the standard for female beauty. Women wanted to be her. Men wanted her. When her jealous millionaire husband, Harry K. Thaw, killed her lover--celebrity architect Stanford White, she found herself at the center of the "crime of the century" and the scandal that marked the beginning of a national obsession with youth, beauty, celebrity, and sex.

Author Paula Uruburu's American Eve : Evelyn Nesbit, Stanford White, the Birth of the "It" Girl, and the Crime of the Century (2008) is highly recommended for further reading on this sensational episode in our cultural history. Filmgoers might also want to check out the The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing, a 2007 reissue of the 1955 film that dramatized the Nesbit/Thaw/White triangle.

The Promotion on DVD

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The Promotion is a new hilarious workplace comedy. Doug (Seann William Scott) works as an assistant manager at a corporate grocery store and, according to his boss (Fred Armisen), is a “shoe in” to manage the new store that’s being built. That is until a do-gooder from Canada named Richard (John C. Reilly) shows up and gives Doug a run for his money. Loads of in-store antics take place as they compete for the promotion, while their eager wives (Jenna Fischer & Lili Taylor) look on, each convinced that their husband will take the prize in the end. Throughout the film both men are tested by corporate and by each other to play the game to come out ahead, with only minor tater tot throwing. A poignant line from the film is when Richard says to Doug, "We're all just out here trying to get food. Sometimes we bump into each other."

Happy Birthday Ang Lee!

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Born October 23, 1954 in Pingtung, Taiwan, Ang Lee has become one of today's greatest contemporary filmmakers. Stop by the AADL and browse our collection of his movies. For laughs try The Wedding Banquet (1993). For love and relationships choose Eat Drink Man Woman (1994) or Lee's version of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility (1995). For drama try The Ice Storm (1997) or Ride With The Devil (1999). For action try Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000) or Hulk (2003). For an Academy Award Winner, try Lee's heartbreaker Brokeback Mountain (2005). Fans of espionage and thrillers should check out Lee's most recent release Lust, Caution (2007). Taking Woodstock, Lee's latest project, is currently in production.

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