Old Joy on DVD: Experience the joy of independent films

Old JoyOld Joy

Old Joy is a wonderful, subtle independent film that is based on a short story and was featured at The Sundance Film Festival. It features two old friends who decide to meet up for an impromptu night of camping in Oregon's Cascade Mountains. As they set out on the trip the uncomfortableness of two old friends who don't have much in common anymore becomes the silent third person on the trip. Will Oldham (Bonnie "Prince" Billy) perfectly plays the aging hippie, Kurt, who is attempting to "lead" them to a hard to find hot spring oasis that is supposed to awaken the senses and the mind. Mark is along for the ride, to get away from his own awkward relationship and to find something within himself. Original music by Yo La Tengo paints the natural landscape of the film and wonderfully fills in gaps where the communication isn't flowing. The film brings us to ponder: When you grow up do you really grow apart, how much of the past are we longing for, and better yet, how much of it just nostalgia for simpler times? What's worth holding to?

Dying Gaul

Robert Sandrich, played by Peter Sarsgaard, is a vulnerable and promising screenwriter living in Hollywood. He finds his life goal coming to fruition when he is offered a million dollars for his latest screenplay. The screenplay titled "The Dying Gaul", is a personal, raw, and heart wrenching account of his lovers' death.

However, Robert soon learns there is a catch to sealing the deal on his screenplay. The studio executive making the offer, Jeffrey Tishop, played by Campbell Scott, demands that Robert change his dead lovers' character to a woman instead of a man.

Robert, not caring if the change would make the screenplay more commercially viable, is demanding the writing be left as it is. He refuses to change the character so as not to compromise the authenticity of the screenplay. The manipulative Jeffrey Tishop turns out to be ruthless, and seduces Robert using his power, influence, and money.

Robert begins to confide in Jeffrey's wife Elaine Tishop, played by Patricia Clarkson. Elaine meets Robert in chat rooms anonymously, and they build an online relationship. As their online dialogue unfolds she discovers that Robert and her husband are having an affair. Elaine sets her sights on revenge, and begins plotting what will be an amazing ending.

Noteworthy October Biopics @ a Theater Near You


Based on the biography of Georgiana (Spencer), Duchess of Devonshire by Amanda Foreman, The Duchess is the story of an extraordinary woman who rose to fame by staying true to her passion in a world of protocol, gossip, and social rules - and paid the price. (The New York Times review)

Flash of Genius is adapted from a 1993 New Yorker article by John Seabrook, about a lone crusader doing battle with the big bad establishments - in this case, Ford and Chrysler.

In 1967, Dr. Robert W. Kearns, an electrical engineer and college professor invented and patented the intermittent windshield wiper, only to watch Ford steal the idea two year later for its redesigned Mustang. Read an early review from the Traverse City Film Festival's sneak preview of this Oscar-worthy film, starring Greg Kinnear.

Buddha of Suburbia on DVD

Buddha of SuburbiaBuddha of Suburbia

BBC’s four episode series based on Hanif Kureishi’s book of the same name, The Buddha of Surburbia is a lovely journey into the life and mind of Karim. A young man growing up in 1970s London with an English mother and an Indian father, he deals with clashing cultures, racism, unkind peers, family issues, and his own identity crisis and coming of age. As Karim struggles to find who he is and where he belongs, those he shares company with are doing the same thing. The characters are well developed and they add a sweet element of comedy to the drama. The episodes are laced with a lush 1970s aura of free love, fashion and music, with a soundtrack featuring all the David Bowie you could ask for.

Dig Into a Good Film


Diggers is set in a small town on Long Island the 1970s. It follows the story of four close-knit working class friends who are trying to get by and make a living as clam diggers. Their boats are small, the clams are harder to come by and a larger digging company is threatening the waters they’ve always called home. The death of Hunt’s father throws him and the rest of the gang for a loop. Hunt tries to deal with the death and find a proper way to let go of his father and also of his predictable small town life. A night in jail together ends up being the best medicine any of them could ask for, eventually thrusting them, namely Hunt, to a new place as friends and in life.

October Novels to Films

Winner of Best Film at the 2008 Boston Film Festival and an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival, Appaloosa is adapted from a western by Robert B. Parker . Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch are lawmen for hire, imposing the rule of the gun on 1883 Appaloosa, a chaotic frontier town in the New Mexico territory, in the grip of a ruthless rancher named Randall Bragg. Their progress, as well as their long-standing partnership is threathened when Allison French, a young widow comes to town. The New York Times film review called this a "cunning, understated sex comedy".

Blindness is based on Nobel-laureate Jose Saramago's novel - a compelling story of humanity in the grip of an epidemic of mysterious blindness. The National Federation of the Blind is protesting that the film "would do substantial harm to the blind of America and the world", portraying them as "incompetent, filthy, vicious and depraved". This film was selected to open the 2008 Cannes International Film Festival.

In Choke, based on Chuck Palahniuk's novel, sex-addict and colonial theme-park worker, Victor Mancini, has devised a complicated scam to pay for his mom's hospital bills. He pretends to choke on food in a restaurant and the person who "saves" him will feel responsible for Victor for the rest of their lives. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Check out The New York Times review.

Film & Discussion: KING CORN

king cornking corn

Recent college graduates Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis leave the east coast for rural Iowa, where they decide to grow an acre of the nation's most powerful crop. They find that America's most subsidized crop has become the staple of its cheapest - and most troubling - foods. Watch the film and join the post-discussion led by UM Community Scholars. Cosponsored by Michigan Television and University of Michigan Community Scholars Program.

Check here for background to the making of the film or get the scoop on taking the eating challenge. Can you go a month without eating corn? Probably not. Thursday, September 25 | 6:30 - 8:30 pm Downtown Library 4th Floor Meeting Room

Michael Moore in Ann Arbor Today

Pulp Tree

Michael Moore will be at the Michigan Theater today to talk a bit then premiere his latest film "Slacker Uprising". The film is about Moore's tour of the US during the 2004 presidential campaign.

Doors open at 4 p.m. Film at 6:20. Admission is free.

Wall Street and You

wall streetwall street

Brokerage Accounts, Money Market Funds, Insurance Policies and Market Turmoil--

If you have a brokerage account at Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers or elsewhere your assets are kept separate from the firm’s assets, are protected by SIPC and Securities and Exchange Commission rules. Your holdings are not subject to any liquidation that the company possibly would go through. Merrill Lynch did not go bankrupt and the merger with Bank of America creates a much stronger financial position for the firm. Lehman Brothers Brokerage Unit also did not file for bankruptcy, it was their parent company, brokerage assets there are safe, accessible and protected also.

New dvds mentioned on Amazon coming soon to your library!


The following three dvds are currently on order. Holds are piling up quickly, so get your name on the list:

The Promotion. Two managers in a Chicago supermarket vying for the same promotion (Seann William Scott and John C. Reilly) each show their ugly side in this low-key but very funny take on one side of the corporate world.

Then She Found Me. Helen Hunt both directs and stars in this film about a divorced woman (Hunt) who meets her birth mother (Bette Midler) after her adoptive mom dies. Also on the scene are Matthew Broderick (her ex) and her divorced dad (Colin Firth). Hunt does a great job portraying April who must deal with enormous changes, showing all her rough edges.

Married Life. Chris Cooper plays Harry who decides he must kill his wife played by Patricia Clarkson so that she will not suffer when he leaves her for a younger woman. But the plot thickens when Harry's friend, Richard falls for the same woman and plans go awry.

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