Author Arthur C. Clarke dies

Arthur ClarkeArthur Clarke

Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke died yesterday at the age of 90 in Sri Lanka. In addition to his script for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, for which he and director Stanley Kubrick shared an Academy Award nomination (it was based on Clarke’s 1951 short story, "The Sentinel”), Clarke was the prolific author of several novels, short stories, and non-fiction works. He's also widely credited with introducing the idea of the communications satellite.

Read more at CNN.

The enchanting Northfork on DVD

It’s 1955 in Northfork, Minnesota and the town will soon be flooded by a local dam. A group of men in black have the task of evacuating the town, and in doing so they encounter some rather interesting inhabitants of some of the houses. One of which is the young and ill Irwin who was abandoned by his parents and left to die in the home of Father Harlan. His journey to death is quite an extraordinary one, as he is convinced that he is an angel with scars to prove it and he tries to convince a quirky band of angels that he is one of them. At times reality blurs with dreams in this original, striking and magical masterpiece directed my Mark Polish (who also directed Twin Falls Idaho). The film features James Woods, Nick Nolte, Daryl Hannah, Anthony Edwards, and Kyle MacLachlan.

Film Jumper is out

Jumper is off my list of must-see movies, even though Ann Arbor scenes apparently include the library. Reviews have been pretty negative; I think one called it "barely coherent." OK. So now I have time to see Oscar winner No Country for Old Men.

Dvd new releases on Amazon

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Following are three films acquired by the Library that were recently listed on Amazon's new releases. Get your name on the waiting list now. Holds are piling up!

Across the Universe. The political turmoil of the '60's and a powerful love story are conveyed through a multitude of Beatles songs.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Based on the novel by Ron Hansen, the movie is about James late in his career a few hours before his last train robbery. Brilliantly acted by Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck.

Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Cate Blanchett plays the fiery Virgin Queen in this sequel to Elizabeth. Later in her reign, the Queen must contend with bothers like the Spanish Armada and the betrayal of Mary Stuart as well as an attraction to the dashing Sir Walter Raleigh (Clive Owen).

Sherman Alexie on DVD

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Native American Author Sherman Alexie’s words, thoughts and poetry read like butter. Among his many books he has written two screenplays based on his books, both dealing with surviving life on the reservation and with struggling interpersonal relationships.

He wrote Smoke Signals based on his novel of short stories The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven. The film follows two Native American men, Victor and Thomas-Builds-the-Fire, who are cousins that are anything but friends. Growing up together on “the rez” was rough. They had both good times and bad, and eventually those on the reservation could only take so much of Thomas’ stories. An event happens in Victor’s life and he needs help and Thomas steps up to help his cousin in an unforgettable way.

The Business of Fancydancing is based on his poetry and it is wonderful to see how Alexie translates written poetry into visual poetry with plot. Aristotle and Seymour attended college together. Aristotle left and went back to the “the rez” not doing much of anything, while Seymour stayed and later became an accomplished writer. A funeral brings Seymour “home” and he and Aristotle together again for the first time in fifteen years.

XO

This Valentine's Day make romantic movies part of your special evening!

French Film Girl would like to share her top ten absolute "romantilicious" film faves with you...

Titanic....Haunting
Chocolat.....Delicious
Dr. Zhivago.....Yearning
Henry & June........Exotic
The Notebook...........Dreamy
Cold Mountain.............Chivalrous
The Lover........................Passionate
Wuthering Heights..............Obsession
The English Patient.................Lovesick
Like Water For Chocolate.............Steamy

Many accoutrements are available to you so you can create the perfect ambiance for your Valentine evening... candles, champagne, flowers, and chocolate are always fantastique!

Stardust

StardustStardust

Best movie of 2007 (in my opinion anyway) now available at the library! It's based on the illustrated novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman. If you haven't seen it, put it on hold or rent it from our Zoom Lends today!

I was expecting to be supremely disappointed by this movie, but watching an interview with Neil Gaiman coaxed me into seeing it. I'm glad I did. I loved this movie. This was one of the best fantasy movies I've seen in years. Period. I really shouldn't have doubted Neil. Of course, to be fair, it was actually Hollywood I was doubting which I think is entirely fair. The God of movies is often fickle and cruel, but every so often true gems fall to Earth from his devilish workshop and Stardust is one of those gems.

Amazon DVD new releases now at Library

night at the museumnight at the museum

Following are three new dvds highlighted on Amazon's "Hot New Releases" that are available at the Library:

Night at the Museum. Ben Stiller stars as Larry Daley, who, low on funds, takes a job as night watchman at New York City's Museum of Natural History. What the soon-to-retire guards (Dick Van Dyke, Mickey Rooney, Bill Cobbs) don't tell him is that an ancient pharaoh's tablet in the museum causes everything on display to come to life at night. (edited from Amazon).

A bit of Australian Cinema

Australian movies set in boarding schools! Who knew! (Both part of the Australian New Wave movement in cinema.) One of them is Flirting (1991). It’s set in 1965 where the laid back, brooding and edgy Danny is trapped in an oppressive “yes sir” boarding school. He is an outsider in his class and he soon befriends the beautiful Ugandan Thandiwe from the girls’ school across the lake. Sparks fly and they spend time sneaking rowboats across the lake to see each other, and soon their young love gets them into trouble.

A bit of a contrast, though also set at an Australian boarding school, is Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975). Peter Weir’s film is more quiet, mysterious and artistic in nature. A group of girls set out for a picnic at Hanging Rock on Valentine’s Day in 1900 and four of them go missing, never return and the mystery is never solved- which makes the film even more compelling. (This film is based on Joan Lindsay’s novel of the same name.) Need more Aussie films?

Wuthering Heights

Our gray rain filled skies bring to mind one of my favorite stories of all time...

Wuthering Heights, the only novel written by Emily Bronte, was published in 1847.

Generally considered a classic, this is a tale about a passionate, turbulent, and ultimately engulfing love affair.

The symbolic setting of the story, which takes place on the Yorkshire Moors, adds an air of apprehension and foreboding to the story. The continually turbulent weather, gives us a glimpse into the romance between Heathcliff and Catherine Linton.

The love affair between Heathcliff and Catherine is brilliantly illumated by Bronte to show us the power of true love. This power can bring about obession, destruction, and misery just as easily as it can bring about euphoria, lust, and bliss.

Neverminding the rain, make yourself a cup of tea, or pour a nice glass of wine. Snuggle down under the softest blanket you can find, and read the novel or watch the DVD. Don't be alarmed if you hear scratching at your window pane or see a beautiful rain soak woman looking in desolately.

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