Choosing classy cheeses and fawning over fantastic foods... with a rat?

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If you consider yourself a foodie who loves to discuss the intricacies of a fine cheese or the layers of flavour in a well prepared dish, then I have the movie for you! Pixar's latest film, Ratatouille, is about a talented rat who aspires to become a great chef. The film is getting rave reviews from the New York Times and NPR, amongst others, and begins playing in town today! So grab the kids, some good cheese and head for the theater!

Happy Birthday, Lloyd Dobler!

Today is John Cusack’s birthday. You remember John Cusack, don’t you? His current flick showing in theaters now, 1408, is a thriller, but he’s best known for his fast talking charming characters in various romantic comedies and those unforgettable eighties flicks. His filmography is huge, here are some of my favorites available on DVD: Better Off Dead, One Crazy Summer, Say Anything, Grosse Pointe Blank, and Being John Malkovich.

Nancy Drew on screen

A movie adaptation of the popular girl’s detective and adventure series, Nancy Drew, reaches theater screens June 15th. In the film, Nancy is conspicuously out of place as a student at Hollywood High, but soon, she is up to her old ways investigating the death of actress Dehlia Draycott. Interesting factoid, Carolyn Keene is actually a pseudonym for the many different writers that penned the series since it was created in 1930. For example, Mildred Wirt Augustine is the author of the very first book, The Secret of the Old Clock.

Sit back and relax....

If you're old enough, you'll remember the days of drive-in movie theaters. On June 6, 1933, Richard M. Hollingshead opened the first one in the U.S. in Camden, N.J. In 1958, at the height of their popularity, there were more than 4,000 drive-ins across America. Today, there are fewer than 600. The largest of these is in Dearborn, MI with nine screens and parking for 3,000 cars.

To find out more about the history of drive-in theaters, read American Drive-In Movie Theater by Don and Susan Sanders. Starlite Drive-in by Marjorie Reynolds is a bittersweet novel whose setting is rural Indiana in the 1950's where 12 year old Callie's father works at a drive-in. Oh those hot summer nights. Ready for a ride to Dearborn?

Breaking the Silence on Sexual Abuse – Sunday, June 10

In 2001, Angela Shelton was on a quest to find herself in an effort to heal from her past. The result of that quest is her 2004 film, Searching for Angela Shelton.

Join Ms. Shelton at the downtown Library this Sunday, June 10, from 1-4 pm in the 4th floor meeting room. She will introduce a screening of her award-winning film and afterwards lead a discussion. The film is not rated, but has strong language. Cosponsored by SafeHouse Center.

Real People

Have you watched The Queen, or read Abundance: a Novel of Marie Antoinette, or checked out other books and movies with characters based on real people?

If you want to find out more about the real lives of those portrayed on screen and in print, try the Biography Resource Center with Marquis Who's Who. The database includes narrative biographies, as well as articles and selected websites. Access it through our Research page in the Biography section.

Don’t forget you can use the database from home with a Library card!

Ten Best World War II Movies?

Looking for something special to watch Memorial Day weekend? It's the right time to catch Clink Eastwood's recent Flags of Our Fathers or one of these other classic WWII films--my personal top ten (in abc order): Das Boot, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Casablanca, From Here to Eternity, The Great Escape, The Longest Day, Patton, Saving Private Ryan, The Train, Tora, Tora, Tora!. Which titles would make your top ten list?

Duke's 100th Birthday

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Saddle up, pardner and celebrate the original dudester's 100th birthday this Saturday, May 26th. John Wayne started in movies in 1926 and starred in some of the best American movies ever made, especially when the Duke teamed up with John Ford. Don't miss The Searchers, Red River and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. Your favorite?

A Dangerous Mind Comes to Town

Part secret agent, part talent scout - Chuck Barris has lived a life most of us only dream about. Host of The Newlywed Game, The Dating Game, and The Gong Show, and a one-hit wonder with the 1962 hit "Palisades Park," Barris also wrote Confessions of a Dangerous Mind: The Unauthorized Autobiography, ("a remarkably well-crafted and entertaining book" Publishers Weekly) which includes a dubious "confession" of his double life as a decorated CIA assassin. (The book was later made into the 2003 film directed by George Clooney). Barris' most recent effort is the novel The Big Question.) Bang a gong with one of the more inventive minds of the television era next Tuesday, May 22, at 7:00 p.m. in the Downtown Multi-Purpose Room.

Short Stories to Films

Away from Her, a film by twenty-something, first-time director Sarah Polley is based on the story The Bear Came Over the Mountain in Alice Munro’s Carried Away : A Selection of Stories. Starring Julie Christie as Fiona, a woman whose Alzheimer’s disease devastates a long-standing marriage, it is a film not to be missed.

Jindabyne, starring Laura Linney and Gabriel Byrne as a married couple, is based on Raymond Carver’s short story So Much Water So Close to Home, found in his Short Cuts: Selected Stories. This Carver classic opens with the discovery of a dead body on the river by a group of sport fishermen and the effects of one questionable decision made on their families and the Jindabyne community. This Australian import was filmed around New South Wales.

Both films open nationally early May. Check your local listings.

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