Sundance Festival 2007

The 2007 Sundance Film Festival is being held in Park City, Utah from January 18-28.This is the top US festival for independent filmakers. More than 120 feature-length films and more than 80 shorts are shown. Although most believe that Robert Redford, founder of the Sundance Institute, was also the founder of the festival, it was originally established by some film people from Utah as a retrospective. But the focus changed with Redford who opened up the festival to new, independent filmmakers. And it's been this way ever since. If you can't get to Utah, The Library has many of the films originally shown at the festival.

Happy Birthday, Archibald!

ArchieArchie

Celebrate the 103rd anniversary of the birth of Archie Leach (better known to most as Cary Grant – b. January 18, 1904; d. November 29, 1986) by watching him in one of his many roles on DVD! The library owns many titles for you to check out and enjoy. The Awful Truth, where the Cary Grant "persona” began; The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer, with Myrna Loy and a teenaged Shirley Temple; The Philadelphia Story, with Jimmy Stewart and Katharine Hepburn; and, directed by the great Alfred Hitchcock: Suspicion, Notorious, To Catch a Thief, and North by Northwest.

Ann Arbor is getting krump!

Tommy the Clown and the Hip-Hop Clowns are coming to Ann Arbor as part of the 2007 Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium, an annual series of events honoring the life and vision of Dr. King at the University of Michigan. Tommy the Clown invented clown dancing and has since offered membership in his dance team to youth as an alternative to gangs. They will perform a tribute to Dr. King, Wednesday, February 7th at the Michigan League Ballroom at 7:30pm.

If you want to learn more about an incredible new style of dance, check out Rize. This exhilarating movie documents the origins of krumping and clown dancing in South Central Los Angeles.

Best Documentaries of 2006

Below are just a few of the titles officially voted by Video Librarian as the "Best Documentaries of 2006." More will arrive in January and February, so stay tuned! (See the complete list.)

49 Up
Ballets Russes
Country Boys
The Devil and Daniel Johnston
Emmanuel's Gift
The Hobart Shakespeareans
Our Brand is Crisis
Twist of Faith

DVD Top sellers on Amazon.com

Here are the latest Amazon.com Top Sellers available in our collection. No surprise that It's a Wonderful Life made the list...tis the season! My favorite is A Christmas Story. " Ralphie, you'll put your eye out!"

Little Miss Sunshine
Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest
An Inconvenient Truth
The Devil Wears Prada
It's a Wonderful Life
Cars
Talladega Nights

Eddie Murphy sings more songs than Beyonce!

Looking for something to do after opening all those gifts? Check out Dreamgirls, the story of a female singing trio modeled after the Motown girl groups of the 1960s. In Dreamgirls, The Dreamettes try to sing their way to stardom at the famous Apollo Theater.

The movie opens Monday, December 25th at the Michigan Theater. With stellar performances by Eddie Murphy, Beyonce, Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Hudson, the movie already has Oscar and Golden Globe written all over it. I for one just wanna hear Eddie sing again. (‘80s Flashback: "My girl wants to party all the time, party all the time, party all the time!”) The Michigan Theater guarantees seating and will also sponsor a special appearance by Motown legend, Martha Reeves. Reeves was lead singer of the girl group Martha and the Vandellas and also enjoyed success as a solo artist.

Books to Films (Holiday Releases)

Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, and Michael Caine starred in this adaptation of P. D. James’ The Children of Men, set in near-future London when all human males have become sterile. Historian Theo Faron is asked to join a band of revolutionaries--a move that may hold the key to humanity's survival. (December 25th)

Perfume: The Story of A Murderer is about one man’s pursuit of the perfect perfume, but the indulgence in his rare gift and greatest passion - his sense of smell - leads to murder. Based on the 1986 acclaimed bestseller and international sensation by Patrick Suskind. The novel is a brilliant, powerful, and gripping page-turner. (December 27th)

Zoë Heller’s Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel What Was She Thinking?:Notes on a Scandal is beautifully captured in this film adaptation.
When Sheba Hart's love affair with an underage male student comes to light, school teacher Barbara Covett decides to write an account of the affair in her friend's defense, in the process revealing not only Sheba's secrets, but also her own. The film boasts a stellar cast with Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett. (Limited release December 27. Watch the papers for local release date.)

The Painted Veil is a remake of the 1934 Greta Garbo film, inspired by W. Somerset Maugham’s masterpiece.
Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920s, it is the story of the beautiful but love-starved Kitty Fane (Naomi Watts), who is forced to accompany her husband (played by Edward Norton) to the heart of a cholera epidemic, where she reassesses her life and learns how to love. (December 29th)

And the best Christmas Carol is...

'Tis the season for the inevitable take on the perennial Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. We have at least eight video versions--from a 10-minute silent film in a collection of rare holiday shorts to the vastly underrated Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. The rest are listed below. (Our apologies to fans of the 1999 film starring Patrick Stewart and the excellent 1938 version starring Leo G. Carroll; both are on order but, alas, won't be here by Christmas.) My favorite is still the 1951 version. What's yours?

A Christmas Carol (1951), starring Alastair Sim
A Christmas Carol (1984), starring George C. Scott
A Christmas Carol (2004), starring Kelsey Grammer
A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), with Michael Caine as the voice of Scrooge
Scrooge (1970), starring Albert Finney
Scrooged (1999), starring Bill Murray

Will Smith (and his son Jaden) in New Movie!

Will Smith - Pursuit of HappinessWill Smith - Pursuit of Happiness

Will Smith stars with his son Jaden in Pursuit of Happyness... The Christopher Gardner Story - in theatres this Friday, Dec. 15th.

All I have to say is.... Wow....

Go see this movie... period.

And if you haven't read Chris Gardner's book, read it... period.

New Documentaries

Check out some of these top-rated documentaries recently purchased by the Library:

A documents the inside activities of Japan's religious cult Aum Shinrikyo, who released sarin gas into Tokyo's subway system in 1995.
Creation or Evolution presents an analysis of both the geological record and the biblical account of creation from a Christian perspective.
Life in the Undergrowth guides the viewer through a miniature universe teeming with life.
Our Brand is Crisis follows a team of political consultants as they launch a media-savvy campaign for Bolivian presidential candidate Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada.
Waging a Living follows four hard-working individuals as they strive for their piece of the American Dream but find only low wages, dead end jobs, and a tattered safety net in their way.

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