Blue

"Blue" is the first of three films in the "Colors Trilogy" directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski.

This is a 1993 French film set in Paris, and stars Juliette Binoche as Julie de Courcy.

"Blue" is a very intense film dealing with deep human emotion. The title is very à propos.

The story begins with an automobile accident that devastates the 33-year-old Julie's life. Although she is only injured, the crash proves fatal for her husband and daughter. In the blink of an eye her world, as she knows it, has come to a precipitous end.

Although Julie makes a full physical recovery, her mental state is fragile as she grapples with an emotional recovery. She tries to deal with her immense grief and find some sense of closure so she can begin life anew.

Julie's husband was a famous composer, and was working on a commissioned concerto at the time of his death. The piece is left unfinished, and his music haunts her. Julie also learns her late husband has had a lover for years. She finds herself now entangled in a passionate mix of love/hate emotions.

As if that were not enough, Julie's husband's assistant, Olivier, has been in love with her for a long time. So she is soon faced with deciding whether she is ready to risk emotional intimacy, and move on with Olivier in her life.

This is a powerful film that evokes thought and emotion in the viewer. It is definitely a must see film. The official FFG rating for this movie is a 10.

RED

This 1994 French film is part three of the Three Colors Trilogy directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski. The trilogy includes the movies "Blue", "White" and "Red". The movies coincide with the three colors of the French flag.

"Three Colors, Red" stars Irene Jacob as a young model named Valentine. She experiences a chance meeting with a bitter older man, and soon realizes the man has a penchant for spying on his neighbors.

The man is lonely, and although he lives vicariously through the lives of others, she comes to understand him.

As her understanding of this man deepens, she discovers an unbelievable link that binds them together.

This knowledge takes her on amazing journey.

This is a fabulous movie, and is a perfect example of why I love this type of film making. Check it out, and maybe you will realize you're a French Film Fanatic too!

Johnny Depp: On the Cutting Edge

If you love Johnny Depp, wait no longer for your fix. Get to the theater and see him and Tim Burton create cinemagic.

Sweeney Todd, originally a Broadway musical, tells the story of Benjamin Barkerd. Benjamin is sent away for a crime he did not committ, and once freed, opens up a barber shop in downtown London. Using the barber shop as a cover, he vows vengence upon those who wrongfully made him suffer.

Below the barber shop is Mrs. Lovett's Meat Pie Shop. Upon meeting Mrs. Lovett, Helena Bonham Carter, a mutually beneficial partnership blooms.

This wonderfully sinful Tim Burton version of Sweeney Todd won 2 Golden Globe Awards. Depp & Burton are magnicient together. Be ready for a movie that promises "The closest shave you will ever see..."

Bergman films at Michigan Theater

The Michigan Theater presents another in the Great Director Series. This time up: Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman. To quote Bergman, “Film as dream, film as music. No art passes our conscience in the way film does, and goes directly to our feelings, deep down into the dark rooms of our souls.”

The following films will be shown at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor: Wild Strawberries (1957) on January 14, Through a Glass Darkly (1961) on January 21, and Fanny & Alexander (1982) on January 29. See the theater’s website for film details and schedule. (The first film shown in the series, The Seventh Seal, was shown on January 7.)

Francophiles Delight!

crozecroze

Fans of French indie-pop artist Pauline Croze won't want to miss her brand new release, Un Bruit Qui Cour, and if you haven't yet, make sure and check out her self-titled debut album, Pauline Croze. Here's a clip of her performing live.

Why did Herr F. run amok?

Finally--I've been waiting years for the DVD release of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz, the 13-part series based on the novel by Alfred Doblin and the crowning achievement in Fassbinder's controversial career. (It's due for release on November 13 and currently on order for AADL--a Criterion edition, no less!) Meanwhile, we have several classic titles from German cinema's enfant terrible in our collection, including Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, The Marriage of Maria Braun, and Why Does Herr R Run Amok? Watch one this weekend, then come to the discussion of Fassbinder's work at the Downtown library at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, November 5, by UM's Malcolm Tulip and Hanna Worthen.

Before Night Falls

Before Night Falls is a wonderful film based on the life of Cuban writer and poet, Reinaldo Arenas. Arenas is played by the Oscar Nominated Javier Bardem. The movie spans the whole of Arenas' life. The film begins by showing us the Cuban village where Reinaldo Arenas was born. We bear witness to the intense poverty he lives in while growing up, and the unusually distant relationship he has with his mother. As he becomes a young man in the 1950's, he falls victim to the oppressive Cuban government. He is persecuted for his writing and for being homosexual. He remains courageous against the oppression, and continues writing even while he is imprisoned. The Cuban government finally releases him, and allows him to emigrate to New York City in 1980. There he lives and writes until he loses his battle with AIDS. Sean Penn has a cameo appearance in this movie as a peasant, and Johnny Depp adds a couple cameo appearances as well. He plays a military officer, and a drag queen. This is definitely a movie to add to your "must see" list! The official FFG rating of this film is a 9.

New Books in Spanish!

New on our shelves en Espanol for kids are books from the series Magic Tree House and lots of Junie B. Jones as well as beautiful picture books like Martina una Cucarachita muy Linda. Esplendido! For adults, look for the graphic novel series by Iranian author Marjane Satrapi Persepolis which was released last spring in theaters. Also on shelves now are translated to Spanish bestsellers like Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray Love or Come, Reza, Ama.

New Arabic books for children!

Soon to be arriving at the branches, there will be many new Arabic books for children. Many of these books are especially good for children (or anyone) learning Arabic as they have the vowel marks (tashkeel) on every word to aid in recognition and understanding. There will be board books, dictionaries, picture books and kits which will contain a book and a CD or cassette. The selection varies from branch to branch so check out the youth foreign language collection in the youth department on the first floor of the downtown library or in the foreign language collection at any of the branches. Any questions, comments or suggestions about Arabic books or any other foreign languages, please e-mail stantont@aadl.org

More new Italian fiction

More new Italian fiction:
"Il volo della farfalla" by Adriana Faranda
The story of a former member of the Marxist-Leninist Red Brigade terrorist group who paradoxically finds in prison, the freedom which she was deprived of for many years.
"Quattro giorni per non morire" by Marino Magliani
A thriller set between South America and the region of Liguria. A man who is doubly condemned, by illness and by prison, tries to escape.
"Fai di te la notte" by Giorgio Scianna
One evening after work, Clara decides not to come back home to her two children and husband as usual, but to change her path.
"Il mistero BonBon" by Sergio Staino
Philippe BonBon is a bon viveur, a man courted by women who belongs to the high class of French society. One day his wife and friends start to suspect him, maybe he has a double life, maybe he is a murderer

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