>Feeling like picking up a movie for Friday or Saturday night? Stop by the library and check out our selection! Sometimes being single is hard and frustrating. Women sometimes threaten to give up on men and simply start dating other women. Well, Jessica Stein actually follows through with the threat in Kissing Jessica Stein. Jessica sees a classified ad in the “women seeking women” section of the newspaper that contains a quote from her favorite author, and on a whim, she answers it. Hilarity ensues as two women who have previously only dated men try to navigate a relationship with each other.
In the early to mid-2000s there were a bunch of movies that came out that were comedies, but the humor was very awkward (think Shopgirl, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, or The Royal Tenenbaums). Broken Flowers falls into that category. Don Johnston receives a letter one day informing him he may have a 19 year old son who is looking for him. He has also just been dumped by his latest girlfriend. This letter induces Don to embark on a journey to find the four old girlfriends who may be able to enlighten him concerning this possible offspring. The music from this film is absolutely amazing, and Bill Murray is absolutely hilarious.
Bolt is an extremely funny and poignant family film. Bolt is a dog in an action/sci-fi television show, but he doesn’t realize the things happening in the show aren’t real and that he doesn’t have superpowers. When he believes his owner, Penny, is in danger, he sets off across the country to find and save her. Along the way, he meets an alley cat who just wants to be loved and a hamster who worships him. The two join him on his quest to save Penny.
The PBS Series “We Shall Remain”–a 5 part series about Native American history–is set to premiere on April 13. In conjunction with this series, the Manhattan Public Library has an exhibit available for viewing through April 5, “A Photographic Narrative: The Indians of Kansas”, which illustrates the diversity of contemporary Indians in Kansas. The library is also sponsoring a performance by internationally-known Navajo performer and cultural educator Dennis Lee Rogers. He will be performing on Saturday, April 18 at 2:00 in the library auditorium.
There is a long-running debate about whether it’s better to read the book first or see the movie. My opinion on this matter of the utmost importance is, without any doubt, see the movie. The book is almost always better, so you see the movie first and think “Wow, that was great!” Then read the book, and discover it’s even better. If you go the other way around, there’s an inevitable sense of disappointment about what was changed or that the actor they chose didn’t match the picture in your head at all.
The movie/book combo is my favorite way to read the classics. I tried to read Middlemarch by George Eliot several years ago and just got confused. There are so many characters and I kept getting lost. I checked the Masterpiece Theater film out from the library and realized that it’s an amazing story with love, betrayal, and hope for a better world. I then read the book and it became one of my favorites.
Come to the Information Desk for a list of DVDs we have that are based on books. Feel free to let me know if I have the book/movie order all wrong!
>Deliverance-DVD Yes, you know the movie. Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Jon Voight, and those scary kids from the backwoods of Georgia. Usually, for most people when they hear the name they think of the song “Dueling Banjos”. Once a pretty little ditty, the song is now a cultural audio artifact that instantly conjures up all kinds of frightening images. This movie is Rated “R”, and for good reason. It is here and in the library, and it is the reason that breaking down in the middle of nowhere is the last thing you want to do. My favorite quote from the movie is about the only one repeatable in public: “Explain this to me again. I didn’t know somebody could shoot themself with their own arrow. “
One of the few things I enjoy as much as diving into a good book, is diving into a good movie. When a movie is truly great, it can change the way you feel about your day and the way you feel about your world. The first time I watched Monsoon Wedding, it floated at the back of my mind for days: the music, the marigolds, the dancing, the anger, and the romance. Screen Plays: how 25 scripts made it to a theater near you–for better or worse by David S. Cohen gives you the scoop on how movies grow from an idea into the experience in the movie theater. He tells us what takes a film up to the next level, from mediocre to great. This book is a must-read for any movie lover.
April is the anniversary month for several significant events in the history of space travel. On April 12, cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin was the first human in space and the first man to orbit the earth. On April 13, 1970, Commander Jim Lovell uttered the words “Houston, we’ve got a problem”, which led to a frantic search by NASA engineers to solve the problems resulting from an oxygen tank explosion on the spacecraft Apollo 13. The accident, the harrowing hours afterwards and the tense planning to bring the astronauts back to earth are related in Lovell’s book Lost Moon: the perilous voyage of Apollo 13. In our audiovisual collection, Manhattan Public Library also owns the DVD of the award-winning film based on Lovell’s book, titled Apollo 13. April 12 is also the anniversary date of the first flight of a space shuttle, Columbia, in 1981, and the first flight of a U.S. Senator, Jake Garn, in 1985. The Hubble Space Telescope was deployed on April 25, 1990.
Don’t miss the Masterpiece Classic version of Jane Austen’s Persuasion on PBS this Sunday. It will be airing at 8:00 on KTWU channel 11. This is the beginning of their series The Complete Jane Austen, including a film interepretation of all six of Austen’s novels. All of them are newly filmed, except for the 1995 Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth and the 1996 Emma with Kate Beckinsale. I’m quite overcome with anticipation.
I absolutely love the combination of good books and films. Watching the Austen interpretations previously made has encouraged me to read and reread all of the novels. I enjoy comparing and contrasting, deciding which actor best portrays each character. Join us later this month for our own Jane Austen Festival and you can voice your opinions right along with us. We’ll be enjoying a book discussion, a lecture/discussion about exploring Austen from different cultural perspectives, and a film fest, with tea, of course. Go to the main page for more details. Hope to see you there!