Thursday, May 11, 2017

Border Crossing Humor

Interesting piece on Woody Allen's humor by Peter Berger, including this intriguing idea:
"I think that one of the traits of sophistication is the capacity to cross borders between different cultural relevancies. Humor is often, intentionally or not, the result if not the very technique of such border-crossing."
Zelig (HU DVD 2082) is my recommended movie to go with this article.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

For the silent film treasure hunter...

Imogen Sara Smith highlights Mostly Lost on Criterion. Definitely worth a read. On eventbrite, the description of the Mostly Lost workshop is: 
The Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, Packard Campus presents “Mostly Lost 6: A Film Identification Workshop” on June 15-17, 2017 in Culpeper, Virginia. “Mostly Lost” will feature the screenings of unidentified, under-identified or misidentified silent and early sound films.Early film experts and archivists are encouraged to attend, but the workshop is also open to anyone willing to actively help identify and research the films showcased at the workshop. In addition to films from the Library of Congress’s collections, “Mostly Lost” features material from other film archives around the world. Throughout the event there will also be presentations about The Destruction of Some American Silent Features, The Lost Origins of Silent Horror Icons, William Fox and the Fox Film Corporation, as well as others. Live musical accompaniment during the workshop and evening presentations of silent films will also be featured.
This festival sounds like an amazing opportunity for those with an eye for film treasure, and a riot even for the amateur.

Tickets are available on eventbrite.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Take a study break with a short streaming film!

Sure you could surrender your study breaks to Hulu, but AU also has streaming access to many short films that are arresting, important, and worth seeing. Here are three you might enjoy:
A Trip to the Moon (13 minutes): This drama, by director Georges Melies, features Victor Andre, Bleuette Bernon, and Brunnet in a beautifully restored black and white edition of the 1902 film about a voyage to the moon in a rocket ship.

La Jetee (27 minutes): Chris Marker, filmmaker, poet, novelist, photographer, editor, and now videographer and digital multimedia artist, has been challenging moviegoers, philosophers, and himself for years with his complex queries about time, memory, and the rapid advancement of life on this planet. Marker’s La Jetée is one of the most influential, radical science-fiction films ever made, a tale of time travel told in still images.

The Red Balloon (34 minutes): Albert Lamorisse’s exquisite The red balloon remains one of the most beloved children’s films of all time. In this deceptively simple, nearly wordless tale, a young boy discovers a stray balloon, which seems to have a mind of its own, on the streets of Paris. The two become inseparable, yet the world’s harsh realities finally interfere. With its glorious palette and allegorical purity, the Academy Award, winning The red balloon has enchanted movie lovers, young and old, for generations.

Happy Studying!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Check out this silent version of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea on Viki:

This was the first motion picture filmed underwater! As Wikipedia states:

Actual underwater cameras were not used, but a system of watertight tubes and mirrors allowed the camera to shoot reflected images of underwater scenes staged in shallow sunlit waters. (,000_Leagues_Under_the_Sea_(1916_film))
Here in Media Services, we of course have the 1954 Disney version (HU DVD 10179):

Monday, April 17, 2017

10 years of LAIKA

Over the weekend, I was completely blown away by LAIKA's Kubo and the Two Strings (HU DVD 13637). As an animation studio, LAIKA creates some of the grandest and unique worlds in film. Kubo is an incredible accomplishment, and an example of the offbeat humor, powerful storytelling, and, of course, artistic prowess LAIKA has come to be known for.

LAIKA is currently celebrating their 10 year anniversary:

Come to Media Services to check out Kubo, or LAIKA's three other feature length films: The Boxtrolls (HU DVD 11911), ParaNorman (HU DVD 11030), and Coraline (HU DVD 7449).

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Before there was Sailor Moon...there was The Dull Sword

As highlighted on Hyperallergic, the National Film Center of Japan’s National Museum of Modern Art has uploaded a ton of early Japanese animation to mark the centennial of Japan's oldest known animated film.

You can see all the films here, and the very oldest--a 1917 work discovered in an antique store in 2008!--is The Dull Sword (pictured above), available here.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month!

We have a great many documentaries and learning resources on poets (see our filmography here). But we also have some home use titles for you as well! Have you seen these poetry themed movies?


Basketball Diaries (HU DVD 1990) - Teamed with his friends Mickey, Neutron and Pedro, high school student Jim Carroll seems headed for a bright basketball career. But when pressures from his coach, his mom, and school seem to mount, Jim finds solace in all the wrong places, and the dark streets of New York begin to tear him apart. This film is based on the autobiography Jim Carroll, a poet and artist.

Before Night Falls (HU DVD 486) - A look at the life of Cuban poet, novelist, and playwright Reinaldo Arenas, from childhood in Cuba to his death in New York City. His writings and homosexuality get him in trouble with Castro’s Cuba and he spends two years in prison before leaving for the United States.

Dead Poets Society (HU DVD 303) - Robin Williams portrays English professor John Keating, who, in an age of crew cuts, sport coats and cheerless conformity, inspires his students to live life to the fullest, exclaiming "Carpe Diem, lads! Seize the day. Make your lives extraordinary!" The charismatic teacher’s emotionally charged challenge is met by his students with irrepressible enthusiasm, but leads to tragedy for one student. All their lives may be changed forever, but the audience is left with a promise of hope for the future. Be true to your self and follow your own path.

Kill Your Darlings (HU DVD 11460) - A true story of obsession and murder. When Allen Ginsberg is accepted at Columbia, he finds stuffy tradition clashing with the daringly modern ideas and attitudes- embodied by Lucien Carr. Lucien is an object of fascination for shy, unsophisticated Allen, and soon he is drawn into Lucien’s hard-drinking, jazz-clubbing circle of friends, including William Burroughs and David Kammerer, who clearly resents Allen’s position as Lucien’s new sidekick. A true story of friendship, love and murder, Kill York Darlings recounts the pivotal year that changed Allen Ginsberg’s life forever and provided the spark for him to start his creative revolution.

Slam (HU DVD 158) - Trapped in Dodge City, a drug-infested war zone in southeast Washington D.C., Ray Joshua gets caught up in a drug deal gone bad and is sucked into the criminal justice system. In jail he finds truth in himself and his craft through Lauren Bell, a beautiful and charismatic writing teacher who leads him to the path of salvation. Using his talent for poetic rap, Ray learns to survive and rise above the pain of his lost generation.

Total Eclipse (HU DVD 7120- Paul Verlaine, a writer, is torn between his growing infaturation with the genius poet Arthur Rimbaud and the domestic demands of his patient wife.