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.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Disco Film Screenings at the LOC

The Library of Congress just announced their "Bibliodiscotheque" and a whole series of film screenings to go with it!
Here are a few disco-themed movies from our collection to get you dancing!

  • The Greasy Strangler (HU DVD 13736): Ronnie runs a disco walking tour of Los Angeles with his adult son Brayden when the appearance of a beautiful woman on their tour along with the surfacing of the killer The Greasy Strangler changes their world forever.
  • 54 (HU DVD 12193): Just another kid with big ambitions, Shane O’Shea was like countless others, stuck at the end of the line outside New York’s infamous Studio 54 Disco. But when he finally gets a foot in the door, it doesn’t take him long to experience 54.
  • Saturday Night Fever (HU DVD 3123): Tony is an undereducated Brooklyn teenager who is bored with his daytime job. The highlight of his week is going to the local disco, where he is the king of the dance floor. Tony meets Stephanie at the disco and they agree to dance together in a competition. Stephanie resists Tony’s attempts to romance her, as she aspires to greater things. Gradually, Tony also becomes disillusioned with the life he is leading and he and Stephanie decide to help one another to start afresh.
  • Boogie Nights (HU DVD 8): A film that throws the covers back on California’s adult entertainment industry in the swinging seventies. It’s a touching and often humorous portrait of a most unusual family of filmmakers, brought to dazzling life by an all-star cast and sizzling seventies soundtrack.
  • The Last Days of Disco (HU DVD 3318): Depicts the ’last days’ at a disco palace, where drugs, sex and weirdness ran rampant. Icy Charlotte and demure Alice toil by day as publishing house assistants and by night the two look for romance and entertainment at a premier disco club. But, as the disco is closed, they wonder if disco can ever really be dead?
  • Airplane (HU DVD 6241): An off-the-wall comedy that spoofs airplane disaster flicks. An ex-fighter pilot is forced to take over the control of an airliner when the flight crew succumbs to food poisoning. (Has a disco scene!)
  • Xanadu (HU DVD 6744): Danny, an aging musician who wants to open a nightclub, and Sonny, a young artist, are both searching for inspiration. Kira, a beautiful mythical muse, is brought to earth in order to help both men fulfill their dreams.
And let's not forget this epic disco scene:

Come check out a movie! You should be dancing...yeah!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Being There

David Cairns looks at Being There (HU DVD 655) in the most recent Anatomy of a Gag:

Monday, March 20, 2017

Presenting the DVD wall!

So, a confession. A few weeks ago, I screwed up. As part of our ongoing project to digitize our VHS collection, I had accidentally encoded almost 100 videos incorrectly. I went back and fixed the mistakes, but I ended up with nearly 100 DVDs to discard.

Rather than toss them out or recycle them, I made art!

This wall of DVDs is a reminder that, yes, mistakes can happen. I call it "Memento Oopise." It's also really reflective and shimmery and pretty. If for some reason you end up with a bunch of old CD-Rs, consider gluing them to your wall!

Please do not glue the AU Library's DVDs to your wall.