Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A History of Banned and Censored Films - courtesy of UCal Berkeley Library

This filmography created by media librarian Gary Handman has many titles that are also available in the AU collection. It's fun to browse through as it's loaded with notes on where and why a film was banned.

Sample entry:

The Last Picture Show(1973)
Director, Peter Bagdanovich. Cast: Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Ellen Burstyn, Ben Johnson, Cloris Leachman, Cybill Shepherd. A bittersweet drama of the social and sexual mores in small-town 1950s Texas. In 1951, high school seniors Sonny and Duane play football, go to the movies at the Royal Theater, hang out at the pool hall and lust after rich tease Jacy Farrow. Following two tragic deaths and with Duane gone to Korea and Jacy to college in Dallas, Sonny is left behind but he is determined to carry on, despite a telling sign of incipient communal disintegration: the closing of the Royal Theater. 118 min. DVD 9115; vhs 999:2325
Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Banned in Phoenix, Arizona, 1973, because of a scene featuring Cybill Shepherd skinnydipping. A federal court later ruled that the film was not obscene.

It's also got a section on landmark films that received X or NC-17 ratings upon their initial release and citations of landmark film censorship cases.

NOTE: The list isn't comprehensive but covers film/videos that are held in the U Cal - Berkeley Library's Media Resources Center. It is still very extensive and should serve as a useful researchers guide for general users.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Will Ferrell is Number One – Forbes’ Most Overpaid Actor List

Forbes looked at 100 top actors based on their widely released films over the past five years. It factored in the production costs of those movies against how much boxoffice, DVD and other revenue they generated in order to come up with an operating income for each film, which it then compared with the salaries the stars earned.

In Ferrell's case, the actor's films earned just $3.29 for every dollar he was paid. That's a pretty poor contrast to the $160 that Shia LaBeouf's movies returned to the studios for every buck he earned.

That figure, by the way, put LaBeouf -- who starred in "Transformers" in 2007 and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" in 2008 -- at the top of Forbes list of Best Actors for the Buck. Also included on that list were Robert Downey Jr., Christian Bale and Dennis Quaid. See what the Hollywood Reporter had to say.

Forbes 10 Most Overpaid Stars were;
1. Will Ferrell ($3.29)
2. Ewan McGregor ($3.75)
3. Billy Bob Thornton ($4)
4. Eddie Murphy ($4.43)
5. Ice Cube ($4.77)
6. Tom Cruise ($7.18)
7. Drew Barrymore ($7.43)
8. Leonardo DiCaprio ($7.52)
9. Samuel Jackson ($8.59)
10. Jim Carrey ($8.62)

Will Ferrell's movies aren't all bad.
Stranger Than Fiction DVD 3173 is available for Home Use in Media Services.

Finally, enjoy this video showcasing Shia LeBeouf in several of his money-making roles.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

So you want to research a film or filmmaker: A user’s guide to Film Studies research databases at American University

This database user's guide has been updated with Atom Egoyan used as a sample search. Each entry briefly describes a given database's value for film studies research.

Here's an example:

Academic Search Premier – 237 hits; a majority as full-text
This is a major cross-disciplinary database with a large portion of full-text content. A great resource database that would allow you in most cases the option to view the results as an HTML, text or PDF file. Articles ranged from critical analysis to film reviews. Editors choice.

Art Abstracts – 68 hits; About half as full-text
The articles cited were primarily about individual films. Most are in English but there are also entries from the French journal Cahiers du Cinema. Editors choice.


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Media Services has Sound Effects Available for Checkout!

Media Services has thousands of sound effects and hundreds of musical effects available for enhancing student projects, films, and presentations. Up to six CDs at a time can be checked out of the library for three hours for AU student production work. Students can also use them here in the Digital Media Studio.
Browse our online guides and listen to samples sounds from the Hollywood Edge Premiere Edition, the Hollywood Edge Cartoon Trax, the BBC Sound Effects Library and the Canary Collection here.

Bicycle Film Fest Comes to DC

Cycle-punk, cyclocross, fixee - the gradations of the bicycle subculture are varied. The BFF comes to town December 5 and takes a look at guys, gals and bikes around the world.
Saturday December 5
Screenings at United States Navy Memorial Theater - 701 Pennsylvania Ave NW
5:00 PM | Program 1 - ROAD TO ROUBAIX
7:00 PM | Program 2 - WHERE ARE YOU GO
9:00 PM | Program 3 - Urban Bike Shorts
10:00 PM | After Party

For more information, trailers and a full film list go to Bicycle Film Festival