Friday, April 30, 2010

Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library: An archive of performing arts on video from across the Americas

From their website:
The Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library, a collaboration between New York University Libraries and NYU's Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, provides a digital venue for documenting the expression of social and political life through performance in the many cultures and political landscapes of the Americas. The Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library brings together in one place materials that have been available only in small, little-known archives that are inaccessible to scholars and that lack the resources to properly care for and provide access to these extraordinary cultural documents. But it is not enough simply to gather the videos together. We have used the resources of digital technology to insure the long-term preservation of this rare material and to make it accessible not just to researchers at NYU but to scholars and artists around the world.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Maura recommends: Passion Fish

In this beautiful film, John Sayles is at his most compassionate and subtle. The premise is simple: a soap opera star on her way to getting her legs waxed, is side-swiped by a taxi and loses the use of the lower half of her body. While that is where the film begins, the story centers on the main characters’ new life in rural Louisiana and her relationship with her nurse, amidst heat and Zydeco music. Mary McDonnell (Dances with Wolves) plays the morose and obstinate May Alice, as she returns home and refuses to deal with the new challenges her life presents. Alfre Woodard plays Chantel, a recovering drug addict and former nurse who desperately needs to make this job work.

One of the remarkable things about Passion Fish is it is not a film about disability; it is a film about codependent relationships, personal demons, acceptance and compassion. In some ways this film reminds me of one of my favorite filmmakers, Mike Leigh, in its slow style and a reluctance to show anyone as a “bad guy”. But there is something quintessentially American about this story, as almost all Sayles films are. May Alice and Chantel’s struggles are with a failed life of excess and urbanity. What they face now is how to negotiate a new kind of life—a more authentic one.

David Strathairn (Good Night & Good Luck) also appears as Rennie, in a wonderful performance as a down-to-earth Cajun.

Check out the trailer:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Digital Media Studio workrooms now available for overnight use!

The DMS workstations can now be reserved for overnight use the nights the library is open 24 hours (Monday 12:00AM through Friday 8:00AM). Access is by reservation only and users must have a signed Borrower's Agreement for Library Technology form on file at Media Services. Once on file, users can reserve an evening (midnight - 8:00AM) to use a specific DMS room with the software they need. Users will be given access to a keybox in the library front lobby and can then retrieve the DMS key they need. Key access is available only after midnight - the DMS is cleared of users and locked when Media Services closes.

YouTube video tutorial on the procedure for reserving and accessing the DMS workrooms overnight

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Media Services Recommends...Mike's Favorites

Narrative films:
Videodrome - HU DVD 64
Titus - DVD 197
Fearless - HU DVD 292
Brazil - HU DVD 360
Underground - HU DVD 1342
Battle Royale - HU DVD 880

Documentary films:
The Fog Of War - HU DVD 791
The Cove - HU DVD 6763
RiP: A Remix Manifesto - DVD 6355
Dig! - HU DVD 1862

Friday, April 16, 2010

For those of you about to graduate, a different perspective: Kicking & screaming HOME USE COLLECTION DVD 4842

Yes—graduation is a scary time. Many students just continue taking classes to avoid it, while other students hop right into graduate school. And still others remain soaked in ennui—letting life pass by because life sucks anyway.

Kicking and Screaming is the directorial debut of film critics’ current indie darling, Noah Baumbach. This film really strikes at the heart of Gen-X anxiety, which perhaps is why I like it so much, but really it's about reluctance to grow up. It comes with my highest recommendation to graduating seniors, as long as you can stomach the somewhat bleak message.

Also, Chris Eigeman, a remarkably talented and often over-looked actor, is a riot, delivering witty and sarcastic lines as only he can. And the often over-perky and loud-mouthed Parker Posey won me over in her role as an annoyed and sarcastic co-ed.

Check out the trailer:

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Filmfest DC Thurs, April 15 through Sunday, April 25

Filmfest DC, Washington's longest running and most prestigious film festival, is set to kickoff April 15 with eleven days of the best in new international cinema.

This year the festival will feature provocative Italian films and cutting edge work from Romania, the hottest spot on the international cinema scene. Fans can also look forward to "The Tango Singer" (Argentina), "Hipsters" (Russia), "Medal of Honor" (Romania), "Heliopolis" (Egypt), "Will You Marry Us" (Switzerland), "25 Carats" (Spain) and scores of other international award winning films. Now celebrating its 24th year, Filmfest DC presents over 80 feature premieres, restored classics, shorts and special events in an enjoyable atmosphere for movie lovers. New this year is the Social Justice Award. The festival's audience is widely diverse, curious and knowledgeable and Filmfest DC has developed into one of the city's major cultural events.

As seen in the WAMU Calendar.

Filmfest DC April 15 - 25
Tickets now on sale!

The 24th Annual Washington, DC International Film Festival is set to kickoff April 15 with eleven days of the best and most exciting in new international cinema.
Look for our 24-page catalog in The Washington Post on Friday, April 9, and our centerfold ads in The Washington City Paper on April 1 and April 15.

Opening Night

The Filmfest DC Opening Night Gala will take place on Thursday, April 15 starting at 7:00 PM, at AMC Mazza Gallerie with a party immediately following at the Gallerie Atrium. There will be live music, dancing, food and Champagne. Plans are underway for a festive, entertaining and memorable evening!

Our opening night film premiere will be Hipsters, a vibrant musical from Russia, which takes place in the 50s. Hipsters has been described as Swing Kids meets Hairspray, bursting with razzle, dazzle and rhythm. The music and the dancing in the film is spectacular, beautifully and intricately choreographed, and bursting with color. Hipsters has been collecting prizes at film festivals worldwide, including the prize for best film at the Russian Nika Awards (equivalent to our Academy Awards).

Opening Night Gala entertainment will feature dance performances by Flying Feet and live dancing music by the Grandsons during the Gala.

Tickets are $40.00 per person for the film and Gala Party, and are now on sale through