Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dennis Hopper, you will be missed.

From Giant to Easy Rider to Blue Velvet, Dennis Hopper was the consummate character who usually stole the show. His intensity was used to evoke fear, humor, and many times, obsession and insanity. He was only occasionally cast as something less than a lunatic.

If you aren't fully aware of the Hopper oeuvre, add these to your wishlist of essential viewing:

The American Friend - DVD 1686
Apocalypse Now - DVD 27
Basquiat - DVD 5830
Blue Velvet - DVD 400
Carried Away - DVD 2003
Cool Hand Luke - DVD 2178
Easy Rider - DVD 381
Giant DVD 4099
Hoosiers - DVD 3467
Jesus' Son - DVD 284
Mad Dog Morgan - DVD 3462
Night Tide - VHS 6568
Rebel without a cause - DVD 52
Red Rock West - DVD 4894
River's Edge - DVD 5113
Rumble Fish - DVD 5349

Late in his career Hopper acted in dozens of movies and TV shows and a few well-received Nike commercials including "Bruce Smith Bad Things".

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

UCLA Preserved Silent Animation online

This new site is a small showcase for the UCLA Film and Television Archive. There are just eleven films so far but they promise more so bookmark it. Videos can be streamed or downloaded.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Selected New Home Use Acquisitions

The limits of control - HU DVD 5979
South Park: Season 4 - HU DVD 6951 - 6962
Ponyo - HU DVD 6937
The Tonight Show, Starring Johnny Carson - DVD 6911 - 6923
The Last of the Mohicans - HU DVD 6905
A Serious Man - HU DVD 6904
O Lucky Man! - HU DVD 6903
The Commitments - HU DVD 6902
Casa de los Babys - HU DVD 6901
Limbo - HU DVD 6900

Selected New Acquisitions

You don't know Dick - DVD 947
Covered: the Hajab in Cairo, Egypt - DVD 4886
Dream girls - DVD 5988
Sisters and daughters betrayed - DVD 6001
A world of differences - DVD 6052
Sixteen decisions - DVD 6238
Six billion and beyond - DVD 6256
Extreme engineering: Woodrow Wilson Bridge - DVD 6259
History and memory - DVD 6397
Calling the ghosts - DVD 6398
Divorce Iranian style - DVD 6555
Comrade Kamprad: Ikea Goes to Russia - DVD 6556
Strangers and kin - DVD 4556
Fishing in the sea of greed - DVD 3007
The price of aid - DVD 3008
The life and times of Sara Baartman - DVD 3009
In the ashes of the forest - part 1 - DVD 3991
In the ashes of the forest - part 2 - DVD 3992
An empire of reason - DVD 3993
Another world is possible -DVD 4029
Drowned out - DVD 4030
Driving an Arab Street - DVD 4031
The Pinochet case - DVD 4854
The legacy of Malthus - DVD 5002
The human race: escaping from history - DVD 5231
The Seattle syndrome - DVD 5456
At the end of a gun - DVD 5814
The doctor's story - DVD 5897
The cost of living -DVD 5962
So far from India - DVD 2517
Groupthink -DVD 2612
Dealing with conflict - DVD 2613
Paradise bent - DVD 2614
Promises and betrayals - DVD 2615
American tongues - DVD 2771
Silence & complicity - DVD 2793
The human race: the tribal mind - DVD 2918
Yeah you rite! - DVD 2975
Steppin' - DVD 3303
T-shirt travels - DVD 3304
Diverted to Delhi - DVD 3305
Out of the mouths of babes - DVD 4067
Not the numbers game - DVD 4213
Franz Boas: the shackles of tradition - DVD 4587
Lock-up: the prisoners of Rikers Island - DVD 4600
The Abilene paradox - DVD 4818
Bill Moyers journal: Filmmaker Oliver Stone - DVD 1087
Troop 1500 - DVD 1088 (Reassigned from DVD 2540)
The Klan: a legacy of hate in America - DVD 1818
The Pacific Century Part 1 - 10 - DVD 2531 - DVD 2540

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tim Robbins & James Gandolfini Join The HBO Movie 'Cinema Verite'

Tim Robbins and James Gandolfini are set to co-star opposite Diane Lane in HBO Films’ Cinema Verite. The movie, written by David Seltzer, is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the groundbreaking 1973 PBS documentary series An American Family. The series by Oscar-winning doc filmmakers Alan and Susan Raymond centered on Santa Barbara couple Pat Loud (Lane) and Bill Loud (Robbins), who split up during the filming, and their children, the eldest of whom, son Lance, became TV's first openly gay character. For the rest of the story, click here.

Media Services owns the follow-up film to "An American Family," called "American Family Revisited" (VHS 2641) and the very funny Albert Brooks' spoof, "Real Life" (VHS 4876 or DVD 6108). Unfortunately, the original "An American Family" 12 part series has not been released on VHS or DVD. Rest assured, Media Services will purchase it once it does.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Selected New Acquisitions

The union: The business behind getting high - DVD 6878
Edward Said on Orientalism - DVD 6877
Beauty mark: Body image and the race for perfection - DVD 6876
The codes of gender: Identity + performance in pop culture - DVD 6875
Voodoo and the Church in Haiti - DVD 6874

Werner Herzog's Rogue Film School - get a head start at Media Services

Werner Herzog's Rogue Film School is sort of a world roving version of Socrates' Academy.

Number 8 of the school's manifesto gives you an idea -
Related, but more practical subjects, will be the art of lockpicking. Traveling on foot. The exhilaration of being shot at unsuccessfully. The athletic side of filmmaking. The creation of your own shooting permits. The neutralization of bureaucracy. Guerrilla tactics. Self reliance.

Number 11 is more accessible because all these movies are available at Media Services -
Required film viewing list:
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948, dir. John Huston) [HU DVD 1022],
Viva Zapata (1952, dir. Elia Kazan) [HU VHS 1657],
The Battle of Algiers (1966, dir. Gillo Pontecorvo) [DVD 950],
the Apu trilogy (1955-1959, dir. Satyajit Ray) [DVD 3751 - 3753]
and, if available, “Where is the Friend’s Home?” (1987, dir. Abbas Kiarostami) [VHS 4856]

Friday, May 07, 2010

Wanna play a DVD from another country on your laptop?

Generally it can be done but it probably should only be considered as a last resort if an all-region player is unavailable.

Briefly, most DVDs are coded to play in specific regions. The format used in the US, US territories, and Canada is Region 1. The format used in Europe, the Middle East, and South Africa is region 2. Southeast Asia and East Asia (including Hong Kong) use Region 3. Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Central America, Mexico, South America, and Caribbean use Region 4. Former Soviet Union, Indian Subcontinent, and Africa use Region 5. China uses Region 6.

The DVD drive in you PC or laptop has the ability to make a pre-set number of region changes - usually 4 or 5. If you live in the US, the DVD drive was probably pre-set to play Region 1 DVDs so switching to play a DVD from France will eat up one of your format changes.

Most PCs and laptops will not automatically make the change when a differently-coded DVD is played. Instead when a DVD fails to play, you will need to go into the properties of your DVD drive and change the region manually to the country from where the disc originated.

To change the region of the DVD drive in your PC or laptop and to see the number of region switches that remain follow these directions:

Right-click on the drive. Select properties, Hardware, highlight the DVD drive you want to check, click properties at the bottom, click on the region tab.

If you bought your computer used, you will want to check this. If there are no switches left and the last region used was something other than Region 1, you may have to replace the DVD drive in order to play US-produced DVDs.

An internet search will yield a variety of advice on how to hack the region settings though this is risky and could do irreparable harm to your computer so its not advisable.