Seeing Ourselves in Film continues a conversation we began last Fall during the John Sayles’ Independent Director series: “what does it mean to be an American?”
This Winter and Spring we will look at one film from each decade 1940’s – 2010’s. We will ask ourselves:
How does Hollywood depict Americans in this film?
What happened during this decade which helped create this film?
Does Hollywood influence or reflect changes in culture? Or both?
Click on image below to register:
Need an escape from the cruel world? Nothing better than tapping into a 21st Century version of the Archie Comics. The CW’s Riverdale boasts the original cast of characters with a decidedly murder-mystery bent. Join Archie, Veronica, Betty, Jughead, Josie (and her Pussycats), and Kevin Keller as they tackle the mysteries of their small town. Oh and the parents are all played by known actors – many from 90’s TV shows. Lots of fun.
Find Riverdale in the library catalog.
With a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Get Out shatters the fright night horror genre into a million delicious pieces. From Variety,
“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” meets “The Stepford Wives” in “Get Out,” in which a white girl brings her black boyfriend home to meet her parents, whose superficially warm welcome masks an unthinkably dark secret. Blending race-savvy satire with horror to especially potent effect, this bombshell social critique from first-time director Jordan Peele proves positively fearless — which is not at all the same thing as scareless. In fact, from the steady joy-buzzer thrills to its terrifying notion of a new way that white people have found to perpetuate the peculiar institution of slavery, “Get Out” delivers plenty to frighten and enrage audiences. But it’s the fact that Peele doesn’t pull a single one of his punches that makes his Blumhouse-backed debut a must-see event.
Find Get Out in our library catalog.
Legendary director Nicholas Ray began his career with this lyrical film noir, the first in a series of existential genre films overflowing with sympathy for America’s outcasts and underdogs. When the wide-eyed fugitive Bowie (Farley Granger), having broken out of prison with some bank robbers, meets the innocent Keechie (Cathy O’Donnell), each recognizes something in the other that no one else ever has. The young lovers envision a new, decent life together, but as they flee the cops and contend with Bowie’s fellow outlaws, who aren’t about to let him go straight, they realize there’s nowhere left to run. Ray brought an outsider’s sensibility honed in the theater to this debut, using revolutionary camera techniques and naturalistic performances to craft a profoundly romantic crime drama that paved the way for decades of lovers-on-the-run thrillers to come.
Check out the remastered They Live By Night in our library catalog.
Want some classic fright in your life this Halloween? Why not check out 1968’s Rosemary’s Baby starring Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes. Who doesn’t love newlyweds on the Upper West Side with satanists as their neighbors? Boo!
Find Rosemary’s Baby in our library catalog.
Whit Stillman’s new period drama, Love & Friendship stars Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny. From Westerly Films,
Beautiful young widow Lady Susan Vernon visits the estate of her in-laws to wait out the colourful rumours about her dalliances circulating through polite society. Whilst ensconced there, she decides to secure a husband for herself and a future for her eligible but reluctant daughter, Frederica. In doing so she attracts the simultaneous attentions of the young, handsome Reginald DeCourcy, the rich and silly Sir James Martin and the divinely handsome, but married, Lord Manwaring, complicating matters severely.
Find Love & Friendship in our library catalog.
The new Sally Field film, Hello, My Name is Doris arrives on DVD and the critics love it. From Rotten Tomatoes,
When Doris Miller meets John Fremont, her company’s hip new art director, sparks fly-at least for Doris. In the cluttered house she shared with her late mother, Doris mines the Internet for information on her one-and-only, guided by the 13-year-old granddaughter of her best pal Roz. When Doris begins showing up at John’s regular haunts, she wins over his Williamsburg friends. Her new life brings Doris a thrilling perspective, but also creates a rift between her and her longtime friends and family, who believe she’s making a fool of herself over a guy half her age. Eager for all the experiences she has missed out on, Doris throws caution to the wind and follows her heart for the very first time.
Find Hello, My Name is Doris in our catalog.
The comedy Hindi film, Dil Dhadakne Do focuses “on a cruise to celebrate their parents’ 30th wedding anniversary, a brother and sister deal with the impact of family considerations on their romantic lives” (IMDb).
Hindi films play regularly in our local theaters in Fairfield and Bridgeport. Find Dil Dhadakne Do in our DVD Express section.
Noah Bambach has been making heady films about modern life since his 1995 debut, Kicking and Screaming. Library favorites from his film career include The Squid and the Whale, Margot at the Wedding, and the brilliant Frances Ha. From Rotten Tomatoes,
Noah Boaumbach’s comedy While We’re Young stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as Josh and Cornelia, a childless New York married couple in their mid-forties. As their other friends all start having children, the couple gravitates toward a young hipster couple named Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried). He’s an aspiring documentary filmmaker, a vocation Josh already has. Soon the older couple begins enjoying the energy they feel haging out with the younger generation, but eventually Josh begins to suspect his new best friend might not be as straightforward and trustworthy as he thought. While We’re Young screened at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.
Watch While We’re Young on DVD from either branch.