Award-winning cinematographer Gordon Willis passed away this week leaving a canon of outstanding films. His signature dark shots can be seen in such classics as The Godfather, Annie Hall, Manhattan (remember the Planetarium scene?), and All the President’s Men. From NPR,
He shot a total of eight films for Woody Allen and was dubbed the “Prince of Darkness” by fellow cinematographer Conrad Hall for his use of shadows.
But today, let’s focus on the brilliant Klute which won Jane Fonda an Oscar for Best Actress in 1971. Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland star in this 1971 suspense drama about a high-class call girl in New York City who gets reluctantly dragged into a missing person’s investigation. An outstanding plot with lots of interesting choices like the taped phone calls being repeated throughout the film and Jane’s confessions to her therapist. Incredible outdoor shots of NYC in the early 70′s. This is a classic for sure. Klute is a top-notch thriller!
Find Klute in our library catalog.
Perhaps no other director in the history of cinema captured the hearts and scared the wits out of movie goers more than Alfred Hitchcock. Beginning with his first British film in 1925 and continuing through an illustrious career including Shadow of a Doubt, Suspicion, Spellbound, Notorious, Rope, Strangers on a Train, Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, The Trouble with Harry, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, The Birds, and Marnie, film goers marveled at his expertise for nearly a century. In total Hitchcock directed 58 films spanning most of the 20th Century through his death in 1980. To this day, no one can match the suspense of Hitch nor can they elicit the fright of an audience simply by implying rather than showing the terror or gore. Alfred Hitchcock was one of a kind and his films really are timeless classics.
Check out our list of Hitchcock films and books in the library catalog.
Great new indie film just out on DVD, Kill Your Darlings focuses on the Beat poets as they meet in and around Columbia University in the early 1940′s. The film focuses on Lucien Carr who introduced William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac to each other and eventually the world. Carr was arrested in 1944 for the killing of David Kammerer. Kill Your Darlings takes place during the time right before the killing. Daniel Radcliffe permanently sheds his Harry Potter persona as a young and impressionable Ginsberg and Ben Foster has his best role to date as a perfect embodiment of Burroughs. Kill Your Darlings is fun, entertaining and serves a glimpse into the early lives of the Beats.
Find Kill Your Darlings in our catalog.
YA Librarian Nicole Scherer couldn’t wait to tell you about her favorite new television obsession,
I know, I know…after four books and four movies (some of which were not very good) you are done with Hannibal Lecter. Maybe that’s why you missed the amazing first season of Hannibal on NBC. Take it from this horror-phobic librarian: it’s not so much scary as it is chilling. It takes a different approach than you might think: The show is set long before the famous cannibal is behind bars. Instead, its attention is on Will Graham, a criminal profiler with the gift (or curse) of perfect empathy. He can read a crime scene and practically see through the killer’s eyes. In order to cope with the intensity of his work, he seeks out the help of a certain psychiatrist, who happens to be moonlighting as a serial killer. This presents a whole new angle on the familiar story: We get to see Hannibal in practice, not as a prisoner or fugitive. Anchored by sublime performances from Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen, this is one of the most visually striking shows on TV. And it’s not too late to catch up on the story before Season 2 begins at the end of February – you can borrow Season 1 from the library!
Find Hannibal in our catalog.
The best thing about The East, which is a very tight, sophisticated Hollywood thriller is Brit Marling. Marling co-wrote the screenplay with director Zal Batmanglij, produced and stars in the film as lead character Jane who leaves her FBI job to work for an elite private intelligence firm. Jane’s new assignment is to bring down the eco-terrorist anarchist group, The East. Fantastic premise along with solid performances by all the actors including Marling, Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood), Shiloh Fernandez, Ellen Page, and the delectable Patricia Clarkson as the amoral head of the firm.