The ten-hour mini-series, The People v. O.J. Simpson starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., Courtney B. Vance, John Travolta, Sarah Paulson, Sterling Brown, and David Schwimmer is now available on DVD. From A.V. Club,
It’s a bold choice to start out a series with the video of the Rodney King beating and the race riots, but it’s a choice that’s necessary for American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson (a title that I definitely will not be typing out in full after this). This first scene in the first episode was put in so viewers can draw parallels from the early ‘90s to our current tumultuous racial climate — especially when it comes to the tensions between police officers and black citizens. It’s a way to draw in the audience, to let us know that this series will be, at times, far more about racial tension than it is about the well-known basics of the O.J. Simpson trial. Because we already know what happened: We know about the barking dog, the white Bronco, and the acquittal. What we don’t know — unless you have heavily researched everything — is what happened outside of the media coverage and speculating articles. What we don’t know, and what remains important, is how race played such a huge role in the “trial of the century” and not just in black and white terms.
Find American Crime Story: The People v. O.J.Simpson in our library catalog.
Find the ESPN four-part documentary, O.J.: Made in America also in our library catalog.
Two new high-profile documentaries are out on DVD. ESPN’s O.J.: Made in America and the Anthony Weiner political scandal documentary, Weiner. Both films touch on race, scandal, and the media’s role in how stories are shaped in our culture.
Find O.J.: Made in America in our library catalog.
Find Weiner in our library catalog.
David Oyelowo (Selma) stars in the HBO film Nightingale. AV Club gave solid marks to the film calling it, “David Oyelowo’s bravura performance anchors HBO’s unsettling drama Nightingale.” From Rotten Tomatoes,
A man’s mental health deteriorates at a rapid pace after an unspeakable tragedy inside his mother’s home on a quiet suburban street.
Find Nightingale in our library catalog.
Fascinating new Chris Rock film, Top Five about the industry. From Paramount,
Pulsing with the rhythm of his greatest stand-up, Chris Rock’s TOP FIVE takes things to the next level, reveling in the high and the low, and blending a star-studded comedic romp with an irresistible romance. TOP FIVE digs under the surface of show business, politics, rap, and the exigencies of being black and famous today-holding it all up to the light in the way only Chris Rock can. Mingling echoes of Woody Allen and Dick Gregory with the energy of Kanye West and Jay Z, TOP FIVE is an original and radically new kind of American movie. Written, directed by, and starring Chris Rock, TOP FIVE tells the story of New York City comedian-turned-film star Andre Allen, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist (Rosario Dawson) forces him to confront the comedy career-and the past-that he’s left behind. Starring Chris Rock, Rosario Dawson, Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, Cedric The Entertainer, J.B. Smoove, Sherri Shepherd, Anders Holm, Romany Malco, Leslie Jones, Michael Che, and Jay Pharoah. The film is produced by Scott Rudin and Eli Bush. The Co-Producers are Shawn “Jay Z” Carter and Kanye West; the Executive Music Producer is Questlove.
Find Top Five at both branches in our library collection.
Combining the themes of Throwback Thursdays, movies, and March Madness, the library presents three classic basketball-themed films for your enjoyment.
Find these classic titles in our library catalog:
Love and Basketball
Ready for a suspenseful, murder mystery, police crime drama? How about kicking it up a notch where it’s 1967 in the deep South and the real drama centers not around the murder itself, but whether the African-American police detective from Philadelphia will be killed by local bigots? Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger star in Norman Jewison’s In the Heat of the Night based on the novel by John Ball. Heat reminds us of the racial tensions and violence which were a constant threat to most during the 1960’s and unfortunatelystill haven’t disappeared. Edge of your seat suspense with outstanding performances from Poitier and Steiger. In the Heat of the Night is a must-see, classic American film.
Find In the Heat of the Night in our library’s catalog.
from the film’s site,
Based on a true story and winner of both the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, director Ryan Coogler’s FRUITVALE STATION follows the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being better son to his mother (Octavia Spencer), whose birthday falls on New Year’s Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz), who he hasn’t been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to Tatiana (Ariana Neal), their beautiful four year-old daughter.
See Fruitvale Station in our catalog.
Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon produced The Central Park Five, a PBS documentary which chronicles the five African-American men wrongly accused of raping a white woman in Central Park during the summer of 1989. There’s nothing sensational about this documentary. Just a quiet truth about race relations in our country. Timely especially given the Zimmerman trial last year.