Set against the backdrop of a predominantly white Ivy League university where racial tensions bubble just below the surface, Dear White People is a send-up of the now post “post-racial” America that weaves together a universal story of finding one’s own identity and forging a wholly unique path. The satirical series — based on the acclaimed 2014 film by the same name — continues to follow a group of Winchester University students of color as they navigate a diverse landscape of social injustice, cultural bias, political correctness (or lack thereof) and activism in the millennial age. Through an absurdist lens, Dear White People utilizes biting irony, self-deprecation and sometimes brutal honesty to hold up a mirror to the issues plaguing society today, all the while leading with laughter.
With the continued popularity of television series in our collection, we added a number of classics on Blu-ray. Included in mix are:
Click on the title to view the series in our library catalog.
Already in our Blu-ray collection:
“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.
Raoul Peck’s timely and must-see documentary, I Am Not Your Negro gets its DVD release this week. From Magnolia Pictures,
In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends – Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only thirty completed pages of his manuscript. Now, in his incendiary new documentary, master filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of rich archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present of #BlackLivesMatter. It is a film that questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. And, ultimately, by confronting the deeper connections between the lives and assassination of these three leaders, Baldwin and Peck have produced a work that challenges the very definition of what America stands for.
Hart takes center stage in this groundbreaking, record-setting, sold-out performance of “What Now?” filmed outdoors in front of 50,000 people at Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field – marking the first time a comedian has ever performed to an at-capacity football stadium.
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.
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.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali explores the extraordinary and complex life of the legendary athlete outside the boxing ring. From joining the controversial Nation of Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, from his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War in the name of protesting racial inequality to his global humanitarian work, Ali remains an inspiring and controversial figure.
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.
From several compilation lists online, here are some American films sure to put you in the patriotic spirit, with links to find the titles in our library catalog:
Air Force One
All the President’s Men
An American Tail
Dazed and Confused
How the West was Won
Legally Blonde 2
Saving Private Ryan
The Best Years of Our Lives
The Right Stuff
To Kill a Mockingbird
Zero Dark Thirty