Acclaimed director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and executive producers Martin Scorsese (The Departed) and Steven Zaillian (Moneyball) present LIFE ITSELF, a documentary film that recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert – a story that is by turns personal, funny, painful, and transcendent. Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name, LIFE ITSELF, explores the legacy of Roger Ebert’s life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America. (C) Magnolia
The Oscars are upon us this weekend. You may be wondering when we will be getting your favorite films on DVD at the library. Here is a run down of the nominated films and their video release dates on DVD and Blu-ray:
Already in our collection:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
3/6: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay
3/17: The Theory of Everything
3/24: Into the Woods
3/31: The Imitation Game
4/28: Wild Last Days in Vietnam
Coming Soon (no release date yet): American Sniper Mr. Turner Selma Still Alice Two Days, Two Nights Unbroken
It’s going to be cold outside this New Year’s Eve here in Fairfield. Why not stay in and catch up with some great films from 2014? We are open until 5pm on Wednesday, December 31st. Our Express DVD section has popular and critically acclaimed titles from the past six months. If you need help, here is a list compiled from several end of the year favorite film lists. Copies of all of these films are in our catalog:
Best of 2014: (selections from Indiewire, Wired, Rolling Stone, Metacritic, and The Atlantic)
A Most Wanted Man
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Cold in July
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Dear White People
Ernest & Célestine
The Fault in Our Stars
Finding Vivian Maier
Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Normal Heart
Only Lovers Left Alive
The Skeleton Twins
Venus in Fur
We are the Best!
Wishing you and yours a safe and healthy new year.
Great new local* documentary Next Year Jerusalem is now available to borrow from Fairfield Woods. Director’s statement from the film’s website,
Next Year Jerusalem is my third documentary feature and a continuation of my attempts to examine the decision to choose life in spite of death. This is a special project because my first documentary film, a short, was photographed at the Jewish Home for the Elderly (Fairfield, CT)* the nursing home featured in Next Year Jerusalem. That project (More Than Skin Deep, 2002) explored awareness of aging on the part of five nursing home residents, interviewed during their weekly beauty shop appointments.
I am fascinated with exploring the subtle distinctions between living and dying. Framed by the story of elderly people going on one last adventure, I found a vehicle to pose existential questions in subtle ways: at one moment a reflection on the vain struggle to capture experiences in a photograph, in another the frustrated refusal to accept mediocre hospital food. The stakes of living can be high in the final stages and I wanted to bear witness to the complicated dynamics of acceptance when life’s end is near.
Art lovers and documentary fans take note. Tim’s Verneer just got released on DVD this week. From Rotten Tomatoes,
Tim Jenison, a Texas based inventor, (Video Toaster, LightWave, TriCaster) attempts to solve one of the greatest mysteries in all art: How did 17th century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer (“Girl with a Pearl Earring”) manage to paint so photo-realistically – 150 years before the invention of photography? The epic research project Jenison embarks on to test his theory is as extraordinary as what he discovers. Spanning a decade, Jenison’s adventure takes him to Delft, Holland, where Vermeer painted his masterpieces on a pilgrimage to the North coast of Yorkshire to meet artist David Hockney and eventually to Buckingham Palace, to see the Queen’s Vermeer.
Brand-new documentary Fed Up gets released today on DVD. From the movie’s official site,
Everything we’ve been told about food and exercise for the past 30 years is dead wrong. FED UP is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH) and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever.
Following in the footsteps of the critically acclaimed documentary Manufactured Landscapes, filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal teams up once again with artist Edward Burtynsky as he explores the simplest idea in the film Watermark. From Burtynsky’s website,
Watermark is a feature documentary from multiple-award winning filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier, and renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky, marking their second collaboration after Manufactured Landscapes in 2006. The film brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it and the consequences of that use.
Find Watermark in our library catalog.
Discover their previous film, the stunning Manufactured Landscapes in our library catalog.
Check out Burtynsky’s book of photographs, Manufactured Landscapes in our library’s collection.
Do you wake up Friday morning to the sounds of StoryCorps on NPR? Do you find tears falling down your cheek onto the pillow before you start your day? Yup, we do too. Good news for fans of this outstanding American archival project. From NPR,
The first-ever animated special from StoryCorps celebrates the transformative power of listening. Listening Is an Act of Love features six stories from 10 years of the innovative oral history project. Each story reflects StoryCorps founder Dave Isay’s fundamental belief: “We can learn so much about the people all around us — even about the people we already know — just by taking the time to have a conversation.” Framing these intimate conversations from across the country is an interview between Isay and his 9-year-old nephew, Benji. As always, the selections provoke both tears and laughter — and highlight the simple joy found in sitting together and asking life’s important questions. Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.Produced in association with American Documentary | POV.
Picture of Light takes a film crew to the Sub Artic to capture the wonder of the Northern Lights. While combining glimpses of the characters who live in this remote environment and the crew’s both comic and absurd attempts to deal with extremes, the film reflects upon the paradoxes involved in trying to capture the natural wonder of the Northern Lights on celluloid. Aurora Borealis…the lights with no bodies, pouring colours from the sky…images provided by nature more special than any special effect.
Iconic documentary filmmaker Errol Morris (Fog of War, The Thin Blue Line) tackles a controversial subject once again in his latest film, The Unknown Known – Donald Rumsfeld, former United States Secretary of Defense who discusses his career in Washington D.C. from his days as a congressman in the early 1960s to planning the invasion of Iraq in 2003.