Jul 22

Li’l Quinquin

quinquin_FINALFrench filmmaker Bruno Dumont’s latest film, Li’l Quinquin was originally released as a 4-part mini-series. From Kino distributor,

French auteur Bruno Dumont, best known for uncompromising and austere dramas, proves with the comedy Li’l Quinquin that he is capable of shifting gears without conceding his signature style. This absurdist, metaphysical murder mystery opens with the discovery of human body parts stuffed inside a cow – a literal bete humaine – on the outskirts of the English Channel in northern France. The bumbling and mumbling Captain Van der Weyden (played by Bernard Pruvost) is assigned to investigate the crime, but he has to contend with a young prankster, the mischievous Quinquin (Alane Delhaye), as he proceeds to investigate the case. Dubbed an “epic farce” by the New York Film Festival, Li’l Quinquin has been compared to Twin Peaks and True Detective. But simply speaking, Li’l Quinquin is “a wonderfully weird and unexpectedly hilarious” (Scott Foundas, Variety) masterwork from one of the most important contemporary French directors.

Find Li’l Quinquin on DVD in the library catalog.

Jul 20

While We’re Young

while we're youngNoah 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.

Jul 02

Happy 4th of July: Patriotic Movies

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:

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Air Force One
All the President’s Men
An American Tail
Apollo 13
Argo
Captain America
Dazed and Confused
Forrest Gump
Glory
How the West was Won
Independence Day
John Adams
Legally Blonde 2
Lincoln
Miracle
National Treasure
Patton
Rocky
Saving Private Ryan
Tall Tale
The Best Years of Our Lives
The Patriot
The Right Stuff
The Sandlot
To Kill a Mockingbird
Top Gun
United 93
Zero Dark Thirty

Jun 30

Camp X-ray

camp xrayKristen Stewart stars in a new indie film, Camp X-ray. From IFC,

A young woman joins the military to be part of something bigger than herself and her small town roots. But she ends up as a new guard at Guantanamo Bay instead, where her mission is far from black and white. Surrounded by hostile jihadists and aggressive squadmates, she strikes up an unusual friendship with one of the detainees. A story of two people, on opposite sides of a war, struggling to find their way through the ethical quagmire of Guantanamo Bay. And in the process, they form an unlikely bond that changes them both.

Find Camp X-ray in our catalog.

 

Jun 22

Timbuktu

297_cover_timbuktu.inddNominated for Oscar’s Best Foreign Film from Mauritania,

Not far from the ancient Malian city of Timbuktu, now ruled by the religious fundamentalists, proud cattle herder Kidane (Ibrahim Ahmed aka Pino) lives peacefully in the dunes with his wife Satima (Toulou Kiki), his daughter Toya (Layla Walet Mohamed), and Issan (Mehdi Ag Mohamed), their twelve-year-old shepherd. In town, the people suffer, powerless, from the regime of terror imposed by the Jihadists determined to control their faith. Music, laughter, cigarettes, even soccer have been banned. The women have become shadows but resist with dignity. Every day, the new improvised courts issue tragic and absurd sentences. Kidane and his family are being spared the chaos that prevails in Timbuktu. But their destiny changes abruptly in this stunningly rendered film from a master of world cinema.

Find Timbuktu in our library’s catalog.

Jun 04

Throwback Thursdays: Odd Man Out

odd man outCarol Reed’s 1947 masterpiece, Odd Man Out gets the Criterion treatment to showcase its’ glory. From Criterion,

Taking place largely over the course of one tense night, Carol Reed’s psychological noir, set in an unnamed Belfast, stars James Mason as a revolutionary ex-con leading a robbery that goes horribly wrong. Injured and hunted by the police, he seeks refuge throughout the city, while the woman he loves (Kathleen Ryan) searches for him among the shadows. Reed and cinematographer Robert Krasker (who would collaborate again on The Third Man) create images of stunning depth for this fierce, spiritual depiction of a man’s ultimate confrontation with himself.

Find Odd Man Out in our library catalog.

May 21

Wolf Hall

wolf hallAdapted from Hilary Mantel’s best-selling Booker Prize-winning novels: Wolf Hall and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies, BBC and PBS Masterpiece release the mini-series Wolf Hall on DVD. From PBS,

A historical drama for a modern audience, Wolf Hall tells the story of Thomas Cromwell, played by Mark Rylance (Twelfth Night)—a blacksmith’s son who rises from the ashes of personal disaster, and deftly picks his way through a court where ‘man is wolf to man.’ Damian Lewis (Homeland) is King Henry VIII, haunted by his brother’s premature death and obsessed with protecting the Tudor dynasty by securing his succession with a male heir to the throne. The cast also includes Claire Foy (Little Dorrit) as the future queen Anne Boleyn.

Told from Cromwell’s perspective, Wolf Hall follows the complex machinations and back room dealings of this accomplished power broker who must serve king and country while dealing with deadly political intrigue, Henry VIII’s tempestuous relationship with Anne Boleyn, and the religious upheavals of the Protestant reformation.

Find Wolf Hall in our library catalog.
Join us for two library program events in June, The World of Wolf Hall: Two Women, One King with our resident historian, Dr. Mona Garcia:
Register for Part 1.
Register for Part 2.

May 14

Still Alice

still aliceWe are nearing the end of the DVD release dates for Oscar winners. Still Alice was released last week. American Sniper – the final big film gets released on Tuesday, May 19th. Julianne Moore won the coveted Best Actress award for her portrayal of Alice Howland, a linguistics professor who is diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s at age 50. Based on the novel by Lisa Genova, Still Alice is Moore’s tour de force. She is reflective, nuanced, and brave as we watch her mind and world diminish. Alec Baldwin and Kristin Stewart play Moore’s husband and youngest child. Stewart in particular holds her own beautifully next to a powerhouse Moore. A beautiful, tragic film that will linger with you for days.

Find Still Alice in our library catalog.
Read Lisa Genova’s book also in our library catalog.

Apr 09

Throwback Thursday: Nine Queens

nine queensArgentine cinema began exporting some remarkable films in the 1970’s starting with 1974’s The Truce and continuing over the next 40 years including the 1985 Oscar winning film The Official Story, nominated film Son of the Bride, second winner The Secret in Their Eyes, and last year’s nominated Wild Tales. In 2000, Argentina sent us the delectable con artist film Nine Queens. From Rotten Tomatoes,

Early one morning Juan is pulling a bill-switching scheme in an all-night deli when Marcos, an apparently innocent bystander, pretends to whisk him off to the police. But Marcos is a con artist, just helping out a new recruit, and he enlists Juan in a plot that he claims will set them up for early retirement. Juan is skeptical at first, but agrees to work with Marcos after he impresses him with a few sophisticated cons. A once-in-a-lifetime scheme then seemingly falls in their laps–an old time con man enlists Juan and Marcos to sell a forged set of extremely valuable rare stamps–The Nine Queens. The tricky negotiations that ensue bring into the picture a cast of suspicious characters including Marcos’ beautiful sister Valeria, their innocent younger brother, Frederico who idolizes Marcus–as well as a slew of thieves, con men and pickpockets. As the action moves from humble barrios to luxury hotels, it soon appears that the city itself is part of an elaborate plot.

Find Nine Queens in our library catalog.
Find The Official Story in our library catalog.
Find The Secret in Our Eyes in our library catalog.

Mar 24

Rosewater

rosewaterJohn Stewart’s (The Daily Show) feature film directorial debut is finally out on DVD. From Open Road Films,

Rosewater is based on The New York Times best-selling memoir “Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival,” written by Maziar Bahari. The film marks the directorial debut of “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, and stars Gael García Bernal. Rosewater follows the Tehran-born Bahari, a broadcast journalist with Canadian citizenship. In June 2009, Bahari returned to Iran to interview Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who was the prime challenger to president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As Mousavi’s supporters rose up to protest Ahmadinejad’s victory declaration hours before the polls closed, Bahari endured personal risk by sending footage of the street riots to the BBC. Bahari was arrested by police, led by a man identifying himself only as “Rosewater,” who tortured and interrogated him over the next 118 days. With Bahari’s wife leading an international campaign to have her husband freed, and Western media outlets keeping the story alive, Iranian authorities released Bahari on $300,000 bail and the promise he would act as a spy for the government.

Find Rosewater in our library catalog.
Read the book Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival by Maziar Bahari in our library catalog.