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.
An upcoming exhibition celebrating photographer Isabelle Reed three years after her untimely death, brings her eldest son Jonah back to the family house – forcing him to spend more time with his father Gene and withdrawn younger brother Conrad than he has in years. With the three of them under the same roof, Gene tries desperately to connect with his two sons, but they struggle to reconcile their feelings about the woman they remember so differently.
Find Louder than Bombs in our library catalog.
The short-series (mini-series) The Night Manager based on the John LeCarre novel comes to DVD this week starrinddleston, Hugh Laurie, Olivia Colman, Tom Hollander, and Russell Tovey From AMC,
This short, thrilling series presents Jonathon Pine as the night manager for a hotel in Cairo. Conflict unfolds as Pine develops a relationship with the girlfriend of a local gangster through whom she has acquired information on an illegal arms dealer, Richard Roper. Due to her knowledge, the woman is murdered. Pine, fearing of his life, leaves Cairo and takes refuge at a secluded hotel in Switzerland. For two years Pine works at the hotel before Roper arrives and incites Pine’s need for revenge. Enlisted by British Intelligence, Pine spies on Roper, and story the spirals into conspiracy and betrayal.
Find The Night Manager in our library catalog.
New film, The Man Who Knew Infinity based on a true story. From IFC Films,
Written and directed by Matthew Brown, The Man Who Knew Infinity is the true story of friendship that forever changed mathematics. In 1913, Ramanujan (Dev Patel), a self-taught Indian mathematics genius traveled to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he forged a bond with his mentor, the eccentric professor GH Hardy (Jeremy Irons), and fought against prejudice to reveal his mathematic genius to the world.
Find The Man Who Knew Infinity in our library catalog.
The big budget Hollywood drone film, Eye in the Sky starring the luminous Helen Mirren and featuring Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul and Alan Rickman’s final performance hovers onto DVD and streaming this week. From Metacritic,
Through remote surveillance and on-the-ground intel, Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren), a UK-based military officer in command of a top secret drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya discovers the targets are planning a suicide bombing and the mission escalates from “capture” toThrough remote surveillance and on-the-ground intel, Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren), a UK-based military officer in command of a top secret drone operation to capture terrorists in Kenya discovers the targets are planning a suicide bombing and the mission escalates from “capture” to “kill.” But as American pilot Steve Watts (Aaron Paul) is about to engage, a nine-year old girl enters the kill zone triggering an international dispute, reaching the highest levels of US and British government, over the moral, political, and personal implications of modern warfare.
Find Eye in the Sky in our library catalog.
The international (Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina), film, Embrace of the Serpent releases on DVD this week. The movie features many languages including Spanish, Portuguese, German, Catalan, and Latin.
From Rotten Tomatoes,
Embrace of the Serpent features the encounter, apparent betrayal and finally life-affirming friendship between an Amazonian shaman (the last survivor of his people) and two foreign scientists.
Find Embrace of the Serpent in the catalog.
German director Christian Petzold’s Phoenix releases on DVD today. From IFC,
A spellbinding mystery of identity, illusion, and deception unfolds against the turmoil of post-World War II Germany in the stunning new film from acclaimed director Christian Petzold (Barbara, Jerichow). Nelly (Nina Hoss), a German-Jewish nightclub singer, has survived a concentration camp, but with her face disfigured by a bullet wound. After undergoing reconstructive surgery, Nelly emerges with a new face, one similar but different enough that her former husband, Johnny (Ronald Zehrfeld), doesn’t recognize her. Rather than reveal herself, Nelly walks into a dangerous game of duplicity and disguise as she tries to figure out if the man she loves may have been the one who betrayed her to the Nazis. Evoking the shadows and haunted mood of post-war Berlin, Phoenix weaves a complex tale of a nation’s tragedy and a woman’s search for answers as it builds towards an unforgettable, heart-stopping climax.
Find Phoenix in the library’s catalog.
Easy Rider recently got remastered and released by Criterion. We didn’t own a copy so we added the newly minted classic to our collection. From Roger Ebert’s website,
But it’s hard to identify with the Fonda and Hopper characters. So Hopper and his co-writers Fonda and Terry Southern write in a brilliant character, Old George (played magnificently by Jack Nicholson). And when this alcoholic, tragic ACLU lawyer from a small Southern town enters the picture, suddenly that’s us there on the bike with Fonda. And the movie starts to work.
If you follow the story closely in “Easy Rider,” you find out it isn’t there. The rough-cut of the movie reportedly ran over three hours, and Hopper edited it to a reasonable length by throwing out the story details and keeping the rest. So the heroes are suspended in an invisible story, like falcons on an invisible current of air. You can’t see it, but it holds them up.
All of this divests a motorcycle movie of its weak point (the story) and develops its strong point (the role of the self-proclaimed rebel in a conformist society). It’s not just bike freaks who get in trouble when they challenge the establishment — it’s everybody, even Old George.
And yet, “Easy Rider” suggests, it’s not as simple as that. We almost forget that the Fonda and Hopper characters have also sold out.
Does it hold up? Are you watching it for the first time?
Find Easy Rider in the library’s catalog.