Want some classic fright in your life this Halloween? Why not check out 1968’s Rosemary’s Baby starring Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes. Who doesn’t love newlyweds on the Upper West Side with witches as their neighbors? Boo!
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.
For Cinco de Mayo, may we suggest a contemporary Mexican film, Y Tu Mamá También (2001) directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Children of Men) and starring Gael García Bernal (Mozart in the Jungle, The Motorcycle Diaries), Maribel Verdú (Pan’s Labyrinth), and Diego Luna (Milk). From Rotten Tomatoes,
Alfonso Cuarón directed and co-wrote this sexy art-house hit from Mexico. The funny and moving coming-of-age story centers on two immature teens who get an education in love when they take a sexy road trip with a liberated, unhappily married woman
We have all the films from all eras on DVD and Blu-ray at both Woods and Main.
We also have a dedicated collection of Star Wars books now in their own section.
And the Children’s Library even has BB-8s for check-out.
Browse everything Star Wars in our library catalog.
New Year’s Eve is the perfect night to queue up some great classic film and steer clear of the maddening partying crowds. Our suggestion for you this year is ring in 2016 with Alfred Hitchcock. And why stop with one? Why not have a double feature or a marathon? We have 33 of Hitch’s films on DVD at the library.
Refresh your memory with two great Hitchcock film lists and an online exposition,
Indiewire’s Alfred Hitchcock’s Top 25 Films, Ranked.
The Telegraph’s From Topaz to Psycho: top 52 Hitchcock films.
Explore all things Hitchcock at the British Film Institute.
We took a look at the Oscar Best Picture winners and filled as many holes in our collection as we could. As a result, we now have all of the available DVDs in print. Turns out we had nearly all the films, there were only a dozen we had to acquire.
To refresh your memory, here’s a list of the newest:
2014 – “Birdman”
2013 – “12 Years a Slave”
2012 – “Argo”
2011 – “The Artist”
2010 – “The King’s Speech”
2009 – “The Hurt Locker”
2008 – “Slumdog Millionaire”
2007 – “No Country for Old Men”
2006 – “The Departed”
2005 – “Crash”
2004 – “Million Dollar Baby”
2003 – “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
2002 – “Chicago”
2001 – “A Beautiful Mind”
2000 – “Gladiator”
and the oldest:
1939 – “Gone with the Wind”
1938 – “You Can’t Take It with You”
1937 – “The Life of Emile Zola”
1936 – “The Great Ziegfeld”
1935 – “Mutiny on the Bounty”
1934 – “It Happened One Night”
1932/1933 – “Cavalcade”
1931/1932 – “Grand Hotel”
1930/1931 – “Cimarron”
1929/1930 – “All Quiet on the Western Front”
1928/1929 – “The Broadway Melody”
1927/1928 – “Wings”
And if you’d like to see everything in-between, check out the full list here.
Never seen a Preston Sturges film? Boy are you are in for a rare treat! From American Masters,
Considered the father of the screwball comedy, Preston Sturges was recognized as one of the great early writers in Hollywood… Sturges, however, had been consistently dissatisfied with director’s interpretations of his work, and in 1939 convinced his employers, Paramount Pictures, to let him direct his own script. For the opportunity to direct, Sturges sold “THE GREAT MCGINTY”, his newest script, for $1. The film earned him an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (the first time this award had been handed out). Sturges followed this by writing and directing a handful of other big hits including “CHRISTMAS IN JULY” (1940) and “THE LADY EVE” (1941). The success of these films set the precedent for other writers to become directors.
In The Lady Eve,
Charles Pike is the son of a beer magnate who becomes the target of the father-daughter team of card sharps ‘Colonel’ Harry and Jean Harrington. Their plan to rob the naive man blind hits a snag, however, when Jean falls head over heels for an equally-smitten Pike.
And in case you’re wondering, it doesn’t get much better in the classic movie world than the pairing up of Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda.
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
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.
In honor of the official start of summer this week, let’s throwback to 2001’s camp classic ode to the 80’s, Wet Hot American Summer. Netflix loved it so much they decided to create a newly rebooted Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp which will hit the streaming service July 17. But for now, let’s focus on the original since it’s Throwback Thursday. From Rotten Tomatoes,
The setting is Camp Firewood, the year 1981. It’s the last day before everyone goes back to the real world, but there’s still a summer’s worth of unfinished business to resolve. At the center of the action is camp director Beth, who struggles to keep order while she falls in love with the local astrophysics professor. He is busy trying to save the camp from a deadly piece of NASA’s Skylab which is hurtling toward earth. All that, plus: a dangerous waterfall rescue, love triangles, misfits, cool kids, and talking vegetable cans. The questions will all be resolved, of course, at the big talent show at the end of the day.