May 02

I Am Not Your Negro

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.

Find I Am Not Your Negro in the library catalog.

 

Mar 23

Throwback Thursday: Howards End

Cohen Media Group reissued a brand-new 4K version of Merchant Ivory’s classic, Howards End for theaters this past year. Cohen released a new (non-4K) DVD version of the film which the library carries. From Hal Erickson’s All Movie Guide,

One of the best Ismail Merchant/James Ivory films, this adaptation of E. M. Forster’s classic 1910 novel shows in careful detail the injuriously rigid British class consciousness of the early 20th century. The film’s catalyst is poor relation Margaret Schlegel (Emma Thompson), who inherits part of the estate of Ruth Wilcox (Vanessa Redgrave), an upper-class woman whom she had befriended. The film’s principal characters are divided by caste: aristocratic industrial Henry Wilcox (Anthony Hopkins); middle-echelon Margaret and her sister Helen (Helena Bonham Carter); and working-class clerk Leonard Bast (Sam West) and his wife (Nicola Duffett). The personal and social conflicts among these characters ultimately result in tragedy for Bast and disgrace for Wilcox, but the film’s wider theme remains the need, in the words of the novel’s famous epigram, to only connect with other people, despite boundaries of gender, class, or petty grievance. Filmed on a proudly modest budget, Howards End offers sets, spectacles, and costumes as lavish as in any historical epic. Nominated for 9 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director, the film took home awards for Thompson as Best Actress, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’s adapted screenplay, and Luciana Arrighi’s art direction.

Howards End is being adapted once again for the screen by Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea).
Until then, find the glorious Merchant Ivory Howards End in our library collection.

Sep 21

Love & Friendship

love-and-friendshipWhit Stillman’s new period drama, Love & Friendship stars Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny. From Westerly Films,

Beautiful young widow Lady Susan Vernon visits the estate of her in-laws to wait out the colourful rumours about her dalliances circulating through polite society. Whilst ensconced there, she decides to secure a husband for herself and a future for her eligible but reluctant daughter, Frederica. In doing so she attracts the simultaneous attentions of the young, handsome Reginald DeCourcy, the rich and silly Sir James Martin and the divinely handsome, but married, Lord Manwaring, complicating matters severely.

Find Love & Friendship in our library catalog.

Sep 12

American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson

americancrimestory_s1peoplevsojsimpson_dvd_eThe 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.

Aug 30

The Night Manager

night managerThe 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.

Aug 25

The Man Who Knew Infinity

man who knew infinityNew 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.

Mar 01

Room

roomBibliophiles often experience disappointment when their favorite novels are adapted into film. Luckily for Room, novelist Emma Donoghue not only wrote the book, but adapted the screenplay as well. Find out why Brie Larson won the Oscar for Best Actress and why newcomer Jacob Tremblay is a force to watch.

Room releases on DVD and Blu-ray today, 3/1/2016.

Check it out from the library.

Feb 03

Show Me a Hero

From The Wire creator, David Simon comes a 6-part mini-series, Show Me a Hero based on former New York Times reporter Lisa Belkin’s nonfiction book. From Rotten Tomatoes who clocks the series at a 97% rating,

A bitter dispute over federally mandated public housing divides Yonkers, N.Y., in the late 1980s in this six-part miniseries.

Find Show Me a Hero in our library catalog.

Nov 22

Mr. Holmes

mr holmesBill Condon’s new film, Mr. Holmes takes on the Sherlock story in an unusual way – Mr. Holmes is elderly, at the end of his career and trying desperately to solve one final mystery. Uber-actor Ian McKellan takes on the man of mystery. From Roadside Attractions,

MR HOLMES is a new twist on the world’s most famous detective. 1947, an aging Sherlock Holmes returns from a journey to Japan, where, in search of a rare plant with powerful restorative qualities, he has witnessed the devastation of nuclear warfare. Now, in his remote seaside farmhouse, Holmes faces the end of his days tending to his bees, with only the company of his housekeeper and her young son, Roger. Grappling with the diminishing powers of his mind, Holmes comes to rely upon the boy as he revisits the circumstances of the unsolved case that forced him into retirement, and searches for answers to the mysteries of life and love – before it’s too late.

Check out Mr. Holmes at both locations of our library.