Danish television focused on the government and media? Are you serious? Yes, we are. Borgen is one of the best television shows released in any country in the past five years. Based on historical facts, Borgen begins with the election of the first female Prime Minister. Featuring powerhouse performances from Sidse Babett Knudsen as Prime Minister Birgitte Nyborg Christensen and featuring Pilou Asbæk as spin doctor Kasper Juul, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen as news anchor Katrine Fønsmark, Mikael Birkkjær as Birgitte’s husband Phillip Christensen and Søren Malling as Torben Friis, editor-in-chief for TV1 News, Borgen has you on the edge of your seat. You’re certain to finish Borgen wishing our political system worked a little more like Denmark’s – who knew politicians and political parties could actually work towards common good? Inspiring, exciting, full of intrigue and suspense, Borgen is sure to please anyone interested in contemporary international politics and the media’s role in our society. Oh, and it just happens to be author Stephen King’s favorite television series.
Argentine cinema began exporting some remarkable films in the 1970’s starting with 1974’s The Truce and continuing over the next 30 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.
Enter the post-WWII world of Grantchester, a bucolic village in England pairing a detective and a vicar who solve murders. From PBS,
Set in the English countryside’s most idyllic village, Grantchester follows two unlikely allies as they solve a series of cases that reveal the dark side of early 1950s England.
Handsome, young vicar Sidney Chambers (James Norton) shares his spiritual duties with a love of jazz, complicated relationships with women, and an enthusiasm for amateur sleuthing. When the concern of a parishioner compels him to dig deeper into a grisly suicide, he gets on the nerve of a tired, local law enforcement officer—Inspector Geordie Keating (Robson Green). Fortunately, the cleric and the cop bond over their war service, their love of a good pub, and their competitive instincts—in this case, for backgammon.
Grantchester is based on the acclaimed novel Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death by James Runcie, which was called “the coziest of cozy murder mysteries” by the New York Times Book Review. Runcie styled Sidney after his late father, Lord Runcie, who was Archbishop of Canterbury in the 1980s. Like Sidney, the elder Runcie was a war hero before he entered the ministry, and he was a compassionate and amiable parish priest. Unfortunately, he never took up crime-solving. Grantchester corrects that oversight.
The series stars James Norton (Chambers), who recently appeared on MASTERPIECE’s Death Comes to Pemberley as the underdog defense lawyer, and was also seen as the psychopathic villain in Happy Valley. Co-star Robson Green (Keating) is already revered for a number of MASTERPIECE starring roles, including the seductive hero opposite Francesca Annis in the runaway hit Reckless. Also featured are Morven Christie (Case Histories) as Amanda Kendall, Sidney’s first love and soul mate; Tessa Peake-Jones (Poirot) as Mrs. Maguire, the vicar’s morally judgmental landlady; Al Weaver (Sherlock) as Leonard Finch, the church’s new assistant curate; and German actress Pheline Roggan as Hildegard Staunton, the strikingly beautiful widow of the series’ first victim.
Every mean snowstorm has its silver lining. Not only did we get spared yesterday from 30+” of snow, Downton Abbey‘s fifth season was released on DVD and Blu-ray. Yes, you can binge watch the entire season before it airs on PBS. That’s a full 3 1/2 weeks before the final episode airs on February 22, 2015 and more than a month before the extra holiday episode airs on PBS March 1, 2015. So Downtonians take note – your favorite public library has you covered for all your British Costume Drama binge watching. Just be careful what you say around Violet. She might stab you with her retort!
A Christmas Tale (Un conte de Noël)
Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 2:00 pm
A Christmas Tale (Un conte de Noël) is a 2008 French comedy by Arnaud Desplechin about a chaotic family holiday gathering, Un conte de Noël is an intense, messy, emotional, examination of one dysfunctional family’s attempt to navigate their lives and
an important Christmas together. Lots of cigarette smoking and the always superb and luminous Catherine Deneuve as the matriarch Junon. Un conte de Noël tugs at the heart strings in-between fits of laughter.
In French with English subtitles.
Register at the library’s website.
Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas)
Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 2:00 pm
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I, we present Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas) a 2005 French film about the World War I Christmas truce of December 1914, depicted through the eyes of French, Scottish and German soldiers. Joyeux Noel was written and directed by Christian Carion and nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 78th Academy Awards. Daniel Brühl, Benno Fürmann, and Diane Kruger star in this heartwarming and truly international holiday event based on a
true WWI story.
In English, French, and German with English subtitles.
Fairfield Woods is gearing up for a cold winter with your favorite British television shows and series. Up next part two in the Johnny Worricker series, Worricker: Turks and Caicos. Have you seen Page Eight from 2011? Bill Nighy starred as MI-5 agent Johnny Worricker along with Michael Gambon and Rachel Weisz. Three years later Worricker is back in Turks and Caicos. From Masterpiece,
Sun, sand, and CIA are the themes of Johnny’s (Bill Nighy) clandestine retirement on a Caribbean island, overrun with high-rolling American businessmen who are bankrolling a mysterious project. Their worldly-wise publicist (Winona Ryder) and a tycoon named Curtis (Christopher Walken) befriend Johnny. The cloak-and-dagger life revives when a dodgy British philanthropist named Stirling Rogers (Rupert Graves) arrives with an associate, Margot (Helena Bonham Carter), whom Johnny knows well. Johnny’s new mission is to escape from an ever-tightening noose.
Bill Nighy (Pirates of the Caribbean) reprises his Golden Globe–nominated role as master spy Johnny Worricker in Worricker: Turks and Caicos, written and directed by Sir David Hare (Oscar®-nominated adapter of The Reader and The Hours).
One of the first French films to address the issue of collaboration during the German occupation, Louis Malle’s brave and controversial Lacombe, Lucien traces a young peasant’s journey from potential Resistance member to Gestapo recruit. At once the story of a nation and one troubled boy, the film is a disquieting portrait of lost innocence and guilt.
Find Lacombe, Lucien on DVD in the library catalog.
In French with English subtitles.
Criterion remastered and reissued Federico Fellini’s classic 1960 film La dolce vita. From Criterion,
The biggest hit from the most popular Italian filmmaker of all time, La dolce vita rocketed Federico Fellini to international mainstream success—ironically, by offering a damning critique of the culture of stardom. A look at the darkness beneath the seductive lifestyles of Rome’s rich and glamorous, the film follows a notorious celebrity journalist (a sublimely cool Marcello Mastroianni) during a hectic week spent on the peripheries of the spotlight. This mordant picture was an incisive commentary on the deepening decadence of contemporary Europe, and it provided a prescient glimpse of just how gossip- and fame-obsessed our society would become.
With our star and fame obsessed American culture, it certainly will be fascinating to take a look back at how Fellini saw it over 50 years ago! And no one does pristine film restoration with attention to detail better than Criterion.
Víctor, a 17 year old wheelbarrow leader, dreams of becoming famous, often absorbed by the TV in the appliance store in the Municipal Market. He receives an unusual proposal, to carry 7 boxes of unknown content, in exchange for a torn half of a $ 100 bill. He will get the other half when he finishes the job. Víctor, who has never seen this much money, has no idea how much it really is. But he also knows well that his need is greater than his curiosity. With a borrowed cell phone, the contractor uses to tell him the way, Víctor embarks on the journey. Crossing the eight blocks of the market seemed easy but things get complicated along the way. There is something in those boxes that starts a high-speed wheelbarrow chase in the secret and gloomy corridors of the market. Without even realizing, Víctor and his pursuers will get involved in a crime of which they know nothing.
Find 7 Boxes in our library catalog.
In Spanish with English subtitles.