We’ve added a number of classic films to our growing Blu-ray collection such as,
Panic in the Streets (Elia Kazan)
Ben-Hur (William Wyler)
Gigi (Vincent Minnelli)
North By Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock)
Mrs. Miniver (William Wyler)
Maltese Falcon (John Huston)
Grand Hotel (Edmund Goulding)
Mutiny on the Bounty (1962 – Lewis Milestone/Carol Reed)
Casablanca (Michael Curtiz)
Streetcar Named Desire (Elia Kazan)
An American in Paris (Vincente Minnelli)
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (Irwin Allen)
In case you thought the Oscars left a little to be desired – in other words, where were all the other amazing films that have been released in the past year – we thought it would be a good idea to list nominees for The Film Independent Spirit Awards and Boston’s Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film. If you’re hungry for something a little less slick and a little more gritty, check out some of the nominees from these two independent film awards organizations,
The Act of Killing
All is Lost
As I Lay Dying
Blue is the Warmest Color
Kill Your Darlings
Much Ado About Nothing
Short Term 12
The Spectacular Now
Stories We Tell
The Way Way Back
The Oscars winners were announced last night and we’ve got the films either already on the shelf or on order:
12 Years a Slave (on order – releases March 4, 2014)
Dallas Buyers Club (on order – releases March 4, 2014)
Frozen (on order – releases March 18, 2014)
The Great Gatsby
20 Feet from Stardom
And yes, we’ve also got American Hustle coming on March 18, 2014.
In my opinion, The Best Years of Our Lives is one of the best movies ever made. It may even be number one on my top ten list. I saw it for the first time when I was in college, long before the large flat screens. In fact, I think that about eight of us watched this film on a TV about a foot wide. Even on that small screen, the movie hit me like a ton of bricks.
If I had to use one word to describe the movie it would be poignant — incredibly moving without being sentimental. There is an amazing realism to the movie, every scene rings true. The scene where the parents speak with their daughter late at night about their marriage, is one of the most accurate and affecting scenes I have ever seen in any movie. When I watch it, I almost feel as if I am in that room.
This movie was made in 1946 and is often summarized as soldiers returning home from the war to civilian life. If that was all I knew about this movie I would probably flip right by it. Although it is about three soldiers who meet on a flight home, it is also a movie that profoundly touches on the subjects of love, family and friendship in a way that makes it timeless. It touches on socially sensitive subjects including post traumatic stress and the complexity of relationships in a way you wouldn’t expect for the time period.
The casting of the movie is perfect — led by stars like Fredric March, Myrna Loy, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo and Dana Andrews. But even minor characters in this movie are crucial to the film. It is the kind of film you could see many times, yet find additional nuances with each watching. If you are an old movie buff and haven’t seen this film, you need to see it as soon as possible. It will rock your world. And if you aren’t an old movie buff, this is one of the black and white movies that may change your opinion about classic films.
Find The Best Years of Our Lives in the library catalog.
For better or worse, Woody Allen’s been in the news these past few weeks. His personal life has been all over social media and this past weekend he came out of seclusion to refute 20 year-old claims of abuse. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Golden Globes. His new film, Blue Jasmine has just released on DVD and most agree it’s his best work in years. Cate Blanchett is nominated for an Oscar for her performance as Jasmine.
The acting world lost a giant this past weekend. Philip Seymour Hoffman died on February 2, 2014 at the age of 46. Hoffman amassed a daunting list of incredible character performances in film and on stage in his 20 year career. The following are a few of our personal favorites,
A Late Quartet
Nicole Holofcener creates dark, introspective comedies that are never light weight but nearly always make you wake up and notice her characters. Her previous films include Lovely & Amazing, Friends with Money, and Please Give. She casts Catherine Keener in every one of her films. Her latest, Enough Said is worth seeing for many reasons but the one most people are familiar with is that it’s James Gandofini’s final performance. See Gandofini and Julia Louis Dreyfus in Holocener’s newest film, Enough Said.
from the film’s site,
Based on a true story and winner of both the Grand Jury Prize for dramatic feature and the Audience Award for U.S. dramatic film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, director Ryan Coogler’s FRUITVALE STATION follows the true story of Oscar Grant (Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who wakes up on the morning of December 31, 2008 and feels something in the air. Not sure what it is, he takes it as a sign to get a head start on his resolutions: being better son to his mother (Octavia Spencer), whose birthday falls on New Year’s Eve, being a better partner to his girlfriend Sophina (Melonie Diaz), who he hasn’t been completely honest with as of late, and being a better father to Tatiana (Ariana Neal), their beautiful four year-old daughter.
Every so often, we’ll be featuring an older film for you to discover or re-discover. Like the social networking trend, we call this feature Throwback Thursday. Today’s gem comes from library staff member Judy Sparzo. Judy recommends 1998’s Pleasantville. From IMDb,
Two 1990s teenagers find themselves in a 1950s sitcom where their influence begins to profoundly change that complacent world.
Judy mentioned in the wake of Paul Walker’s death “he has a small role in the film. Also, some great actors (Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, Joan Allen, William H. Macy, and Jeff Daniels) and a time travel premise that always manages to fascinate.”