Jul 28

When Jews Were Funny

when jews were funnyufrom the filmmaker’s website,

Insightful and often hilarious, the latest from documentary filmmaker Alan Zweig surveys the history of Jewish comedy, from the early days of Borsht belt to the present, ultimately exploring not just ethnicity in the entertainment industry, but also the entire unruly question of what it means to be Jewish.

Get access to additional bonus clips, including never-before-seen interviews with the filmmaker and featured comedians like Judy Gold, Gilbert Gottfried, and Howie Mandel. Enjoy this insightful and hilarious film which surveys the history of Jewish comedy with the whole family!

Discover When Jews Were Funny in our library catalog.

Jul 22

Listening is an act of love : a StoryCorps special

listening is an act of loveDo you wake up Friday morning to the sounds of StoryCorps on NPR? Do you find tears falling down your cheek onto the pillow before you start your day? Yup, we do too. Good news for fans of this outstanding American archival project. From NPR,

The first-ever animated special from StoryCorps celebrates the transformative power of listening. Listening Is an Act of Love features six stories from 10 years of the innovative oral history project. Each story reflects StoryCorps founder Dave Isay’s fundamental belief: “We can learn so much about the people all around us — even about the people we already know — just by taking the time to have a conversation.” Framing these intimate conversations from across the country is an interview between Isay and his 9-year-old nephew, Benji. As always, the selections provoke both tears and laughter — and highlight the simple joy found in sitting together and asking life’s important questions. Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.Produced in association with American Documentary | POV.

Read more about StoryCorps’ new DVD on NPR.
Discover StoryCorps’ website.
Find the StoryCorps’ DVD in our library catalog.

Apr 25

Camille Claudel 1915

Camille_Claudel_1915_posterfrom Roger Ebert’s website,

Cinema can be one of the most empathetic of arts. When done well, its immediacy, its sense of experiencing another life (fictional or not) can bring about an expansion of understanding, an overwhelming telescoping of consciousness. “Camille Claudel 1915″, the latest by French director Bruno Dumont, is that kind of cinema. It tells the story of three days in the life of Camille Claudel, gifted sculptor and one-time protege and lover of Auguste Rodin. Claudel was committed to an asylum in 1913 by her brother, poet/diplomat Paul Claudel, following the death of their father (a man who had always been in her corner). Dumont uses only Claudel’s medical records and the letters that Claudel and her brother wrote to one another, as the material for his script. The result is a story pared down to a bone-white gleam, a grim portrait of monotony and silence broken by unrelieved despair, and an almost suffocating sense of claustrophobia and entrapment. It’s a harrowing film, made even more so by the raw performance of Juliette Binoche as Camille Claudel. By the end, you are left with a feeling of helplessness, rage, and a kind of abstracted bafflement. How did this happen? You want to intervene (the key sign of a classic tragedy). All credit to Dumont and Binoche here, who approach their difficult subject without blinking.

Read the full review.
Discover Camille Claudel 1915 in our catalog.

Apr 01

New documentaries

A quick scan of the library’s Express Non-fiction DVDs – our new documentaries reveals the following diverse subjects,

History (Ken Burns’ The Dust Bowl)
Food/Drink (Crafting a Nation)
Politics/Human Rights (Pussy Riot)
Sports (Knuckleball)
Judicial System (West of Memphis)
Science (Last Days of Man)
Climate Change (Chasing Ice)
Cities (London: The Modern Babylon)
Civil Rights (Bridegroom)

Click on any title above in print to be taken to each film in our catalog.

doc selection 03 2014

Stop by today and see what’s on the shelf in our Express (New Release) section.

Jan 06

The Central Park Five

central park five

 

 

 

 

Ken Burns, Sarah Burns and David McMahon produced The Central Park Five, a PBS documentary which chronicles the five African-American men wrongly accused of raping a white woman in Central Park during the summer of 1989.  There’s nothing sensational about this documentary.  Just a quiet truth about race relations in our country.  Timely especially given the Zimmerman trial last year.

Dec 31

No

Gael García Bernal stars as real-life Chilean advertising executive René Saavedra in Pablo Larraín’s smartly executed film No.  Following the 1988 referendum by Augusto Pinochet to determine if the country wanted him to continue as president, no one expected the election to be fair.  So the left decided to go out on a limb and hire a creative, sophisticated ad man to oversee the 15 minutes of airtime each side had every evening for 27 days prior to the election.  Shot in as Slate.com called, “a deliberately scruffy visual aesthetic,” Larrain enlists cinematographer Sergio Armstrong to give the film a washed out 80′s style that adds authenticity and grit to compliment the intense story.  This film has a very modern feel to it.  In Spanish with English subtitles.
Click to see No in the catalog.

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