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.”
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.
New Year’s is a great time to catch up on your favorite television shows or find a new favorite to start watching. Many critics believe we are currently living in a new Golden Age of Television. Here are some of the series that make that statement a reality. DVDs make for great binge watching (viewing episode after episode after episode). Stop by today and check out some television from our collection:
The Big C
The Good Wife
The best thing about The East, which is a very tight, sophisticated Hollywood thriller is Brit Marling. Marling co-wrote the screenplay with director Zal Batmanglij, produced and stars in the film as lead character Jane who leaves her FBI job to work for an elite private intelligence firm. Jane’s new assignment is to bring down the eco-terrorist anarchist group, The East. Fantastic premise along with solid performances by all the actors including Marling, Alexander Skarsgård (True Blood), Shiloh Fernandez, Ellen Page, and the delectable Patricia Clarkson as the amoral head of the firm.
Richard Linklater’s 2013 sequel to the cult hits Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, Before Midnight finds favorite couple Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) nearly 20 years after their first meeting again at a crossroads in their lives. The couple now have twin girls from their reconciliation nine years ago and Jesse’s son Hank from a previous marriage is now a teenager and ending a visit with his Dad in the location of this final film in the trilogy on the Greek Peloponnese peninsula. All three films have struck a nerve with Gen X-ers and anyone interested in the complexities of maintaining modern relationships. The library carries all three films on DVD.
Oscar winners Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck) and Brenda Fricker (My Left Foot) star in Cloudburst as an aging lesbian couple who face separation after Fricker’s character Dot ends up in an assisted living facility. Dukakis’s Stella decides to break Dot out of the home and run away to Canada where the two can be married legally. Cloudburst combines some of the funniest potty-mouthed dialogue ever to come out of an 80 year-old actor’s mouth with a universal story of love, longevity, and fidelity. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll cheer for the ladies of Cloudburst.
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.
Enjoy PBS dramas from the U.K.? Shadow Dancer is an Irish production starring Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) and Clive Owen (Second Sight):
When single mother Collette McVeigh is arrested for her part in an aborted IRA plot in London, an MI5 officer (Owen) offers her a choice: lose everything and go to prison or return to Belfast to spy on her own family. With her son’s life in her hands, Collette chooses to place her trust in the MI5 and return home. When her brothers’ secret operation is ambushed, suspicions of an informant are raised and Collette finds both herself and her family in grave danger.
The National Archives released a 5-disk DVD set in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy including:
- Collection of historic Kennedy footage: speeches, newsreels, home movies, and more.
- 8 hours of video on 5 DVDs, plus bonus audio CD.
Looking for some fun escapist entertainment that doesn’t sacrifice story? Love the Motown Sound from the 1960s? If so, check out The Sapphires, a new film based on a true story about an Australian Aborigine girl group for the 60s who tours Vietnam. A feel good movie with heart, all wrapped up with the best 60s soul soundtrack since The Commitments, check out The Sapphires.