In honor of the release of Armistead Maupin’s 9th book in the Tales of the City series today The Days of Anna Madrigal, we’ve got the re-release of his ground-breaking PBS adaptation of the first novel on DVD for you to watch. This sweet story about San Francisco in the 1970′s was banned on several TV stations in the South. 20 years later that idea seems more quaint than shocking. Maupin’s group of friends at 28 Barbary Lane join together and create their logical family (his phrase for the family we choose). For Hitchcock fans, there’s definitely more than a few nods in the mini-series. As the cover suggests, this is truly one of the best mini-series ever made.
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.”
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 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.