Film

Great Podcasts for Life-Long Learning

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn

When I can't get my audio learning fix from our many Modern Scholar courses, I turn to podcasts. Podcasts are audio or video-based shows available for download, streaming, or online subscription. Many of them regularly update in weekly or monthly installments, so there is almost always a new episode to catch up on or many past installments to explore.

Lapsed Catholics and Stray Bullets: The Works of Martin McDonagh

Lapsed Catholics and Stray Bullets: The Works of Martin McDonagh

For the past two decades, Martin McDonagh has established himself as a sensational writer of emotional disturbance and darkly funny exchanges in his Irish-set plays and crime-focused films. He may not be a household name, but that name already has an Academy Award and several Tony nominations under its belt. We have a number of his works in the collection worth recommending.

 

Written in the mid-Nineties, The Beauty Queen of Leenane and Other Plays offers a trilogy of stories centered around the same town and immediately shows McDonagh's gifts for cleverly inane banter and simmering tensions.

What's Your Take on Cassavetes? Four Films

Faces by John Cassavetes

For someone who loves independent movies, it sure took me a heck of a long time to watch anything directed by John Cassavetes.

Maybe that is because I had heard how emotionally intense his films were, tapping into a vein of real life and forgoing any sense of escapism that most movies offer. Despite that hesitation, I am deeply satisfied that I took the time to watch four great films by this stalwart of early independent film, who took many menial acting jobs so he could make something great.

Shadows, Cassevetes' first film, is a defiant statement against mainstream culture, both in terms of cinema and society. It follows three African American siblings living in New York City, two of whom are trying to pass as white. The film was shot without a script, and its black and white, 16-millimeter film stock lacks the gloss of Hollywood pictures of the same year (North by Northwest or Ben-Hur for example). With its jazz score by Charles Mingus and its focus on urban youth in 1950's, Shadows is a must see for any fans of Beat writers or early independent film.

From Python to Purgatory: The Fantastic Films of Terry Gilliam

Monty Python's Flying Circus

When I hear the name Terry Gilliam, the first thing that I see is a gigantic pink foot...crushing everything in its path.

That is because Gilliam was the animator for Monty Python's Flying Circus, the absurdist British comedy troupe of the 1970's that has influenced everyone from Neil Gaiman to the Simpsons. The lone American of the group did surreal collages combining Renaissance paintings, nature sketches, and meat grinders to make a strange world.

When Python's reign ended, Gilliam did not stop his creating. Instead, he launched himself from the animation desk to the director's chair where things became curiouser and curiouser.

Rip-offs and Tributes: A Look at Derivative Works

picture of copy machine

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Isn’t that how an article about derivative works is supposed to begin?  We only ask because there are probably other articles out there on this topic that begin the same way.  Whether or not we admit it to ourselves, 100% true originality in the case of media like books, film, music and games is practically unheard of.  That’s not a bad thing; works that build on one another can be some of the richest experiences imaginable.  On the other hand, some people are just lazy and rip-off other, greater works. 

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

By By Brian Selznick

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When twelve-year-old Hugo, an orphan living within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toyseller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are in danger. J Fic Sel
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The Dark Side of Cinema: The Postman Always Rings Twice

Come join the Central Rappahannock Regional Library as we present The Postman Always Rings Twice, the first film in the Dark Side of Cinema Series at the Headquarters Library on Monday, September 27th at 7:00 pm.

Rappahannock Film Club Presents . . . The Conformist

Come join the Rappahannock Film Club and the Central Rappahannock Regional Library as we present Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist at the Headquarter's Library on Thursday, May 6th at 7:00 pm.

When the government orders him to kill a political refugee, Marcello (Jean-Louis Trintignant) agrees -- even though his target is his college mentor. Hence, he is "the Conformist," a man who will do absolutely anything to belong. Bernardo Bertolucci directs this thought-provoking drama set in 1930s fascist Italy, a visually complex character study for which he was nominated an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Italian with English subtitles.

The Rappahannock Film Club presents . . . Caché

Come join the Rappahannock Film Club and the Central Rappahannock Library as we present Michael Haneke's Caché at the Headquarters Library on Thursday, March 4th at 7:00 pm.

This unsettling drama is a tour de force showcase for Haneke's unparalled ability to inspire fear and paranoia in both his actors and his audience. Renowned French actors Daniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche play a married couple whose lives begin to crumble when mysterious (and sinister) videotapes start to appear on their doorstep. Even more terrifying, Auteuil slowly pieces together that it may be related to a terrible secret from his past. Taut, tense and electrifying, Caché is deeply disturbing and endlessly fascinating.

A History of Classic Science Fiction: John Carter’s Mars and Flash Gordon’s Universe

The most famed and prolific area of science fiction is the planetary adventure, featuring strange environments, exotic alien races, and massive battle scenes. Many of the most popular science fiction universes, such as Star Wars, Star Trek, and Avatar, take place in these environments. Most of these universes owe their existence to the adventure fiction of one author.