Friday, August 31, 2007

Films for a Long Holiday weekend

Technically this weekend marks the end of summer. I say technically because we who have lived here for awhile know that just because it is Labor Day, that doesn’t end the summer like weather in our beach side paradise. So, what will you be doing?? BBQing?? Hanging at the beach?? Or escaping the heat by staying home and watching a few good films. Here are some recommendations for films you might have missed (all available at HBPL):

Story of the Weeping Camel: I saw this film a few years ago at the Toronto Film Festival and it was one of my absolute favorites that year. It is based in Mongolia and follows the trials and solutions used by a nomadic tribe to get a mother camel to accept her new baby. Heart wrenching but charming. It was nominated for the Oscar for Best Documentary in 2005. Although it didn’t win the Oscar, its directors did win the Directors Guild award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary.

Little Dieter Needs to Fly: This documentary was made by celebrated documentary filmmaker, Werner Herzog. Herzog has another movie in the theaters now. That film is called “Rescue Dawn”. Why do I bring that up? Because Rescue Dawn is the fictionalized version of what happened to Dieter Dengler, the subject of both films. Dengler was a boy in Germany and survived Allied bombings during WWII. He became fascinated by the pilots and when he turned 18 he came to America and became one.

The Machinist: I was lucky enough to see this film at the Chicago Film festival. I was totally blown away by Christian Bales’ performance. Trevor Reznik (Bale) is a lathe-operator who suffers from insomnia and hasn't slept in a year. Slowly, he begins to doubt his sanity as increasingly bizarre things start happening at work and at home. A mesmerizing film.

Twelve Chairs: Just last weekend I was up in Seattle to see the new musical “Young Frankenstein” based on the Mel Brooks movie. Although it is a terrific movie (available at HBPL), it is not my favorite Mel Brooks film. My favorite is probably one of his least known. The Twelve Chairs stars Ron Moody and a very young Frank Langella as two men trying to locate 12 dining-room chairs, once owned by a wealthy woman who confesses on her deathbed that years before she had secreted all her jewels in the upholstery of one of them. It is funny and touching at the same time.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Johnny Depp Success!

Not Just a Pirate: the Films of Johnny Depp proved to be a successful program here at Huntington Beach Public Library. I received quite a bit of positive feedback about the program and many asked when we would start another film series. The answer to that depends on the approval of the powers that be and availability of Room C (the best one for screening these films). I am hoping to present another program in the new year (end of January 2008 or February). But what should it be? Academy Awards nominated Foreign Films?? The Comedy of Mel Brooks?? Cinema of Strong Women?? Films from Outer Space?? I want to hear what would interest our patrons so please let me know by leaving your (moderated) comments on this blog! (just click below where it says comments)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

Last post I admitted to one of my guilty pleasure films, American Flyers. Of course, I have many others including:

Waterworld (egads! Another Costner!),

Secondhand Lions


Bubble Boy

As I define guilty pleasures, they are the movies you love despite the fact that they are generally derided.
So what are your guilty pleasure films and why?? I will be moderating the responses so send them along and we can see what entertains the patronage of our library!