Category Archives: Movies

Browse the Criterion Collection

slackerWhat better way to stay cool in the thick of summer heat (and rain) then watching a movie? Did you know that the library has hundreds of DVDs for you to check out? Have you even seen Richard Linklater’s Slacker? No!? Well it’s time for you to stop by the library and check out some movies!



We now have a display with a sample of the films we carry. This summer we’re featuring the Criterion Collection. Criterion issues some of the best movies ever made (go ahead and check out Truffaut’s Jules and Jim). If you don’t see the movie you want in the display, search the Online Catalog to see if we have it. Or ask a librarian, we’ll help you out.


DVD Documentaries at the Library

Here are five excellent documentaries available at the library. You can check their status (whether they have been checked out or are available for check out) in the online catalog.

Take the title and call number to the Circulation Desk and someone will pull the DVD for you. DVD checkout is for three days.

Title: Restrepo: one platoon, one valley, one year
Call Number: DS371.4123.K67 J86 2010

restreposmlMovie description: “RESTREPO is a feature-length documentary that chronicles the deployment of a platoon of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan’s Korengal Valley. The movie focuses on a remote 15-man outpost, “Restrepo,” named after a platoon medic who was killed in action. It was considered one of the most dangerous postings in the U.S. military. This is an entirely experiential film: the cameras never leave the valley; there are no interviews with generals or diplomats. The only goal is to make viewers feel as if they have just been through a 90-minute deployment. This is war, full stop. The conclusions are up to you.”

Title: Food, Inc.
Call Number: HD9005 .F66 2009

FoodIncsmlMovie description: “In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won’t go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.”

Title: Crumb
Call Number: NC1429.C79 C79 2006

CrumbMovie description: “Terry Zwigoff’s landmark 1995 film is an intimate documentary portrait of the underground artist Robert Crumb, whose unique drawing style and sexually and racially provocative subject matter have made him a household name in popular American art. Zwigoff candidly and colorfully delves into the details of Crumb’s incredible career and life, including his family of reclusive eccentrics, some of the most remarkable people you’ll ever see on-screen. At once a profound biographical portrait, a riotous examination of a man’s controversial art, and a devastating look at a troubled family, Crumb is a genuine American original.”

Title: Manufacturing consent
Call Number: P96.C76 M36 2002

Manufacturing_ConsentMovie Description: “Funny, provocative and surprisingly accessible, MANUFACTURING CONSENT explores the political life and ideas of Noam Chomsky, world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist. In a dynamic collage of new and original footage, biography, archival gems, imaginative graphics and outrageous illustrations, the film highlights Chomsky’s probing analysis of mass media. A mammoth two-part project, MANUFACTURING CONSENT is nonetheless light on its feet, favoring a style that encourages viewers to question its own workings, as Chomsky himself encourages his listeners to extricate themselves from the ‘web of deceit’ by undertaking a course of ‘intellectual self-defense.'”

Title: Mr. Death : the rise and fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.
Call Number: D804.355 .M7 2003

MrDeathsmlMovie description: “Fred A. Leuchter, Jr., an engineer from Malden, Mass. decided to become the Florence Nightengale of Death Row — a humanitarian whose mission was to design and repair, electric chairs, lethal injection systems, gallows and gas chambers, . In 1988, Ernst Zundel, publisher of “Did Six Million Really Die?” and “The Hitler We Loved and Why” commissioned Leuchter to conduct a forensic investigation into the use of poison gas in WWII Nazi concentration camps. Leuchter traveled to Auschwitz and illegally took brick and mortar samples for analysis in order to “prove” that the Holocaust never happened.

“Leuchter fully expected his involvement with Ernst Zundel to be the crowning achievement of his career, but instead it ruined him. Reopening the doors to this century’s keystone atrocity. Morris bypasses a more obvious discourse on bigotry to examine instead the origins of evil in vanity and self-deception.”

Are You Good or Evil?

Among the databases we license for your use is Films On Demand. Sometimes professors ask students to visit the database and watch a video or a video segment. A few students have asked at the reference desk about finding the video “Are You Good or Evil?” so I thought I’d put up a post on how to locate this program.

1. Log into Esearch (use your Spartans domain username and password),
2. Scroll down the alphabetical list until you locate Films on Demand,
3. There is a drop-down menu next to the search box, change the default search from By Segments, to By Title,
4. Search using the words are you good or evil,
5. The video program should appear near the top of the results list.

While you’re there dig around a little bit to see what else is available. This database has grown substantially since we first acquired it.

Movies Worth Watching: Annie Hall

1060609I recently saw Annie Hall for the first time and am now completely obsessed with the films of Woody Allen. Annie Hall is emblematic of Allen’s singular perspective and artistic style and was the 1978 Academy Award winner for Best Film, Director (Allen), Actress (Diane Keaton), and Screenplay (Allen and Marshall Brickman). Luckily for me and anyone else interested in becoming better acquainted with the work of Woody Allen the library has several of his films in the DVD collection available for check out. To find a movie search the Online Catalog using the exact title or by author using author last name first name (Allen Woody) and selecting Author Browse.

The library also has a number of books by Woody Allen and books of criticism about the iconic writer/director and his films. Below are a few recommendations but to find more check the Online Catalog.

Lax, EConversations with Woody Allen., & Allen, W. (2009). Conversations with Woody Allen: His films, the movies, and moviemaking. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Allen, W. (1975). Without feathers. New York: Random House.

Silet, C. L. P. (2006). The films of Woody Allen: Critical essays. Lanham, Md: Scarecrow Press.

Movies Worth Watching: The Dreamers

One of my favorite films is The Dreamers directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. Set in 1968 Paris, the film touches on a kind of youthful questioning, experimentation and transgression which somehow seems belonging to that time and place. It tells the story of naïve American student the-dreamers-movie-poster-2004-1020216304Matthew and incestuous Parisian twins Isabelle and Theo, who bond over a shared obsession with film. Against the backdrop of a Paris engulfed in riots, the three begin a brief relationship charged by sexual games. It is a poignant tribute to youth, cinema, the sixties and Paris.

The film references the seminal French New Wave Cinema movement of the 1950s and 60s. Director Jean-Luc Godard was central to the New Wave and scenes from his films are re-enacted as part of Matthew, Isabelle and Theo’s cinematic charades in The Dreamers. You can check out Godard’s influential films À bout de soufflé or Breathless and Bande à part or Band of Outsiders from the library.

To find these and other movies search the library’s online catalog by keyword or title and use the Quick Limit to restrict your search to just DVDs. You may also want to check out these books in the library’s collection about the French New Wave, A history of the French new wave cinema and Reading the French new wave : critics, writers and art cinema in France

007….now appearing in a theater near you and in a library whenever you want

I got to see the new James Bond movie this past weekend, Skyfall and I have to say it was great. Of course, it would have to be really bad for me to not like it since I have been a lover of Bond since I was a teenager but I have been a fan of the Bond creator, novelist Ian Fleming, much longer. Many don’t realize that in addition to Bond, Fleming wrote the children’s classic: Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang – one of my favorite books and movies — who can forget the scary child catcher?

Back to Bond: according to Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism (a reference source that is found in one of the library’s databases: Literature Criticisms Online) Fleming wrote thirteen James Bond novels plus additional short stories and screenplays based on the secret agent. Maybe you recognize some of the titles: Casino Royale, Dr. No, From Russia, With Love, and The Man With the Golden Gun. All of these titles are found at the MacDonald-Kelce Library – you can  search for them using the online catalog.

I know many students are deep into writing term papers this week since many have stopped by the reference desk appearing quite desperate and many are trying to get everything done before Thanksgiving. If you are still struggling don’t fret too much, all of your librarians are here to help you. AND if you are facing a conundrum when it comes to what to write about for a literature paper maybe Bond, James Bond is the way to go….Happy researching and writing!

Movies Worth Watching: This Film Is Not Yet Rated

Who decides if a movie is rated R or NC-17? What kind of financial impact can a movie rating have on the movie? Do directors ever censor themselves so they can get a particular rating? How does a filmmaker contest the rating they receive? What effect does a rating have on the distribution of a film?

In this documentary Kirby Dick takes a look at the secretive Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) review board that decides what elements of a movie make it rated G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17, or X.

You can check this documentary out of the library. Search for movies in the online catalog by restricting your search to DVDs in the Quick Limit pull-down menu (or, click on the image to go directly to the record). For any DVD you want to check out, write down the call number and ask someone at the Circulation Desk to get the DVD for you. You can check it out using your student ID as your library card.

You can read Roger Ebert’s 2006 review here.

“Since 1968, the MPAA Code and Ratings Administration has been an anonymous group enforcing secret guidelines on almost all movies seeking release in America. The difference between its R and NC-17 ratings can mean life or death for a movie. A rating can be appealed — to another anonymous group, also with guidelines that are never made clear. The board’s founder and great defender, Jack Valenti, explained for years that the movie raters were “ordinary parents” with young children, trying to advise other parents on how appropriate movies might be for younger viewers.”

Movies Worth Watching: Schizopolis

Stephen Soderburgh made a splash when his first film, Sex, Lies & Videotape (1989), won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1989.

Since then Soderburgh has had Hollywood success with films like Erin Brockovich (2000) and Ocean’s Eleven (2001). However, Soderburgh has always maintained his experimental streak. He cast non-professional actors in his 2005 movie Bubble and released it digitally on HDNet the same time it was released to theaters. Four days later it was released on DVD. His most recent movie is Magic Mike (2012), starring Channing Tatum, about Tatum’s life as a male stripper in the Tampa area.

One of my favorite Soderburge movies, and also one of his strangest, is Schizopolis (1996).

Schizopolis is about a speech-writer for a self-help guru, a housewife, a dentist, and an exterminator. Different scenes are seen through the eyes of the different main characters. There’s a lot of absurdist humor and it’s definitely not for everyone. For more background check out the entry at Wikipedia.

If your tastes run to the avant-garde and experimental check out Schizopolis. Look for movies on the library’s online catalog. Use the Quick Limit function to restrict your search to DVDs and then search for the titles that interest you. Ask for DVDs at the Circulation Desk and check them out using your Spartans ID as your library card.

Movies Worth Watching: Jane Eyre

ImageI first saw the newest adaptation of Jane Eyre at one of my favorite places, the Tampa Theatre. Recently, I checked it out here at the library and watched it again because well, I’m a sucker for period drama. But Charlotte Brontë’s classic nineteenth century novel has stood the test of time inspiring countless film and literary adaptations, along with considerable scholarly analysis and debate because it is about much more than costumes and melodramatic romance.

Some have read Jane Eyre as the first feminist novel for the title characters confrontation with Victorian era patriarchy. This is not however the universally accepted interpretation. The 1966 post-colonial novel Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys challenges the reader to question previously held assumptions. Rhys, outraged at what she perceived to be an Imperial gaze inherent in Jane Eyre, set out to give voice and agency to the silenced and imprisoned “mad lady” Bertha Mason.

Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea raise questions about gender, race, class, nationality, and ethnicity. How we interpret these texts and re-imagine them over time can provide fascinating insight into historical and contemporary understandings of relationships and differentials of power.

There is a wealth of scholarly articles which analyze these two works available through the library’s databases. Be sure to log-in to Esearch first.

I found the following article in the ProQuest database:

Ciolkowski, L. E. (1997). Navigating the wide Sargasso sea: Colonial history, English fiction, and British empire. Twentieth Century Literature, 43(3), 339-359.

Can I Stream It?

With the growth of services that offer online movies it’s becoming more difficult to know which one might offer a streaming version of a movie. With CanIStream.It you can search across services to see if the movie you want is available.

Can I Stream It?

Let’s say you are a regular techie with a Netflix account, a Hulu account, and since you only shop online, you also have an Amazon Prime account. Now let’s say you want to know if a movie you’re dying to watch is available to be streamed instantly, using any of these accounts.

With CanIStream.It, you can search across all of these services and pick the one you want to use. And if the movie you’re looking for is not available, just sign-up, set a reminder and voila we will shoot you an email when your chosen service makes the movie available. It’s simple and fast. also searches iTunes, Crackle, Blockbuster, Youtube Movies, EPIX, Vudu, Android, and Amazon OnDemand stores; so if a movie isn’t available you might still be able to digitally rent or purchase it.

Just type in the movie title you want to search for and then select “Streaming”, “Rental”, “Purchase”, or “DVD/Blu-ray” from the menu to check for availability. If the movie is available, simply click on the icon and it will take you to the movie page, for the service you selected. If not, then sign-in and set a reminder and we’ll let you know when it becomes available.

CanIStream.It is a free service created by the UrbanPixels crew for the community. We were missing a service like this, so we built it and now hope that other people find it useful too.