(Bookish) Movie Recommendations: Part One

When two of your biggest interests are literature and cinema, it’s a mental tug-of-war battle trying to decide which of these interests to give in to. For this reason, I decided to cull together a list of films that either involve/relate to books, or for some reason strike me as “bookish.” This way, you sort of get a two-for-one deal of books and movies, even if you only did one of those things!

 

dead_poets_society1: Dead Poets Society (1989, Dir. Peter Weir)

I watched this film the summer before I took a course about poetry, solely for the reason of getting myself interested in the subject. In fact, it is John Keating (Robin Williams)’s job in the film to make his all-boys preparatory school class like poetry enough to take his course seriously. Besides being a film heavily invested in literary & poetic history, it’s a touching look at the impact a teacher can have on their students.

Related book recommendations: The Wasteland by T.S Eliot, any anthology of Modern Poetry. (Norton makes a great one.)

 

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2. Stranger than Fiction (2006, Dir. Marc Forster)

This one has “fiction” in the title, so you can guess it involves books. Unfortunately for Harold Crick (Will Ferrell), it does. You see, Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson) is a bestselling author working on a novel about a character she devises named Harold Crick. The thing is, she has a major case of writers block, and she can’t figure out how to kill Harold. Harold, on the other hand, is a real person just trying to navigate his life. And so the comedy and drama ensue. I’m not a huge Will Ferrell fan, but this movie was a pleasant surprise.

 

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3. Love in the Afternoon (1972, Dir. Éric Rohmer)

Any of Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales could be on this list, but I’ve chosen the final tale here, for its explicit references to books and literature. If you’re unfamiliar with the Moral Tales, Rohmer first wrote them all as short stories, and then adapted them into films many years later.

Love in the Afternoon begins with Frédéric (Bernard Verley) & his marriage with Hélène. However, as the movie cover shows you, Chloe (Zouzou) shows up. This is the basic set-up to all the moral tales, actually; a man is in one relationship or likes one person, and is then tempted by another. You see a lot of reading in the film, and Rohmer subtly places in references to art as well.

As this was originally a blog for teens, I suppose I am obligated to let you know that this film is probably rated “R” for nudity/sexual content.

A second Rohmer recommendation would be the short film The Bakery Girl of Monceau. It’s the first film in the Moral Tale series and has no nudity/sexual content.

Related book recommendations: Eric Rohmer’s Six Moral Tales, which are available as short stories/novellas.

 

I’ll be doing a Part Two at some point in the future, but until then, what bookish films would you recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

The Value of Libraries- A List

When people think of libraries, their mind probably drifts immediately to books. It’s true; at the core of a library is its bookshelves, and the books it contains within them. However, libraries provide far more to their communities than a vast selection of novels and encyclopedias. Here’s a list of just some of the many things public libraries offer here in the United States.

  • Warmth and/or Air Conditioning (by season), drinking water, bathrooms

My area doesn’t have a large homeless population, but we do have a few homeless friends. The library keeps them off the streets, and in a warm environment where they have access to clean, running water, heat/air conditioning, bathrooms for hygiene, and lots of entertainment to keep them busy until they find employment to help them earn a salary to get back on their feet again!

  • citizenship classes and books

Trying to become a citizen of the United States? The library can help!

  • ESL classes
  • foreign language conversation groups
  • computer classes for seniors
  • magazines
  • movies
  • music- free, legal downloadable music from the library prevents piracy!
  • e-books
  • audiobooks (for the blind and for the sighted)
  • travel guides
  • children’s storytimes- promoted child literacy
  • STEM programs- 3D printing, coding/computer programming…for children, teens and adults
  • makerspaces
  • access to opposing viewpoints
  • knowledgable librarians that can help you decode fact from fiction- fake news? not when you consult a librarian and his/her arsenal of research databases!
  • help for the unemployed- job searching, resumes, etc.
  • a family
  • access to research materials, online and in print
  • newspapers
  • museum passes- encourages cultural literacy, empathy
  • resources for learning a foreign language
  • books on a variety of topics: cancer prevention, recipes for diabetics, baby names, history, confidence, mental health, religion/spirituality, exercise, environmental concerns….
  • community programs/events for all ages: dancing, music, movies, karate, cooking/baking, art….anything a librarian or teacher can dream up!

 

This list will never be complete. Libraries evolve as technology evolves. I frequently am asked the question, “do you think people don’t need libraries anymore because of the internet?” My answer is always, “No!” People always will need libraries and information professionals. Technology has evolved rapidly- true. The internet gives us access to a whole new world of information that could never fit in a little building- true. But all of this is only a change in HOW we access information. People still need information, and it is a library’s job to protect a patron’s privacy and right to that information. In addition, the internet is full of false information. People need us more than ever to help them decipher it.

When 3D printers came to the market, we bought them, we learned how to use them, and we began teaching the public. E-readers? No problem! We’ve armed ourselves with databases of e-books and audiobooks for our patrons, and set up a program where patrons can come learn how to use their new devices. Technology is a library’s friend, never its enemy.

If a library has offered you any kind of assistance, given you solace or hope when you felt like you were in despair, I would love to hear your stories in the comments below! Tell me what my list missed, and help this list grow with the millions of ways libraries benefit our communities.