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Mel's Desert Island Classics

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Another film I want on the Island with me....

A friend introduced me to Charles Laughton's Night of the Hunter a few years ago, and I found it both strange and compelling. It is not to be confused with Night of the Iguana, Day of the Jackal, Night of the Jaguar, or Dawn of the Dead! Night of the Hunter is a suspenseful moral tale, with great black and white film techniques such as Laughton's use of silhouette and almost 2-D backdrops. A thief dies, leaving his family alone, but not before mentioning hidden treasure to his cell-mate. Only his little girl knows where it's hidden, and very soon a charismatic preacher (Robert Mitchum) arrives to woo the dead man's wife (Shelley Winters) and raise the son and daughter. Mitchum's character becomes increasingly controlling and violent, and while the town loves the charming false prophet, we see him through the terrified children's eyes. When his motives become clear, they flee for their lives in a rowboat.

More Review to Read

by Melanie Kolbeins - 0 Comment(s)

If you want to read reviews other than those posted on the Movie Maniacs Blog (gasp!), a good resource is The Film and Television Literature index in the Arts and Music Section of our E-library. Go back to our home page and click on "E-library." Click on Arts and Music and then on the index. You will need a Calgary Public Library card to access this database.


Ten Top Ten

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Movie maniac that I am, I recently stayed up till 1:00 A.M. on a work night to watch AFI's (American Film Institute) ten top ten. Arranged into 10 categories, they then chose what they felt were the top 10 movies in each. While I don't necessarily agree with all of the choices nor their ordering (and there are lots of such lists), I really enjoyed the show and couldn't wait to see what the number one choice was for each genre. To see the winners follow this link to AFIand have some fun rating it against your own choices. I am pleased to tell you that CPL currently has an impressive 84 out of 100 of the winning titles and due to very high interest our Collections Dept is acquiring the remaining 16! Find them in our catalogue by doing a keyword search using dvd and the title; i.e. dvd snow white and the seven dwarfs. A little bit of trivia--multiple winners include Jimmy Stewart appearing in 6 of the top 100, with Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Grace Kelly appearing in 3 each. You'll likely see some of these titles make it into our Movie Maniac reviews in the future. There are a lot of great choices here--enjoy.


Moe's Picks of the Week

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Man Who Would Be King 1975

Based on the popular short story by Rudyard Kipling and directed by John Huston, this is one of my all time favorite adventure movies. Michael Caine and Sean Connery are ex soldiers of the British Raj who set out to try their luck in distant Kafiristan. They make a solemn oath not to return until one or both of them have become kings. Along the way they amass wealth to satisfy all dreams of avarice, but it is still not enough. Stunning scenery, excellent performances and a tremendous story- this movie has it all!

Horatio Hornblower 1999

This Emmy winning series from A&E follows the adventures of Horatio during the Napoleonic War. The young 17 year old midshipman rises quickly through the ranks of the British navy, proving himself again and again. Ioan Gruffudd (The Fantastic Four) is perfect as the swashbuckling hero in this highly watchable series. Although each episode is complete unto itself, they do build on each other, so watch in this order: The Duel,Fireships, Duchess, Wrong War, Mutiny, Retribution, Loyalty and Duty.


Eco Movies for Everyone

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Assuage your environmental guilt by watching (and re-using) some "green" dvds from CPL... Most are suitable for all ages. Check out the Eco-Action blog on our website.

The Dollar a Day Dress(non-fiction) follows London fashion students' gathering local fabrics worldwide to create a sustainable couture outfit. We learn how difficult it is to source fabrics and see how donated second-hand clothes may actually hurt local garment producers. Will the dress be cat-walk ready in time?

Local Hero is a charming comedy that follows an oil company employee's negotiations with Scottish locals around a controversial project that will change their shoreline. He changes their lives and his own in the process.

Paddle to the Seais a children's classic from the National Film Board of Canada (1966). Some of us will remember the little carved canoe's journey through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence seaway, but I'd forgotten the film's scathing commentary on polluters in the Detroit/Windsor area. A little heavy-handed in retrospect, considering the young carver of the canoe melts lead in his home fireplace at the beginning of the film: kitschy good times!

Who Killed the Electric Car? Doesn't it seem as if every few years, some tv program is telling us how energy-efficient cars of the future will be? This documentary examines how the future was a few years ago in California, when prototype electric cars were taken away from their owners and electric charging stations were closed, in spite of protests from the drivers.