Tag Archives: Film & Audio

Oh, Yeah – That Guy

Do you know James Hong? Fionnula Flanagan? Surely, you know who Paul Dooley is! No? I bet if you click on their names, you will repeat the title of this post.

They are famous character actors. What would producers, directors and casting agents do without them? Between voice acting and lots of supporting parts in movies and TV shows, these people can rack up hundreds of credits.

There is a mighty fine line between who is thought of as a bona fide star and who might be typecast in supporting roles. Looks, of course, are a factor. An actor might be perfect for that one role that can pigeonhole him perpetually into other very similar roles. Some become identified so strongly with a specific character that it is hard to think of them as anyone else. There are those who become superstars along the way. Many switch back and forth during the course of their career. Look at Brian Dennehy or Ellen Burstyn for example.

Do you need a henchman? Vincent Schiavelli was your guy (RIP).

Need someone to play a scary bible-thumper? Beth Grant is the go-to.

How about someone’s mom? Try Vernee Watson.

Want a multi-talented actor who can be relied on for many types of parts? Here’s Keith David.

Maybe the role calls for a serious woman in charge. Get CCH Pounder.

What about an irresponsible or morally ambiguous schmuck with a secret soft spot? Call on Richard Kind. In fact, call on him for any goofball or if you need a great deadpan voice. He might steal the scene, though.

I have saved my favorite for last. If I became a character actor, I would aspire to play the types of parts that this actress fills – the eccentric woman, perhaps older, perhaps foreign born, definitely played for laughs: Carol Kane.

Just for fun, try to match up their names with their faces!

 

 

-Joelle

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Kumu Hina: a Place in the Middle

Please join us at the Main Library on Tuesday, June 16th at 7 PM for a special free screening of the award-winning documentary Kuma Hina: a Place in the Middle.

Kum Hina banner, used with permission.

Kumu Hina is a powerful feature documentary about the struggle to maintain Pacific Islander culture and values within the Westernized society of modern day Hawaiʻi. It is told through the lens of an extraordinary Native Hawaiian who is both a proud and confident māhū, or transgender woman, and an honored and respected kumu, or teacher, cultural practitioner, and community leader.

Imagine a world where a little boy can grow up to be the woman of his dreams, and a young girl can rise to become a leader among men. Welcome to Kumu Hina’s Hawai’i. During a momentous year in her life in modern Honolulu, Hina Wong-Kalu, a Native Hawaiian māhū, or transgender, teacher uses traditional culture to inspire a student to claim her place as leader of the school’s all-male hula troupe.

But despite her success as a teacher, Hina longs for love and a committed relationship. Will her marriage to a headstrong Tongan man fulfill her dreams? As Hina’s arduous journey unfolds, her Hawaiian roots and values give her the strength and wisdom to persevere, offering a new perspective on the true meaning of aloha.

ReelQ logoThis screening of Kumu Hina will be co-hosted by the Pittsburgh Lesbian and Gay Film Society. Come join us!

Can’t make it on Tuesday? You can still borrow Kumu Hina from our LGBTQ collection.

– Amy E.

(Kumu Hina logo, description, and trailer used with permission.)

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Like a Brick to the Head?

Scott Brick is a super-prolific audiobook narrator and a favorite among Main library staff. He’s narrated books by just about everyone – people like Steve BerryTerry Brooks, Harlan Coben, Philip K. Dick, John GrishamFrank Herbert, Jon Krakauer, Erik Larson, and Brad Meltzer, to name a few (really, that’s the short list).

Most of those authors fall into the category of Manly Adventure, which really isn’t my thing. But I do quite enjoy alarming and/or depressing nonfiction, and Scott Brick does that, too. Here are a few examples!

In Cold Blood

I never noticed the eyes at the top before and now I’m all creeped out.

In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote – Truman Capote set off the whole true-crime-genre thing with his account of the murder of the Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas and the flight, capture, trial, and execution of their killers. Whenever I can’t decide what to listen to next, I just grab this one – it’s hypnotic, in an occasionally creepy way.

Dead Wake

Just by looking at the cover, you can tell that this won’t end well.

Dead Wake, by Erik Larson – I’ve just finished listening to this book, which is about the sinking of the Lusitania. It was really interesting: Winston Churchill attempted to drive an old admiral batty, a German submarine had a litter of puppies, Woodrow Wilson tried to get some, and more! You’ll even learn the fate of the One Hot Dude That Everyone Remembered – apparently he was having a great time on the old Lusitania, up until that whole torpedo thing.

The Devil in the White City

Conserving electricity obviously wasn’t a thing back then.

The Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson – The book that every librarian is obliged to write about. It’s the story of the architect who designed the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and of the serial killer who stalked its grounds. You’ll probably end up fascinated by architecture. Or serial killers. Or both (I went with both).

Command and Control

Check out the print book for a handy diagram of a Titan II missile silo.

Command and Control, by Eric Schlosser – This super long audio book is a terrifying catalog of America’s near-misses with nuclear weapons accidents – everything from a dropped wrench that lead to a fuel tank explosion to the tale of a warhead (undetonated, obviously and thankfully) that’s still lost somewhere in North Carolina. It’s a great book for anyone who has fond memories of the Cold War (I rather miss the James Bond villians; they were better then) or who is just wondering what all the fuss was about.

All of the links above point to books on CD in our catalog, but you can also find tons of downloadable Bricky goodness in our OverDrive collection – a simple search for his name pulls up 171 titles!

– Amy

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I can’t believe I’m watching this again.

If I stumble across any of these movies I’ll inevitably end up watching the whole darn thing, whether I want to or not. Day wasted? Check. But somehow I don’t mind.

Andromeda StrainThe Andromeda Strain –  Somehow my parents thought that a Cold War era movie about biological terrors from outer space was suitable viewing for a child under ten – maybe that’s why I don’t trust monkeys or airlocks or lasers. This movie was on a lot when I was a kid, but it’s harder to come by nowadays. Fortunately, it’s available at your local library!

bookcover06Blazing Saddles – It’s my favorite movie, what else can I say? Lots, apparently. Every time I see Blazing Saddles (oooh, Blu-Ray version!) I invariably end up singing “The French Mistake” for the next week and a half. Warning: clip contains saucy language and slapstick violence. (Unfortunately, it ends before you get to see Hitler in a pie fight. I’m not kidding.)

Cradle 2 the GraveCradle 2 the Grave – Jet Li is entered into a convenient MMA tournament by Roseanne’s husband, people disguise themselves as exterminators to break into office buildings, an adorable moppet is kidnapped – and there’s also something about some black diamonds that can be used to power superweapons? And isn’t that the Chairman from Iron Chef America? If you need more reasons to watch (or not to watch), check out this scathing review from the Chicago Tribune.

Crank 2Crank 2: High Voltage – I don’t know the names of any characters that Jason Statham plays. It’s just, “You know that movie where Jason Statham has to keep running around or he’ll die? No, not that one, the other one.” This is the other one. It has a weird-but-memorable Godzilla battle in it, and other things that I probably shouldn’t mention in a library blog. Let’s just say that the TV version is usually heavily edited. (Note: research tells me that the character’s name is Chev Chelios. Huh.)

bookcover07Coming to America – If you need to show anyone what the 80s really looked like, just make them watch this movie (if you’re about my age, you’ll probably see your family’s living room furniture at some point). Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall play eight different characters between them (which is awesome) and James Earl Jones yells at people (which is also awesome).

bookcover08The Shawshank Redemption – Once when I was sick I kept falling asleep and waking up during different parts of a Shawshank Redemption marathon. It was one of the most confusing days of my life. If you want to sound all snooty, you can tell people that it’s based on the Stephen King novella “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” but don’t be surprised if nobody cares. Anyway, Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman? Can’t beat that.

bookcover09Transporter 3 – “No, this is the one where Jason Statham drives really fast. There’s a French guy, and there’s a woman who really needs to wash her face. No, not the spiky blond woman. I think that was Transporter 2.” Which leads us to the question: does it matter that all Jason Statham movies are pretty much the same? I say no. Not at all.

– Amy E., backing away from the remote

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LGBTQ Videos for All

Pride week 2014

We’re proud to Watch LGBTQ as well.

Recently, we here in the Music, Film & Audio Department (at the Carnegie Main library) were able to create a special LGBTQ film collection—mostly due to the support and generous donation of local group The Queer Video Vault.

We already owned quite a few LGBTQ titles, but until recently they did not have their own space in the library, making them difficult to browse.

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In the coming months, some 200+ titles will be added to this special collection, thanks to the lovely folks at The Queer Video Vault. From their website:

“The Queer Video Vault is a collection of nearly 350 queer videos from the former Dreaming Ant. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh (Main) hosts the majority of the collection and rental will be available for free for all library card holders. The Big Idea Bookstore hosts a smaller collection and rental is free with sliding scale membership. We host regular screenings to build queer community in Pittsburgh.”

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Pittsburgh is lucky to have a positive group like this supporting our library, and we look forward to hopefully collaborating with them in the future on special screenings and film guides.

Happy viewing and happy pride week!

Tara

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Welcome to the Music, Film & Audio Department!

Welcome to the Music, Film & Audio Department! We are located on the second floor of the Main Library. Let me show you around.

 

tour1In the front room the music CDs are organized by genre, including jazz, international, orchestral, new age, soundtracks, etc. This collection includes sound effects. The side wall holds all of the opera CDs. The framed Bakaleinikoff Tablecloth hangs in the back corner.
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The back wall holds CD box sets of all genres.
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On the other side of the room are audio books on CD: fiction shelved by author and non-fiction by call number, even famous speeches. There is a special section called Family Listening. For more children’s audio books, visit the very large selection downstairs in the Children’s Department.

Here are “Playaways” – MP3 devices that hold one audio book each.

 

 

 

 

 

This last wall is our Lecture Series collection on CDs and DVDs, spanning many subject areas. People rave about them!tour 6

 

 

 

 

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In this next room are the DVD collections. Here are the TV Series, and then Foreign Films – filed by language, not by country. Yes, they all have English subtitles.

We have Feature Films, shelved by title, with a few shelves of best-sellers – DVDs of popular titles that just came in to the library. There are a few separate sections: Horror, Anime, Blu-Ray, and a shelf for Video Games.

tour 12The Non-fiction DVDs are organized by subject call number and contain history and science documentaries, music and art instruction, exercise, a travel section, and so much more—music concerts, plays, ballets, religious subjects, etc. etc. etc.

Here are the public computers. We also have a CD player, a record player, and a cassette tape player for public use.tour 2

tour13This is the Music, Film and Audio reference desk where you can get help from librarians. We have some non-circulating collections here including vocal scores and vocal selections from (almost) every musical. There are circulating copies of these as well.

At the Customer Services desk you pick up CDs, DVDs and other AV materials on hold. You can check out all of our circulating material at this desk as well as the Customer Services desk on the first floor.

tour21Here is the audio collection of language learning. We have CDs for English as a Second Language (ESL) for speakers of different languages, and a large selection of foreign language instruction CDs and Playaways that usually come with corresponding booklets. You’ll also find a shelf of dialect CDs for “Acting with an Accent” and DVDs for learning Sign Language.

tour15Next to this is a collection of Pittsburgh documentaries on DVD, and feature films that were made in Pittsburgh.

tour16On this wall is a full set of bound concert programs from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra from 1926 to the present. Under this is the Pittsburgh LP Collection (vinyl records).

Whew.

In the next two rooms are music scores, books about music, and musical instrument instruction. Why don’t you just take the virtual tour?

-Joelle

*All photos by J. Killebrew

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Wrong Movie, or the Devil is in the Details

http://librarycatalog.einetwork.net/Union/Search?basicType=ISN&lookfor=786936838961

You wanted this one, right?

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of requests for the movie Frozen, which is apparently a Disney animated picture with some princesses and an Oscar-winning song and stuff. And that’s great! When people request things, that makes librarians feel needed. So thank you.

Unfortunately, Disney’s Frozen won’t be out on DVD until March 18th, so our customers have been accidentally requesting some less age-appropriate titles.

Frozen

No princesses here.

Frozen, 1996: A young performance artist decides to make his own suicide his last work of art. On the longest day of the year, he melts a huge block of ice with his own body heat and dies of hypothermia. He calls this act of defiance an “ice burial.”

Frozen, 2010: A typical day on the slopes turns into a chilling nightmare for three snowboarders when they get stranded on the chairlift before their last run. As the ski patrol switches off the lights, they realize with growing panic that they’ve been left behind, dangling high off the ground with no way down.

Frozen

That doesn’t look very heartwarming.

The Frozen, 2012: Emma and her boyfriend Mike take an ill-advised winter camping trip and are left to fight for their lives after a snowmobile accident leaves them stranded deep in the mountains. What begins as a struggle for survival against the harsh elements quickly turns into something far more chilling when the couple begins to glimpse a mysterious man who appears to be tracking them through the forest.

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen customers confuse titles, though. Many years ago I received a complaint from a person who ordered Air Force One and received a lovely National Geographic special instead of an action-packed Harrison Ford romp.

The Same River Twice

I just wanted to use this picture on the library blog.

And apparently there’s a movie called Same River Twice (recommended by the Dove foundation) that is absolutely nothing like The Same River Twice (which features naked hippies). Oops.

So remember, before you place that hold – please check the publication date and read the summary first. Or you may end up confusing the heck out of your children.

– Amy

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