Media Collections has Moved Downstairs!!

If you happen to wander by the room formerly known as Media Collections on the third floor, you will see only empty forlorn shelves.  But, no worries!  Those exciting film titles are now available for all students and faculty on the first floor in the shelving “outer” ring around the circulation desk.

The DVD’s and VHS titles, which were once in closed shelves in the Media Collections room are now available for 3 – day check-out by students and faculty.  One can check out up to three titles at a time.  A substantial number of the Media Collections titles have been placed behind the Circulation Desk on permanent reserve in the “Teaching Collection.”  Faculty can check out these titles that are more heavily used to support teaching and learning here at the College.

Come browse the collection and pick out some titles for entertainment or just plain knowledge enhancement with a good documentary.

Diversity Week Films on Demand

In support of Diversity Week, the library would like to inform you of the following media titles that are available in Films on Demand.  Please feel free to view these titles and over 6,000 other videos located in this database.

SGA Media Collection Now Available for Check-out

The Addlestone Library announces the debut of the SGA Media Collection.  The Student Government Association (SGA) Media Collection is a collection of popular video titles available for students to check out from the library.  This media collection is located on the first floor of the library on the Calhoun street side of the Circulation desk and checked out at the Circulation desk.

This collection consists of films and television shows suggested by students for student entertainment similar to what you would find in a “Redbox” including “The Social Network,”, “The Blind Side” and “King of Queens. ”  Please come by and take advantage of this wonderful resource. A preliminary list of the titles in the collection can be found here: SGA Media Collection Title List.

A student may check out up to 3 titles simultaneously for 3 days.  DVDs should be returned to the circulation desk.  Overdue fines are $3.00 per day per title.

SGA DVD titles can be searched in the Addlestone online catalog.

The titles for the SGA Media Collection are purchased from library funds as well as funds donated from the SGA and the Friends of the Library.  We will continue adding to the collection in the coming months.  You may make suggestions for titles to  add to the collection at the SGA Video Request Form.

TRILOGY OF TERROR: Trilogy of Doom – review

Banging the Drum on All Hallow’s Eve

j lucas walker – a critic for our time

‘The horror, the horror.’  ~ Col. Kurtz

Children of Men directed by Alfonso Cuarón (2006) *****

The Road directed by John Hillcoate (2009) ***1/2

Collapse directed by Chris Smith (2009) ****

Click here for PDF doc

For those of us who do, why is it that we filmgoers like to tarry to the cinematic jugular when it comes to the thrill and the horror?    Is it the snuggled comfort of knowing that we will never actually fall victim to the boogeyman or whatever tangled web awaits us?   Or are we secretly preparing ourselves for something more, training our minds for the ultimate test of combat with the unknowing?

Three films make up this trilogy, this trilogy of terror.   They will not give in to cuddled giddiness or last second escapes from the snatches of the boogeyman.  Nor will we untangle ourselves from this horror very easily; at least not without some pertinent and much labored thought processes spurring one on to think about some things.   For any brave soul taking on this taxing trilogy, and with All Hallow’s Eve fast on the approach, fear is good.

The three films in question include two features with a grim take on the future, Children of Men, The Road, and a documentary called Collapse.  Taking one film at a time, all are quite unique with different themes, plot lines and characters. There are also monsters in each and every one of them, be it an armed storm trooper black bagging the head of an individual who is deemed a dissident, cannibals going after human prey or oil company execs that just don’t have a clue and never gave a care.  But taken as a trilogy, as a whole, there is an overriding message that could be framed in the silhouette of a great hourglass.  The sands are flowing fast and yes, Father Time appears to be madly on the run.

When I first saw Children of Men, it left me not with an anxiety and despair, but strange comfort.   The film was so direct in its accounts of a near future society that was so bleak, chaotic and hopeless, yet so strangely familiar, that this vision had to be embraced for what it presented.   The comfort is that this film ‘gets it’ and poses one very important question:  what are we going to do about it?

Director Alfonso Cuarón’s interpretation and many embellishments from the book were just a hair short of brilliant.   His themes of governed  totalitarianism,  a definitive caste separation between rich and poor,  and a jaded youth in disconnected overdrive are framed in a way that make the lights trip your brain fantastic.  Ebbing hope is an underlying theme, but will not present itself before the watcher has earned it, wading through many levels of brutality, sadness and terror.   This caustic tale offers up a horror so real that you simply will not forget the images seared into your memory; because they offer nothing fantastic or out of the ordinary, but only the dread of future possibilities.

The Road, based on Cormac McCarthy’s book, gave no quarter for the reader nor will it the filmgoer.   The subject matter, characters and plot lines are so hopeless and bleaker than bleak, and who would want any part  of it—and if you do, for crying out loud find yourself a place to weep.   A father and son journey through an ugly dystopian wilderness with only themselves to worry about.  Among the ruins and landscapes brimming with near empty tins of scraps, stalkers and thieves, everything is gone; and writer Cormac means everything, all gone, the end.

This is a study of a father and how he attempts to provide hope for a young boy swirling in a world gone wrong; a world that provides no chances or hope of making it.   The light is in the human relationship. Take away from it what you will… a joyless film experience because it drapes you in a bad dream that you can’t wake up from,  soaks you in sweaty bed sheets that you can’t remove yourself from.  It is inescapable horror.

Whether you believe or not what Michael Ruppert has to say in this very handsome documentary film, Collapse, it will still simply knock your socks off.    This is a one man show and its subject happens to be a carrier of abundant data that is dispersed through articulate, master storytelling.  Because you see, Ruppert is what in the old days used to be referred to as a town crier, albeit one with his own opinion.  Nowadays he is tagged a whistleblower, and boogeymen don’t like whistleblowers. His warnings are thorough and complete in their rendering.  Like it or not pay close attention. Think of the documentary An Inconvenient Truth.  Then think of viewing it with a your body fever at 105 in a building that is already ablaze.   This is Collapse.

While the other two films open up to a setting of an already dismal future, this documentary will tell you why we may be headed there.   Director Chris Smith handles the camera work beautifully and with much invention during the interview sessions.  He has also placed the setting and backdrop of the film in a dank brick under-dwelling that sets the tone for a type of bunker mentality. The rest of it is filled with raw, archival footage, detailed formulas, spreadsheets and animation to help portray and add some insight to the subject matter at hand.

Michael Ruppert opens the film with a message, ‘What we need is not an Abraham Lincoln, but a Thomas Jefferson’, and goes on to explain what his interpretations of ‘peak oil’ will mean to all of us.   The picture he paints is not pretty and his opinions can easily be dismissed.  Maybe he’s a kook.  Obviously, he has led a somewhat troubled life and gives some background on himself during the filming.   The horror of Collapse is that, freak or not, he believes every word that you will hear and his passion is in his message and it is unquestioned.  And that is pretty scary… happy Hallow’s Eve.

J. Lucas Walker is the film critic for Addlestone Library Media Collections.  His editor, J. Alexander Seay (who is nowhere mentioned in this article), enjoys enabling J. Lucas to increasing heights of critical embroidery

The International: Film Review

a film review by j. lucas walker
Film Critic of the Addlestone Library

THE INTERNATIONAL was released in the late winter of last year but has lost none of the steely sheer of its timely subject matter.  A big corporate bank and its financial web of pain and deceit rule the day.  Included in the carnage is their own brand of ripple down economics and the collateral damage left in its wake.  This film demands the attention of the political thriller- enthusiast who appreciates multi-layered plot lines and smart film elements.

Big topics in cinema should sometimes be acquiesced with a film that carries the ‘big look’ and director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) delivers.

The story is scattered across many continents which include the cities of Luxemburg, Milan, Istanbul, New York, and Lyon among others.  The chase is on and the pacing is relentless.

Our heroes, Interpol agent (Clive Owen) and Manhattan Assistant DA (Naomi Watts) are after the International Bank of Business and Credit (IBBC).  The executives that are running it are brokering small countries through arms trade, terrorist schemes and the coups that come with it.  The villain of interest who will neatly tie everything together for the Interpol bust is a highly capable and cunning assassin contracted by the IBBC.

It is unfortunate that The International passed under the radar upon it’s release.  The screenplay by Eric Singer throws out a few lines of cliché but for the most part keeps it moving with no nonsense-seriousness.  Pay attention to the details for there are many layers and quite a few players involved.  This is a serious look into the operations of a renegade financial regime and their ceaseless appetite for the power and the glory.  The visual feast that ensues from start to finish is definitely worthy of a look.

The photography balances out the big, bright long wide shots, beautifully framed by big city skylines, with saturated darks in low light shadings to emphasize the sinister back room scheming.  Frank Griebe provides some imaginative camera work throughout.  In one amazing scene he uses a birds eye aerial shot that ultimately renders a political rally crowd as useless against the powers that be as the ones who are in charge of policing the IBBC.

This thriller delivers the whole pie with a mix of Three Days of the Condor,  The French Connection and Coppola’s own The Conversation, useful ingredients for this type of film.  Be sure to keep your eye on the thrilling Guggenheim Museum sequence, one that would make iconic film directors Hitchcock and Peckinpah turn the tombstones with postmortem envy.

— j. lucas walker
Film Critic of the Addlestone Library

This film is part of our Media Collections.
Call Number: PN1995.9.S87 I58 2009

American History in Video Trial

Until the end of May you can try free streaming video from the American History in Video database.

From the database site:

American History in Video provides the largest and richest collection of video available online for the study of American history, with 2,000 hours and more than 5,000 titles on completion. The collection allows students and researchers to analyze historical events, and their presentation over time, through commercial and governmental newsreels, archival footage, public affairs footage, and important documentaries. This release now provides 4,163 titles, with videos from new partner Media Rich Learning, and much more, equaling approximately 1,027 hours.

American History in Video has just been named a Library Journal 2009 Best Reference, in addition to being named earlier as Booklist Editors’ Choice: Reference Sources 2009 winner. The collection received a starred review in the November 15, 2009, issue of Booklist, which called it “highly recommended for any library that serves students of American history.” Library Journal also gave the collection a rave review in the August 15, 2009, issue, calling it a full 10 on a scale of 1 to 10 with a rating of “resoundingly recommended.”

Website for Database:

1905 Film Trip Down Market Street Before the Great Earthquake

“You are there” for a cable car ride in San Francisco.  This film was “lost” for many years. It was taken by a camera mounted on the front of a cable car.  The clock tower at the end of Market Street at the Embarcadero wharf is still there.

Great historical film!  Watch the scampering as Joe Public races away from autos, horses, cable cars and bicycles and the willy-nilly traffic pattern of visible autos, trucks, horse drawn carriages and bikes on Market Street .

This film originally thought to be from 1905 until David Kiehn with the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum figured out exactly when it was shot.  From New York trade papers announcing the film showing to the wet streets from recent heavy rainfall & shadows indicating time of year & actual weather and conditions on historical record, even when the cars were registered (he even knows who owned them and when the plates were issued!).

It was filmed only four days before the Great California Earthquake of April 18th 1906 and shipped by train to NY for processing.

From Prelinger Collection, Internet Archives

Feature of the Week – Children of Congo


Children of  Congo: from war to witches produced, directed, written, edited by Dan Balluff.

Documents the plight of thousands of street children living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and confirms the widespread accusations of child witchcraft, torture, and child prostitution.

Call Number: HV887.C75 C45 2008

Subject Headings:

Street children — Congo (Democratic Republic)
Children — Congo (Democratic Republic) — Social conditions — 21st century
Congo (Democratic Republic) — Social conditions — 21st century
Congo (Democratic Republic) — Economic conditions — 21st century
Congo (Democratic Republic) — Economic conditions — 21st century