April 30, 2010
Roman de gare
Best-selling author Judith Ralitzer is researching unlikely places to find characters for her next novel. A serial killer with a penchant for magic tricks has just escaped from a high-security prison, providing the perfect source material for an intricately plotted, moody mystery.
Wonderful story with some great twists. ~Mike
Askwith Media Library 51772-D
Fanfan la Tulipe
In eighteenth-century France, Fanfan joins King Louis XV's army to avoid a forced marriage to a local woman and finds himself trying to get out of sticky situations with a fortune teller imposter.
~In the spirit of Douglas Fairbanks, swash buckling fun.
Special Features: Documentary on the life of Gérard Philipe who passed away in 1959. Mr Philipe was a positive force in post-WWII French cinema before the new wave movement. ~Mike
Askwith Media Library 47601-D
April 14, 2010
Brian De Palma brings to focus the abuse of war. In particular the human aspect from both sides; while some have the best of intentions, others do not. This sad and disturbing story is based on real events during the Iraq War. American citizens have no idea the horror that has taken place almost every day in Iraq. De Palma tries to bring some context to the daily lives of soldiers and those who suffered due to improper understanding by occupying troops and the greed of violence and power. This film is a call to action and not for the weak at heart.
Special features include interviews with Iraqis who have lost family members due to the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Askwith Media Library 46933-D
April 07, 2010
An action-packed adventure serial in three feature-length episodes, produced in Russia with the goal of rivaling, and possibly even surpassing, the most entertaining American movies of the 1920s. Instead of the avant-garde works of Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov, Russian audiences were enchanted by fast-moving American films starring serial queens like Pearl White, swashbuckling heroes like Douglas Fairbanks, and comedians from the Keystone Cops to Lloyd, Keaton and Chaplin. Based on a 1923 pulp novel allegedly written by the American "Jim Dollar" (actually the nom-de-plume of a Russian woman, Marietta Shaginian). The film's heroine, Vivian Mend, is an elegant urban professional who earns her own living and raises a child without the help of any man. Includes some pointed comments on labor relations, racism, excessive wealth, gratuitous violence and even rape.
Fantastic shot composition and film quality. Disc two special features include a behind-the-scenes discussion with music composer Robert Israel. ~Fantastic!
Askwith Media Library 51210-D
Women Make Movies
Films for the Humanities & Sciences
Walt Kowalski is a widower who holds onto his prejudices despite the changes in his Michigan neighborhood and the world around him. Walt is a grumpy, tough-minded, unhappy old man, who can't get along with either his kids or his neighbors. He is a Korean War veteran whose prize possession is a 1972 Gran Torino he keeps in mint condition. When his neighbor, Thao, a young Hmong teenager, becomes pressured by his gang member cousin to steal Walt's Gran Torino, Kowalski sets out to reform the youth. Drawn against his will into the life of Thao's family, Walt is soon taking steps to protect them from the gangs that infest their neighborhood.
Mr. Eastwood is as always outstanding and full of surprises. Mr. Eastwood, thankfully, expresses the hopes and fears of a population, of all colors and races, under siege and abused by an uncaring, greedy government and an aloof corporate oligarchy. This film also touches on the very special support the USA received from the Hmong people during the Vietnam War.
The human and urban decline is aesthetically perfect. The 1972 Gran Torino harkens back to a hoped for simpler time, although the reality of that time may be different. ~Mike
Askwith Media Library 49322-D
Our India story
Captured in faith, family and fortune, Michigan's Indian American population is explored in colorful detail throughout Our India story. The film features interviews with prominent Indian Americans and follows their footsteps through challenges and boom times and celebrates their assimilation into the world of medicine, business and religion. Some segments were filmed during a visit to India to rejoice in the essential Indian zest for life.
Insightful documentary concerning the Indian population of Detroit and the metro areas. ~Mike
Askwith Media Library 51441-D
Ruggles of Red Gap
A comedy classic concerning a British manservant who finds himself in the Wild West when his master loses him in a card game.
A young, dashing Charles Laughton demonstrates his fine acting ability in this 1935 production. His acting is always wonderful and with this you can see a very young actor on his way. Early 20th century American and British stereotypes are portrayed. ~Mike
Askwith Media Library 51524-D
Discusses the destruction of monuments in Russia during the 20th century as each new regime takes control. Only recently have efforts been made to preserve these monuments as part of the Russian heritage. Features rare archival footage and interviews with sculptors, art historians and critics, gallery and museum directors.
Makes one consider opening a large plot of land for discarded monuments from all countries.~Mike
Askwith Media Library 51753-D