March 29, 2011
Always (sunset on third street)
A wonderful story. Of course very sentimental, funny, loving and beautifully shot. ~Mike
Released in 2005
Askwith Media Library 47161-D
The story takes place on Christmas Eve in Shinjuku, Tokyo. Middle-aged has-been Gin, aging transvestite Hana, and teenage runaway Miyuki are homeless friends who have formed a makeshift family structure bond. That bond is tested when they find an abandoned baby while searching for food in a trash dumpster. They try to care for the infant themselves, and travel throughout the city in search of the baby's parents.
Very enjoyable, fun and witty. ~Mike
Released in 2003
Askwith Media Library 37835-D 91 minutes
Kenji is your typical teenage misfit. He's good at math, bad with girls, and spends most of his time hanging out in the all-powerful, online community known as OZ. His second life is the only life he has - until the girl of his dreams, Natsuki, hijacks him for a starring role as a fake fiance at her family reunion. Things only get stranger from there. A late-night email containing a cryptic mathematic riddle leads to the unleashing of a rogue AI.
One of the best (animes) to come along in a while, so futuristic it looks like tomorrow. ~Mike
Released in 2009
Askwith Media Library 53399-D 120 minutes
"Now available for the first time, experience the complete series hailed as the most frightening ever created for television. Horror legend Boris Karloff guides you through 67 unforgettable episodes of suspense, murder, and relentless terror from the minds of such masterful writers as Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Block, and Cornell Woolrich."
The technical expertise and acting quality is almost impossible to match. Experience the master craftsmen of film and television practicing their trade. Each episode is introduced by the great Boris Karloff. Exceptional! ~Mike
Originally broadcast on television in 1960-1962. DVD release 2010.
Askwith Media Library 52973-D 14 DVDs 56 hours
March 28, 2011
"Based on the phenomenally popular French pulp novellas, Loius Feuillade's outrageous, ambitious Fantômas series became the gold standard of espionage serials in pre-WWI Europe, and laid the foundation for such immortal works as Feuillade's own Les Vampires and Fritz Lang's Dr. Mabuse films. René Navarre stars as the criminal lord of Paris, the master of disguise, the creeping assassin in black: Fantômas. Over the course of five feature films, Fantômas, along with his accomplices and mistresses, are pursued by the equally resourceful Inspector Juve and his friend, journalist Jerôme Fandor."
This has to be the greatest silent film series I have ever seen. ~Mke
Released in 1913 (Present DVD series released in 2010)
Askwith Media Library 54205-D 337 minutes
Between Beckett and Brecht
Samuel Beckett explored the inner worlds of memory and existence, while Bertolt Brecht's energies were directed outward, toward politics and institutions. In this program, renowned theater director Sir Richard Eyre examines the work of those two dramatists and the impact they had both on playwrights and on the theater itself, beginning with the 1960s. Film clips and interviews with Harold Pinter, Peter Brook, David Hare, Edward Bond, Billie Whitelaw, Caryl Churchill, and Alan Bennett reveal an exuberant period in theater history that has seen form unconditionally surrender to dramatic expression.
Both artists respond to the complexities of human endeavor. This is an understated documentary, it touches on the impact Beckett and Brecht had on the history of theatre with their response to pre war modern society, the total war brought on by World War II and the post war devastation society had to understand and rebuild. ~Mike
Originally produced in 2000 as an episode of the BBC television program, Changing stages.
Askwith Media Library 37453-D 51 minutes
Japan, The Emperor and The Army
Based on rare archives and previously unreleased interviews, this documentary traces the secret history of post-war Japan. It reveals the contradictions of a people still confronted with memories of the war and militarism, and the threats to the values of peace which are at the heart of its modern identity.
Communication between Emperor Hirohito and General MacArthur probably saved Japan from experiencing a complete rebellion and national instability. MacArthur had set the stage for competent regime change. Unfortunately this lesson has been lost to America. ~Mike
Released in 2009
Askwith Media Library 54426-D 90 minutes
The Koran -The Origins of the Book
"This enlightening documentary explores the origins of the Koran, which according to Muslim tradition, has remained static and unchanged since its revelation to the prophet Mohammed between 610 and 632 CE in Mecca and Medina. However, recent discoveries of Koranic manuscripts analyzed by scientists, dating from around 680--the oldest in the world--indicate that the Koran my have a more complicated history. During the first century of Islam, different concurrent versions of the holy book of Islam are believed to have existed and a number of different readings are possible due to the rudimentary nature of the writing in its early stages."
An insightful, historical perspective of the Koran. The historians, scientists and Muslim scolars demonstrate very deliberated care and consideration while on the path of discovery of the historic Koran. ~Mike
Released in 2010
Askwith Media Library 54451-D 52 minutes
An astronaut-in-training has to leave NASA (to save the family farm) but just can't give up on his dream of shooting into space, even if he has to do it all by himself. And that will of course get everyone up in arms, from his wife to his banker to the town gossips to the media and the Department of Homeland Security.
A somewhat misleading description above: The Astronaut Farmer has his children (two younger daughters and elder son) and wife involved in the dream of orbiting the earth from their rocket being assembled in the barn. The rocket is an obsolete rocket used in the 1970s. The Farmer has bought a scrapped one and has scavenged the needed parts. The banker requires the mortgage payments to be made and homeland security becomes very interested when the farmer tries to purchase 10,000 pounds of rocket fuel. It is an enjoyable film about hope and a family that sticks together while the world around them doubts their sanity. ~Mike
Released in 2007
Askwith Media Library 53495-D 104 minutes
Napa Valley, 1976. For connoisseur Steven Spurrier, there is no finer art than French wine. But rumors bandy about of a new California wine country that holds the future of the vine. Positive the small Napa wineries are no match for established French vintages, Spurrier challenges the Americans to a blind taste test. He finds the valley full of ambitious, and talented, novice vinters like Jim Barrett and his son Bo. He realizes his publicity stunt may change the history of wine forever.
It could be a docu-drama, but that title would be a little limiting for this film. It is a beautifully shot and acted film although the plot uses some action elements to keep the interest of some viewers. This is the story of a taste test comparison between Californian and French wines. Napa Valley wines won the contest and this established Napa Valley as a premiere growing location while opening up the possibilities for the rest of the world to grow grapes for wine. Since then we have all benefited from the diversity of wines grown around the world. ~Mike
Released in 2009
Askwith Media Library 53308-D 108 minutes
Storms over China
In the village of Longbaoshan, northwest of Beijing, the inhabitants are trying to prevent their village from being engulfed by dust caused by ferocious sandstorms. This ecological disaster has shocked the villagers whose crops have failed for five years. Many have abandoned their farms, moving to neighboring villages or cities after selling their livestock. The meteorologist, Hao Yan, points out that the sand moves from northwest China in increasingly thick clouds at a rate of 90,000 tons per year. Some storms are so powerful that they carry over to Korea, Japan and even California. As described by a scientist at the International Institute of Geo-information in the Netherlands, an increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere leads to the rise in temperature on the planet. This warming, combined with Chinese agricultural practices, few rainstorms, and violent winds have produced the increasingly intense sandstorms which lead to desertification. China emits a huge amount of greenhouse gases, second only to the U.S. The Chinese government is well aware of the situation which the country's unbridled industrialization has produced. They announced an enormous reforestation plan, called the Great Green Wall of China to prevent desertification. Over eight million dollars will be invested over the next few years, leading up
to the Olympics.
The amount of sand is overwhelming. Villages are being buried under tons of sand. The winds constantly push the sand from Siberia to China, Korea, Japan and eventually the Western United States. One solution being tried is planting trees. They plant "sand cypress" trees to hold the top soil. This has worked in areas but can it hold back the tide? I have to wonder if this is what has happened on Mars.
Released in 2005
Askwith Media Library 46846-D 53 minutes
March 25, 2011
The story of a sexy lingerie model and a successful software salesman on a weekend getaway to a quaint Northern California town. But when the entire region is attacked by millions of homicidal birds, their picturesque paradise becomes a winged hell on Earth. Can mankind now survive the avian onslaught of Birdemic?
This film is a must see for every aspiring student of film. The editing, sound, lighting and script are excellent examples on what not to do on a film. ~Mike
Released in 2011
Askwith Media Library 54120-D 90 minutes
"Tagged introduces us to the raging debate over the ubiquitous Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip, touted as a tool with invaluable medical applications by its supporters and denounced as the death knell for civil liberties by privacy advocates. This playfully smart short doc lets the audience decide: Is it "hip to be chipped," as a proposed marketing slogan claimed, or could RFID implants accelerate a slide down the slippery slope from surveillance society to totalitarian nightmare?"- National Film Board Website
It's a very tiny chip, the same size used for pets and medical patients. Though the manufacturer does not intend this to be used as a "Hip to be Chipped" devise. A couple of young men have implanted themselves with the chip, to demonstrate and also conveniently to open doors. Possibly just one of many tools used for future surveillance. ~Mike
Released in 2009
Askwith Media Library 54454-D 28 minutes
March 23, 2011
[This film] probes our relationship with the material world through three Americans' relationships with their "stuff." Michele Gitlin has 700 sweaters. In touch with the pain as well as the pleasure of over-collecting, she calls Ron Alford, the "Disaster Master," for help. Ron, a de-cluttering expert who coined the term "disposophobia" and believes that 'clutter begins in the head, and ends up on the floor,' determines that Michele is indeed a hoarder. We follow Ron as he visits a retired marine (who owns 7,800 Beanie Baby dolls), and a Home Shopping Network addict whose purchases have made his apartment unlivable. [This film] is a meditation on material culture, consumerism, mental illness and the social fabric of our lives.
For many reasons we acquire way too much stuff. This documentary delves into our hidden needs for stuff and also shows us the dependency we attach to our stuff. ~Mike
Released in 2010
Askwith Media Library 54107-D 36 minutes
Asking For It
"Ethics and erotics of sexual consent"
A lecture by Dr. Harry Brod discusses the (often unclear) line between sexual consent and sexual coercion.
An insightful lecture based heavily on personal ethical actions. Never assume consent always require explicit verbal consent. ~Mike
Released in 2010
Askwith Media Library 54157-D 38 minutes
March 22, 2011
"Despite the achievements of the women's movement over the past four decades, misogyny remains a persistent force in American culture. In this important new documentary, Thomas Keith, Professor of Philosophy at California State University, Long Beach, looks specifically at misogyny and sexism in mainstream American media, exploring how negative definitions of femininity and hateful attitudes toward women get constructed and perpetuated at the very heart of our popular culture. The film tracks the destructive dynamics of misogyny across a broad and disturbing range of media phenomena: including the hyper-sexualization of commercial products aimed at girls, the explosion of violence in video games aimed at boys, the near-hysterical sexist rants of hip-hop artists and talk radio shock jocks, and the harsh, patronizing caricatures of femininity and feminism that reverberate throughout the mainstream of American popular culture. Along the way, Generation M forces us to confront the dangerous real-life consequences of misogyny in all of its forms--making a compelling case that when we devalue more than half the population based on gender, we harm boys and men as well as women and girls."
Released in 2008
Askwith Media Library 49813-D 60 minutes
The Brandon Teena Story
Documentary film about Brandon Teena, who arrived in rural Falls City, Nebraska, in 1993 where he finds some new friends. Three weeks later he is brutally raped and beaten by friends who discover that he is actually a woman. A week later the same two men murder Teena along with two other people. This is a tale of Brandon's coming of age struggle with identity and how his gender ambiguity induced feelings of betrayal, confusion and hostility among residents of a town in America's heartland.
Released in 1999
Also a motion picture (Boys Don't Cry 29898-D) staring Hilary Swank also released in 1999 ~Mike
Askwith Media Library 30653-D 88 minutes
Caught in the Crossfire: Arab-Americans in Wartime
... when two planes hijacked by Islamic extremists destroyed the World Trade Center, the lives of this immigrant group changed within hours. Now, Arab-Americans are caught in the crossfire of President Bush's War on Terrorism, and are finding out how cold the welcome can be when you belong to the wrong immigrant group at the wrong time.
Released in 2002
Askwith Media Library 49060-D 54 minutes
The human and drug trafficking across the border between the United States and Mexico has been called the illegal immigration invasion. The lives of five individuals affected by the rise in illegal immigration are documented.
Released in 2006
Askwith Media Library 45412-D 95 minutes
Behind the labels
Lured by false promises and driven by desperation, thousands of Chinese and Filipina women pay high fees to work in garment factories on the pacific island of Saipan, the only U.S. territory exempt from labor and immigration laws. The clothing they sew, bearing the "Made in the USA" label, is shipped duty and quota-free to the U.S for sale by The GAP, J. Crew, Polo and other retailers. Powerful hidden camera footage, along with the garment workers' personal stories, offers a rare glimpse into indentured labor and the workings of the global sweatshop where 14 hour shifts, payless paydays, and lock-downs are routine.
Released in 2010
Askwith Media Library 53870-D 46 minutes
Neighbors and friends living in a small eastern Kentucky community find themselves on opposite sides of a debate over the activities of a coal mining company conducting mountaintop removal mining in their backyards.
Askwith Media Library 54106-D 57 minutes
Is access to clean drinking water a basic human right, or a commodity that should be bought and sold like any other article of commerce? ... [T]his timely documentary is a behind-the-scenes look into the unregulated and unseen world of an industry that aims to privatize and sell back the one resource that ought never to become a commodity: our water. From the production of plastic, to the ocean in which so many bottles end up, this...documentary follows the bottled water trail through the communities which are the unwitting chips on the corporate table. A powerful portrait of the lives affected by the bottled water industry, this...film features those caught at the intersection of big business and the public's right to water."
Released in 2009
Askwith Media Library 49795-D 75 minutes
A whip-smart, laugh-out-loud comedy that takes aim at the war on terror. Follow five clueless buffoons as they plan to strike a blow on their own turf, showing that while terrorism is supposed to be about ideology, it can also be about idiots.
Very funny however in some sense sad. ~Mike
Released in 2010
Askwith Media Library 54187-D 102 minutes
Edge of dreaming
"Scottish filmmaker Amy Hardie built a career on making science documentaries, reflecting her staunchly rational mind. Then one evening she had a haunting dream of her horse dying, waking to discover that her beloved horse had passed away that same night. Shaken, she tried to pass it off as mere coincidence. But then she had another disturbing slumber, a nightmare where her deceased ex-husband predicts that she will die at age 48. After a foreboding doctor's visit, and with her 49th birthday mere months away, she starts to wonder about the explanatory power of dreams and their impact on her own mortality. In Edge of Dreaming, Amy looks for answers everywhere, from leading biologists Weissmann of and neuroscientists to the more spiritual solutions of a shaman. With the love and support of her family, Amy chronicles her quest to untangle the knots in her unconscious and the meaning of her destabilizing dreams"--www.kino.com.
Operations were scheduled however once she visited a "shaman" and discussed the dream and received some input she no longer needed surgery. ~Mike
Released in 2010
Askwith Media Library 53907-D 72 minutes
Meet Mahmud Nasir, loving husband, doting father, and something of a relaxed Muslim. He may not be the most observant, but in his heart he is a true Muslim. After his mother's death, Mahmud finds his birth certificate, which reveals that he was adopted at birth and he's Jewish, with the real name of Solly Shimshillewitz!
A very enjoyable clash of cultures comedy.
Released in 2010
Askwith Media Library 53398-D 105 minutes
A former policeman tortures and kills an ANC activist. He is granted amnesty for his crime but does not feel his guilt can be assuaged until the family can forgive him.
Very touching and insightful.
Released in 2004
Askwith Media Library 44145-D 118 minutes
The love of money
In September 2008, capitalism looked like it was on the brink of collapse. This is the story of how the crash was caused, what happened, and how generations to come will be affected by its legacy. Part one examines when the collapse of Lehman Brothers plunged the world into financial crisis. The program includes never-before-seen footage shot inside Lehman's in the weeks leading up to the demise of the bank. Part two examines the boom years before the global financial crash of 2008. Testimony comes from many of the key decision-makers over the last two decades. Part three tells the story of how politicians throughout the world reacted, and asks what has been learned from the entire calamity... and could it happen again?
This is the most concise description of the lead up and failure of the world economic system.
Released in 2009
Askwith Media Library 53041-D
Three separate discs at 52 minutes each
Part 1. The |t bank that bust the world directed byGuy Smith --Part 2. The age of risk directed by Tim Robinson -- Part 3 Back from the brink directed by Paul Mitchell.
Examines how the banking industry harvests billions of dollars from consumers in the form of overdraft and other fees. Ralph Nader discusses the predatory lending practices of the major national banks and how individuals can fight against the unfair fees. Also interviews Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney who wrote and sponsored the Overdraft Protection Fair Practices Act, Gail Hillebrand of the Consumers Union, a loan shark whose rates are better than the banks' fees, and various consumer advocates. Also examines the larger issue of corporate dominance of our culture by speaking with author and filmmaker Joel Bakan ("The Corporation").
This is a very insightful documentary. It defines the problem and offers solutions.
Released in 2009
Askwith Media Library 54387-D 50 minutes
George is a blue-collar American with a special connection to the afterlife dating from his childhood. French journalist Marie has a near-death experience that shakes her reality. When London schoolboy Marcus loses the person closest to him, he desperately needs answers. Each seeking the truth, their lives will intersect, forever changed by what they believe might, or must, exist in the hereafter.
The visual aspect of the Tsunami is taken from our collective conscience. Clint Eastwood pulls you into a wonderful story of life, death and hope.
Released in 2011
Askwith Media Library 53501-D 129 minutes
March 21, 2011
Countdown to Zero
Tracing the history of the atomic bomb from its origins to the present state of global affairs: nine nations possessing nuclear weapons capabilities with others racing to join them, with the world held in a delicate balance that could be shattered by an act of terrorism, failed diplomacy, or a simple accident. The film makes a compelling case for worldwide nuclear disarmament, an issue more topical than ever as over 40 nations have the technical capacity to construct nuclear weapons.
We should be very concerned. ~Mike
Askwith Media Library 53357-D 89 minutes
"How can you make peace when what you really want is revenge? In the wake of 37 million casualties at the end of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson took his dream of a League of Nations to Paris to seek "peace everlasting," joining over 30 international delegations who descended upon the city fo the most ambitious peace talks in history. Helmed by the Big Four (the United States, France, Great Britain and Italy), the Paris Peace Conference ultimately and ironically sowed the seeds of resentment that led to World War II."
The film uses actors as the historical figures, intertwined with newsreel footage and writings of the Big Four players. We cannot know what would have happened if the original Wilson peace everlasting plan had succeeded.
Released in 2008
Askwith Media Library 53972-D 94 minutes
A contemporary take on the classic Arthur Conan Doyle stories, Sherlock is a thrilling, funny, fast-paced adventure series set in present-day London. The iconic details from Conan Doyle's original books remain: they live at the same address, have the same names, and, somewhere out there, Moriarty is waiting for them. And so across three thrilling, scary, action-packed, and highly modern adventures, Sherlock and John navigate a maze of cryptic clues and lethal killers to get at the truth.
A new interpretation of the great Conan-Doyle series: with much more crime solving and much less fighting/explosions than seen in a recent Hollywood movie.
Askwith Media Library 53388-D
Season 1, 2 discs, 270 minutes
Women just can't resist him. Pootie's the hip hop hero with style and a language all his own. He is a hit-record maker, criminal empire busting, rabbit-fur shirt wearing superhero who is idolized by kids and love starved women everywhere. But with his one-man war against greed, injustice and unwholesome consumer products begin to cut into the profits of corporate America a demented CEO swipes Pootie's magical villian-whupping belt. Will Pootie buckle under the pressure?
Excellent pop culture parody. When Pooty speaks no one understands.
Askwith Media Library 54163-D 81 minutes
Pat Tillman chose to walk away from a multimillion-dollar football contract and join the military for no other reason than he felt it was the right thing to do. Documented are the facts surrounding the way the military manipulated his tragic death in the line of duty into a propaganda tool, which is totally unfathomable.
Both the government and media were looking for the "ideal American" hero. Pat Tillman's image and career were used in a media blitz to drum up support for the war in Afghanistan. The deceit unraveled before the eyes of the world.
The film touches on the not mentioned use of sports as war metaphor.
Askwith Media Library 54094-D 95 minutes
Heart Broken in Half
An in-depth look at the street gangs of the Albany Park neighborhood in Chicago and the socio-economic conditions that give rise to them. Includes comments by neighborhood residents, interviews with several young gang members, scenes from the funeral and burial of a gang member who was killed in the street, and an extensive analysis of the intricate network of symbols, logos and icons (expressed in graffiti) that serve the gangs as a complex visual code for displaying identity and challenging rivals.
Released in 1990
Askwith Media Library 53465-D 58 minutes
Ancestors in the Americas
Asian American history series
Pt. 1. Coolies, sailors, settlers : [voyage to the New World] -- pt. 2. Chinese in the frontier West : an American story / a co-presentation of National Asian American Telecommunications Association, Independent Television Service.
Part 1 tells the story of how Asians--Filipino, Chinese, Asian Indian--first arrived in the Americas. Film crosses centuries and oceans from the 16th century Manila-Acapulco trade, to the Opium War, to the 19th century plantation coolie labor in South America and the Caribbean. Part 2 relates the history of Chinese immigrants in California.
A much needed view of the early Chinese immigration and/or forced work immigration to America.
1996-1998 television series.
Askwith Media Library 53982-D 124 minutes
Inside the Walls of Folsom Prison
Another in a unrelated series of Warner's penitentiary tours in three different decades. This one is California's notorious Folsom Prison prior to its 1944 reformation make-over. Filmed at the Folsom State Prison, Represa, California, USA.
Part of "Warner Bros. lineage of social-conscience films."
Released in 1951
Askwith Media Library 54851-D 87 minutes
Tommy habitually tells tall tales and nobody believes him when he witnesses a murder through a tenement window.
Bobby Driscoll gives an outstanding performance as Tommy for which he won an honorary Oscar.
Released in 1949
Askwith Media Library 54850-D 73 minutes
Power and Control Domestic Violence In America
A dramatic and timely exploration of domestic abuse, which examines the persistence of violence against women in the US, through the story of Kim, a mother of three in Duluth, MN. Duluth was the birthplace of a revolution in the way society approaches battering, and the film tells the story of the leaders from Duluth who remain on the front lines today. The film also looks at the debate launched by researchers and academics who have challenged the Duluth approach. Recommended for courses in sociology, social work, women's studies, political science, law enforcement and laws.
A very insigtful look at domestic violence. Porvides some information and options.
Askwith Media Library 54313-D 64 minutes