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October 24, 2011

Tees Maar Khan

Only once in a blue moon is such a great criminal born who is fearless as well as shameless. Now is the blue moon and the great criminal is Tees Maar Khan. He steals, cons, and cheats all with such alarming audacity that even shame shies away from him. He and his gang comprising of Dollar, Soda, and Burger have managed to keep the police, world over, on their toes. Then one fine day international antique smugglers, the Johri Brothers, assign Tees Maar Khan the biggest con job of his life.

This is a wonderful, fun spoof. Everything is over the top. It is very fast and sometimes silly entertainment. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55614-D 187 minutes Released in 2010

Posted by mcmike at 04:03 PM | Comments (0)

Dance Me Outside

Indian (Canadian)
When the Kidabanessee Reservation in northern Ontario is shocked by a brutal murder of one of the residents, four teenagers find their friendships put to the ultimate test. The struggle to become men and women becomes entangled with a fight for justice as they find their friendships and romances maturing into something unexpected.

Billed by some as a comedy, if it is, it is a black comedy. Our main characters struggle to find their identity and their futures on the reservation, although no transformations or coming of age really takes place the film is a time in the life of... ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 48620-D 85 minutes Released in 1995

Posted by mcmike at 03:57 PM | Comments (0)

Captured on film: The True Story of Marion Davies

Blonde, beautiful and talented, Marion Davies was the first and funniest of the screwball comediennes. She combined zany slapstick with exuberant mimicry. This combines archival film clips with interviews and rare home movies to explore her life and work.
Special features: Quality Street / director, Sidney Franklin ; from a story by James M. Banrie ; piano score, Philip Carli. Starring Marion Davies, Conrad Nagel, Helen Jerome Eddy, Flora Finch, Margaret Seddon, Marcelle Corday, Kate Price (1927, b&w, 110 min.); Marion Davies stills gallery.

Finally a true account of Marion Davies she is one of the first women to put herself out there as a comedian. Her comedic style and timing is without rival. Marion Davies was a very chartable person helping those she worked with and donating money and time to the needs of children. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 35023-D 60 minutes Released in 2001

Posted by mcmike at 03:47 PM | Comments (0)

The Miracle of Morgan's Creek

A small-town girl goes overboard with war-time patriotic zeal and marries a soldier she's only met once. He disappears after one night, then she thinks she's pregnant... but she just can't remember her husband's name.
Special features: Preston Sturges and the Miracle of Morgan's Creek; Censorship: Morgan's Creek vs. the production code.

It's more likely that she is pregnant than married. Released in 1944 this is a humorous, cautionary tale albeit a very important topic. As usual Sturges' work is outstanding he wrote, produced and directed this work while fighting the censors every step of the way. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 41202-D 98 minutes 1944

Posted by mcmike at 03:40 PM | Comments (0)

Teachings of the Tree People

Indian (America)
The Work of Bruce Miller
National Heritage Fellow Gerald Bruce (Sùbiyay) Miller, Skokomish Tribal Twana Indian leader, gathers and weaves a cedar bark mat and shares his life story and the teachings of the Tree People. A passionate student of the traditional culture, Bruce became the bearer of the language, oral history, art and spirituality of the tuwaduq (Twana) and Southern Coast Salish peoples. This film documents his race against time and ailing health to pass the knowledge of his ancestors on to those who would listen. The film chronicles Bruce's youth among his tribal elders; his young adulthood in school (Berkeley), war (Viet Nam) and on the stage (New York City); and his decision to return home and lead a cultural renaissance in the Pacific Northwest. It documents traditional practices of gathering and preparing cedar bark for weaving, uses of medicinal plants, and the presentation of wild foods for the fall Ceremony of First Foods. Completed just before his death in 2005.
Born April 23, 1944 in Skokomish, 15th child of Fred & Georgia Miller. Tribal & spiritual leader, storyteller, caretaker of tribal traditions, weaver, carver, teacher; lived near Hood Canal; wrote "The Changer," winner U.S. Bicentennial Playwrights Award; recipient Wash. St. Governor's Heritage Award, 1992; cofounded NW Native American Basketweavers Association, 1994; designated Wash. St. "Living Treasure," 1999; awarded National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, June 2004. Died Feb. 5, 2005 from a heart attack.

One amazing person among many: A life lived and the realization of the love of his people and the land. Food for your soul and enrichment for your life. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 54659-D 57 minutes 2006
Includes The 20 min. educational version of Teachings of the Tree People was made in 2004.

Posted by mcmike at 09:24 AM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2011

A Midwinter's Tale

To be or not to be? To act or not to act? The questions are the same to Joe, a struggling (jobless) actor whose every sinew and synapse cries out to perform and to soften the blow of not landing a part in a mega budget sci-fi movie. So in the stalwart (desperate) tradition of actors everywhere, Joe vows to put on a show, a special (even more desperate) version of the greatest play in the English tongue.

A great cast and a joyful film. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 53437-D 98 minutes 1995

Posted by mcmike at 10:02 AM | Comments (0)

Beyond the Time Barrier

A supersonic test pilot exploits the theory of relativity to travel to and from the bleak future of humankind.

Our hero arrives in 2024 long after a cosmic plague has wiped out more than half of mankind. He must get back to 1960 to warn the human race that the cosmic plague will hit in 1971 and they better do something to stop it. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55607-D 74 minutes 1960

Posted by mcmike at 09:54 AM | Comments (0)

The Third Day

"When a car rams through a guardrail and plunges into the river below, all elements of a tantalizing movie thriller bubble to the surface: a drowned cocktail waitress, a disoriented driver with no memory of the accident--and a ferocious D.A. who'll stop at nothing to prove him guilty."

The tension continues as jilted husband played by Arte Johnson seeks revenge. The selling of the family factory is Roddy McDowall’s' goal. However George Peppard considers diversifying the business to keep the factory open and the towns folk employed. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 54233-D 119 minutes 1965

Posted by mcmike at 09:41 AM | Comments (0)

October 19, 2011

The World, the Flesh and the Devil

'Millions Flee from Cities! End of the World!' From a Manhattan skyscraper, Ralph Burton surveys the emptiness announced by that chilling newspaper headline. Nuclear doomsday has come. Ralph is sure he is the last person alive. Then a woman appears and the two form a cautious friendship that's threatened when a third survivor arrives.

Fantastic post apocalyptic tale, Harry Belafonte is a survivor bringing electricity to New York city. He struggles with loneliness while hoping for other survivors. It is an anti nuclear, anti ware cautionary tale.
Modern viewers may notice the lack of Zombies and Vampires. ~Mike

Askith Media Library 53453-D 95 minutes 1959

Posted by mcmike at 09:01 AM | Comments (0)

Unlikely Treasures

This documentary features people who are compulsive hoarders.

Not hoarders but collectors of things left behind or forgotten. Baking cake tins, tools, buttons, ceramic ET dolls and trinkets are some of the many collectables in our lives. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55597-D 52 minutes 2010 (Montreal)

Posted by mcmike at 08:56 AM | Comments (0)

Gifted Hands The Ben Carson Story

Follows the life of Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, who overcame problems in school and obstacles in life to become a world-renowned neurosurgeon. His lifelong journey led him to become director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children's Center, a bestselling author, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Includes behind-the-scenes, and featurettes.

Anything can be accomplished with hard work. An outstanding film of hope and perseverance. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 53856-D 90 minutes 2009

Posted by mcmike at 08:51 AM | Comments (0)

October 18, 2011

Miss Representation

Explores how mainstream media contributes to the under-representation of women in influential positions in America and challenges the media's portrayals of women.
Featured in the film: Caroline Heldman, Condoleezza Rice, Dianne Feinstein, Dolores Huerta, Geena Davis, Gloria Steinem, Jackson Katz, Jane Fonda, Jean Kilbourne, Jennifer Pozner, Katie Couric, Lisa Ling, M. Gigi Durham, Margaret Cho, Martha Lauzen, Nancy Pelosi, Pat Mitchell, Rachel Maddow, Rosario Dawson.
Includes customized footage and curricula for the following ages groups: university, high school, middle school, 4-5th grade, K-3rd grade; educator's viewing guide.

Absolutely a "must see" for everyone. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55514-D 90 minutes 2011

Posted by mcmike at 11:09 AM | Comments (0)

Captain Newman, M.D

A realistic look at life and love inside a stateside military hospital's psychiatric ward during World War II. The Oscar-nominated comedy-drama follows the affable Captain Newman as he uses both humor and compassion to reach patients whose wartime injuries plague their minds instead of their bodies.
Gregory Peck, Tony Curtis, Angie Dickinson, Eddie Albert, James Gregory, Bethel Leslie, Robert Duvall.

Well before PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) was diagnosed and accepted this film deals with it head on. Eddie Albert is outstanding and Robert Duvall as always delivers a realistic performance. All around an honest, compassionate portrayal by the wonderful cast. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55163-D 127 minutes 1963

Posted by mcmike at 10:55 AM | Comments (0)

The Razor's Edge

A rich young man spends his time between WWI & WWII searching for essential truth, eventually landing in India.

This film is so much more than the above description. It is a story of the search to understand oneself, after service in WWI and the sacrifice of a friend, against the backdrop of greed and arrogance. It is a moving film of hope. Also interesting in that the author wrote himself in as one of the characters, W. Somer Maugham. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 50250-D 146 minutes 1946

Posted by mcmike at 10:31 AM | Comments (0)

How to Steal a Million

A woman and a burglar hatch a scheme to swipe a forgery from an art museum to conceal her father's art forgeries.
Special features: Commentary by Eli Wallach and Catherine Wyler; "Audrey Hepburn: the fairest lady" as seen on Biography on the A & E Network.

An enjoyable film, beautifully shot, fantastic dialog and probably Peter O'Toole's finest work. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 50090-D 125 minutes 1966

Posted by mcmike at 10:23 AM | Comments (0)

The List of Adrian Messenger

The potential heirs to a family fortune are being killed off, and George C. Scott must find the killer in time to save the young grandson.
George C. Scott, Dana Wynter, Clive Brook, Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Burt Lancaster, Robert Mitchum, Frank Sinatra.

Directed by John Huston, this film has an outstanding cast of characters and an intriguing plot. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 54736-D 99 minutes 1963

Posted by mcmike at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)

Racism: A History

The Colour of Money: Colonialism and the Slave Trade
Reaching back across the centuries, this program sheds light on historical attitudes toward human differences. It assesses the significance of biblical narratives, including the "curse of Ham", in the evolution of European concepts of race, and goes on to examine the basis of institutionalized racism - entwined with fervent capitalism - on which the transatlantic slave trade operated. The destruction of America's indigenous civilizations and the dehumanization and exploitation of Africans are studied alongside the writings of Enlightenment philosophers and historians. Includes commentary by Dr. Orlando Patterson, Dr. Barnor Hesse, and Professor James Walvin.

For a modern society living under the shadow of colonialism, racism and slavery: The history cannot be changed but can the knowledge of it help society to overcome this horrible past? ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 50563-D 53 minutes 2007

Posted by mcmike at 09:14 AM | Comments (0)

60 Minutes Hardtimes Generation

Scott Pelley talks with homeless children and their parents who live now live in budget motels.

Children born into or thrown into despair. America's new "untouchable" caste. Starvation knows no politics. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 54859-D 14 minutes Airdate: 3/6/11

Posted by mcmike at 09:09 AM | Comments (0)

Weather Report

"A journey to the front-lines of our climate changing world - in the Canadian Arctic, Montana, Northern Kenya, China and India - visiting communities and ordinary people whose lives and livelihoods are being impacted in the most dramatic ways".
Special features (31 min.): extended interviews with Bruce Sterling (5 min.), James Howard Kunstler (7 min.), Sunita Narain (7 min.), Sheila Watt-Cloutier (6 min.) & Wangari Maathai (6 min.).

Let the arguments continue on either side of the issue. This documentary is a wittness to the effects of climate change. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 53050-D 52 minutes 2007

Posted by mcmike at 09:06 AM | Comments (0)

Soy Andina

Documentary about two New York-based dancers who return to Peru to reconnect with their roots and dance.

Although somewhat lacking, a much more in-depth discussion of tradition and the personal experience of going to Peru would have pulled the viewer in, we get a very nice view of the culture and dance of Peru. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 55576-D 70 minutes 2007

Posted by mcmike at 08:51 AM | Comments (0)

La Zona

Alejandro lives in the center of Mexico City in an enclosed, self-sufficient zone surrounded by ghettos and policed by a powerful private security force. As dawn breaks on his birthday, three teens from the adjacent poorer neighborhood break into one of The Zone's houses. In the confusion, an old lady is killed, but a young housemaid escapes and warns the security guards. The guards shoot two of the robbers, but the third escapes and remains hidden inside The Zone. The Zone's residents meet at Alejandro's family's house to discuss what to do. After a heated debate, they decide not to report the crime to the police and to hunt the burglars down themselves.

This film offers no way out for the residents, victims or the audience. The point is made about isolation, paranoia and corruption.
It should be viewed as a warning for those who wish to isolate themselves from the population, those who want to gain access for theft and the brutality of corruption. How much are you willing to give up for "security"? Only a few characters in this film are not compromised and they must live in a world of no justice only fear. ~Mike
Askwith Media Library 55964-D 93 minutes 2007

Posted by mcmike at 08:38 AM | Comments (0)

Taafe Fanga (Skirt Power)

A griot in present day Mali tells a story about women in an 18th century Dogon village. Fed up with male arrogance, one captures a powerful Albarga mask and terrorizes the men into assuming traditional women's roles. The humorous results convince everyone that women should be respected as complementary, yet equal, to men if society as a whole is to advance.

This film is a joy and a very funny comedy about assumed roles for men and women. Production quality is outstanding and the scenery is beautiful. ~Mike

Askwith Media Library 53327-D 95 minutes 1997

Posted by mcmike at 08:23 AM | Comments (0)