Archive for March, 2010

Foreign Films New to View – April 2010

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Foreign Films New to View Vol. 4, No. 4

The Foreign Films New to View newsletter is a monthly publication designed to keep you up to date on some of HCPL’s latest foreign films on DVD. The selections in this newsletter are just a sample of the rich variety of films available to you through your library. Use the sign-up box above to have this newsletter sent directly to your e-mail every month, with new, recommended movies for you to view. See Foreign Films Archive.

The Beaches of Agnes, directed by Agnes Varda

(In French, with English subtitles)

Sometimes called the godmother of the French New Wave cinema, Agnes Varda has led a life rich in art and accomplishment. This documentary, self-reflective and autobiographical, allows viewers to glimpse something of Varda’s skill as a filmmaker and photographer. It sweeps us through the politics and passions of the times, touching on everything from the feminist movement and the Black Panthers to the films of Varda’s late husband, Jacques Demy, and the birth of the French New Wave. HCPL owns other films by Varda, including Vagabond and another documentary The Gleaners and I.

Bliss, directed by Abdullah Oguz

(In Turkish, with English subtitles)

What happens when stern and unmoveable tradition clashes with modern, contemporary ways? Meryem finds out when she is raped and then condemned to die by the people in her Anatolian village in order to rid her family of her shame. When the task of the honor killing is left to her cousin, however, he feels more sympathy for the innocent young woman than shame. Rather than murder her, he instead runs away with her to a more modern, if more complicated and subtle, world.

Flame and Citron, directed by Ole Christian Madsen

(In Danish and German, with English subtitles)

In Copenhagen, 1944, the Holger Danske was one of Denmark’s leading resistance forces in the fight against the Nazis. Two of those resistance fighters are Flame, young and idealistic, and Citron, a bit more realistic and down to earth. Together, they become the underground’s most proficient killers of collaborators and sympathizers. With the Nazi SS hunting them, they can trust only each other. Then a new agent appears for yet another assignment, one perhaps most dangerous of all: to assassinate the head of the Gestapo.

Import Export, directed by Urich Seidl

(In German, Russian, and Slovak, with English subtitles)

Not everyone gained when Eastern Europe emerged from behind the Iron Curtain. Import Export reveals the lives of two desperate people in a changed world. Olga, a nurse from Ukraine who knows only poverty, searches for a better life in the West, as Paul, an unemployed security guard from Austria, travels to the East in search of the something similar. Seidl, a documentary filmmaker, uses some of his film techniques, so effective in making a work of nonfiction, to reveal how it is for the downtrodden left-behinds.

Touch of Spice, directed by Tassos Boulmetis

(In Greek, with English subtitles)

An accomplished professor of astrophysics journeys back to his childhood home, a journey that conjures memories both joyful and sorrowful. In warm-hearted and softly glowing scenes, the film portrays Fanis’ relationship with his beloved grandfather, the sorrow and loss he felt from being thrown out of Turkey when a child, and the difficulties his family faced as they adjusted to life in Greece. The film may be a bit cloying, saccharin, and occasionally cliché-ridden, including scenes with the ubiquitous happy hooker (yawn), but it was a hit in Greece, where its natural audience resides.

You the Living, directed by Roy Andersson

(In Swedish, with English subtitles)

Darkly humorous, this film presents a Scandinavian take on the absurdities of life. Andersson uses a mostly stationary camera to create tableaux of life in Scandinavia, with the subjects artfully positioned in the midst of muted pale greens and light greys that carry over and link into subsequent scenes. Expertly shot, with dialogue both subtle and witty, You the Living traces a series of absurd vignettes that address the meaning of life or more accurately, the lack of meaning. Some characters reappear in further scenes, such as the biker woman, who laments that no one understands her, even her mother, or the young woman in the bar who pines for a musician from a minor rock band. Dreamy, absurd, sometimes achingly sad, and hilarious, the stories, if they can be called that, are carefully linked by color or weather or character or music. The cheerful New Orleans jazz melodies, played by the film’s odd collection of musicians, counterbalance the near despair that falls on the subjects as they face their dreary but nevertheless comic lives and situations.

New Release Tuesday

Monday, March 29th, 2010

New releases for Tuesday, March 30:

* Afghan Star

* Alice in Wonderland (1951 Disney Animated Special Edition)

* Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel

* Alvin and the Chipmunks: Cinderella, Cinderella

* Backyardigans: Escape from the tower

* Ben 10 Alien Force Volume 6

* An Education

* Imax: Under the Sea

* Nostradamus Effect

* Sherlock Holmes

New Release Tuesday

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

New releases for Tuesday, March 23:


* 7th Heaven Season 10

* Brothers

* The Blind Side

* Life with Derek Season 3

* Mad Men Season 3

* Men Who Stare at Goats

* The Prince and Me: The Elephant Adventure


*Head First by Goldfrapp

New Release Tuesday

Monday, March 15th, 2010

New releases for Tuesday, March 16:

* Astro Boy

* Bandslam

* Breaking Bad Season 2

* Caillou Pretends To Be

* Did You Hear About the Morgans?

* Holy Grail in America

* Monk Season 8

* Paris

* The Princess and the Frog

New Release Tuesday

Monday, March 8th, 2010

New releases for Tuesday, March 9:

* Barbie in a Mermaid Tale

* Boondock Saints II

* Capitalism: A Love Story

* Elmo’s Rainbow

* Hannah Montana: Miley Says Goodbye

* In Plain Sight Season 2

* Planet 51

* Precious

* Old Dogs

* Up in the Air

Foreign Films New to View – March 2010

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

March 2010 Vol. 4, No. 3

The Foreign Films New to View newsletter is a monthly publication designed to keep you up to date on some of HCPL’s latest foreign films on DVD. The selections in this newsletter are just a sample of the rich variety of films available to you through your library. Use the sign-up box above to have this newsletter sent directly to your e-mail every month, with new, recommended movies for you to view.

Coco Before Chanel
directed by Anne Fontaine

(In French, with English subtitles)

Years after being abandoned by her father, Gabrielle Chanel finds a job in a tailor shop where she meets and soon begins an affair with French millionaire Etienne Balsan. Through Baron Balsan, she is introduced into French society and given the opportunity to design her own style of hats. Though her career takes off, her personal life becomes more complicated when she falls in love with Balsan’s former best friend, Arthur Capel.

Lorna’s Silence
directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

(In French, with English subtitles)

Lorna is a young Albanian woman, who dreams of opening up her own shop with her boyfriend. Without money, however, she finds herself entwined in a vicious plan devised by a mobster. Her current marriage to the drug addict Claudy gives her marginally legal status, with possible Belgian citizenship. Matters begin to turn murky, however, when her organized-crime sponsors now expect her to hurry along Claudy’s death through a drug overdose in order that she may in turn marry a Russian Mafioso, also looking for Belgian identity papers. What happens, though, when the drug addict decides to clean himself up, calling on Lorna to help him achieve his goal? Lorna’s conscience clicks into gear, and matters do not seem so cut and dried, nor easily defined.

Ong Bak 2: The Beginning
directed by Tony Jaa and Panna Rittikrai

(In Thai, with English subtitles; also English dubbing available)

Outside of the action-packed format of the film and the actor playing the main character, this film has little to do with Ong Bak. While Ong Bak had a contemporary setting, Ong Bak 2 is more of an epic from a distant, even mythical, past. A young boy born into nobility has his accustomed life stripped from him after the murder of his family. Taken into a band of outlaws, he grows up, training with them in the martial arts. He must learn to fight in order to exact his revenge against evil slave traders as well as the man responsible for his parents’ death.

Rashevski’s Tango
directed by Sam Garbarski

(In French and Hebrew, with English subtitles)

What does it mean to be Jewish? Three generations of the Rashevski family grapple with the question, after the death of Rose, the secular matriarch who believed that the tango would make all troubles disappear. The characters confront issues of relationships, family, religion, love, romance, and interfaith marriage, all the while trying to define just what a mensch is.

directed by Gotz Spielmann

(In German, with English subtitles)

A ex-con falls in loves with a prostitute after becoming an assistant in a brothel, where the two of them make plans to escape and start a new life together. When events go horribly wrong, Alex, the petty, small-time grifter, must hide out in the country while the heat cools off a bit. There he waits for his lover, trying to stay occupied and out of trouble

The Song of Sparrows
directed by Majid Majidi

(In Farsi, with English subtitles)

From the director of Baran, Children of Heaven , and The Willow Tree, this film takes viewers through a series of episodic misadventures that involve Karim, the film’s protagonist, a poor farmer, who is led away from his spiritual roots into a kind of hell. The image of the city as center and source of evil is an old one, and Karim’s journey to Tehran to get his daughter’s hearing aid repaired presents an image no different. Once there, Karim begins to carry castoffs, pieces of Tehran, back to his rural village, as if he were trying to bring the very city to his doorstep. Perhaps only the intervention of God…or an accident…will awaken Karim to his spiritual loss and folly.

Newly Requestable DVDs….

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010


The Accidental Husband
Angels and Demons
The Christmas Clause
Darwin’s Darkest Hour
Drag Me to Hell
The Echo
Familiar Strangers
Four Christmases
Funny People
The Goods : Live Hard, Sell Hard
Into the Storm
Is Anybody There?
The Last House on the Left
My Sister’s Keeper
The Open Road
Paper Heart
Star Trek
Terminator Salvation
The Terrorist Next Door
The Ugly Truth
Wild Child
Would Be Kings
You’re Welcome America : A Final Night with George W. Bush


Max and Ruby: Candy Apple
Mickey’s Magical Christmas :Snowed in at the House of Mouse
Santa Buddies
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

New Release Tuesday

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

New releases for Tuesday, March 2:

* 2012

* Alice

* Alice in Wonderland

* Barney: Egg-cellent Adventures

* Clash of the Titans

* Cold Souls

* Olivia Takes Ballet

* Ponyo

* The Private Lives of Pippa Lee

* Strawberry Shortcake: The Berryfest Princess Movie

* This Emotional Life

* Thomas and Friends: Thomas and the Runaway Kite

* Where the Wild Things Are