It’s that time of year again, when the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful…and you might want to watch the Nutcracker ballet! Two new versions have been added to our library collection. The first is TheNutcracker featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov and the American Ballet Theatre. It premiered in 1976 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., and was recorded for television in 1977. It remains one of the most popular televised productions even until today and earned Baryshnikov an Emmy nomination. Our copy is the Blu-ray version which was released in 2012.
The second version is the Nutcracker choreographed by Helgi Tomasson for the San Francisco Ballet. This was a new version of the ballet, which premiered in 2004 at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco. The story is set during the time of the Panama–Pacific International Exposition, a 1915 world’s fair held in San Francisco celebrating the completion of the Panama Canal and the city’s recovery from the 1906 earthquake. Another difference from Baryshnikov’s version is that the main female character of Clara is played by a young girl instead of an adult female dancer. One of the extra features of our copy is a documentary on the 1915 World’s Fair.
Both versions of the Nutcracker can be located in the library’s main floor lounge for a limited time. In the meantime, here’s some fun Nutcracker facts!
Are LPs making a comeback? For those of us with stacks of them in the basement, they never left. But statistics show that there seems to be renewed interest in the format. In 2015, revenues from vinyl sales were $416 million, the highest level since 1988. RIAA keeps these statistics and has other information about music sales on its website. And there’s a historical connection for this time of the year—Edison demonstrated the hand-cranked phonograph for the first time near the end of the year in 1877.
With the new Shakespeare Garden being dedicated on July 21st and the upcoming MVCC production of The Taming of the Shrew, we wanted to celebrate the greatness that was William Shakespeare! We’ve got a number of resources in the library that get you in touch with his works directly. You can check them out here.
Shakespeare’s works permeate much of our culture and influence so many movies and TV shows. There are a ton of movie adaptations, many of which aren’t obviously a Shakespeare work in disguise. To give you an idea, here is a listing by Mark Lawson of the 10 best screen adaptations of Shakespeare’s work.
We have many of these movies, along with some not listed, in the library available for checkout. The links below may lead you to a whole new interpretation of one of your favorite Shakespeare plays!
It started with an article Jeanne Marie Laskas wrote for GQ magazine titled “Game Brain.” She helped to publicly expose the work of forensic pathologist Dr. Bennet Omalu who discovered the brain disease CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) that many NFL football players/retirees were dying from, some committing suicide over.
Omalu’s story began when Mike Webster, aka “Iron Mike,” a Hall of Fame center for the Pittsburgh Steelers died suddenly. He performed the autopsy and started doing exhaustive research, paying for tests on Webster’s brain out of his own pocket, to try to figure out what made this former NFL player go mad. “What Omalu discovered in Mike Webster’s brain—proof that Iron Mike’s mental deterioration was no accident, but a disease caused by relentless blows to the head that could affect everyone playing the game—was the one truth the NFL would do anything to keep secret.” (Back cover book.)
MVCC Library has Laskas’s book Concussion, which is based on her GQ article. We also have the DVD motion picture adaptation of the same name, starring Will Smith (as Dr. Omalu). As a librarian who does not enjoy sports, I can tell you the movie and book look riveting! Check them both out in tandem if you’d like. The book is located here in our catalog, and the DVD is located here (both for a limited time located in the main floor lounge area).
Also, check out Laskas’s original GQ article here.
A must see movie this election season is Michael Moore’s Capitalism: a Love Story. IMDB summarizes the film as examining “the impact of corporate dominance on the everyday lives of Americans (and by default, the rest of the world). The film moves from Middle America, to the halls of power in Washington, to the global financial epicenter in Manhattan. With both humor and outrage, the film explores the question: What is the price that America pays for its love of capitalism? Families pay the price with their jobs, their homes, and their savings. Moore goes into the homes of ordinary people whose lives have been turned upside down; and he goes looking for explanations in Washington, DC and elsewhere. What he finds are the all-too-familiar symptoms of a love affair gone astray: lies, abuse, betrayal. . .and 14,000 jobs being lost every day. ‘Capitalism: a Love Story’ also presents what a more hopeful future could look like. Who are we and why do we behave the way that we do?”
No matter what side of the political aisle you fall, you will take away various interesting tidbits, such as plutonomy: “a term that Citigroup analysts have used for economies where economic growth is powered by and largely consumed by the wealthy few.” Also, according to Moore, the top 1% are afraid because the middle and lower classes (the 99%) have the larger vote. One person, one vote. . .so use it wisely!
The DVD can be located here in our catalog. If you are a fan of Michael Moore, check out some of his other movies we have in our collection.
In honor of National Library Week (April 10-16, 2016), come visit us in the library and check out some of the other items in our collection, such as DVDs! We have a wide variety of newly released DVD movies…for instance, Star Wars : The Force Awakens. You can locate it in our collection here.
To search our collection for DVDs, go to our main library page, click on “Research Tools,” enter the search term “motion picture” into the search box which will direct you here. Once on the search results page, you can narrow down your search by clicking on the “DVD” format tag and further narrow your search by “publish date” (year).
*Also to note, our lending policy on A/V materials (which includes DVDs) has been extended to 2 weeks. Our Lending Policy webpage can be located here.*
Jazz changed forever in 1959. Want to sound cool at parties over this holiday break? Then you need to know your Jazz history.
The following four albums hit record shops in 1959, and they changed pop music and Jazz around the world. Our library has three of the four albums in our collection:
If you are a fan of Jane Austen and Downton Abbey, you’ll want to check out this DVD set to tide you over until the new (and final) season of Downton starts in January on PBS. It’s a BBC television adaptation of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.
In Sense & Sensibility, Dan Stevens (best known for his role as Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey) plays Edward Ferrars. Elinor Dashwood likes Edward until she finds out the devastating news that Edward has been secretly engaged for four years. Will Elinor find happiness with Edward or another suitor?
Also included in this 2 DVD set is Miss Austen Regrets, “the new BBC biopic based on the letters of Jane Austen” (DVD container). Jane reveals to her niece why she never married, and also remembers the man who got away, Reverend Brook Bridges, played by Hugh Bonneville (best known for his role as Robert Crawley on Downton Abbey).
It’s interesting to watch actors in other roles before they became famous for the best known ones!
Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility DVD set can be found here in our catalog.