Movies

QUESTION:

If you had a paperback-sized device that allowed you watch any movie or show on demand, anywhere, for free, would you still read books?

Indy Film About An Art Collecting Librarian & Her Husband

The film is "Herb and Dorothy" by Megumi Sasaki. It's a charming documentary about a married couple, who despite modest means — Herb was a postal clerk and Dorothy was a reference librarian at the Brooklyn Public Library — amass one of the most important contemporary art collections ever.

In 1992, the Vogels made headlines that shocked the art world: their entire collection was moved to the National Gallery of Art, the vast majority of it as an outright gift to the institution. Many of the works they acquired at modest prices appreciated so significantly that their collection became worth several million dollars, yet the Vogels never sold a single piece to breakdown the collection. Included were the works of Sol LeWitt, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Richard Tuttle and Chuck Close.

Herb and Dorothy still live in the same Manhattan apartment today- with 19 turtles, lots of fish, one cat -once completely emptied, now refilled again with piles of artworks.

Synopsis and trailer of the film tol be screened at the Little Rock Film Festival (among others); more about this fascinating couple and the award-winning film at the Herb and Dorothy website.

Everyone Poops: The Film Adaptation (trailer)

Inspired by the recently-released trailer for Spike Jonze's upcoming
film adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are, Landline TV has adapted another children's classic in this Jonze-spoofing trailer.

Comics Heroes Who Should've Stayed On The Page

I am posting this on LISNEWS because I think the review says something about the power of the printed page.

Review of the movie "Watchman" on NPR:

Watchmen was a landmark as a graphic novel, but as a film it's only pedestrian.

After I saw this movie, I went back to the graphic novel. I was struck again that what made Watchmen a sensation was not its plot, but a structural denseness and complexity — the way it used multiple elements to comment on the core story in an almost Talmudic way. That essence is close to impossible to re-create on-screen, even with a nearly three-hour running time.

Listen or read full review here.

The Hollywood Librarian Documentary Now Available on DVD

The Media Education Foundation, which acquired the rights for the film's distribution earlier this year, has begun selling the DVD to both US and international customers through its website.

The DVD is available for colleges and universities, as well as public libraries, high schools, and home use. Public performance rights can also be purchased for future screenings, benefits and fundraisers. The web site requires customers to register and log in either on behalf of their institution or as an individual.

In addition to the full 96-minute film, the DVD contains English captioning for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and French and Spanish subtitles. Also included are extended interviews, deleted scenes and a few other extras.

Netflix "Watch Instantly" quality

Netflix has a section called "Watch Instantly" where you can watch movies on your laptop or PC. The movies are a real mixed bag. There are numerous dregs but there are some real gems in there. I will sit on the couch and watch a movie on my laptop from the "Watch Instantly" selection. Over the past week I have noticed that the display quality of the movies has really gone down. I thought something was wrong with my eyes for a little while because some of the scenes seemed blurry. But I was noticing that movies were loading much quicker so I had a suspicion that Netflix was removing quality to make the files smaller so that they would transfer quicker.

Today my suspicion was confirmed. They sent me a survey email that asked:

_________________________________________
Survey: How Was the Picture and Audio Quality?

You recently watched The Bridge at Remagen. To help us ensure a great experience for all members, would you take a moment to tell us about the picture and audio quality?

The quality was very good

The quality was acceptable

The quality was unacceptable

Thanks for your help!

-Your friends at Netflix
_____________________________________

This email confirmed for me that they are playing with the quality. I responded to the survey by saying that quality was unacceptable. Just wanted to point this out in case anyone else was experiencing the same thing.

Koyaanisqatsi

MGM put the entire movie Koyaanisqatsi on YouTube. Because it is an official upload the quality is good.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sps6C9u7ras

Twilight Fever Roaring Through the US

As Harry Potter and his friends ride off into the literary sunset, a young girl and a vampire in love have set off a new round of parties and eagerly anticipated books and movies.

“Twilight,” a movie based on the novel by Stephenie Myers, opens Friday in local theaters. The tale of teenage girl Bella and Edward, the handsome vampire who loves her, has found a wide audience beyond the young adult category. Local libraries have long waiting lists of readers who want to borrow the four book series.

“We had three copies of each of them, and I just bought a fourth copy because the waiting list was so long,” said Director Connie Shumate of the Princeton (WV) Public Library. “I don’t think even Harry Potter matched this. Harry Potter was basically young adult reading, but this is everybody. This is all age groups.”

Saving the Story at MIT

Article in the NY Times about research into how (motion picture) stories have been told, are being told and will be told in the future.

In league with a handful of former Hollywood executives, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory plans to do something about that on Tuesday, with the creation of a new Center for Future Storytelling.

The center is envisioned as a “labette,” a little laboratory, that will examine whether the old way of telling stories — particularly those delivered to the millions on screen, with a beginning, a middle and an end — is in serious trouble.

Press release from MIT includes the philosophy of the project: "Storytelling is at the very root of what makes us uniquely human," said Frank Moss, Media Lab director and holder of the Jerome Wiesner Professorship of Media Arts and Sciences. "It is how we share our experiences, learn from our past, and imagine our future. But how we tell our stories depends on another uniquely human characteristic -- our ability to invent and harness technology. From the printing press to the Internet, technology has given people new ways to tell their stories, allowing them to reach new levels of creativity and personal fulfillment. The shared vision of the MIT Media Lab and Plymouth Rock Studios allows us to take the next quantum leap in storytelling, empowering ordinary people to connect in extraordinary ways."

Spencer Iowa Paper Reports on the Upcoming Dewey Movie

The hometown heroes, Vicki Myron and the late Dewey Readmore Books are headed for the spotlight. Kind of like Marley & Me.

Here's the Spencer Daily Reporter's story about the upcoming New Line film starring Meryl Streep as Vicki Myron.

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