Chilly winter nights are good for cozying up with a hot mug of something decadent to drink and watching a really good movie. To get you geared up for the announcement of the 2013 Academy Award nominees in January, the Mechanics’ Institute Library staff selects some of our favorite films in the collection. Here are a few recommendations to whet your appetite:
Craig recommends Johnny Guitar.
Saloon owner Vienna battles the local townspeople, headed by Emma, the sexually repressed, lynch-happy female rancher out to frame her for a string of robberies. Johnny Logan is a guitar-strumming drifter, once in love with Vienna, and is offered a job in her saloon. Many consider Nicholas Ray's epic one of the most original westerns of all time.
Bobbie recommends Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains.
One of my all time favorite 80’s movies, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains presents an all-star cast including a 15-year-old Diane Lane, 13-year-old Laura Dern, and an impressive punk rock line-up featuring members of the Sex Pistols, the Clash, and the Tubes. The movie follows Corrine Burns (Lane) and her newly formed band as they tag along on a failing rock tour and rise to stardom thanks to incidental media coverage when she declares their motto “We don’t put out”. This movie has been cited by numerous bands as a major influence of the female punk rock movement of the 90’s. Beyond the accolades, The Fabulous Stains is a fun, entertaining, rock movie with lots of great music and performances.
Chris recommends Paprika.
My personal favorite of Satoshi Kon's animes, Paprika follows the theft of a powerful device originally intended for psychiatrists to enter their patients’ dreams. When used carefully and delicately, care can be delivered in a revolutionary manner. But when used maliciously, subjects’ dreams can be so strongly altered that repercussions take place in their waking life. Taking advantage of the animated medium, the dreams are stunningly realized; saturated with color, detail and instantly memorable music. While fans of Christopher Nolan and Darren Aronofsky's films will surely to enjoy the story line's twisting logic, Kon's fondness for honoring dream logic as much as rationality, similar to that of David Lynch or Philip K. Dick, makes Paprika uniquely entertaining. Sophisticated, intense and dazzling, a fine film for both anime fans and novices to the genre.
Heather recommends Amelie.
Mechanics’ has a fantastic collection of films in foreign languages. Amelie is a French fairytale about a lonely girl who follows her curiosities and engages in life with a playful (and sometimes mischievous) delight. Watch all of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s films when you’ve finished with this one, especially The City of Lost Children, Delicatessen, and Micmacs.
Diane recommends Rear Window.
This Alfred Hitchcock classic features Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly (in their prime). While an injured and bored Stewart recovers from a broken leg, he snoops on a neighboring apartment house through binoculars and thinks he may have witnessed a murder. If I am channel-surfing and pass this movie, I always watch it until the end!
We will also choose books that might inspire you to watch more films, or to watch your favorites in a deeper way. As always, we will also display some of our favorite fiction in case you’d prefer to spend your indoor evenings keeping warm with a good book. Visit the Staff Picks display on the second floor, and check back often. We will be refilling with new titles throughout the month.