Two New Historical Dramas Debut

Fans of historical dramas will have two new productions to choose from on Monday, May 28. HBO is debuting Hemingway & Gellhorn at 9:00 PM and the History Channel will present its miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, also at 9:00 PM. Hemingway & Gellhorn stars Clive Owen as the author, and Nicole Kidman as the legendary foreign correspondent who became Hemingway's third wife. Considered one of the greatest war correspondents of the 20th century, Gellhorn reported on virtually every major conflict during her 60 year career, including the Vietnam War. Hatfields & McCoys stars Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton as Devil Anse Hatfield and Randall McCoy, two members of the families involved in the long running feud between the Hatfields of West Virginia and the McCoys of Kentucky. The cast also includes Tom Berenger, Powers Boothe, and Mare Winningham.

Hemingway's boat: everything he loved in life, and lost, 1934-1961 by Paul Hendrickson

Robin Gibb 1949-2012

Robin Gibb, one of the three brothers who comprised the rock group the Bee Gees has passed away at the age of 62. Born in England, his family emigrated to Australia in 1958 where Robin and his brothers Maurice and Barry, began performing as the Brothers Gibb. They returned to England in 1966 as the Bee Gees, and in 1967 released their first recording there — the surreal "New York Mining Disaster 1941" — which became a hit both in England and America. Hits such as "Holiday," "To Love Somebody," "I Started a Joke," and "Massachusetts" soon followed. However it was the release of the soundtrack to the smash hit movie Saturday Night Fever that really cemented their fame. In 1997 the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Joan of Arc

The 600th year celebration of the birth of Joan of Arc is being celebrated in 2012. Born in France in 1412, she is considered a national heroine and one of the country's patron saints. Nicknamed the "Maid of Orleans", she was a peasant girl who claimed divine guidance when leading the French army to several significant victories during the Hundred Year's War. Captured by the enemy, she was tried for heresy and burned at the stake when she was only 19. Twenty five years later the pope cleared her name and declared her a martyr. She was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.

Joan of Arc: a Penguin life by Mary Gordon

Joan of Arc and the Hundred Years War by Deborah A. Fraioli

Joan of Arc: her story by Régine Pernoud, Marie- Véronique Clin

Soon to Be a Major Motion Picture, Part 2

Look for these films based on popular books in your local theater in the coming months:

Anna Karenina: a novel in eight parts by Leo Tolstoy — Starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law. Release date: September 2012.

Chicken with plums by Marjane Satrapi — Starring Mathieu Amalric and Eduouard Baer. Release date: August 2012.

Easy money by Jens Lapidus — Starring Joel Kinnaman and Dragomir Mrsic. Release date: July 2012.

The great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald — Starring Leonard DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. Release date: December 2012.

Movies to Watch this Earth Day

earthday2012.thumbnail.pngWe can all observe Earth Day this year by educating ourselves about the challenges that face our environment and what we can do about it. Try some of the titles suggested below to get started:

The age of stupid [videodisc] — Pete Postlethwaite stars as an archivist living alone in the devastated future world of 2055, who spends his days looking at old footage from the years leading up to 2015 - when a cataclysmic climate change took place.

Bag it [videodisc] by produced and directed by Suzan Beraza — The story of an average American guy who makes a pledge to stop using plastic bags.

Levon Helm 1940-2012

Levon Helm, singer and drummer for the legendary rock group The Band died April 19 at the age of 71. His distinctive voice can be heard on such classic songs as "The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down," "Up on Cripple Creek," and "The Weight." After the group's famed farewell performance in 1976 (dubbed The Last Waltz) Helm embarked on a solo musical career. In 1980 Helm appeared in the film Coal Miner's Daughter with Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn's father.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inducted its new members for 2012 on April 14. Among the inductees are Guns n' Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Donovan, Laura Nyro, Small Faces, Beastie Boys, The Crickets (of Buddy Holly fame), The Famous Flames (of James Brown fame) , The Blue Caps (of Gene Vincent fame), and The Miracles (of Smokey Robinson fame.)

The autobiography of Donovan: the hurdy gurdy man by Donovan Leitch

Buddy Holly: a biography by Ellis Amburn

Casablanca's 70th Anniversary

Casablanca, one of the greatest American films, celebrates it's 70th anniversary this year. When it was released in 1942, it was just one of many films produced that year, and although it won three Academy Awards, including Best Picture, it wasn't until years later that its reputation among both critics and viewers has consistenly placed it on lists of the greatest films of all time. Directed by Michael Curtiz, and starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Peter Lorre, the film is the story of ex-freedom fighter Rick Blaine who now runs a nightclub in Casablanca, Morocco during the early years of World War II. His life is upended when his true love, Ilsa — who had abandoned him in Paris during the Nazi invasion — walks into the club one night — with her husband, a renowned Resistance leader.

Titanic's 100th Anniversary

April 15, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the luxury liner RMS Titanic. The largest ship afloat in the world at the time — and widely believed to be "unsinkable" — the Titanic left Southampton, England on her maiden voyage to New York City on April 10. Four days later, the ship collided with an iceberg late in the evening of April 14, and sank in the Atlantic Ocean at approximately 2:20 in the morning of the 15th. The Titanic's passengers included some of the world's wealthiest people, including John Jacob Astor, Isidor Straus, Benjamin Guggenheim, and the 'Unsinkable' Molly Brown. Of these, only Brown survived. In all, 1,517 of the approximatley 2,200 people aboard were lost, mainly because the ship only carried enough lifeboats to accomodate a third of the passengers and crew. Although the wreck of the liner was discovered on the bottom of the sea in 1985, it is gradually disintegrating.

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