Movies & Television

Anne Frank was 15 years old when her family was discovered hiding from the German Nazi's in 1944. Sadly, her whole family perished in concentration camps with the exception of her father, Otto, who later had her diary published.  She was a bright, effervescent teenager and I often wonder what she would have been like as an adult. I imagine she would have continued writing and making an impact on the world.

The cat who lived with Anne Frank by 1955- David Lee Miller
Anne Frank by Stephen Krensky

Flash back to 1988 and enjoy some of the year's best films.

As we near the end of Black History Month, we can look to the future as well. Although the term "afrofuturism" was coined in the 1990s, the works that it is used to describe have been around for much longer. Afrofuturistic books, movies, and music explore the intersection of science fiction, fantasy, technology, and the cultural experience of Black people around the world. If you're curious about this genre, the following books, movies, and albums at the Library are a great place to start:

Spirits haunt the flooded streets of New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In a parallel universe, a utopian society watches our world, trying to learn from our mistakes. A black mother in the Jim Crow South must save her daughter from a fey offering impossible promises. And in the Hugo award-nominated short story "The City Born Great," a young street kid fights to give birth to an old metropolis's soul.

Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

Seventeen-year-old Zelie, her older brother Tzain, and rogue princess Amari fight to restore magic to the land and activate a new generation of magi, but they are ruthlessly pursued by the crown prince, who believes the return of magic will mean the end of the monarchy.

“D. A. Pennebaker was a groundbreaking documentary filmmaker best known for capturing pivotal moments in the history of rock music and politics, including Bob Dylan’s 1965 tour of England, the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, and Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign.” 

A decade ago on this day August 6, 2009, John Hughes passed away suddenly after suffering a fatal heart attack while on a walk in New York City during a visit with family. He was just 59 years old. Born in Lansing, Michigan and grew up in Grosse Pointe, Hughes began his career as an author of humorous essays and stories for the National Lampoon. He wrote and directed some of the funniest and most iconic movies capturing suburban teenage life in the 1980s and 1990s. Many of those films, now considered classics, would also launch careers of actors including Michael Keaton and members of the Brat Pack group. These films made a huge impression on our generation and in popular culture back then. And they're still relevant today. Enjoy!

He allegedly wrote Ferris Bueller's Day Off in four days, Planes, Trains and Automobiles in three days, The Breakfast Club in two days, and Vacation in a week. He never went to film school or studied cinema. And he spent most of his incredible career in the Midwest, far from the Hollywood Hills. John Hughes was indeed one of the most prolific and successful filmmakers in Hollywood history. He helped launch the careers of Andrew McCarthy, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Macaulay Culkin, and Judd Nelson. He made John Candy a household name. In this first illustrated tribute to the legendary filmmaker, author Kirk Honeycutt offers a behind-the-scenes look at the genius that was John Hughes--from his humble beginnings in direct mail to his blockbuster success with classics like Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, Weird Science, and Home Alone. Honeycutt also explores the darker side of John Hughes: his extreme sensitivity, his stormy professional relationships, and the devastation Hughes experienced after the death of his closest friend, John Candy. Featuring fresh interviews with Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Steve Martin, and Jon Cryer, and a foreword from Home Alone director Chris Columbus, this is the must-read for fans of John Hughes.

John Hughes wrote and directed this quintessential 1980s high school drama featuring the hottest young stars of the decade. Trapped in a day-long Saturday detention in a prison-like school library are Claire, the princess (Molly Ringwald); Andrew, the jock (Emilio Estevez); John, the criminal (Judd Nelson); Brian, the brain (Anthony Michael Hall); and Allison, the basket case (Ally Sheedy). These five strangers begin the day with nothing in common, each bound to his/her place in the high school caste system. Yet the students bond together when faced with the villainous principal (Paul Gleason), and they realize that they have more in common than they may think, including a contempt for adult society. "When you grow up, your heart dies," Allison proclaims in one of the film's many scenes of soul-searching, and, judging from the adults depicted in the film, the teen audience may very well agree. Released in a decade overflowing with derivative teen films, The Breakfast Club has developed an almost cult-like status.

Neil Armstrong was born on this day, August 5. He would have been 89. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men on the moon. It was back on May 25, 1961 that President Kennedy made a bold announcement before Congress to send an American safely to the moon and back before the end of the decade. At approximately 4:18 pm EDT, Neil Armstrong contacted NASA and said, "Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." About 6 hours later, with more than a half billion people watching on their black-and-white tv sets, he climbed down the ladder from the lunar module and proclaimed, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." If you want to learn about this great man, here's some resources to get you started!

When the alarm went off forty thousand feet above the moon's surface, both astronauts looked down at the computer to see 1202 flashing on the readout. Neither of them knew what it meant, and time was running out...ON JULY 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the moon. One of the world's greatest technological achievements-and a triumph of American spirit and ingenuity-the Apollo 11 mission was a mammoth undertaking involving more than 410,000 men and women dedicated to winning the space race against the Soviets. Set amid the tensions of the Cold War and the upheavals of the sixties, and filled with first-person, behind-the-scenes details, Shoot for the Moon is a gripping account of the dangers, the challenges, and the sheer determination that defined not only Apollo 11, but also the Mercury and Gemini missions that came before it. From the shock of Sputnik and the heart-stopping final minutes of John Glenn's Mercury flight to the deadly whirligig of Gemini 8, the doomed Apollo 1 mission, and that perilous landing on the Sea of Tranquility-when the entire world held its breath while Armstrong and Aldrin battled computer alarms, low fuel, and other problems- James Donovan tells the whole story.

The first men who went to the moon by Rhonda Gowler Greene

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy issued a challenge to the nation: land astronauts on the moon by the end of the decade. The Apollo program was designed by NASA to meet that challenge, and on July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 lifted off from Kennedy Space Center carrying astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin Aldrin. Apollo 11's prime mission objective: "Perform a manned lunar landing and return." Four days after take-off, the Lunar Module "Eagle," carrying Armstrong and Aldrin, separated from the Command Module "Columbia," and descended to the moon. Armstrong reported back to Houston's Command Center, "The Eagle has landed." America and the world watched in wonder and awe as a new chapter in space exploration opened. Through verse and informational text, author Rhonda Gowler Greene celebrates Apollo 11's historic moon landing.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

It's International Assistance Dog Week! From August 4 through August 11, we celebrate service dogs who help those with disabilities. Service dogs help individuals become more independent so they can live their best life. A service dog is highly trained. They may assist with basic tasks like helping to open a door or bringing the phone to the owner or alerts others if the owner is in distress. It takes as long as two years to train a service dog. Interested? Explore the American Kennel Club's article on Service Dog Training 101 or check out these resources from our collection!

In this spectacular memoir, Luis and Tuesday brought their healing mission to the next level, showing how these beautifully trained animals could assist soldiers, veterans, and many others with mental and physical disabilities. They rescued a forgotten Tuskegee airman, battled obstinate VA bureaucrats, and provided solace to war heroes coast-to-coast. As Luis and Tuesday celebrated exhilarating victories, a grave obstacle threatened their work. Luis made great progress battling his own PTSD, but his physical wounds got so bad that he was wheelchair-bound. He needed to decide whether to amputate his leg and carry on with a bionic prosthesis. Even as he struggled with dramatic emotional and physical changes, ten-year-old Tuesday was lovingly by his side through it all. Luis' death in December 2016 was another terrible tragedy of the invisible wounds of war. This book was his last letter of love to his best friend, Tuesday, and to veterans, readers, friends, and fellow dog lovers everywhere. Never more timely than now, Tuesday's Promise is an inspiring story of love, service, teamwork, and the remarkable bond between humans and canines.

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing by watching some of these fascinating films on the race to be the first to the moon.

On July 18, John Glenn would have turned 98. John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth on February 20, 1962 and later served as a United States Senator from Ohio. In 1998, NASA invited him to join the team aboard the space shuttle Discovery and at the age of 77, he became the oldest human ever to do so. He never gave up on his dream or fascination with flight. John Glenn was part of an elite group of astronauts known as the Mercury 7 who became national heroes. That historic mission was immortalized in the 1983 movie, The Right Stuff, starring Ed Harris as the iconic John Glenn. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 95. Godspeed, John Glenn.

The time was the late 1940s. World War II had just ended and the United States was entering into a new kind of war, a Cold War. New technology and the development of high-speed aircraft became one of the centerpieces of this new kind of conflict. The race to space between the United States and the Soviet Union had just begun. Adapted from Tom Wolfe’s best-selling book, The Right Stuff tells the heroic story of Chuck Yeager (the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound), the Flying Fraternity and the Mercury Astronauts – the first Americans in space. The bravery and daring exploits of these men captured the imagination of the American public during the 1940s and 1950s,and The Right Stuff re-creates these breathtaking events in emotionally riveting and suspenseful detail. 

Millions of words have poured forth about man's trip to the moon, but until now few people have had a sense of the most engrossing side of the adventure; namely, what went on in the minds of the astronauts themselves - in space, on the moon, and even during certain odysseys on earth. It is this, the inner life of the astronauts, that Tom Wolfe describes with his almost uncanny empathetic powers, that made The Right Stuff a classic.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Movies & Television