Indiana University Cinema … A Place For Film™: Film Streaming at IU

I recently sat down with Barbara Ann O'Leary, #DirectedbyWomen founder, to provide an overview of free online streaming resources courtesy of IUB Libraries.  A special shout out to all Media Services' students who contribute immensely to Media Beat. -- Monique Threatt

Cinephiles in IU Cinema’s community on the lookout for intriguing film viewing opportunities have a treasure trove of online streaming resources available for free through IU Media Services at Indiana University Libraries

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Changing Fate: The Power Dynamics in ‘Stranger Than Fiction’

The movie Stranger Than Fiction plays with the idea of fate, the unknown, and the inevitability of death. Harold, the main character, has to contemplate these in his adventure to uncover the one pulling his strings to his preordained death. Throughout the movie, I kept wondering about the power dynamics between Harold and his writer Karen in the grand scheme of Harold’s story. Considering that the story doesn’t in fact end with Harold’s death, questions began to arise about how preordained each scene and action is up to the final moments where Harold should in fact die. I personally argue that while Harold may feel that Karen is controlling his every step that she is in fact guiding him to a conclusion that she wanted. I don’t think fate had anything to do with the death that had been outlined for him…

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ALA VRT Notable Videos for Adults 2017 Winners

The American Library Association (ALA) Video Round Table Notable Videos for Adults Committee has compiled its 2017 list of Notable Videos for Adults, a list of 15 outstanding films released on video within the past two years and suitable for all libraries serving adults.  Its purpose is to call attention to recent video releases that make a significant contribution to the world of video.  The list is compiled for use by librarians and the general adult populace.

The Notable Videos for Adults Committee selected 15 outstanding titles from among 67 nominees for this year’s list of Notable Videos for Adults.  The availability of closed captions (CC) and/or subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing (SDH) is preferred; inclusion and exclusion of the same is indicated below.

3 ½ Minutes, Ten Bullets (2015) 98 minutes. HBO Documentary Films. DVD.  Ro*Co Films.  Subtitles.  Invoking the controversial “Stand Your Ground” defense, a Florida man opens fire on unarmed African-American teenagers, killing Jordan Davis. [Available for checkout from Media Services]

Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution (2016) 120 minutes; Firelight Films. DVD. PBS.  CC & SDH.  An historical overview of the rise and fall of a radical social movement that sought to empower African Americans and change the capitalist system.

Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare(2016) 114 minutes. Sternal Entertainment. DVD. Kino Lorber. Subtitles.  Desperate African and Middle Eastern refugees arrive by boat to the Italian island of Lampedusa and residents respond.

The First Monday in May (2016) 91 minutes. Relativity Media. DVD. Magnolia Home Entertainment. SDH.  A fundraiser for the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art’s fashion wing makes multicultural connections between East and West.

Heart of a Dog (2016) 76 minutes. Abramorama. DVD. Criterion Collection. SDH.  Experimental artist Laurie Anderson projects the canine perspective in this non-linear meditation on fear, loss, and love.

How to Change the World  (2016) 110 minutes. Sky Films. DVD. Kino Lorber. CC.This history of the developmental phases of Greenpeace serves as a primer for environmental activism and political organizing for social change.

Last Day of Freedom (2016) 32 minutes. Grasshopper Film. DVD. CC.  His image altered by the animation technique of rotoscoping, the sibling of a death row inmate recounts the military service and PTSD leading up to his brother’s crime and punishment.

Long Story Short (2016) 45 minutes. Icarus Films. DVD. CC.  Based on interviews with residents of California homeless shelters, the filmmaker uses creative audio and visual techniques to distill hundreds of stories of poverty into a single message.

Matt Shepard Is A Friend of Mine (2015) 89 minutes. Logo Documentary Films. DVD. Available from various distributors. CC.  Friends of the Wyoming student and hate crime victim remember his life while also revealing the depth and longevity of their grief. [Available for checkout from Media Services]

OJ: Made in America (2016) 520 minutes. ESPN Films. DVD. CC.  An encyclopedic analysis of the sociological impact of the murder trial of OJ Simpson, as seen through the lens of race, celebrity, and class. [Available at IUB Law Library]

Sembene! (2016) 89 minutes. Impact Partners. DVD. Kino Lorber. CC.  Ousmane Sembène, a laborer and son of a fisherman, becomes a pioneering and controversial African filmmaker.

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry  (2016) 93 minutes.  Music Box Films. DVD. Cinema Guild. SDH.  The women who raised consciousness, organized, and demonstrated for equal rights, tell the history of second wave feminism. [Available from IUPUI Library]

Under the Sun  (2016) 110 minutes. Icarus Films. DVD. Subtitles.  Officially sanctioned footage demonstrates the mesmerizing, pervasive power of rhetoric, repetition, and propaganda in North Korean life. 

Welcome to Leith  (2015) 86 minutes. First Run Features. DVD. SDH.  Residents of Leith, North Dakota, struggle with democratic principles when a white supremacist buys property and moves to their small town. [Available via online streaming]

What Happened, Miss Simone? (2016) 116 minutes. Netflix. DVD. Eagle Vision. Subtitles.  The complex and emotionally charged life of legendary musician and activist Nina Simone is chronicled. [Being cataloged, ask staff]

Be sure to check with Media Services for availability of titles.  “We Like to Watch!” (an old ALA VRT motto!)

~ Monique Threatt

American Political Shows and Movies to Get Your Mind Off of American Politics

776Media Beat Blog HeaderWith the recent election and a newly elected president, there have been many talks about politics. Here are some of the items we have in our collection with a focus on all that good political stuff (or you can watch these to get your mind off of the most recent election! Whichever you prefer, here are some quality pieces of entertainment for you, at the Media Services Library in Wells)…

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Five Dystopian Films to Put on in the Background While You Plan the Revolution

8776Media Beat Blog HeaderEarly Wednesday morning, it was announced that the American public unpopularly chose to elect Donald Trump as their 45th commander-in-chief, ushering in a demagogic nightmare period wherein people are already being attacked and assaulted for their difference (TW: racism, misogyny). Many people are understandably responding with grief, fear and general anxiety to the symbolic (and soon to be material) victory of a racist, misogynist Grand Ole Party monster, and some are even … organizing! Protests are springing up across the nation in the wake of Trump’s election. After the public demonstration of your disturbed sentiment, though, you may be thinking “now what? How are we going to navigate this potential dystopian future?” Well, we here at Media Services have prognosticated your pleas and prepared for you our list of five dystopian films to play in the background while you and your friends gather ‘round the holiday hearth and plan the revolution…

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When A Movie Memes: An Exercise In Relevance

6Media Beat Blog HeaderThe end goal of nearly every movie is to make money and have a staying power within them to continue to make money throughout the years. In other words, a movie production company wants their films to stick around and stay relevant for a while so they can continue to keep the lights on in their studios, and by far the most effective way to ensure that your work will make money in this day and age is to make it into a meme-level masterpiece…
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Some Foreign Films You Won’t Want to Miss

2Media Beat Blog HeaderThere are so many movies released in theaters each year, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount to choose from- even more so since you can’t always know if they’re good or not. Sometimes, it’s easy to look over a great film, and this goes for foreign films especially. Many people are disdainful to the idea of watching foreign movies, as they must either deal with reading subtitles or watching a poorly done dub.  Not only that, but often times, foreign films have names that make little to no sense to viewers who only speak English; and are sometimes difficult to find.  Although there are many obstacles when it comes to finding a foreign film to watch, in the end, many times the struggle is worth it…

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2016: The Fall of Film, the Rise of TV?

Media Beat Blog Header12016 has now become, to many, a terribly disappointing year in cinema. There are only a handful of films that have genuinely (and positively) surprised people, as well as garnering a respectable amount of buzz… but of all the films that have had a lot of excitement surrounding them… almost all of them have either flopped or been seen as just “bad movies”.

On the other hand, it seems that television shows, mainly streaming shows on Netflix or other original series, have grown to become popular and well-received, even after just one season. It’s almost as if TV is surpassing film in quality of story this year. Of course, there are, and always will be, exceptions to any rule, but I’d say there have been many more disappointments in film than TV this year, and many more surprises in TV than in film…

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Moving Image Collections & Archives Host 20th Annual African Film Festival, September 12-15, 2016

The 20th African Film Festival Traveling Series is sponsored by IU Libraries Media Services, Black Film Center/Archive, the African Studies program, The Media School’s Cinema and Media Arts program, the Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies, the Department of History, the Department of Comparative Literature, and the IU Cinema. Special thanks are due to Brian Graney of the Black Film Center/Archive and Alimah Boyd of the African Film Festival, Inc.

 

Head Gone (2014, Dir. Dare Fasasi)
Monday, September 12, 2016 | 7:00 p.m. | IU Cinema
Nigeria/Sweden, 111 min. In English & Pidgin with English subtitles. Introduction by Professor Akin Adesokan, Comparative Literature, and Cinema and Media Studies at the Media School.

Facebook Event:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1564260263876037/

Due to a road mishap, a bus driver loses a group of psychiatric patients on the way to a federal hospital. To cover up the mistake, he and a nurse pick up unsuspecting commuters to substitute the patients and the plot thickens as the new passengers must try to prove their sanity in a psychiatric institution, while the escapees try to adjust to a new environment. This allegorical comedy of errors features some of Nigeria’s biggest names.

Red Leaves (2014, Dir. Bazi Gete)
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 | 6:00 p.m. | IUB Library Moving Image Collections & Archives, BFC/A’s Phyllis Klotman Room (Wells 044B)
Israel, 80 min. In Hebrew and Amharic with English subtitles.

Meseganio Tadela, 74, immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia 28 years ago with his family. He has chosen to zealously retain his culture, talks very little, and hardly speaks Hebrew. After losing his wife, Meseganio sets out on a journey that leads him through his children’s homes. He comes to realize that he belongs to a rapidly disappearing class that believes in retaining Ethiopian culture. As this harsh reality begins to hit him, he struggles to survive according to his own rules.

Afripedia: Ghana (2014, Dir. by Teddy Goitom, Benjamin Taft and Senay Berhe)
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 | 6:00 p.m. | IUB Library Moving Image Collections & Archives, BFC/A’s Phyllis Klotman Room (Wells 044B)
Ghana/Kenya/Sweden, 28 min. In English.

The whispers among connoisseurs talk about Accra as the next big hotspot for African cultural production, and Afripedia: Ghana suggests they’re not wrong. Meet outspoken and androgynous music star Wiyaala, exciting trick-bikers whose BMX skills and flamboyant style have taken neighborhoods by storm. Visual artist Afrogallonism puts on extraordinary outdoor performances to highlight environmental issues.

Afripedia: Kenya (2014, Dir. by Teddy Goitom, Benjamin Taft and Senay Berhe)
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 | 6:30 p.m. | IUB Library Moving Image Collections & Archives, BFC/A’s Phyllis Klotman Room (Wells 044B)
Ghana/Kenya/Sweden, 28 min. In English.

Take an intimate look at Nairobi’s urban culture scene and its leading personalities and stars. Meet 3D-artist Andrew Kaggia, creator of a 3D-animated political short film, taking you to his futuristic vision of Nairobi and proving that disability is never inability. Afro-futuristic pop band and DIY-enthusiasts Just a Band redefine music videos, and visual artist Cyrus introduces us to his remarkable collection created solely with found materials.

The Longest Kiss /A jamais, pour toujours (2013, Dir. by Alexandra Sicotte-Lévesque)
Wednesday, September 14, 2016 | 7:00 p.m. | IUB Library Moving Image Collections & Archives, BFC/A’s Phyllis Klotman Room (Wells 044B)

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The meeting of the Blue and White Nile in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, is referred to as ‘the longest kiss in history.’ As the Arab Spring was in full bloom, Sudan, straddling between the Middle East and Africa, was about to split in two. The film follows six young Sudanese searching for a place to call ‘home’ as their journeys take us up and down the Nile, between north and south Sudan, ahead of the south’s secession. Facing conflicting identities, youth in north Sudan grapple with a stale dictatorship while others in south Sudan hope to start over—but at what costs? For the first time a film gives a voice to Sudanese youth from different origins, Muslims and Christians. It is an intimate portrait of a complex society that bears witness to its inevitable fragmentation.

Cholo (2014, Dir. Muzna Almusafer)
Thursday, September 15, 2016 | 4:00 p.m. | IUB Library Moving Image Collections & Archives, BFC/A’s Phyllis Klotman Room (Wells 044B)
Oman, 21 min. In Swahili with English subtitles.

The dark-skinned, 11-year-old Cholo meets his fair-skinned younger stepbrother Abdullah for the first time when their father Said arrives in Muscat. Although strikingly different, the boys have great chemistry. Cholo is a young boy full of imagination and a great love for nature and life. However, jealousy, competitiveness, and curiosity arise between the two, as they go through a journey of self-discovery.

Panic Button (2014, Dir. Libby Dougherty)
Thursday, September 15, 2016 | 4:30 p.m. | IUB Moving Image Collections & Archives, BFC/A’s Phyllis Klotman Room (Wells 044B)
South Africa, 25 min. In English.

From the moment that Tshepo, a security guard, breaks through Jenny’s multi-locked door to save her, she feels as if she’s been swept off her feet. But as Jenny imagines herself falling in love with him, an unhealthy, delusional obsession begins to take shape.

The Prophecy (2015, Dir. by Marcia Juzga)
Thursday, September 15, 2016 | 5:00 p.m. | IUB Moving Image Collections & Archives, BFC/A’s Phyllis Klotman Room (Wells 044B)
Senegal, 20 min. In French & Wolof with English subtitles.

Concerned about the environmental issues that Senegal is facing, photographer Fabrice Monteiro, in collaboration with the designer “Jah Gal,” created The Prophecy. The objective of this photographic project is to raise global awareness of the environment by combining art, culture, fashion, and tradition. The essence of each site photographed is characterized by a Jinn — supernatural genies omnipresent in African cultures — merging with its environment. Marcia Juzga’s film is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Monteiro’s project.

The African Film Festival National Traveling Series has been organized by the African Film Festival, Inc. This series has been made possible by the generous support of The Bradley Foundation, Domenico Paulon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information, contact Monique Threatt at (812)855-1650.

Disney’s Long Awaited Sequels and Prequels

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Who doesn’t love a good Disney movie?! I know I do! In case some of you were wondering, YES the rumors of their movies are in fact true. I’m sure many of you are well aware of Finding Dory, the sequel to its 2003 Finding Nemo (PN1997.2 .F49 2003b), hitting theaters this Friday. However, this is only the beginning of some of your Disney favorites making a comeback.

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Over the next four years or so, Disney is set to release many more movies including live action films, such as the Jungle Book released April of this year, sequels, and prequels. This list includes Cars 3, a live-action Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story 4, and the Incredibles 2 which is rumored that the characters will have aged real-time and will be centered around Jack-Jack Parr, the baby of the superfamily during its first movie.

-QN