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Wes Anderson: “Rushmore”

“Rushmore” (1998), Movie Poster

In my last post about Wes Anderson’s debut short “Bottle Rocket” I introduced the themes of simplicity and nostalgia and talked about the literary quality of Anderson’s screen writing. This time around I’ll be moving into his second feature film “Rushmore” and attempting to explore these same themes and how they undergo transformation with Anderson tackling a bigger cast of characters focusing on a very different but similarly self-involved protagonist. Continue reading “Wes Anderson: “Rushmore””

New Titles–July 1st



The Women of Brewster Place

Mattie Michael, whose life has been plagued by misfortunes, is alone in a ghetto tenement on Brewster Place. She gradually unites the other tenement women to help them struggle for a new life.


Juno and the Paycock

During the Irish revolution, a family earns a big inheritance. They start leading a rich life forgetting what the most important values are.



Steven Shorter is a rock music phenomenon. His popularity, carefully engineered by his corporate handlers, has reached dizzying proportions. When artist Vanessa Ritchie is hired to paint his portrait, she discovers that he is unhappy and unstable.

Continue reading “New Titles–July 1st”

New Titles – June 16

Feature Films



The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina.


Heartbreak House

On his Sussex estate Captain Shotover, an eccentric poet, retired seafarer and inventor, is reluctantly hosting a weekend house party for his two daughters and their bohemian friends.

Continue reading “New Titles – June 16”

New Titles – June 2nd

Feature Films


4:44 Last Day on Earth

A look at how a painter and a successful actor spend their last day together before the world comes to an end.


American Hustle

A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso, who pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia.

Continue reading “New Titles – June 2nd”

Why Gaming is Important in Academia: A Conversation with Professor Shabnam Kavousian, Ph.D., Lecturer and Mathematics Education Liaison, Department of Mathematics, Indiana University Bloomington

group gamingI recently sat down with Professor Kavousian to discuss the importance of gaming in academia.  Game Days were originally organized by CITL (Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning). However, for the past year Professor Kavousian has organized and hosted them in the Department of Mathematics. This event has a committed participation from faculty, and lecturers across disciplines from the IUB campus. Professor Kavousian states, “At an early age, I’ve always loved playing games as well as the study of mathematics. Instinctively, I knew there was a strong connection between games, gaming, game theory, and the field of math.” Throughout her education, she recognized the similarities and dynamics of strategically solving board games, and how she could teach students to apply similar strategies to mathematical equations. She said, “People think I’m weird when I play board games by myself, but it helps with analytical thinking and logic.”  Like David Letterman, I couldn’t resist spoofing his “Top 10” list.  Therefore, I present to you, “Professor Kavousian’s Top 10 Reasons Why Gaming is Important in Academia.”

1. Gaming allows faculty and instructors to sit and discuss pedagogical tools that are relevant and can be applied to diverse fields of study.

2. Games (board, cards, digital, and virtual worlds) help to solve real-life economic, social, and cultural situations.

3. Gaming creates more interesting ways to engage students in projects which incorporate mathematical logic and theory.

4. Gaming allows participants to introduce new and old games, thus revitalizing new ideas and perceptions with different exploratory outcomes.

5. Gaming can create a tight-knit community of faculty and instructors from across the IU campus. The participants have been from a variety of disciplines such as Mathematics, Media and Communication, Philosophy, Music, Apparel Design, and Informatics.

6. If used in classroom correctly, Gaming has a great potential to create a deep interest for learning and motivating students.

7. Generally, students find it hard to follow the rules of mathematics, but find it much easier to follow very complicated rules of the games.

8. Planning and hosting a Game Day brings together like-minded colleagues with similar interests.

9. Gaming creates a social and informal environment/space.

10. Where else can you find highly educated people who can play board games in the middle of the day?

Professor Kavousian hopes to develop a course that teaches teachers how to effectively incorporate games and gaming into the math curriculum. Finally, I asked Professor Kavousian, how can libraries support the growing field of games and gaming particularly on the IUB campus?  She responded that sometimes it’s hard to find theoretical games to use in class. Librarians can help locate those hard-to-find games, and grow its collection. I informed Professor Kavousian that the Wells Library host its annual Game Night prior to the start of the fall semester.  She was delighted to hear this, and is optimistic that the library will find a way to host more game nights throughout the year.

games night

Cursing in a Second Language

censorshipIt’s a fair assessment to say that although Americans fall short on developing healthier eating habits, they can never be accused of falling short on their use of curse words.  Americans, hmmm, I’ll go out on a limb and say most English speaking countries, can be quite creative actually when spewing expletives that are anatomically impossible.  Good grief, one only needs to Google curse words, and you’ll find some quite humorous as well as embarrassing phrases.  Still, it is not a secret that curse words are deeply ingrained in the American culture, particularly in her Hollywood blockbusters, music, and sports arenas.

So, it was no surprise to read this interesting blog in today’s Chronicle of Higher of Education whereas a German commentator uttered English curse words following the results of an Eurovision music contest. The blogger said that the words used were sure to incur the wrath of the FCC. Really? Yet, nudity on most European beaches is as common as baseball and apple pie.  I digress. The blogger then asked in her final argument: “Does this mean that adopting a language’s curse words leads to adopting a culture’s taboo topics? Or instead that by using those words in a casual way, non-native speakers chip away at the taboos? It’s a question that brings us back to politics, and the degree to which foreigners adapt to a new culture or change it.  I like that it goes both ways.  We’ll find out soon how many Europeans agree.”

Interesting questions, indeed.


New Titles – May 19th

Feature Films


August: Osage County

A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.



After his entire department is outsourced, an American novelty products salesman (Hamilton) heads to India to train his replacement.

Continue reading “New Titles – May 19th”

The BAFTA TV Awards

What are the BAFTAs?

Photograph: BAFTA

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a charity that supports and promotes the art forms of moving images. This includes film, television and video games. Originally the British Film Academy and the Guild of Television Producers and Directors were two separate organizations that had their own awards shows. In 1958 they merged and eventually became the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Now they have several award ceremonies throughout the year known as the BAFTAs. The awards series includes:

  • Film Awards
  • Television Awards
  • Television Craft Awards (this is the behind the scenes awards visual effects, costuming production, music)
  • Game Awards
  • Children’s Awards

Right now I want to talk about The British Academy Television Awards, since they are happening this Sunday.

Continue reading “The BAFTA TV Awards”

ALA Fact Sheet: Video and Copyright

Oh my, there goes that controversial word again “copyright.” However, the American Library Association (ALA) presents an easy to understand fact sheet for all librarians and educators.  Give it a look-see!

ALA Library Fact Sheet 7:  Video and Copyright

Aha! In retrospect, I realized that I could be here all day posting related links and articles about the wonderful world of copyright. Instead, I will post a few links that you may find useful:

Indiana University Libraries Copyright

Section 108 of the Copyright Code Spinner:  Reproductions by Libraries and Archives for their Users, Replacement, or for Preservation

What Rights Come with that Movie:  Backtalk  (Library Journal)

The truth is that copyright is a topic that continues to be discussed ad nauseam.  I will keep you posted with new developments as they happen.


British Invasion!

Downton Abbey

Let’s admit it. Slowly but surely we’ve been becoming obsessed with British media. Especially British television. From Downton Abbey to Sherlock to Doctor Who, British pop culture is slowly starting to invade the mainstream US media. With BBC America and streaming based services these shows are easier to access and are now becoming more popular than ever. Netflix and Hulu are even starting to broadcast some original programming with shows like The Wrong Mans, The Fall and Derek.

Here at Media and Reserve Services we are not exempt from this. We’ve slowly been expanding our collection of British movies and television.  In this blog series I’d like to highlight some of the items in our collection, maybe introducing content that isn’t as well known. I’ll also be discussing British media in general. Including an upcoming post about the British Television Awards (which are this Sunday).

In the meantime check out some of our media from across the pond.

TV Series
Ripper Street
Little Britain
State of Play
Secret Diary of a Call Girl

Feature Films
28 Days Later
The Full Monty
Waking Ned Devine
The King’s Speech
About Time