Positive Reflections of Older Adults in Movies

It’s not so easy to find movies about characters in the 60+ age category, let alone ones that depict older adults in a positive light. Fortunately, some are available for free viewing on Kanopy and Hoopla attesting that seniors can indeed lead interesting and meaningful lives.

My Old Lady Movie PosterMy Old Lady, a 2014 English movie adapted from Israel Horowitz’s book by the same title, can be streamed on Kanopy.  This sophisticated portrait of a lady in her 90’s shows someone in full control of her sharp mind carrying on with her profession. She handles a scheming guest trying to displace her from her Paris home and deals with the drama which plays out when we learn family secrets about the intruder! With Maggie Smith in the lead role some delightful dialogue reminiscent of the one-line ‘zingers’ from the TV series Downton Abbey embellish this film and Kevin Kline holds his own. Well worth watching.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, inspiring older adults appear frequently among foreign language flicks, particularly from France where “joie de vivre” continues in later years. A noteworthy French movie from 2011 is All Together: Et si on vivait tous ensemble which not only shows five friends courageously living together when one of them can no longer live alone, but also successfully handling problems on their own which inevitably come with aging. Iconic actor Jane Fonda depicts graceful aging through her character Jeanne, while the other four actors lend creativity and feistiness to their character depictions. The taboo topic of sex in older life is also candidly depicted and the film is thought-provoking and modern.  Continue reading “Positive Reflections of Older Adults in Movies”

Documentaries for Pride

Even though Pride events and in-person festivities are cancelled this year, it is still possible to celebrate LGBTQ resilience from the comfort of your home – and the Library can help with that! Aside from going out to protests and engaging with written content by queer authors, there are also lots of video resources available to you with your library card. Your barcode and PIN number will give you access to lots of documentaries, movies, and other online video content through platforms such as Kanopy. Here are three great queer history documentaries of varying lengths to get you started:

After Stonewall. A 90-minute documentary from filmmakers Dan Hunt, Janet Baus, and John Scagliotti, After Stonewall details the LGBTQ rights movement beginning in the early 1970s until the end of the 20th century. It is the sequel to Before Stonewall, which focuses on the fight for LGBTQ rights prior to the movement’s watershed moment with the riots of 1969. After is particularly poignant in its treatment of the ordeals that LGBTQ people went through during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and how this political crisis impacted the type of activism that the movement turned towards at the end of the century. Continue reading “Documentaries for Pride”

Covid-19 Community Collection

Are you interested in helping the Library’s Special Collections Department document history? Please consider contributing to our new Covid-19 Community Collection!

We are asking you to tell us (and show us) how the events of the past few months have impacted you. We are looking for stories, photographs, signs, artwork, short videos and other materials that will help future generations learn what life was like in Seattle during this unique period in history. What has your daily life been like? What are ways you are staying connected with friends and family? What will you remember the most ten years from now?

Stories and materials submitted to the project through our online portal will be made available through the Special Collections Online website. We also welcome the donation of physical materials which can be mailed to the Special Collections Department. To learn more about how you can contribute to the project, please visit our Community Covid-19 Collection page online.

     ~ Posted by Jade D.

Shakespeare Shows and Shorts on Kanopy

If you’re like me, you’ve been spending the past few months missing going out to see plays and performance in Seattle’s theatre scene. As the days get warmer and brighter and summer seems just around the corner, we still don’t know whether we will be able to enjoy Shakespeare in the Park season as we have in past years. Of course nothing can make up for the experience of seeing the Bard performed live, but there ARE some excellent shorts, feature films, and recorded theatre productions based on Shakespeare’s work available on Kanopy. Here are just a few to get you started:

Macbeth, directed by Robert Goold

Starring Sir Patrick Stewart and Kate Fleetwood as Macbeth and Lady M, this film from 2003 sets the action onto a contemporary, vaguely “central European” backdrop with stylistic nods to Soviet propaganda artwork. It is also shot on location in an underground English abbey, giving us a very intense, intimate experience as viewers. The movie is based on a hugely successful play Continue reading “Shakespeare Shows and Shorts on Kanopy”

The Art of Protest: The Language, Music and Images of Civil Discontent

Joining a protest is personal and a public event. People from all ages and all walks of life take to the streets calling for societal change. Throughout history worlds of people have marched, from handfuls to millions with voices raised, through cities and towns.

When The People Speak, heads turn. Everybody is filled with a heightened awareness. What message is being sent? Who is speaking as a shouting crowd of onlookers responds? From a singular voice to multitudes, the sounds of a protest command attention. There is more than one way, however, to be heard.

Artists speak through their work, seeking to capture the tenor of their times. A protest march can be a dramatic affair incorporating music, chants, costumes and signs. A throng of people stride through the center of town, disrupting business, blocking traffic, calling attention to a cause. How do you know they’re coming? Drumbeats and chants sound through the air long before the first row comes into view. Continue reading “The Art of Protest: The Language, Music and Images of Civil Discontent”