Movie Mondays: At Sea

Jen’s recent post on nautical fiction got me thinking of films set at sea. Not swashbucklers like Master and Commander and Pirates of the Caribbean, or blockbusters like Titanic and Jaws, but more modest tales that take place on the water.

Click here to view Kon-Tiki in the SPL catalogKon-Tiki (2012) tells the true story of  Thor Heyerdahl’s successful crossing of the Pacific. In 1947, Heyerdahl (Pål Sverre Hagen) sought to prove that South Americans had settled on Polynesia, as he and five others embark on a hundred day journey across the sea on a balsa-wood raft, using the same design and materials as South Americans would have used 1,500 years ago.  This old-fashioned adventure film was nominated for Best Foreign Picture Academy Award (the DVD gives viewers the option of watching it in English or Norwegian). Also check out the original 1951 documentary as well as his  first-person account. Continue reading “Movie Mondays: At Sea”

Movie Mondays: Seattle loves BBC!

This week’s Movie Monday column is switching things up to discuss TV again, specifically BBC. It’s no secret that Seattleites love all things BBC, and Seattle posted the highest ratings in the country for the season 3 premiere of Downton Abbey. Two other programs – Call the Midwife and Bletchley Circle – have been popular enough that it’s made it to SPL’s list of Most Popular DVDs this year. Continue reading “Movie Mondays: Seattle loves BBC!”

Movie Mondays: Workplace Comedies for Labor Day

The last thing most people want to think about on Labor Day is work. Fortunately, the workplace has been the setting for some of Hollywood’s funniest and most incisive comedies. Here are four funny films that take place at work.

Click here to view 9 to 5 in the SPL catalog9 to 5 (1980) follows three secretaries – Judy Bernly (Jane Fonda), Violet Newstead (Lily Tomlin) and Doralee Rhodes (Dolly Parton) – who work for Frank Hart (Dabney Coleman), a “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.” Dissatified with how they are treated, the trio decide to take matters into their own hands and change things around the office, which requires holding Frank hostage. It’s ludicrous and preposterous, yet it also speaks volumes about the glass ceiling and the contributions women can make in the office. It’s also one of the most madcap comedies you’re likely to see. Continue reading “Movie Mondays: Workplace Comedies for Labor Day”

Movie Mondays: Scandals on Screen

Scandals fascinate us. The characters are fearless and their actions are audacious; best of all, you can’t wait for them to get their comeuppance. Here are three classic films that deftly deal with some of the most complex and notorious scandles of the twentieth century.

Click here to view Quiz Show in the SPL catalogRobert Redford’s Quiz Show (1994) looks at one of the biggest scandals in television history. It’s 1958, and the game show “Twenty-One” is all the rage. Reigning champion Herbert Stempel (John Turturro) is brilliant but uncharismatic; enter Charles Van Doren (Ralph Fiennes), the handsome son of a novelist and a poet who beats Stempel and goes on to win game after game and charm the audience in the process. The hitch: Stempel’s loss, and Van Doren’s winning streak are rigged, and accusations that the show was fixed attracts the attention of Congressional investigator Richard Goodwin (Rob Morrow). Continue reading “Movie Mondays: Scandals on Screen”

Movie Mondays: Love it or Hate it?

Have you ever read a movie review or had a conversation with a friend and wonder afterwards: “how could they like that movie?” Or, “I love that movie; how can they hate it?” Here are a half dozen examples of films that have polarized film critics and audiences through the years. Continue reading “Movie Mondays: Love it or Hate it?”