Thursday, August 16, 2012

SPL Staff Recommend...

Here is a short list of what SPL staff have been reading, watching and listening to this summer! These reviews and others can be found on the library catalogue, BiblioCommons!

Try a novel to screen adaptation with...

Howard's End DVD (2010)
After hearing novelist Ruth Prawer Jhabvala talking about the creation of this Forster film (she wrote the screenplay), I decided to have a go. I'd watched on its original theatre release (1992), but thought -- I could do worse than spend an evening with the likes of Emma Thompson, Anthony Hopkins, Helena Bonham Carter & Vanessa Redgrave. I was completely rewarded -- the film is not only a masterly translation of novel to screen, it is exquisitely film and magnificently acted. A lovely, lovely film, start to finish.

Listen to some cool Canadian beats with...Sarah Slean, Land and Sea CD (2011)
Sarah Slean has been putting a good name to Canadian music for over a decade but her latest CD, Land and Sea, took my heart. I don't even know the lyrics but I love it so much as just kind of hum along in a really embarrassing way. Truth is, I don't want to return it to the library - but I will if someone requests it but it should be enjoyed by all! She is everything from soothing and mellow to dark and haunting to upbeat and catchy (especially on the second disc or this 2-CD set)! If you like what you hear be sure to check out her and other great Canadian artists at the Bayfield Concert Series!

Try a new book series with...

The Clifton Chronicles by Jeffrey Archer
Book 1: Only Time Will Tell (2011) 
Book 2: The Sins of the Father (2012)

The Clifton Chronicles tell the story of one family across generations, across oceans, from heartbreak to triumph. The epic tale of Harry Clifton's life begins in 1920, with the words "I was told that my father was killed in the war." A dock worker in Bristol, Harry never knew his father, but he learns about life on the docks from his uncle, who expects Harry to join him at the shipyard once he's left school. But then an unexpected gift wins him a scholarship to an exclusive boys' school, and his life will never be the same again. As he enters into adulthood, Harry finally learns how his father really died, but the awful truth only leads him to question, was he even his father? From the docks of working-class England to the bustling streets of 1940 New York City, Only Time Will Tell takes readers on a journey through to future volumes, which will bring to life one hundred years of recent history to reveal a family story that neither the reader nor Harry Clifton himself could ever have imagined.

Try a film about family emotions with...

In A Better World DVD (2011)

I don't do light and breezy...but this movie is excellent! Heavy, but with light, human moments of tenderness and humour! 
 Directed by the excellent Danish director, Susanne Bier, In A Better World explores cruelty, retaliation, bullying and empathy that are universals, and gives the audience a chance to see them both in Denmark and Africa. While a very good film (it did win the Academy Award and also the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film), I feel it was a little too Hollywood and not as good as Bier's previous films After the Wedding, Brothers, and Things We Lost in the Fire. I have yet to see a Bier film that I think was a failure. She is really at the top of the game in exploring family emotions and family strife.

Try boosting your adrenalin with a scary movie. Watch... 

Hide and Seek DVD (2005)

Starring big names like Robert DeNiro and Famke Janssen, this film's excellent story leads you down one path and then takes a sharp turn in a completely unexpected direction. Scary with just a hint of the paranormal, this one's surprises will shake up your assumptions about "horror" movies.

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