We love movies, among other things


December, 2005:

Happy Holidays! 


The Long Island University Brooklyn Campus Library Media Center Newsletter 

"Please serve the nuts.   I mean, please serve the guests the nuts."  --Nora Charles (Myrna Loy), The Thin Man  (1934).

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BCLMC archives: no. 1, no. 2, no. 3 , no. 4, no. 5, no. 6, no. 7 , no. 8 , no. 9 , no. 10

In the Mix:  a random shuffle of some movies we've played recently in our Now Playing program: 

Richard Pryor (1940-2005) in the BCLMC:

Other sites we like:



This time of year, we're all familiar with the meanest, "'warped, frustrated, old  man" in Bedford Falls, Mr. Potter, played by the saturnine Lionel Barrymore with a patrician growl and a steely squint.  Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life is a great, if often misunderstood, film, but look for other fine, and more sympathetic, Barrymore performances in Key Largo, David Copperfield, Grand Hotel, and Dinner at Eight  [the last two  also featured his brother, John Barrymore], among other films in our collection. 


And yes, there is a relation to today's kittenish star Drew Barrymore: she is Lionel's great niece, and John's granddaughter.  In our collection, you can see her as a little kid in Spielberg's E.T.,  and a much older victim cameo in the meta-slasher pic, Scream.   


"See that girl over there on the corner?  Well, I'm her Santa Claus." --Pepi Katona (William Tracy), The Shop Around the Corner (1940).

This issue of  BCLMC is brought to you all the way from the back row by Media Assistant Patrick "Baddest Santa Ever" Jewell.  Tell your friends.



There is a tendency to overindulge ourselves this time of year.  All the holiday parties, all the cookies and cakes, the wine and the eggnog.  I have a friend who makes her own eggnog, and let me tell you, that is over the top, indulgent, decadent stuff.   Some of these movies would go well with her eggnog and some chocolate-covered potato chips: 

  • Pulp Fiction - Like the cheap crime paperbacks from whence it takes its name, Tarantino's second film is gaudy, colorful, profane, sexy, and violent. 
  • Scarface  - One of Pacino's most hammy performances in this ultraviolent remake of the Howard Hawks pre-code gangster flick.  "Say hello to my lil' friend!"
  • Fellini Satyricon - Sometimes even the word "Felliniesque" doesn't quite give you whole idea. 
  • Beyond the Valley of the Dolls - Russ Meyer and Roger Ebert [!] combined on this terrrrrrashy sequel [would make a crazy double feature with Silence of the Lambs].
  • Gone with the Wind - The king of all Hollywood megamovies: glorious Technicolor, cast of thousands, Atlanta on fire, fiddledy dee, etc.
  • Anything by John Waters - Nuff said, true believers. 
  • Superfly - For the blaxsploitation fans on your holiday shopping list.  Great Curtis Mayfield score. 
  • The Killer - John Woo's ode to the machine gun and slow motion mayhem [see also: The Wild Bunch]. 
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - Legendary sword, rousing swordfights, stealthy ninjas, treetop battles, kidnapped royalty in the desert. 
  • Requiem for a Dream - Harrowing portrait of drug addiction. 
  • White Heat - Top of the world!  Cagney's fiery finale is iconic.
  • Pandora's Box - Louise Brooks runs wild as Lulu in decadent Weimar Berlin
  • Cabaret - Did somebody say "decadent Weimar Berlin?"
  • La Dolce Vita - Another Fellini.  Dead-on satire of Italian high-life.  Any film with Anita Ekberg definitely falls on the overindulgent side. 
  • Sunset Boulevard - Narrated by a dead man, decades before American Beauty.  It's the pictures that got small. 
  • National Lampoon's Animal House - Toga! Toga! Toga! 
  • Awara - We have to have a Bollywood musical on the list.
  • Suspiria - Argento's hallucinogenic horror masterpiece.  Every shot is a picture.
  • Masque of the Red Death - Gorgeous living color in Roger Corman's take on Poe's ultimate party during the Black Plague. 
  • Lisztomania - Ken Russell's bawdy and psychedelic rock n roll life of the Romantic composer.   Unwatchable, really. 
  • History of the World, Part I - Mel Brooks, of course.   "It's good to be the king!"



...and the Subsequent Correctives


As a corrective to all that overdoing it, we pop a couple bromides, and then try to walk the straight and narrow in January, cutting bad habits like smoking and gambling and kicking small dogs, and starting good ones like eating healthy and exercising, volunteering for charity, and calling your mother once a week. 


Movies to put you in that ascetic and self-improving frame of mind:

  • Brother Orchid - Edward G. Robinson is a gang boss on the lam; hiding out in a monastery, he learns a few things about life. 
  • Flowers of St. Francis - Rossellini's life of the saint. 
  • Gandhi - Biopic of the great pacifist leader. 
  • Simon of the Desert - Bunuel takes on the story of St. Simon Stylites, who served God by standing on a pillar in the desert.  I hope the local Chinese place delivered. 
  • A Clockwork Orange - Kind of extreme in the behavior modification dept.  Don't try this at home, kids. 
  • The Last Temptation of Christ - Scorsese's controversial film of the controversial novel. 
  • The Gold Rush - Barren winter in the Klondike, Chaplin gets so hungry he makes a meal of his own shoe. 
  • Oliver Twist - Dickens' famous orphan.
  • The Decalogue - Kieslowski series of short films, each one dealing with a different one of the Ten Commandments. 
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Film from the Ken Kesey novel about a man who thinks it's a good idea to beat jail time by feigning insanity.  
  • The Grapes of Wrath - Dust Bowl Okies and the long hard trip to California during the Great Depression. 
  • The Salt of the Earth - Zinc miner strike in New Mexico
  • Man of Aran - Documentary about the harsh life on a barren island off the coast of Ireland.
  • My Man Godfrey - Depression-era screwball comedy has a tramp turned butler teaching the rich folks a thing or two.  
  • The Idiots - One of von Trier's Dogma films, made according to strict formal guidelines. 
  • The Seventh Seal - Death and a knight and a rousing game of chess.  Stark, to say the least.  Would make a good double feature with Corman's Masque, see above. 
  • Shane - Lone gunslinger stops in a for a spell with some homesteaders, helps them stand up to local land baron. 
  • Ugetsu - Japanese ghost story, and cautionary tale. 
  • I Know Where I'm Going - Ambitious young woman has a choice to make about love and money on a secluded Scottish isle.  Charming and magical film. 

End of Semester Update on the New Media Center

We now have full electricity, with five individual viewing stations, one portable viewing station, one listening station, and a partridge in a pear tree...I mean, a group viewing room that seats up to twelve viewers.  We now have online searching capability in the BCLMC on our public computer.  The hole in our ceiling is fixed, and we next turn to finishing our unpacking.  



BCLMC Mailbag

A Miss Virginia O'Hanlon, from 19th century New York, writes: "I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, If you see it in The BCLMC Newsletter, it s so.  Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?"


Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, but we all would have been better off without Tim Allen's The Santa Clause, believe you me. 


"That's it!  Out you two pixies go, through the door or out the window!" --Nick the bartender (Sheldon Leonard), It's a Wonderful Life (1946).


The Media Center is located on the fifth floor of the Library Learning Center.  Come up and see us some time.


Questions?  Comments?  Contact us. 
Media Center Staff:

Andrea Slonosky,  Media Librarian  (718) 488-1311  Andrea.Slonosky@liu.edu
Patrick Jewell,  Media Assistant  (718) 488-3392  Patrick.Jewell@liu.edu
Lisa Rivera,  Media Assistant  (718) 780-4378