theBCLMC     

The Long Island University Brooklyn Campus Library Media Center Newsletter 

 

We love movies, among other things.

September 2007, issue 26

"You ask what you should watch. I ask how I should live. It's the same thing."  --Corrado Zeller (Richard Harris), Red Desert (1964)


Four Legacies

One of the cool things:  with the first day of classes, our campus always brims with new beginnings and fresh hopes.  We at the BCLMC welcome everyone in the LIU family to Fall '07, and we're looking forward to helping you with your media-related library needs.  Unfortunately, we also must mention how the worlds of film, art, and music have lost some extraordinary people during this past summer.  Follow the links below to go to related listings in the library catalog.  Then come to the BCLMC, check out a few titles for yourself and some friends, and celebrate these four rich artistic legacies.   

Michelangelo Antonioni,  Italian filmmaker

"I am not a theoretician of the cinema. If you ask me what directing is, the first answer that comes into my head is: I don't know. The second: All my opinions on the subject are in my films."

 

Ingmar Bergman, Swedish filmmaker

"My basic view of things is - not to have any basic view of things. From having been exceedingly dogmatic, my views on life have gradually dissolved. They don't exist any longer."

 

Elizabeth Murray, American painter

"I think making art is trying to respond to being alive, to learning about death and how those things mingle.  It s what you paint about.  That s why people care about it." 

 

Max Roach, American Jazz musician

You can t write the same book twice. Though I ve been in historic musical situations, I can t go back and do that again. And though I run into artistic crises, they keep my life interesting. 

We are fortunate that these four people led long and full artistic lives (though Murray's was cut relatively short by cancer), and we can tell from these quotations that all four were determined to grow and work with abandon and fearlessness right up to the ends of their lives.  Antonioni's words speak to the intuition of the artist and the relation to the unknowable, while Bergman's address the openness of the spirit.  Murray boils her beautiful and complex paintings down to the most basic human terms, and Roach speaks of the desire to keep it new, to continue to invent, and to work with curiosity and courage.  One way or another, these are four worthy goals for anyone. 

 


I know Murray's work the best of the four because I am a painter myself, and on several occasions over the last fifteen years, I made sure to make the effort to see her latest show in Manhattan.  She made big, joyful, messy, sensual abstractions with juicy or scumbled paint on outrageously shaped and intertwined, almost jigsawed, canvases.  I wasn't always sure how I felt about her jumping so strenuously and enthusiastically beyond the constraints of a rectangular picture plane, but I usually ended up smiling in front of her work, surrendering to the tender goofiness and brutal cartoonishness that in the end I found exciting and exhilarating and freeing.  Her work is often read in a feminist light, with its abstractions contorted out of familiar domestic or studio imagery -- a coffee cup, a shoe, a paintbrush -- and it is well documented that she was a woman who balanced family and work life admirably, but I don't think any sort of political or theoretical framework brings much to the life of her paintings.  They are full of life, as any good painting should be, just stuck up on a wall alone. 

I worked for two and a half years as a guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art before I came to work at the Brooklyn Campus, and I remember, fresh of out grad school and only a few years removed from Ohio's cornfields, seeing Ms. Murray and her children in the galleries of the Met.*  Once I was operating an elevator that she and her kids were riding on, and although I'd like to relate some telling detail from this encounter, I can't remember much more than feeling, just from the way she acted with her kids and from the polite way she spoke to a nobody museum guard like me, that she was a generous, loving, profoundly intelligent woman, and that I felt proud to think of myself as being a painter, too.  "Wow," I thought.  "She's pretty cool."  I wish I'd said more than "Hello, which floor do you want?" 

Watch the videos we have which feature interviews with her.  She was a lively, intelligent interview who came across well on film or in print.  Find her paintings in reproduction in our periodicals department and our collection of artist monographs.  Then, go find her work in person in the many museums and galleries in the city -- you're living and going to school in New York City, after all, and there are treasures all around (you can even find mosaics designed by her in the 59th Street Subway station on the Lexington line, and at Court Square on the G).     

--Patrick Jewell, 8/29/07

 


"It's not the years, honey.  It's the mileage."  --Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Past Issues of the BCLMC

Library Homepage

Media Center

LIUCAT

LIU Brooklyn Campus


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


Other sites we like:


*Note to self: future theme issue about celebrities I encountered when I was a guard at the Met and what films we have that are related to them?  Watch this space, faithful reader(s)!   


This issue of  BCLMC is brought to you all the way from the back row by well-rested Media Assistant Patrick Jewell.  Tell your friends. 

 


 

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

BCLMC  BROOKLYN CAMPUS LIBRARY MEDIA CENTER

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  Lisa.Cotton@liu.edu