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  theBLMC     
   The LIU Brooklyn Library Media Center Newsletter 
   We love movies, among other things.

October 2012, issue 65


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This issue of  BLMC is brought to you all the way from the back row by ghostbustin' Media Assistant Patrick Jewell.  Tell your friends. 

 

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Haunted (Art)House

In a display case at the 3rd floor entrance this semester, we are featuring titles in our collection that come from the Criterion Collection.  From Criterion's Website:

Since 1984, the Criterion Collection, a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films, has been dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements. Over the years, as we moved from laserdisc to DVD, Blu-ray disc, and online streaming, we’ve seen a lot of things change, but one thing has remained constant: our commitment to publishing the defining moments of cinema for a wider and wider audience. The foundation of the collection is the work of such masters of cinema as Renoir, Godard, Kurosawa, Cocteau, Fellini, Bergman, Tarkovsky, Hitchcock, Fuller, Lean, Kubrick, Lang, Sturges, Dreyer, Eisenstein, Ozu, Sirk, Buñuel, Powell and Pressburger. Each film is presented uncut, in its original aspect ratio, as its maker intended it to be seen. Every time we start work on a film, we track down the best available film elements in the world, use state-of-the-art telecine equipment and a select few colorists capable of meeting our rigorous standards, then take time during the film-to-video digital transfer to create the most pristine possible image and sound. Whenever possible, we work with directors and cinematographers to ensure that the look of our releases does justice to their intentions. Our supplements enable viewers to appreciate Criterion films in context, through audio commentaries by filmmakers and scholars, restored director’s cuts, deleted scenes, documentaries, shooting scripts, early shorts, and storyboards. To date, more than 150 filmmakers have made our library of Director Approved DVDs, Blu-ray discs, and laserdiscs the most significant archive of contemporary filmmaking available to the home viewer.

The LIU Brooklyn Library Media Center has almost 200 Criterion Collection DVDs in our collection. Another good thing about Criterion is the range of films they offer, from documentaries to Shakespeare to 'prestige' films to genre films, animation, concerts and lowbrow B fare.  So with that, and Halloween, in mind, this month we're looking at some of the horror fare by Criterion in our collection. So, after that lengthy intro, what spooky stuff comes up when we search the catalog for "criterion" and "horror?"  Walk this way, my lovelies....

Haxan and Vampyr are a couple very early, and very influential entries in the spooky film genre, and both are from Europe, which is fitting because both are deeply mired in European mythologies of the undead and the occult. Haxan is subtitled Withcraft through the Ages, and it is a phatasmagoric display of imagery.  Vampyr, by the great Carl Theodor Dreyer, is a grandly nightmarish and very influential early vampire movie. 

Eyes without a Face is definitely arthouse horror, a French film from 1959 about a Parisian plastic surgeon searching for a new face to graft upon his disfigured daughter.  Directed by Georges Franju.

Kaidan, is a favorite of mine, an anthology of ghost tales in the manner of Dead of Night, Creepshow, or Tales from the Hood, although on a level of visual beauty and narrative poetry that far surpasses these others, even Dead of Night. It is a feast for the eyes, filmed in sumptuous, saturated color. 

Finally, the atmospheric Val Lewton classic Cat People also comes up in the Criterion/horror search, because of an old laserdisc (!) in our collection.  If you don't have a laserdisc player anymore (and really, not many people ever did, although we still have two in the Media Center), you should borrow a disc from our set, The Val Lewton Collection, which was also profiled a few years ago in this very same newsletter


The LIU Brooklyn Library Media Center
Rachel King, Media Librarian  (718) 488-1311 Rachel.King@liu.edu
Patrick Jewell,  Media Staff  (718) 488-3392
 Patrick.Jewell@liu.edu
Lisa Rivera,  Media Staff  (718) 780-4378  Lisa.Cotton@liu.edu

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