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Liquor and Drugs: My Venture Into the Writings of Irvine Welsh

Cue Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life while the camera zooms in on a pair of Adidas as they hit the ground running. In a few moments, the camera pans up and we see a stick-thin Ewan McGregor running from the cops for an unknown crime with his famous monologue that begins,

“Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a f—— big television, Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players, and electrical tin can openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. Choose fixed-interest mortgage repayments. Choose a starter home. Choose your friends. Choose leisure wear and matching luggage…” and ends with, “But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?”

This is one of my favorite movie openings of all time. Read More..

Infamous Hollywood Feuds: Bette & Joan Edition

Growing up on a farm as a kid, and being about as outdoorsy as a Kardashian, I often turned to old black and white films to escape to a world I thought better suited my own eclectic personality. I fell in love with the romanticized version of Hollywood and idolized the glamorous femme fatales of Film Noir along with their charming and roguish leading men.

I credit much of my infatuation to the mystique that shrouded the lives of Hollywood stars, and as an adult, I’ve tried to learn more about the real people behind these beloved characters through devouring various memoirs, biographies, and documentaries. Oftentimes, as one might expect, public perception and tabloids that dominated a very controlled news cycle do not match what lies beneath the surface.

I think one of the greatest challenges for film biographers is to get to some sliver of the truth by pulling back the studio-controlled veneer and separating myth from reality.  This is a quality that very few achieve.

In preparation for Ryan Murphy’s new anthology series Feud: Bette & Joan on FX, I decided to visit Shaun Considine’s critically acclaimed work Bette & Joan: The Divine Feud to learn about the series of events that sparked Bette Davis and Joan Crawford’s dramatic schism – and hopefully learn more about the real lives of these iconic starlets of the silver screen. Read More..

Studio Ghibli’s less celebrated master

When I think of the famous Japanese animation company Studio Ghibli, several things come to mind: fantastic worlds, brave young female protagonists, nuanced antagonists, and a certain giant gray bear-rabbit spirit named Totoro. I also think of a man named Hayao Miyazaki.

In large measure Hayao Miyazaki is synonymous with Studio Ghibli. Often referred to (somewhat clumsily) as the “Walt Disney of Japan,” he co-founded Studio Ghibli in 1985 along with three other men, and for the past 30 years he has elevated and expanded the boundaries of Japanese cinema to widespread international recognition. Read More..

Being Mortal: Film, Discussion, and Interactive Wall

If you thought you were dying, what would matter most?

Join us Thursday, Nov 10 at 6:30 PM in the Auditorium for a screening of Atul Gawande’s story of experiences of death and dying from the perspective of a healer and his patients.

Based on his book, Being Mortal, we invite our community to have critical conversations about end of life care. Our discussion will be led by local providers and healers hoping to provide context for early decision making.

Offered in partnership with Lawrence Memorial Hospital. More information: Gwen GeigerWolfe


Before I Die Interactive Exhibit
NOV 1–30, 2016 | Library Atrium
What is important to you? Come reflect on your life and share personal aspirations on our community “bucket list” in the Atrium.

After losing someone she loved and experiencing deep depression, artist Candy Chang created an interactive wall on an abandoned house in her neighborhood to create an anonymous place to help restore perspective and share intimately with neighbors while remaining an introvert.

What started as a personal outlet has led to an international experience. Walls have appeared all over the world and now we have one right here in Lawrence. It will be documented and added to the project. More information, photos, and stories can be found at the website.

Offered in partnership with Midland Care and Visiting Nurses Association.

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The Internet’s Own Boy: An Urgent Heartbreaker

“Moving and maddening in almost equal measure.”

How are social justice and the economics of information access intertwined?

Meet us in the Library Auditorium on Tuesday, Oct 25 from 6-8:30 PM for a film screening about what we lose when we are, “tone deaf about technology and its relationship to our civil liberties.” Stay for a discussion about open access to scholarly research led by Josh Bolick, Scholarly Communications Librarian at KU.

ABOUT THE FILM: The Internet’s Own Boy follows the story of programming prodigy, information activist, and internet celebrity Aaron Swartz, and a two-year legal battle that ended with him taking his own life at the age of 26.

From Swartz’s help in the development of the basic internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit, his fingerprints are all over the internet. But it was Swartz’s groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing combined with his aggressive approach to information access that ensnared him in a legal nightmare. (Source: takepart.com)

Co-sponsored by the KU Libraries Shulenburger Office of Scholarly Communication & Copyright

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Hispanic Heritage Month: Movie & Tamale Dinner

We’re transporting to the beautiful Latin American country of Columbia on Tuesday, Oct 4 from 6-9 PM with a gorgeous box office smash and delicious tamale dinner!

The evening kicks off on the Library Lawn at 6 PM with a $5 tamale dinner that will help support KU’s Latin American Graduate Organization.

Then, we’ll move indoors for Magia Salvaje (with subtitles), a film featuring never-before-seen images of Colombian nature, starring the Andean condor, the silver arowana fish, the spectacled bear, the jaguar, the Orinoco crocodile, the humpbacked whale, the pink dolphin and many others. “This is the perfect, 90-minute opportunity to learn more about Colombia’s unique biodiversity and to fall in love with the heaven on earth that is Colombia.” (colombia.co)

See who else is going!

Watch the trailer:

HHM Calendar Flyer

Contributing a Verse: O Me! O Life! O Film and Poetry!

For movie lovers who love poetry (and poetry lovers who love movies), these three unforgettable films all have poetry and poets as central characters or themes.

From an irrepressible English teacher in a stuffy Delaware all-boy’s prep school challenging his young students to ‘suck the marrow out of life;’ to a soft-spoken coach of a rowdy, young-yet-streetwise slam-poetry team in Chicago pushing his kids to work harder and dream louder; to a communist poet exiled to a small Italian island helping an uneducated neighbor to woo the woman of his dreams, these riveting films engage, entertain, and uplift. And still they manage to explore with heart and honesty the bittersweet truths of life–love, death, friendship, identity, courage in the face of oppression–that unite the human race. These films will no doubt leave you inspired, exhilarated, and aching for your own unique and powerful voice to be heard.

Read More..