Library staff recommendation: International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers

Louise Brooks on the front cover of Volume 1

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers

St. James Press, 4th edition. Volume 1: Films; Volume 2: Directors; Volume 3: Actors and Actresses; Volume 4: Writers and Production Artists.
Greenfield Reference 791.4303 In85 2000

For anyone who likes movies (and who doesn’t), this is a great starting point for research as well as a fun set to browse. Each entry includes “a brief biography, a complete filmography, a selected bibliography of works by and about the entrant, and a critical essay written by a specialist in the field.” (from the “Editor’s Note”, V. 2, p. vii.) Almost all of the entries have a photograph of the person or a film still. If you’re doing research or writing a paper on a film or person covered in this title, your research just got a lot easier: the bibliography guides you to the best sources, and the brief critical essays are excellent.

The UArts Greenfield Library has three older editions of this title; a few entries are removed from each edition in order to make room for the new entries. Quentin Tarantino, for example, wasn’t included in this until the 1997 edition.

Looking for an animator? See Volume 4, Writers and Production Artists.

The great Ray Harryhausen (1920- ) and the Medusa head from Clash of the Titans (1981). From the 1997 edition, volume 4.


Recommended by Sara MacDonald, Public Services Librarian

Digital Resource of the Week: Atlas Obscura

On the About Us page, the Atlas Obscura team says, “if you’re looking for miniature cities, glass flowers, books bound in human skin, gigantic flaming holes in the ground, bone churches, balancing pagodas, or homes built entirely out of paper, the Atlas Obscura is where you’ll find them.”

Yangshuo and Moon Hill
Yangshuo and Moon Hill

Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura is a collaborative website documenting unusual and interesting places around the world. You’ll learn about architecture, museums, and natural wonders. Search by continent, country, or even state. There are dozens of curious sites right here in Philadelphia! Also explore by categories such as martian landscapes, strange science, or eccentric homes.

Pierre Cardin's Bubble House
Pierre Cardin's Bubble House

If you like the weird and wonderful, follow their blog.

Dead Pals of Sam Sanfillippo
Dead Pals of Sam Sanfillippo

Library staff recommendation: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
By Alison Bechdel
741.50924 B387f Greenfield Open Stacks

This graphic memoir is emotionally powerful while remaining enjoyable. Bechdel tackles subjects such as homosexuality, fidelity and death using text and images that are tender, painstakingly rendered and suggestive. Exploring her past in the format of a graphic novel makes her story feel very personal. Drawing the reader in through colorless imagery, her text then elaborates on the sadness and struggle illustrated on the faces of her characters.

She recounts growing up in rural Pennsylvania, focusing her memories on her relationship with her father. Discovering her own sexuality as she matures, Bechdel reflects on her childhood with the knowledge that her father was gay. She is honest and insightful, sharing private details that occasionally make the reader wince with sympathy and discomfort.

Recommended by Shannon Robinson

Library staff recommendation: Not a Box

Not a Box
By Antoinette Portis
741.641 P836n 2006
Greenfield Open Stacks

To me, this book represents the importance of being grateful for the little things. You may not be as excited by an empty cardboard box as you once were, but it’s nice to try to remember to see things with new eyes and remember to look for the potential in often overlooked things.  In honor of the upcoming holiday season, I hope this book will remind you of your perhaps long forgotten imagination and the beauty waiting to be found in even the simplest of things.

Also by Antoinette Portis:

A Penguin Story

741.641 P836p 2009 Greenfield Open Stacks

Recommended by Casey Murphy

New in ARTstor from UArts Visual Resources: Pierre Alechinsky

Pierre Alechinsky, born 1927, is a Belgian artist who has worked in painting, printmaking and film.

"The Tall Grass" 1951

He is considered one of the founding members of the Cobra movement, which was an international group of artists who shared a fondness for experimentation and had a vision for a new art.

"Leather and Brass" 1961

They rejected Western aesthetics and received inspiration from folk and naive art. The characteristics of the Cobra group can be seen in Alechinsky’s vivid colors and spontaneous line, as well as his fantastic subjects.

If you would like to see more work by Alechinsky, click on an image to be taken directly to ARTstor. And for more information about Pierre Alechinsky or The Cobra Art Movement please visit Grove Art Online.

"Termites" 1956