Staff Recommendation: The Philadelphia Story (1940)

I love old movies. And I especially love old movies with Cary Grant in them. I could probably write a whole review about the various Cary Grant films available in our library, because I’m sure I’ve gone through most of them at this point.

Despite the fact that Cary Grant is in this film, full of gentlemanly sharp wit and amazing suits, it is Katherine Hepburn who truly steals the show and makes this her movie. A strong-willed, spoiled, and haughty aristocrat from the Main Line, Hepburn’s character finds herself in a series of awkward situations the day leading up to her wedding to an equally wealthy (yet completely dull) second husband. Grant plays her ex-husband, who invites himself to the wedding festivities, with a tabloid reporter (Jimmy Stewart) and photographer in tow disguised as friends of her brother. Hilarity ensues like most of these 1940s “screwball comedies,” including one of my favorite scenes of Hepburn and Stewart drunkenly dancing late into the night before the wedding day.

People sometimes pre-judge black-and-white films like The Philadelphia Story as being boring and stuffy, but this movie is actually really funny. Watch for a great scene right at the beginning of the film involving Hepburn breaking a golf club over her knee.

If you enjoyed this movie as much as I did (Greenfield Library GD2171), check out Bringing Up Baby, (also available in the Greenfield Library, GD1895) another award-winning film starring Grant and Hepburn as love interests, and equally ridiculous.

~ Recommended by Lillian Kinney, Cataloger/Archivist, Greenfield Library

Staff Recommendation: Princess Mononoke

Released in 1999 and holding a 94% audience approval rating, this Miyazaki film was hailed as “The ‘Star Wars’ of animated features!” by the New York Post. Princess Mononoke brings together the world of the spiritual and the realities of man. Similar to Pan’s Labyrinth, and Miyazaki’s later movie Spirited Away, this film exists in a world where fantasy and reality push against each other as humans seek to destroy the old ways to make way for new.

At the center of the story is a young man named Ashitaka, who makes his way to a mining village after being cursed by a dying animal god.  There he meets Lady Eboshi, whose desire to acquire more iron for the village has put her in direct conflict with the nature gods that inhabit the land nearby who are lead by Princess Mononoke, a human girl raised by the wolf god. As his curse spreads, Ashitaka seeks to find a balance between these two opposing forces before both are destroyed by their own short sightedness.

This incredible film asks the questions; ‘Can Man and Nature coexist?’ ‘Is it possible to stand in the middle of conflict, or must we choose sides?’ ‘Who is really the villain?’ ‘Is there a place for those who are different?’With beautiful animation and subtle storytelling, Hayao Miyazaki asks us to come to our own conclusions through the actions of Ashitaka, Lady Eboshi and Princess Mononoke.

You can find this DVD at the Greenfield Library, stop by the circulation desk and ask for call # GD1475

~ Recommended by Lauralee Martin, Greenfield Library Work Study Assistant

Studio Art MFA Food For Thought Lecture Series: Cristiana de Marchi and Lonnie Graham

Artist and curator Cristiana de Marchi will speak Wednesday, July 11, at 7pm in Hamilton Hall, CBS Auditorium. Originally from Italy, de Marchi lives and works in Dubai and Beirut. She has published internationally about contemporary art as well as exhibited her own work in the UAE, Mexico, Spain, and Italy. Her profile and links to some articles she’s written are available through ArtTribune, an arts and culture website and magazine. You can watch one of her video artworks, Fish Market, a meditative performance in the Sharjah Fish Market.

still from de Marchi's Fish Market
still from de Marchi's Fish Market

Photographer and professor Lonnie Graham will speak Thursday, July 12, at 7pm in Terra Hall, Connelly Lecture Hall. Graham‘s work is sociological in nature, documenting the lives and culture of the people he interviews and photographs. Learn more about Graham by reading:

“Culture, Context Add to Appreciation of Photographs of a New Guinea Tribe” by Victoria Donohoe in The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 21, 1999: pg MC04. This is available full-text through UArts Libraries’ subscription to LexisNexis. You will need to log in with your UArts username and password if you are off-campus.

Context: Public Projects September 9 to 19, 1998 with project co-directors Anne Raman and Gerard Brown (Philadelphia: Foundation for Today’s Art/NEXUS, 1998). Available in Greenfield Library Open Stacks, call number 725.9 F825.

Committed to the Image: Contemporary Black Photographers edited by Barbara Head Millstein (Brooklyn, N.Y.: Brooklyn Museum of Art in association with Merrell, 2001). Available in Greenfield Library Open Stacks, call number 770.8996073 C767m.

New Land Marks: Public Art, Community, and the Meaning of Place edited by Penny Balkin Bach (Washington, DC : Editions Ariel, c2001). Available in Greenfield Library Open Stacks, call number 709.74811 N42.

photo by Lonnie Graham
photo by Lonnie Graham
photo by Lonnie Graham
photo by Lonnie Graham



Studio Art MFA Food for Thought Lecture Series: Nelly Massera

Media artist Nelly Massera will speak Thursday, July 5, at 7pm in Terra Hall, Connelly Lecture Hall. Massera lives and works in France. She has exhibited internationally, participating in numerous residencies and solo exhibitions. Below are details about two of her films. Check out her website for more.

video still from Made in China
video still from Made in China

The Shout (2009)

“The Shout is a split screen video, a sound and visual diptych. Territories appear and follow one another, empty on one side, each occupied by a person on the other. Doubled images, long panoramic pictures, echoing narration. They are waiting, looking at us. Interior/day, prison scene: suddenly, a shout starts, carrying all the others along, the one of the children in the ruined building, the one of the woman in the bunker… The territory, the person and the shout are mutually embodied, occupying the entire screen and sound space. This split screen video has been realized in Latvia on the territory of Karosta, during an artist residency. This territory, at the same time fascinating and oppressive made to emerge this project, these presences, these shouts. I asked to people to choose a place, as a territory to shout.”

Starry Night (2010)

“A totally dark space of projection.The gaze has to get used to the twilight. The shot is taken at night, a space of basic architecture, covered by a faint light, barely unveils. The all-present sound of a cyclic flowing water fills the space. The sky thunders, the rain falls and mixes with the fountain’s sound. A violent, pale, almost unreal light flashes the scene and reveals it furtively to the viewer; then comes the sound of the lightning that splits the scene. The frequency of the lightnings increases, the rain becomes stronger, the sound gets denser, the howling of the wolves joins in the scene.”



Digital Resources of the Week for Animation

The Society for Animation Studies is an international group focused on scholarship about animation history and theory. It was founded in 1987 by Dr. Harvey Derenhoff, a prolific author of animation blogs, articles and books who teaches animation at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s Atlanta campus. The Society’s website and Derenhoff’s personal website are great resources for anyone interested in animation.

The Society publishes an open access, scholarly e-journal called Animation Studies. They also have an Animation Bibliography which is constantly updated with links and citations to scholarly sources.

Video still from Tony Sargs and Herbert Dawley's 1921 "The First Circus"
Video still from Tony Sargs and Herbert Dawley's 1921 "The First Circus"

Want to watch some animation? Check out two freely available sets of iTunes podcasts. One is the Origins of American Animation from the Library of Congress. The films are from 1900 to 1921. Also see Pixar: 20 Years of Animation, available from MoMA. You can watch selections from movies such as Cars, Toy Story, and Monsters, Inc.

The UArts Libraries has terrific resources on animation. To start, check out our animation subject guide.