Cult Films Returns April 9th With "Donnie Darko"!

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Greenwich Library's Cult Films program will be taking a vacation during the month of March. But it'll be back on April 9th with a showing of 2001's Donnie Darko starring Jake Gyllenhaal.  Details here.  And here's the trailer for it:


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Thursday night, February 19th, beginning at 6:30 PM, Greenwich Library Cult Films will present From Russia With Love in the second floor meeting room.  Click here for more details.  And check out the original trailer below:

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This 1963 film, the second of the long running James Bond 007 series, stars Sean Connery as Bond and a powerhouse cast including Lotte Lenya and Robert Shaw, was adapted by screenwriter Richard Maibaum from a treatment by Johanna Harwood, and directed by Terence Young, who helmed the previous 007 thriller, 1962's Dr. No.  Composer John Barry makes his series debut with a terrific musical soundtrack as well.

Taken from Ian Fleming's 1957 novel (reviewed here by me), the filmmakers slightly altered the plot to reflect more then-recent contemporary times.  Instead of the Russians wanting revenge on Bond for repeated assaults on their operations in such novels as Casino Royale, Live And Let Die, and Moonraker, now it's the SPECTRE (SPecial Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge and Extortion) organization, first introduced in Fleming's 1961 novel Thunderball, out to get Bond for taking out their agent Dr. No in the previous film. 

SPECTRE's chief strategist Kronsteen (Vladek Sheybal) devises a plan involving getting Bond to travel to Istanbul to pick up a Soviet Embassy clerk,  Tatiana Romanova (Daniela Bianchi),  who wants the British to help her defect to the West.  In exchange, she'll provide Bond (with whom she claims to have fallen in love )  the valuable Russian code machine, the Lektor. 

Actually, SPECTRE agents Rosa Klebb (Lenya) and Donald Grant (Shaw) are to retrieve the Lektor from Bond (allowing SPECTRE to charge the Russians an expensive fee/ransom in exchange for its return) and implicate Bond and Tatiana in a murder-suicide scandal that'll kill our heroes, avenge Dr. No, AND embarrass the West!  Even with help from British Intelligence Station Chief Kerim Bey (the great Pedro Armendariz), will Bond and Tatiana be able to find out and stop SPECTRE's plan? 

A fun, exciting Cold War-era thriller with some welcome tongue-in-cheek humor (get a load of Bond's lethal attaché case!), From Russia With Love is essential viewing to fans of the series, especially since the upcoming new 007 film starring Daniel Craig as Bond that's currently in production is titled SPECTRE.  When that film opens this fall, it'll be fun to note how the organization has been "updated". 

From Russia With Love is rated PG, runs 115 minutes, and is in color. Admission is free.

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The 2013 Doctor Who Christmas special, "The Time of the Doctor" , is the last episode (so far) to star Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor.  It's also quite thought provoking, despite it's ambitious storyline being crammed into a mere 60 minutes. 

 

Greenwich Library "Blizzard" Hours This Week

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Owing to the crummy weather, Greenwich Library and it's Byram & Cos Cob branches will close today (Monday January 26) at 3:00 PM.  Plus, the library and its branches will remain closed all day Tuesday, January 27. 

For updates about our status on Wednesday, check our Library News blog

All items that were due Mon 1/26, Tues 1/27 and Wed 1/28 have been changed to be due on Thursday 1/29/15. You can also follow us on Facebook or Twitter, watch News12, listen to 1490 WGCH AM or call (203) 622-7900.


UPDATE:  Greenwich Library and its Byram & Cos Cob branches reopen at 9:00 PM this Wednesday, January 28th!


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My colleague WG sent me this article about a new app, Be My Eyes.  The app connects visually impaired people with "someone able to see and willing to help out". 

As the article points out:

"The examples the company shows in its product video include visually impaired users getting help with things like reading an expiration date, figuring out what a photograph looks like, and reading signs in an unfamiliar location. The app is more about helping with particularly difficult moments, rather than long periods of assistance."

For more info (plus an embedded link to the aforementioned product video), click here.

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Sunday January 18 Extended Hours

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I'm on the second floor ref desk today/tonight until 9:00 pm.  Stop by or call me at (203) 622-7930 if you need assistance looking for stuff.

Don't forget:  We're closed Monday January 19 in observance of Martin Luther King Day.  The library & its branches will reopen on Tuesday the 20th at 9:00 am.  For this week's extended hours schedule, click here.   

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Read all about it here.

Repo Man will be shown at Greenwich Library on Thursday,  January 15 at 7:00 pm in the second floor meeting room.  Rated R. More details here.

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REPOMAN.pngGreenwich Library Cult Films returns Thursday, January 15th at 7:00 PM in the second floor meeting room.  (Yes, you can bring cushions.)  We'll be showing 1984's Repo Man.  Here's a quick description:

Aimless young punk Otto (Emilio Estervez) gets hired by Bud (Harry Dean Stanton) to repossess cars that owners failed to make payments on. Then one day, Otto, other repo men, and government agents all race to find a certain Chevy Malibu which may or may not have dead aliens from outer space in the trunk...



This is a wild, almost surreal comedy-thriller  by writer-director Alex Cox that never lags in its pacing. The musical soundtrack evokes the 80s with songs by Iggy Pop, Black Flag, and Fear, among others.  All 92 minutes of it is in color and rated R for violence and language.

We'll also be having a guest speaker, my colleague Everett Perdue, who'll go in more detail about the movie and its significance (artistic and otherwise) then and now, and will answer any questions you might have.

For more info, head to our Cult Films page here.  Our next film following Repo Man will be the 1963 James Bond thriller, From Russia With Love on Thursday, February 19th at 6:30 PM in the meeting room.  See you there!

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(Above is one of the books I enjoyed reading this year.)

The Greenwich Time just published a list of books recommended by my colleagues and myself.  Click here to read it.

Since I had sent a lengthy list (no, I'm not bragging), some of my other picks were dropped for space considerations.  Anyway, here's what else I had recommended (some may be familiar to readers of this blog):

Rogues, edited by George R. R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, is a fun collection of short stories from several genres by such authors as Neil Gaiman and Connie Willis.  Fans of Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series (adapted for HBO as Game of Thrones) will want to check out the author's contribution, "The Rogue Prince, or A King's Brother", which is a prequel to the aforementioned series.

Jeff VanderMeer's "Southern Reach" trilogy (Annihilation; Authority; Acceptance) which revolves around the mysterious "Area X" and the government's attempts to penetrate it, is one of the most exciting and frightening works of horror fiction you'll ever read.  You'll leave the light on when going to bed after finishing this collection.

Just in time to celebrate the character's 75th anniversary comes IDW's Batman: The Silver Age Dailies and Sundays 1966-1967, which collects the first two years of the caped crusader's newspaper comic strip, written by Whitney Ellsworth and illustrated by Sheldon Moldoff, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella.  Uneven in spots -the strip tried to combine the comic book version of Batman with the then-popular "camp" TV series- this is still a blast to read!

King of the Weeds by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins.  Private eye Mike Hammer tries to prove the guilt of a killer, whose release from prison on a technicality may destroy the career of Hammer's pal NYPD Captain Pat Chambers.  But first Mike has to fight off the mob, who think he's hiding millions of their own money.  Solid thriller with a powerful ending!

Other books I enjoyed included The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah, featuring Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, Lock In by John Scazi, and  The Most Dangerous Book:  The Battle For James Joyce's Ulysses by Kevin Birmingham.  But the most powerful one I read was probably Ron Suskind's Life Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism, a moving and life affirming account of his ultimately successful efforts to communicate with his autistic son Owen. 

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Nothing says "Season's Greetings" more (at least to me) than a newly published, authoritative collection of horror/fantasy writer H.P. Lovecraft's (1890-1937)  classic tales that he wrote in the 20s and 30s for various pulp magazines.  The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft, edited by Leslie S. Klinger, was released a few months back just in time for Halloween, but horror fans will still want this for Christmas. (Click here to reserve our copy.)

The collection focuses more or less on the stories and one novel that were set in and around the fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts and his Cthulhu Mythos. Klinger has included such thrillers as "Dagon", "The Call of Cthulhu", "The Colour Out of Space", "The Silver Key", "The Dunwich Horror", "Herbert West Reanimator", and the fatalistic, science fictional novel At The Mountains of Madness.  All of these stories have annotations in the margins spotlighting Klinger's well-researched historical back stories on the locations (real and made up) of the tales, letters, photos (including actual site in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, magazine covers and movie posters), and citations of deleted passages in the stories when first published. 

There's also an introduction by Alan Moore ( Watchmen), an essay by Klinger  about Lovecraft's life which doesn't sugarcoat over the author's racist misanthropy (to put it mildly), and a fantastic series of equally informative appendixes detailing the chronology of Lovecraft's works, screen and audio adaptations, etc.  For serious fans of the horror genre alone, The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft is required reading!

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