Library has more new non-fiction DVDs

In the stacks

Posted: Sunday, January 23, 2005

Brand-new non-fiction DVDs are hitting the shelves at the Juneau Public Libraries - look for these titles and more!

"Rescues at Sea" and "Beating the Odds" are put out by the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association and aim to make sure that boat crews are prepared to work with rescue personnel, should that become necessary. "Beating the Odds" covers the safety drills that are required on commercial fishing vessels, including drills for fires, man overboard, flooding, and abandon ship. "Rescues at Sea" covers preparing for the arrival of a rescue helicopter, medevac procedures, and dewatering pump delivery, and is aimed at commercial and non-commercial vessels.

"Rivers and Tides" is a study of the work of Andy Goldsworthy, a Scottish artist who works with nature to create stunning and ephemeral works. The slow pace of the film matches Goldsworthy's painstaking process in creating sculptures of ice, leaves, and stones. There is no way to adequately describe his art: check this out and prepare yourself for a visual feast. Perhaps you'll be inspired to put on your gloves and go outside to create your own temporary art!

"Calle 54" is a musical tribute to some of the greatest Latin Jazz artists from Miami, Havana, the Bronx, and even Andalusia. Where "Buena Vista Social Club" focused on Cuban music, this explores the transformation of Jazz throughout Latin America. With fantastic footage that leaves you wanting more, music that will leave you breathless, and, for those in the know, big names to knock your socks off, this is a treasure. (Special features include audio commentary with Latin Jazz historian and associate producer Nat Chediak in both English and Spanish, musician bios and discographies, and a theatrical trailer. With Spanish and French language options; English subtitles.)

"CrashCourse" is essential viewing for those of us who drive, even on an irregular basis. A recent nationwide survey showed that although 83% of respondents had been involved in a car collision, 33% didn't know what information they were legally required to provide at the scene, and another 48% didn't know what their insurance covered. Put together by the Better Business Bureau and AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, this covers not only how to avoid the most common collisions, but also what to do if you haven't, starting with the scene of the accident. The aftermath is hard on most people, too, and this film will show you how to get quick and beneficial results from your insurance company.

"Kestrel's Eye," nominated for a Swedish Oscar, was filmed over several years and shows the daily life of a family of kestrels living in a church tower above a small Swedish town. No voice-overs distract from the visuals (though sometimes a little explanation would be welcomed) which follow the family from the time the chicks were a gleam in their parents' eyes through the egg-warming and mouse-sharing, and, finally, the now-near-adult babies being left to fend for themselves, all juxtaposed against the human activities in the churchyard below. Beautifully filmed, this will appeal to those who liked the film "Microcosmos: le people de l'herbe," which explored the world of insects.

"Flamenco" showcases both the music and the dance called flamenco in this stunning movie. Filmed in a former railway station, this features 300 performers of all ages in an unbroken series of performances that run the gamut of emotions backed by passion and electricity. This has been hailed as one of the premier documentary films on this icon of Spanish culture. (In Spanish with English subtitles.)

"Prisoners Among Us" chronicles the integration of Italian-Americans into American life from the 19th century up through World War II, when, by presidential proclamation, unnaturalized Italians were branded potential "enemy aliens." Though not rounded up and placed in internment camps as were the Japanese-Americans, Italians living in the US during WWII suffered discrimination and imprisonment sanctioned by the American government. This little-heard segment of American history is documented here in a series of interviews, letters, archival footage, and historical documents. A fascinating look at an era that shaped the lives of nearly every Italian-American in the US today, this was the 2004 winner of the Best Documentary at the New York International Independent Film Festival.

"The Eyes of Tammy Faye" is an amusing, informative, and skewed portrait of Tammy Faye Bakker and her life with Jim and the Praise the Lord ministries. The Queen of Mascara is allowed to tell her own story, and, with the aid of sock puppets, Ru Paul, and clips from old PTL footage, comes out looking like quite a survivor. After weathering an unhappy childhood, she met and married Jim Bakker, and they began the long evangelistic road towards big -wig fame in the PTL. The Bakkers became the first televangelists to reach out to the gay community and AIDS patients before being ousted from the PTL by financial and moral scandal. Watch for yourself and decide whether Jerry Falwell really is the root of all the Bakker's problems, if ketchup makes good spaghetti sauce, and the meaning behind all the makeup.

And, as always, placing a hold on our material is easy: call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249, or, if you have internet access, your library card, and a PIN, you may place your own holds by going to our website ( and looking at our catalog. Placing holds on items featured in In the Stacks is now even easier! The new columns are hyperlinked to the catalog: simply look up the column on our website, click on the title you want, and you will be ready to place a hold.

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