New fiction DVDs on the shelves

Posted: Friday, August 19, 2005

Here's a sample of some of the many new fiction DVDs we've added recently to the Juneau Public Libraries.

"The Butterfly" brings Julien, a butterfly collector, together with eight-year old Elsa, who adopts him as a surrogate grandfather when she and her mother move into his apartment house. He keeps her at a distance, uninterested in having a surrogate granddaughter, until she stows away in his car one night as he leaves for a week-long trip to the Alps in search of a rare butterfly. (In French with English subtitles. Extras include photo galleries, actor bios, and original theatrical trailer.)

"Bill Plympton's The Tune" will have animation fans dancing as struggling songwriter Del is given a 47-minute deadline to come up with the perfect tune or lose his job and his girlfriend. Fortunately, Del stumbles into an alternate reality filled with music - everything from the blues to jazz to country to rock is showcased - and comes away with The Tune. Plympton's fluid animation echoes the continually changing music perfectly. (Extras include commentary by Plympton and composer Maureen McElheron, a documentary on Plympton and a "making of" featurette.)

"Seducing Dr. Lewis" is another quirky film along the lines of "Waking Ned Devine" in which an entire village works together to convince a visiting doctor to set up residence. If Dr. Lewis stays, then a factory will move in, giving the former fishing village the economic boost it desperately needs. To encourage the good doctor, the village plans a festival celebrating his favorite food and pretends to love cricket. Will they go too far? (In French with English and French subtitles.)

"Monsieur Ibrahim" is the coming-of-age story of a young boy who is abandoned by his mother and neglected by his father but befriended by the Arab shopkeeper down the street. Monsieur Ibrahim, a widower, at first lets Momo shoplift food from him as an act of religious charity, and tolerates him out of loneliness, but out of their mutual longing for family is born a deep friendship that leads Monsieur Ibrahim to adopt Momo after his father's suicide. (In French with Spanish, English, and Portuguese subtitles. Extras include commentary by Omar Sharif, who plays Monsieur Ibrahim.)

"The Motorcycle Diaries" follows Ernesto (better known as Che Guevara) and his friend Alberto on a trip around the South American continent on a sputtering motorcycle. Both a buddy movie and social commentary, it is easy to follow the awakening of Ernesto's social conscience as the young men travel through a beautiful landscape filled with privileged and impoverished inhabitants. (In Spanish with English subtitles. Extras include a "making of" featurette, deleted scenes, and interviews with cast and crew.)

"Facing Windows" won Italy's Best Film Award in 2003, but has been woefully neglected in the US. Simone, an elderly Holocaust survivor whose memory loss has sent him wandering the streets, is taken home by a younger man. Filippo's wife, Giovanna, ends up in charge of Simone, though her hands are already full with a disappointing husband, two young children, an uninspiring job, unfulfilled dreams, and a constant yearning for the man in the apartment across the way. A beautiful film about breaking out of the everyday and learning to shape life to your dreams. (In Italian with English and French subtitles.)

"Bright Young Things" is based on Evelyn Waugh's novel "Vile Bodies," and brought to screen here by Stephen Fry. Waugh's biting wit isn't for everyone, but if it is for you, try this comedy/romance/social commentary on for size. England of the Twenties is full of society's Bright Young Things doing what they do best: partying and being fawned on by an admiring public and the press. Light on character, heavy on laughs and satire. (Extras include Director's Commentary and a "making of" featurette.)

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Get creative and show off your perspective! Coming up on the first Thursday of September is the first of a new series of programs at the Juneau Public Libraries. Look for Get a New Perspective flyers at each branch for more information.

Placing a hold on our material is easy: call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249, or visit http://www.juneau.org/library.



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