In the Stacks: New DVDs available at Juneau's libraries

Posted: Sunday, October 06, 2002

New DVDs are on the shelves at the Juneau Public Libraries! There are so many that this week is the adult list and next week will be for kids.

• "The Ruling Class" tells the story of Jack, who inherits his father's farm - much to his relatives' horror since Jack is, by most definitions, insane. After a stint with a therapist, Jack returns, cured of the belief that he is God. But now he believes he is Jack the Ripper! Most would be alarmed, but in this comedy, his relatives are relieved; at least he now answers to his own name! (comedy)

• "The Stunt Man" is dead and his somewhat psychotic director has found a replacement - a Vietnam vet on the run from the cops. Cameron doesn't want to be a stunt man, but after he meets the leading lady he stops arguing. But soon he begins to wonder: Is he paranoid, or is the director really trying to capture his death on film? (comedy/action/drama)

• "Brief Encounter" is the bittersweet story of a doomed affair between a housewife and a married doctor. When Alec and Laura meet by chance while waiting for a train in post-World War II Britain, their lives are forever changed. Like all good romances, this is a multiple-hanky film! (romance)

• "No Man's Land" begins on the battlefields of the Bosnian-Serb war when Nici, a Bosnian soldier, is driven by gunfire into a trench occupied by the body of another Bosnian. When two Serbs appear in the trench and plant a bomb under the body (rigged to explode when the body is moved), Nici attacks and kills one and captures the other. Now, both Bosnian and Serbian are trapped in the trench, unable to move for fear of their own troops' fire. And worst of all, the "body" that the bomb is under is really a wounded soldier who is beginning to wake up... (subtitles/black comedy/war)

• "The Vertical Ray of the Sun" is the story of three sisters and their brother - along with two husbands and one child - whose family ties have strengthened since their parents' deaths. But secrets kept for the good of the group are creating treacherous undercurrents that threaten to disrupt their harmonious life. Set in Vietnam, from the director of "The Scent of Green Papaya." (subtitles/drama)

• "Dogtown and Z-Boys" captures the birth of serious skateboarding. In the '70s a skateboarding team from Venice, Calif., called the Zephyrs emerged as the trendsetters for the skateboarding world, turning from land to air as they perfected their acrobatic stunts. Narrated by Sean Penn and featuring skateboarding icons Tony Alva, Jay Adams, and Tony Hawk. (documentary)

• "Grey Gardens," about Big and Little Edie Beale (reclusive relatives of Jackie O.), will mesmerize those who love biographies. Mother and daughter live together in their condemned East Hampton mansion, bickering and resentful, but unable to leave each other alone. An intimate portrait of a twisted relationship, this has become a cult classic. (documentary)

• "The Gleaners and I" is a visual study of those who find a use for everything and anything. Beginning with a painting of women scouring a reaped field for leftover wheat, filmmaker Agnes Varda focuses on real-life field gleaners, artists who use trash for their materials, and those who live on society's leavings. A thought-provoking look at what happens when we adjust our view and look at "useless things" in new ways. (subtitles/documentary)

• "Koyaanisqatsi," meaning "life out of balance," begins with scenes from nature, moves to nature as affected by humans, and then to human environments seemingly unaffected by nature and yet following the rhythms set out in the first scenes. "Powaqqatsi," meaning "life in transformation," focuses on third world cultures, which despite their hardships, are crucibles of the human spirit. Be prepared, these are cinematically beautiful films without dialogue, characters, or plot. (documentary)

Other titles that need no introduction are: "The Fellowship of the Ring," "A.I.," "A Beautiful Mind" and its non-fiction companion, "A Brilliant Madness," "Black Hawk Down," "Iris" and "Amelie."

If you'd like to place a hold on any of these titles, call the Juneau Public Library at 586-5249. If you have Internet access, your library card and a PIN, you may place your own holds by going to our Web site ( and looking at our catalog.

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