Posts Tagged 'video'

Movie Monday: The Divide

by Sarah Berry

Investigating the growing issue of wealth inequality, specifically in the U.S. and the U.K., “The Divide,” offers an in-depth look into the lives of seven individuals of varying wealth.

In addition to providing insight into the day-to-day lives of everyday people, the documentary also offers expert commentary to analyze and explain the shrinkage of the middle class and subsequent gap in wealth.


“The Divide” is available now on Kanopy Streaming. If you are accessing Kanopy Streaming off-campus, view our blog post, Accessing Library Resources Off-Campus, for more information.


Movie Monday: “Blackfish”

by Sarah Berry

Released in 2013, “Blackfish” made waves with its findings regarding the captivity of orcas, with a specific focus on SeaWorld and one of its killer whales, Tilikum, who has killed three individuals during his captivity.

Chronicling Tilikum’s journey, the documentary sheds light on the health effects of captivity on orcas, such as the collapsed dorsal fin, which is seen almost exclusively in captive orcas and the gnawing of concrete, which wears down their teeth.

As well, the film educates viewers about the methods used to train orcas, such as by withholding food; this method resulted in Tilikum being abused at Sealand by two other orcas, who were also denied food.


Since the film’s release, SeaWorld has denied many of the claims by filmmakers. Audiences, however, appear to have sided with the filmmakers as represented by SeaWorld’s continued drop in profits, most notably in 2015, when it reported a 84% drop in profits.

“Blackfish” is available now on Swank Digital Campus. If you are accessing Swank Digital Campus off-campus, view our blog post, Accessing Library Resources Off-Campus, for more information.

Movie Monday: Exit Through the Gift Shop

by Sarah Berry

Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 2011, the humorous British documentary “Exit Through the Gift Shop” does not disappoint.

Centered around graffiti artist Banksy, the documentary soon shifts focus to the film’s incompetent and clumsy filmmaker, Thierry Guetta. Obsessed with street art and their artists, Guetta begins an unexpectedly successful career mimicking the work of other street artists, including Banksy.


While thought to be a farce or mokumentary by reviewers, both Banksy and artist Shepard Fairey (who was also involved in the film’s production) maintain that the documentary is, in fact, real.

“Exit Through the Gift Shop” is available now on Swank Digital Campus. If you are accessing Swank Digital Campus off-campus, view our blog post, Accessing Library Resources Off-Campus, for more information.

Movie Monday: Miss Representation

by Sarah Berry

A play on words, “Miss Representation,” focuses on the portrayal of women in mainstream media. Often, media representations of women focus on their appearances, versus their skills or personality.


In turn, “Miss Representation” presents a compelling argument, through numerous facts and statistics, as well as interviews with notable women in leaderships roles, such as Gloria Steinem, Condoleezza Rice, and Katie Couric, that the media’s portrayal of women has become a contributing factor to the small amount of women in leadership positions in the U.S.

“Miss Representation” is available now on Kanopy Streaming. If you are accessing Kanopy Streaming off-campus, view our blog post, Accessing Library Resources Off-Campus, for more information.

Movie Monday: Soaked in Bleach – The Death of Kurt Cobain

by Sarah Berry

Kanopy, a streaming video database of the Rohrbach Library, offers a slew of films, such as “Soaked in Bleach” to students.

“Soaked in Bleach” is a documentary that provides a new perspective on the death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain through Tom Grant, a private investigator (and former detective) who was hired by Cobain’s wife, Courtney Love, days before Cobain’s death.

During his investigation, Grant’s experience with Love and his analysis of evidence led him to conclude that a substantial amount of empirical and circumstantial evidence suggested that Cobain’s death was not a suicide, as ruled by police, but instead involved foul play.

Featuring interviews with key witnesses and experts, “Soaked in Bleach” is worth watching. As well, the documentary includes cinematic re-creations, developing the film into what Kanopy calls a, “narrative mystery.”

Viewers can watch”Soaked in Bleach” by clicking here. If you are accessing Kanopy or any of the library’s databases off-campus, check out our post, Accessing Library Resources Off-Campus.

The Rohrbach Horror Picture Show (Part 1)

by James Christian

Need something sinister to raise your Halloween spirits? Here’s the crème-de-la-creepy from our DVD dungeon.

P1010441The Bad Seed—Rhoda Penmark is polite, tidy, obedient, the perfect 8-year-old angel. She’s also pure evil. This 1956 cult classic follows Rhoda’s ruthless antics and her increasingly frantic mother, who suspects the wide-eyed tyke of murder. The placid suburban drama rapidly escalates into mayhem. Based on a stage play, Bad Seed is a histrionic, screamy melodrama reminiscent of Tennessee Williams, complete with boozers, armchair psychoanalysis and unsavory sexual underpinnings. Some moments border on camp, but I find its sweaty, seething desperation absolutely delightful. As the pint-sized sociopath, Patty McCormack boomerangs from screeching tantrums to saccharine wheedling, manipulating every adult around her. If you like the ‘creepy kid’ subgenre, The Bad Seed is required viewing. Call Number: 3380

P1010439The Phantom of the Opera: No, not that Phatom of the Opera. The original 1925 one. If you’ve never seen a silent movie, here’s your gateway drug. Lon Chaney, Hollywood’s first horror icon, is truly ghoulish as the phantom. No darkly-handsome pretty-boy Eric here; Chaney’s incarnation is hideous, with sunken skull-like  features and snarled teeth. His bugged-out eyes—achieved with great physical discomfort by looping wire around his eyeballs—are the stuff of nightmares, even nearly a century later.  For more silent horrors, check out The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Nosferatu, Vampyr, The Golem and Chaney’s own Hunchback of Notre Dame. If you’re feeling creative, watch the films on mute and add your own soundtrack. Type O Negative or Bauhaus would be ideal, but do the Monster Mash if the urge hits you. Call Number: PN1995.75 .P42 1997

Continue reading ‘The Rohrbach Horror Picture Show (Part 1)’

Ode to the VHS Collection

by James Christian

P1010284Now obsolete, VHS tapes were once an indisputable force in popular culture. Home video’s impact on movie fandom should not be understated. While movie geeks once had to scour TV guides and theater listings for their favorite films, suddenly a vast selection of titles (even now uneclipsed by DVD) was at their fingertips. Devotees of foreign cinema, exploitation and art flicks no longer had to brave grimy grindhouse theaters for a celluloid fix. The same entertainment could now be enjoyed in a cozy living room, without the sticky floors and disruptive muggers. Low budget films could make a killing on home video, rather than floundering at the box office. Small studios like Troma and Full Moon made their fortunes with rentals and mail-order. The technology jumpstarted the first wave of video piracy, as film junkies recorded TV programs, copied existing tapes, or even cobbled footage into alarming cut-and-paste “video mixtapes.” A tape-trading underground was born, allowing film freaks to swap rare and bizarre footage. VHS gave viewers the immediacy and convenience we now take for granted.

Continue reading ‘Ode to the VHS Collection’

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