Friday, July 29, 2016

Do-It-Yourself Film Festivals Using Yocum Library Materials

by Marcina Wagner, Reference Librarian

I’m attending a film festival this Friday evening—in my own home. Because I enjoy film almost as much as books, I feel incredibly lucky to work at The Yocum Library where we have an outstanding DVD collection in addition to a large film library. You can also research our databases with film inquiries, particularly Project Muse.

So how does the festival work? I may decide to focus on an actor, a genre, a director, or a time period; the possibilities are many. Recently, I’ve been examining American film of the 50s. First, I looked at Douglas Brode’s The Film of the Fifties from our collection. This led me to create my own categories including small town, sci-fi, young adult, social commentary, the world of business, and film noir.

In researching film noir, I discovered its darkness referenced World War II and the chaotic conditions following the war. My representative film is The Asphalt Jungle, located on a spinner devoted to the genre in the library. My nostalgic bent had me watching the three Tammy movies which I had enjoyed as a young teen but now found too saccharine.

What came as a surprise to me were the sci-fi films which I had rejected in the past and now found to be of interest because of the underlying exploration of the fact of the atomic bomb and the fear of Communism. Forbidden Planet is my choice.

Next week begins the 60s with The Valley of the Dolls. Sharon Tate acts in the movie, and we just received the new biography Sharon Tate, which I will be reading. 

[Editor's Note: Check out what Marcina's reading in What's in My Bag below and let us know what materials you check out of the library. If you plan a film festival, let us know what you watched and what you would recommend.]

What’s in My Bag:
  • Voracious: A Hungry Cook Reads Her Way Through Great Books 
  • Bonnie Cashin: Chic is Where You Find It
  • Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination.

1 comment:

Steven Mathews said...

Thanks, Marcina, for sharing the details of your film festivals!

My bag is currently filled with the following books:

- Death in Venice, by Thomas Mann
- Orfeo: a novel, by Richard Powers
- Waking Up, by Sam Harris
- Democratic Enlightenment, by Jonathan Israel