Home Cinema at your Local Library

VertigoIf you enjoy film and want to stay in touch with the coolest flicks of all time then your local library is the place to go.

Last years Sight and Sound top ten films of all times featured Hitchcock's Vertigo as number one.

This was the first time that Orson Welles's Citizen Kane was knocked from top notch where it reigned from 1962 to 2002 to second place .

This list is compiled every decade by top film critics from around the world. We are proud to say that Dublin City Public Libraries have six of the best top ten in stock with the other four on order.

The National Emerging Writer Programme

National Emerging Writer Programme DVD. Photo Jason ClarkeHave you always wanted to write a book but don’t know how to start? The National Emerging Writers Programme aims to encourage new writing talent from all parts of the country by providing expert advice on DVD and online from some of Ireland's best known and internationally successful writers.

Photo: Jason Clarke

Hear Carlo Gébler discuss starting to write, Sinéad Moriarty talk about telling the story and Declan Hughes giving tips on revising, rewriting and overcoming obstacles.

The DVDs are available to borrow from Dublin City Public Libraries and libraries nationwide. The content can also be accessed online at Writing.ie  or on YouTube.

Grimm on Film - new versions from Germany

Snow WhiteDuring Culture Night 2012 the Goethe-Institut Irland gave Dubliners the opportunity to see new film versions of Grimms' Fairy Tales - shot on location in Germany in old castles, monasteries and forts and starring well known German film and television actors. Now, both Rathmines Library and Cabra Library can offer the same opportunity to their patrons with screenings of three of the most well-known titles during the mid-term break, between Tuesday 30th October and Friday 2nd November.

The films follow the original stories as collected by the Brothers Grimm and retain many elements that have been lost in up-dated or shortened versions - for example, the Wicked Queen in Schneewitchen (or Snow White as it is known in English) tries to kill Snow White three times, first with a belt that tightens around her waist, next with a poisoned comb for her hair, before hitting on the (almost) successful plan of tempting her with a poisoned apple. The real castle setting in Dornroschen (Sleeping Beauty) lends an authenticity to the tale - which turns it into a charming love story. In Rapunzel, there is plenty of background on how the young girl with the fabulously long hair came to be shut up in the tower - though the film doesn't quite go into how she notices her dress getting tighter after the secret visits from the Prince, as told in the original story. Perhaps he was bringing her chocolates?

Knowledge Uncovered

Image of dvd Inside jobHave you ever wished that someone would explain exactly how the banking crises happened without having to read the small print? Your wish is granted. This award winning documentary 'Inside Job' does exactly that. It is a well paced easily accessible account, through narration and extensive interviews with financiers, ex-government staff, academics and Chinese factory workers! It won an Academy award in for Best Documentary in 2010.

Let's start joining up the dots with a podcast available on Dublin City Public Library website. This talk by Simon Carswell explains how Anglo Irish bank "broke Ireland". Another very good example is Fintan O'Toole's book, 'Ship of Fools', which is a very readable account of the the property bubble in Ireland. While looking at reviews for this book I came across a very interesting website called Irish Left Review, if you have time click on the Irish Shadow Banking System.

Game, Set, Match

Tennis racket and ballsIf like me you have been following Wimbledon over the past few weeks and will soon begin to have withdrawal symptoms why not pop by to your local library and learn some more about your favourite players. We have a range of books and also some DVDs which document the lives of some of the greatest players of all time, as well as some of the current tennis pros.

Doc Watson Obituary

Trouble in MindDoc Watson was the best American Folk guitarist that lived. He died on the 29 May 2012 at the age of 89. He was born into a musical family and lost his sight before his first birthday. Although he never had a hit record or was in the American Billboard chart, he was a leader of the American folk music that became commercially popular particularly through the Coen Brothers film, "O Brother Where Art Thou?". His distinctive style was born out of playing fiddle parts in a country swing band. Before that the guitar was a background instrument to the ukulele and fiddle. His lightening quick finger and flat picking style is a pleasure to listen to as it accompanies his mellow voice filled with sincerity.

He has won seven Grammy Awards and a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Stephen King is King

11.22.63Recent winner in the mystery/thriller category of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes for his novel '11.22.63', Stephen King is a name so well known that little introduction is needed; think The Shining, Carrie, It, Misery, Christine, Pet Sematary, Salem's Lot, Insomnia, to name just a few. I think it interesting that he has won this award insofar as I have seen it said that in the past critics have not viewed him as a serious writer. But whatever the views of the critics past or present, such a view if it is held has never detracted from his popularity with the reader.

As an aside, also nominated in this category was Irish author Eoin Colfer for his book, 'Plugged', and the subject of a previous post here on our blog.

'11.22.63' is the story of a time traveller from 2011, a young teacher from Lisbon Falls, Maine, who gets the chance to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald. 

In the mood for a film? Then try... In the Mood for Love!

In the Mood for LoveThe World Cinema DVD Club Film for the month of May is 'In the Mood for Love' (Year: 2000; Length: 94mins; Language: Cantonese, English subtitles), a Hong Kong-based film directed by Wong Kar-Wai.

A man and a woman move in to neighbouring Hong Kong apartments and form a bond when they both suspect their spouses of having affairs.

The film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival where it received a nomination for the Palme d'Or. It has also been a multiple award winner and was nominated for a (British) BAFTA in 2001. Read more about the film in the IMDb.

Bram Stoker Centenary

Bram StokerAlthough the Dublin: One City, One Book choice for April this year is James Joyce's 'Dubliners', it is timely to remember that the choice for April 2009 was 'Dracula' by Dublin-born writer Bram Stoker; timely because April 20th this year marks the 100th anniversary of Stoker's death (20th April, 1912).

About Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker was born in Dublin's Marino Crescent on November 8th, 1847. After an early life plagued by illness, he went on to graduate from Trinity in 1868 with a Masters Degree in mathematics. His early work life was as a civil servant in Dublin Castle, while he was at the same time a freelance journalist and theatre critic.

Introducing: New World Cinema Club in the The Central Library - DVD club

World Cinema DVD Club poster

Come along to the Central Library for a cup of tea and a chat about movies - the next (and first!) meeting is on Thursday 29th March from 5 - 6 pm. This is the first in a series of DVD club meetings to take place in the Central Library, and the films will all be world cinema - and do note this means they are all subtitled! This month's film is Gainsbourg (also available from many of our branch libraries!). 

The film, by director Joann Sfar, is based on his graphic novel and is a glimpse at the life of French singer Serge Gainsbourg, from his growing up in 1940s Nazi-occupied Paris through his successful song-writing years in the 1960s to his death in 1991 at the age of 62.

Places are limited so please contact the Central Library for further details by email at centrallibrary@dublincity.ie, or by telephone at 01-8734333.

NB. This is a DVD club, copies will be available to borrow from the library, and we will discuss the film at each meeting.