EVPL Communities: LemmyCaution@evpl's Blog Postshttp://evpl.org/community/blogs/All of LemmyCaution@evpl's blog posts on the EVPL Communities site.en-USCommunityServer 2008 SP1 (Build: 30619.63) <![CDATA[New Book Group]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2011/09/23/new-book-group.aspx Fri, 23 Sep 2011 11:19:00 G9T 2320 LemmyCaution@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/" target="_blank">Books Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/books/archive/2011/09/23/new-book-group.aspx to post your comments!

Page Turners is a new book group focusing on thoughtful works of fiction from different time periods, countries, and genres. Each season the list of books will revolve around a theme which will stay consistent and then change with each new season. The first four books listed focus on exemplary works of literary American fiction from the second half of the twentieth century. So if you enjoy engaging works of fiction please feel free to stop in. Also at times the library may not have enough copies, but additional copies can be made available by contacting the North Park Branch Library at (812) 428-8237. The book group meets on the third Monday of each month at the North Park Branch Library around 6:30 p.m.

October 17: The second book we will be discussing is Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49. In the novel Oedipa Maas has just received word that she has inherited a fortunate from a former boyfriend, which will lead her on a mysterious quest to find out whether or not an alternative postal system exists in the United States. This satirical and eccentric work examines the rising counter-culture movements in 1960's southern California and the search for meaning in an increasingly fragmented America.

November 21: The third book will be discussing is the National Book Award winner, White Noise by Don DeLillo. White Noise is the story of a professor at a small college in the Midwest who has pioneered the field of Hitler Studies. After a rail car releases a toxic chemical spill, a black cloud covers the small town and forces the professor to evacuate his family. DeLillo's novel touches on a variety of themes from consumerism to death, all with a satirical and shrewd eye towards the excesses of the eighties.

December 19: The last novel we will be discussing for the season is Philip Roth's Pulitzer Prize winning novel, American Pastoral. American Pastoral tells the story of Seymour Levov a star high school athlete who goes on to marry Dawn Dwyer, the 1949 winner of the Miss New Jersey pageant, and form a seemingly perfect life. However, his idyllic American life becomes interrupted when his daughter commits an act of terrorism in protest of the war in Vietnam and sends his life spiraling out of control.

 

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fiction book discussions Philip Roth Thomas Pynchon Don Delillo
<![CDATA[New Music Titles]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2011/08/13/new-music-titles.aspx Sat, 13 Aug 2011 15:22:00 G8T 2314 LemmyCaution@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/" target="_blank">Music Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/music/archive/2011/08/13/new-music-titles.aspx to post your comments!

If you're feeling adventurous, and looking for some of the most engaging and creative artists currently working, then you might find some of musicians or bands listed below satisfying.

A singer-songwriter with a long and storied career that includes membership in the indie power-pop supergroup, The New Pornographers, Dan Bejar has shifted from the David Bowiesque rock of earlier albums to a synthesizer, keyboard, and brass based effort which references the excesses of eighties era Steely Dan and Roxy Music. Destroyer's Kaputt melds pop, disco, and smooth jazz into a cohesive vision which transcends some of the more melodramatic elements of the genres it references. Hallmarks of Destroyer's previous work remain, including Bejar's penchant for lyrics filled with witty and self-referential observations. Meanwhile, Bejar's lyrics also take aim at the bands and genres of music referenced in his lyrics.

Last year the British artist James Blake released a series of singles which melded the musical genre of dubstep with elements of soul, and created a more sublime and contemplative version of the dark genre dubstep. His debut album includes a cover of Feist's Limit To Your Love, which made the rounds among blogs last year, and his subsequent album has been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize in Europe. The songs on the album consist of soulful ballads wrapped in layers of synthesizers and programmed beats, which build around repetitive refrains sung by Blake in a mournful and somber tone. Blake's promising debut has allowed dubstep to progress after too many contrived efforts by lesser artists in recent years.

One artist who has come to dominate coffee shops, and the dorm rooms and apartments of sensitive college students, is the evocative folk project Bon Iver. The project is primarily the effort of Justin Vernon who wrote his debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago in a remote cabin in rural Wisconsin. The now mythologized story and album led to his inclusion on several best of the year polls and a collaboration with Kanye West. On Vernon's most recent effort Bon Iver, Bon Iver, he utilizes an expansive array of musicians, thus providing a larger and more nuanced sound beyond the more simple arrangements of For Emma, Forever Ago. In terms of vocals, Vernon's ethereal falsetto lends poignancy to his poetic lyrics, which evoke a variety of emotions and places. The greatest distinction on this album remains Vernon's progression as a songwriter and his focus on production and the subtle inclusion of a variety of instruments.

One of the most discussed and debated genres since 2009 has been chillwave, or what is otherwise known as glo-fi. The genre primarily consists of an individual artist working with synthesizers and software to arrange instruments, samples, and loops together into a hazy and psychedelic rhythm. The best album to emerge from this genre, and manage to push the genre's boundaries, comes from Toro Y Moi, the bedroom project of Chaz Bundick from South Carolina. His second album Underneath the Pine adds greater clarity to his vocals and the music contains a variety of instruments from organ to drums, along with the inclusion of the musical stylings of funk and pop. Several danceable songs appear and are filled with basslines and synths that align well with Bundick's smooth vocal delivery.

For those seeking to move away from the world of synthesizers and programmed beats, Okkervil River's latest album I Am Very Far, while not their best, should hold your interest. On their latest album, the band's principal songwriter Will Sheff, and now producer, has refrained from making another concept album, and instead has shifted his excesses to the amount of musicians present on the album. Each song contains multiples of several instruments from piano to drums, and lends the album a density which packs a punch. Otherwise Shelf blends his celebrated literate and cerebral lyrics with a rollicking mixture of rock and roll and Americana that reaches orchestral levels.

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rock and roll music Bon Iver Okkervil River James Blake Chillwave Destroyer Dubstep Toro Y Moi
<![CDATA[Cycling: A Beginners Guide]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/07/27/cycling-a-beginners-guide.aspx Wed, 27 Jul 2011 11:32:00 G7T 2310 LemmyCaution@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/" target="_blank">Research Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/research/archive/2011/07/27/cycling-a-beginners-guide.aspx to post your comments!

Have you wanted to start cycling, but don't know where to begin? Then come out to the North Park Branch Library Thursday the 28 and Paul Jensen from the Evansville Bicycle Club will be on hand to answer questions. The program will focus on a variety of topics from buying your first bike to safety and training. Paul will also be talking about training so members can prepare for The Great Pumpkin Metric in October. Participants can also inquire about safe biking routes around the tri-state area.

So please join us around 6:30 p.m. to learn more about the pleasurable past time of cycling.

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Cycling Programs
<![CDATA[Slow Cinema]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2011/06/30/slow-cinema.aspx Thu, 30 Jun 2011 17:30:00 G6T 2303 LemmyCaution@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2011/06/30/slow-cinema.aspx to post your comments!

Tired of the mindless and obnoxious effects laden summer blockbusters inundating the multiplex? Looking for something adventurous and contemplative that forces you to slow down and take in what a director has constructed on screen? Then try a variety of films from all around the world that constitute examples of "slow cinema," and are available through the library. In the past couple of decades directors have emerged from Hungary and Iran to Thailand and Taiwan, who have varying ties to each other artistically and have developed films with long and studious takes meant to be more reflective of reality. While some frame scenes with immobile cameras, others track and follow actors for lengthy periods as they traverse a variety of landscapes.

If you are not accustomed to this style of cinema, then start with Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda whose Still Walking was just acquired by the library. In Still Walking, Kore-eda utilizes a slower pace to portray the mundane activities of an older couple as they work towards a commemoration slowly revealing the history of their lives together. Kore-eda subtle camerawork quietly builds the tension and captures the characters lives with an honesty non-existent in most modern films.

Another director from this category includes the leader of the Taiwanese New Wave film movement, Hou Hsiao-Hsien. Considered by some to be one of the most important filmmakers alive, Hsien's films often contain static shots and understated long takes which gradually allow the narrative to develop, while never overwhelming the viewer with melodramatic portrayals. Often his films revolve around alienated and purposeless Taiwanese youth and underworld figures, or historical films reflective of the changing culture in Taiwan. The most recent film by Hsien to be released in the U.S. is Flight of the Red Balloon, which was inspired by the classic French short film, and tells the story of a young boy living with his mother who is a preoccupied actress.

Hailing from Thailand, Apichatpong Weerasethakul has started gaining worldwide recognition after winning the Palme d'Or at the Cannes film festival for Uncle Boonmee Recalls His Past LivesCurrently Uncle Boonmee is on order from the library, but you can still check out Syndromes and a Century, which tells the story of the director's parents who were doctors, with one story set in a rural Thai hospital, and the other set in a modern Bangkok medical center. The film has a free flowing narrative consisting of vignettes which possess a dream-like quality focused on capturing genuinely simple and humane moments.

A film which actually challenges our modern lifestyle and methods of communication comes from the Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami. In Kiarostami's The Wind Will Carry Us, a small village is visited by a filmmaker attempting to film the village's mourning rituals as an old woman dies. However, the woman does not die and the man finds himself dealing with life in the village as he waits for her death. The film provides several humorous moments in this poetic and transcendental work, which seemingly anticipated narrative developments in world cinema for the coming decade.

Although some of these films may not be easily digestible at first, they provide a wide variety of simple reflections which illuminate the world around us in ways summer blockbusters never will. Hopefully you will find the experience rewarding.

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movies World Cinema Hou Hsiao-Hsien Apichatpong Weerasethakul Abbas Kiarostami Hirokazu Kore-eda
<![CDATA[Blow Out]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2011/05/14/blow-out.aspx Sat, 14 May 2011 13:01:00 G5T 2293 LemmyCaution@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2011/05/14/blow-out.aspx to post your comments!

The Criterion Company continues its amazing track record of preserving classic works of film with the recent addition of Brian De Palma's 1981 masterpiece Blow Out. Early in his career Brian De Palma distinguished himself as a maverick independent filmmaker whose work was heavily influenced by Alfred Hitchcock, which is conspicuously evident in such works as Sisters, which includes a score from Hitchcock's famous collaborative composer Bernard Hermann, and Dressed to Kill. These exemplary efforts differ from his larger studio efforts such as the indulgent Scarface, but before Scarface, De Palma brought together John Travolta and Nancy Allen together in Blow Out; a twisted and dark post-Watergate era film steeped in the political paranoia of the late 70's, the Chappaquiddick incident, and Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow Up. Blow Out's story revolves around John Travolta who plays a sound effects editor on B grade exploitation films and one evening when recording in a park he hears what appears to be a gunshot shooting out the tire of a car that drives off a bridge into a nearby river. Travolta jumps into the water and manages to save Sally, played by Nancy Allen, but leaves the driver who is dead. After taking Sally to the emergency room, Travolta finds out that the other person in the car was the Governor of Pennsylvania, who was planning on running for President. Also Travolta is told to keep quiet about Sally since the Governor was married and his aid wants to save the Governor's family from embarrassment. This sets off Travolta's character with a reluctant Sally to prove what he saw was a murder, and not an accident, despite everyone's doubts. De Palma's tour de force consists of his most mesmerizing and dizzying camerawork from his trademark split screen and slow motion sequences, to a variety of dolly and tracking shots to emphasize emotion and build narrative connections. All of the camera tricks coalesce into a luminously shot but disturbing finale set during the fireworks display of the fictional "Liberty Day" parade. What could have been a derivative exercise in suspense or topical film a la All the President's Men comes off as a unique political thriller enlivened by the personal performance of Travolta and the combined camerawork of Brian De Palma and the famous Vilmos Zsigmond. Also look for one of De Palma's most notable tracking shots which occurs in the sequence following the murder of a young girl and continues following a character into a seedy motel.

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thrillers Alfred Hitchcock Nancy Allen Brian De Palma John Travolta
<![CDATA[Celebrate National Poetry Month with Howl]]> http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2011/04/15/celebrate-national-poetry-month-with-howl.aspx Fri, 15 Apr 2011 11:22:00 G4T 2285 LemmyCaution@evpl Posted to the <a href="http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/" target="_blank">Movies Blog</a> on EVPL Communities. View the original post at http://evpl.org/community/blogs/movies/archive/2011/04/15/celebrate-national-poetry-month-with-howl.aspx to post your comments!

Celebrating National Poetry Month normally begins by reading or listening to poetry, but one recent film which distills the vivid imagery conjured by poetry into a distinct and celebratory narrative is the film Howl. Howl tells the story of the famous poem created by Allen Ginsberg and the following obscenity trial which was brought against the poem's publisher. In the  film James Franco, from 127 Hours and Pineapple Express, plays the famous poet Allen Ginsberg who recounts his inspiration for the poem while the movie cuts back and forth between an animated sequence, which illustrates the narrative of the poem, and the obscenity trial brought against City Lights publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Every word in the film was taken from actual interviews and court transcripts, and provides Mad Men's Jon Hamm with enough rousing dialogue as the publisher's defense attorney, to communicate the importance of Ginsberg's use of language in the poem. While the animation feels unnecessary due to the potency of the poem's language, the film still provides an important testament to the power of poetry. You can check out the original Allen Ginsberg poem from our library here, along with a reading of the poem by Ginsberg, or see if the film is available here.

 

 

 

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Howl Poetry James Franco Jon Hamm Allen Ginsberg