Richard Linklater is one of my favorite filmmakers of all time. His work is often simple and low-budget, yet profound and beautiful at the same time. Linklater brilliantly captures the energy, angst, and spirit of undefined rebellion that is “youth” in films like Dazed and Confused, Slacker, and subUrbia; films that simultaneously celebrate and critique “Generation X.” Similarly, in the Before Sunrise trilogy and Waking Life, Linklater highlights the philosophically inquisitive and romantic characteristics of 20-somethings who “came of age” in the 90s - offering the films as a subtle refutation of the criticism that this generation is lazy and apathetic. Perhaps nostalgia and my personal biases contribute to my love of Richard Linklater’s films, but I truly believe he is a genius and one of the best modern filmmakers. Apparently I am not alone in this belief; in the new book The Cinema of Richard Linklater: Walk, Don't Run, Rob Stone offers a comprehensive study of Linklater’s work and demonstrates that while they may be disguised in his signature “slacker aesthetic,” Linklater's films are actually quite complex and provocative. If you are a fan of Richard Linklater’s movies, be sure to check out The Cinema of Richard Linklater, available at the Loop campus library, 791.430233 S8797c2013.
If I had to describe The Master in one word, it would probably be “unsettling.” Released in 2012, The Master is the latest film from Paul Thomas Anderson, the writer/director behind theequally epic and emotionally-charged Magnolia and There Will Be Blood, among others. I am unsure how to describe this movie – in fact, I don’t even know if I would call it “good,” as the word carries a much too positive connotation for such a dark and perplexing film. That said, The Master is truly a masterpiece (pun not intended, but fitting); the performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Phillip Seymour Hoffman are outstanding (both were nominated for Academy Awards for their roles in the film), the cinematography is absolutely stunning, and the calculated placement of music and silence throughout the film is done perfectly. While it is certainly not “the feel good comedy of the year,” The Master is definitely worth watching and is available for check out at the John T. Richardson Library, DVD. 791.4372 M4231A2013.
While my familiarity with graphic novels is admittedly quite limited (I have only read two: an adaptation of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States
and Malcolm X: A Graphic Biography
), the library’s growing graphic novel collection
has definitely piqued my interest in the format. Combining visual images and text to create a narrative, graphic novels make for compelling and engaging storytelling that has wide-spread appeal. As such, it comes as no surprise that graphic novels are increasingly being used in classrooms for students of all ages. Among other topics, the recently published collection, Graphic Novels and Comics in the Classroom
, includes essays on the history and evolution of the format, the educational value of graphic novels, and various approaches to including such materials in classroom instruction. Graphic Novels and Comics in the Classroom: Essays on the Education Power of Sequential Art
is available at the John T. Richardson Library, 371.33 G7664.