Thursday, February 4, 2016

Little White Lie (2014)

Director: Lacey Schwartz
Running Time: 65 min.

"Ms. Schwartz was an only child who grew up in the mostly white town of Woodstock, N.Y. Her parents, Peggy and Robert Schwartz, told her that she favored her father’s swarthy Sicilian grandfather. It was not until she went off to college that she learned the truth. . . . Before starting college, 'I was already questioning my whiteness because of what other people said and because I was aware that I looked different from my family,' she said in a recent interview. Then, based on the photograph accompanying her application, Georgetown University passed her name along to the black student association, which contacted her. . . . The university 'gave me permission' to explore a black identity, Ms. Schwartz said."
—Felicia R. Lee, New York Times (full review here)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Illusionists (2015)

Director: Elena Rossini
Run Time: 54 min.
Call Number: HM636 .I55 2015

"...a new documentary examining the role of advertising and complicity of the media in perpetuating unattainable body images for women, and increasingly, men and children. Picking up where Jean Kilbourne’s 1979 film series, Killing Us Softly, left off, The Illusionists examines the ramifications of the globalization of Western beauty ideals and marketing strategies, tracing the saturation of cosmetic advertising from London and Paris to Beirut, Mumbai, and Tokyo."
—Erica Schwiegershausen, New York Magazine (Full Article)

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Hunting Ground (2015)

Director:    Kirby Dick
Run Time: 90 min

“'The Hunting Ground,' Kirby Dick’s documentary about sexual assault on university campuses, is important but devastating viewing. . . . It’s a film likely to make you furious, and rightly so, just as it’s breaking your heart. (Listen to the father of a young woman who killed herself after her report of an assault by a football player was seemingly ignored by campus investigators. If you can.) But, within the ire and the pain, there’s hope. Annie Clark and Andrea Pino, both victims of sexual assault during their college years, are featured in the film; these two bright, driven young women are now activists, traveling the country to speak out, to change a culture, to try to make the kind of stories we hear in 'The Hunting Ground' a thing of the past. . . ."

—Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times (Link to Full Review)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Google and the World Brain (2013)

Director: Ben Lewis
Run Time: 89 min.

"With candid interviews from university librarians to industry insiders, the film takes you inside the enormity and secrecy surrounding Google’s attempt to scan every published book in the world. . . .With more than 10 million books scanned since the project began in 2002, Google is well on its way to achieving its goal except for one major problem: more than half of these books, six million of them, are protected by copyright laws. And not everyone is thrilled by the idea of building what author/futurist H.G. Wells conceived of as the 'World Brain' in 1937." 
—Paul Clarke, Toronto Star

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Pay 2 Play (2014)

Director: John Ennis
Run Time: 97 min.
Call Number: JK2249 .P39 2014

". . . director John Ennis is interested in doing more than getting people riled up. 'How do we get past the pay-to-play system?' he asks in a voice-over narration. 'Because I’m ready to be a board flipper.' That reference is to the Monopoly game and tossing all the pieces on the floor when you’re losing. Ennis uses the Hasbro game and its cartoon mascot, the mustachioed Uncle Pennybags, as a leitmotif throughout the film. In his view, the spirit of Monopoly — the player with the most money wins — is emblematic of what’s wrong with government today."

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post