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

Monday, June 22, 2015

Cowspiracy (2014)

Director: Kip Andersen & Keegan Kuhn
Run Time: 91 min.
Call Number: S589.75 .C69 2014 

"Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean 'dead zones,' and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged. As Andersen approaches leaders in the environmental movement, he increasingly uncovers what appears to be an intentional refusal to discuss the issue of animal agriculture, while industry whistleblowers and watchdogs warn him of the risks to his freedom and even his life if he dares to persist." 
From film's website

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Burn: One Year on the Front Lines of the Battle to Save Detroit (2014)

Director: Tom Putnam & Brenna Sanchez 
Run Time: 86 min. 
Call Number: HD8039.F52 U524 2014

"As the city’s population declined to about 700,000 today from 1.85 million in 1950, abandoned houses, some of which have been taken over by squatters, serve as targets for arsonists who, according to one talking head, set fires for three reasons: 'profit, revenge and kicks.' The city has 80,000 vacant structures, of which only 3,000 are torn down each year. The city’s average of 30 fires a day is one of the highest rates in the nation. The movie includes several scenes of infernos being battled inside buildings on the verge of collapse and filmed by cameras attached to the firefighters’ helmets." 
—Stephen Holden, New York Times

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Nuclear Nation (2014)

Director: Atushi Funahashi 
Run Time: 96 min. 
Call Number:TK1365.J3 N835 2014 

"Though mentioned only once, Hiroshima and Nagasaki loom large over Nuclear Nation, an assured and sobering documentary that charts the situation in Futaba, Japan, shortly after the 2011 meltdown at the nearby Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. . . . Employing straightforward, music-free aesthetics that express the grim realities of his story, director Funahashi captures both grief and outrage in equal measure, all of it tinged with the displaced and desolate citizens' regret over having predicated their fates on the very energy-source technology that cost them so much during WWII." 
                                                                     —Nick Schager, Village Voice