BlueJasmine

I have made no secret that one of a handful of my favorite movies of the 21st Century is Woody Allen’s Match Point. I liked Midnight in Paris (2011) a lot. I enjoyed Cassandra’s Dream (2007), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008) and To Rome with Love (2012). But, for me, 2005’s Match Point is Allen’s 21st century masterpiece.  Why?  Well, it’s not Allen’s usual depressed, anxious and, at times, tedious schtick.  That worked fine in his early films, ala Annie Hall (1977) and Manhattan (1979) but over time, it just got overdone and overused.  Also, Match Point is far from Allen’s usual comfort zone…it’s NOT set in New York and it’s not a comedy —in any way.  Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989) also can be seen as an Allen drama, as could Interiors (1978) and September (1987), but those still have some of Allen’s trademark nervousness (Crimes and Misdemeanors even features Allen in a role where he acts in his usual Allenesque way).  Match Point does not feature any characters with serious neuroses. Yes, they are troubled but they are troubled in a calm, passionate way…not in a psychological, overly-emotional manner.

So, what do we have in Blue Jasmine, Allen’s latest film?

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Kids-Best-Books

2013 was a year of brilliant books for kids.

From picture books to novels, KidSpace librarians read all year long.

Along the way, we noted our favorites in five categories: Picture Books and Readers; Chapter Books for 3rd and 4th Graders, Chapter Books for 5th Grade and Up; Illustrated Fiction (picture books for older kids), Graphic Novels, Poetry and Folklore; and Non-Fiction. To create a list of 100 or so books, we combined our favorites with the top picks of the children’s literature journals we follow.

Below are links to the Niles Public Library KidSpace Best of 2013 choices.

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Instagram-Banner

A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

Instagram is a free and fun way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures and 15 second video clips. Snap a photo or record a video with your mobile device, then choose filters to transform them into a memory to keep around forever.

I’m a huge fan of Instagram because you can turn any ordinary photo or short video clip into an extraordinary one.

Here are 5 reasons to follow @nileslibrary on Instagram:

5) We’ll Make You LOL

Instagram5

A good laugh can cure anything, right?

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The cover image for this 2009 boo was shot by Jaems Karales during the 1963 march from Selma to Montgomery.

During the past few years we’ve seen a boom in books on the Civil Rights Movement.

Here are just a few of our recent favorites (plus one DVD). Click on the link to place a hold on the title.

Controversy and Hope: The Civil Rights Photographs of James Karales (2013)
by James Karales

Photojournalist James Karales (1930–2002) documented the 54-mile Selma to Montgomery March for Voting Rights in 1965. This beautiful new book presents many of his images from the era, including some published for the first time ever.

Controversy and Hope can be found with our New Nonfiction Materials in the Commons area on the Main Floor of the Library.

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Breaking News!

We’re hosting our final furniture sale, and it’s open to the public!

Thursday, January 23, 5-8:30pm
Friday, January 24, 9am-6:30pm
Saturday, January 25, 9-11am

Everything must go by noon on Saturday, January 25!

The furniture sale will be in the Library’s Large Meeting Room.

Items For Sale:

  • Wood Tables: many sizes
  • Chairs: wooden, upholstered, office
  • Computer Tables and Kiosks
  • Kids Furniture
  • File Cabinets
  • Special Niles Library Memorabilia (Beautiful mural from behind the previous Circulation desk and more!)

Cash or credit and carry.

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Untitled-3

Well, they are finally here…the 2014 Oscar nominations.

Announced EARLY in the morning (7:30am CST) on Jan. 16, the Academy Awards nominations capped what has been a very competitive and very active film year, as they do every year.

We’ve already had the Golden Globes. Most critics from around the country (and the world) have given their “Best of” film lists. All major awards have already posted their nominations…the Screen Actors Guild, the British Academy of Film and Television, the Directors Guild of America, the Independent Film Spirit Awards. All we were waiting for was the Oscars. And now, they are here.

Who or what film was overlooked? Who or what film was a surprise pick? Did you want Tom Hanks to be nominated for Captain Phillips, not to mention for Saving Mr. Banks? Well, he was not…for either film. Did you want James Gandolfini to get nominated for Enough Said? Well, sorry, the late actor was also overlooked. But, if you are a fan of Sally Hawkins or Christian Bale, you are in luck since they both snagged nominations this morning, relatively unexpectedly. 

Who do you think will win on Oscar Night, Mar. 2?

Enter our “Pick the Winners” Oscar contest (starting on Feb. 1), where you will vote in eight of the major Oscar categories for your chance to win “A Night Out in Niles” with gift cards to Portillos and to the theaters in Golf Mill.

Stay tuned to this blog for more Oscar news over the next coming weeks!

Here is the complete list of nominations:

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astronaut wives

“What kind of a woman would actually let her husband be blasted into space on a rocket?”

This was the question all the reporters asked when the Mercury 7 astronauts were announced on April 9, 1959 at a press conference at the Dolley Madison House in Washington DC. The Astronauts Wives Club: A True Story by Lily Koppel tells the story of those seven women referred to as the astrowives: Rene Carpenter, Annie Glenn, Trudy Cooper, Betty Grissom, Jo Schirra, Louise Shepard, and Marge Slayton.

The astrowives became instant celebrities along with their husbands. Life Magazine sent a reporter to cover the wives and children while their husbands were in training and on missions. They were given $500,000 for participating in the story to split between the seven families, which was considerably more that the $7,000 a year the astronauts were making from the military. They went on tours around the world and had tea with Jackie Kennedy.

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golden-globes-logo

In the first big awards show of the season, the Golden Globes showed off Hollywood’s best assets of 2013 in both film and television.

Without a single film sweeping all of the big awards, the show spread the love among a whole range of films, from 12 Years a Slave to American Hustle to The Wolf of Wall Street to Dallas Buyers Club to Blue Jasmine to Gravity.

Though American Hustle won two acting awards, as well as Best Musical/Comedy, Dallas Buyers Club also won two acting awards and has new-found momentum leading into Oscar season.  12 Years a Slave‘s acting shut-out did not stop that movie from taking home the Best Drama statuette.

Will these winners (and losers) help gauge the Oscar nominations out this Thursday, January 16?  Or will the Academy, as it usually does, walk to the beat of its own drummer?

Here’s a list of winners and nominees in all the categories. Tip: Click on the links to place a hold on the film before it comes out on DVD!

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lord-of-the-rings-trilogy

When the weather is frightful, such as the New Year’s holiday snowstorm and last week’s frigid arctic cold, there are certain movies that will do the trick when you’re stuck at home.

And that’s where franchise series movies sweeps in to save the day.

For those who prefer to cozy up on the couch, sipping a hot beverage (hot coffee for me) in front of the TV, these types of films have the power to save the day and definitely suits your entertaining needs. You’re not just watching a single movie with a singular narrative, but rather a string of movies that share a common world, some with an overarching storyline such as the blockbuster Lord of the Rings and Back to the Future trilogies.

These types of movies will certainly keep you occupied when you’ve got nothing else you’d rather do but relax. Rather than fingering through a vast array of movies to watch, these shared movies have the power to pull you in like a good cliffhanger; they rope you into coming back for more.

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penguin-colony

Are you planning a road trip this year?

If so, there is a good chance you will find yourself stuck in a not-so festive traffic jam. Here’s a mind-hack to help you keep the gas-break-honk blues at bay: imagine the sea of cars is a huddle of penguins.

According to a study published in the New Journal of Physics, emperor penguins use stop-and-go movements similar to dense highway traffic to protect themselves from the harsh Antarctic winter.

Researchers from the Alfred Wegener Institute filmed penguin huddles from above, and studied the time-lapse footage looking for patterns. Every minute or so a single penguin waddled about 2 cm causing all the surrounding penguins to waddle 2 cm in response. These small movements sent waves of corresponding waddles through the entire huddle. This pattern is similar to that of cars making their way through dense traffic.

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