In 1980, astrophysicist Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: a Personal Journey, opened with this line: “The Cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be.” Sagan was the world’s most famous scientist during the golden age of solar system exploration. In Cosmos, he invited the world to delve into the history of human scientific discovery. He made the story of 15 billion years of cosmic evolution accessible, exciting, and even personal. To this day Cosmos is the most viewed documentary PBS has ever produced. It has been seen by more than 60 million people worldwide, and inspired a generation of young people to become scientists.
Music, Movies & More
Of Austrian and Swiss heritage, Maximilian Schell won a Best Actor Oscar for his role in Judgment at Nuremberg, which as only his second Hollywood film. Never really becoming a megastar, Schell took smaller roles in a variety of interesting and artistic films, though he did get two more Oscar nominations, one for Julia (Best Supporting Actor) and one for The Man in the Glass Booth (Best Actor).
Check out these Maximilian Schell movies at the Niles Public Library:
Much like several recent Oscar-winning and nominated films of the past years (Saving Private Ryan, The Hurt Locker, Amour), Dallas Buyers Club is not a movie I’m going to RUN out and re-watch. It’s a tough movie to watch…the subject matter is harsh, the characters are sad and highly flawed, the dialogue is filled with homosexual abuses. All that said, is this still a movie you should watch? Yes. One reason: the performances. This is not to say the story is not good. It is. And the entire film on the whole is worth watching. But, the focus here should be the performances, since I feel they make this hard movie well worth watching.
Whether you love or hate Valentine’s Day may depend on your current relationship status; or perhaps on how much you enjoy shopping for (cards/candy/flowers/jewelry), securing (dinner/hotel) reservations and/or (concert/theater/movie/opera) tickets and complying with whatever other demands upon your (time/energy/wallet) that your significant other may make.
Love can be (complicated/difficult/messy/maddening), so it makes sense that a holiday celebrating it would follow suit. It seems that 90% of music deals with love or heartbreak, so when it comes to selecting a soundtrack for your (bliss/misery/indifference) there is plenty to choose from. My favorites all come from artists who excel at cramming every possible shade of (love/hate/confusion) into their songs. So whether you’re (alone and happy/alone and miserable/together and happy/together and miserable) this Valentine’s Day, here’s a dedication for you:
Young Shirley Temple was one of the biggest, brightest stars in the 1930s. She even won a special “Juvenile Award” from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1934. Basically, she was the biggest LITTLE moviestar ever!
Then, she grew up! Hollywood, at first, did not know what to do with “teenage” Temple. But, eventually, she came into her own, easing successfully into young adult and even adult roles. She never came close to matching her level of childhood fame, but she still was able to work in Hollywood for years, until she decided to retire from entertainment and switched her focus to politics and ambassadorships.
Check out these Shirley Temple movies at the Niles Public Library:
Moving onto the 4th spot on the list…FRINGE.
While the series may have been popular amongst fans, Fringe did not garner enough viewers to warrant another season past its fifth and final one. Hence it is regarded as a “cult” series. Which basically means that there’s a large enough fan base that the show has spread beyond the medium which it was intended for.
The basic premise of the show involves members of the FBI “Fringe Division”: FBI Special Agent Olivia Dunham, Peter Bishop, son of Walter Bishop, an unhinged scientist whose condition will be explained during the course of the first season, and his assistant Agent Astrid Farnsworth investigating cases such as genetic mutation, psychokinesis, and parallel universes, which are known as “fringe science”. Although the series bears similarities to a certain popular FOX show from the 90′s, it differs in that the strange occurrences and unknown events are possibly rooted in actual science, primarily in the field of genetics and physics. However, these theories are not accepted as mainstream science and are outside the norm of what is considered science.
When John Green writes, teens read. His novel, The Fault in Our Stars, has been on the New York Times Bestsellers list for 61 weeks and is currently No. 1 on the list. A “bring out the Kleenex story,” it relates the love story of two teenagers both in remission for cancer.
On January 26, 2014 the trailer for the movie adaptation of this novel directed by Josh Boone and starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort was released. The reaction has been heartfelt and huge. It features a series of scenes of Hazel Grace, oxygen tubes and all, and Augustus Waters as they meet and fall in love. The sounds of OneRepublic “What You Wanted” plays in the background.
Fans will have to wait until June 6, 2014 for the movie release in the theaters. In the meanwhile both the book and book on CD are available at the Niles Library. The audiobook of The Fault in Our Stars is fantastic and has won numerous awards.
One feeling kept me going throughout the entire time I watched the film Prisoners: FEAR. At over two and a half hours, you would think that I could not possibly have been afraid for the entire film. Well, I was. And, most likely, you will be too.
In addition to instilling fear from minute one, Prisoners also continually surprised me. I thought it was going to be just a simple revenge movie. But, this is so much more than that. Filled with leaps and twists and unexpected turns around every corner, Prisoners is more than a thriller. It is an adrenaline ride.
In early December, one of my favorite shows aired its last ever episode that undoubtedly left an impression and a small hole in my heart.
Not to get all melodramatic, but there are certain shows no matter how trivial or ridiculous in its premise, will transport you to a whole different world. Which brings me to this five part blog series on shows that are must watch, that you may have missed, and that are sorely underrated (say that with a mouthful). Hopefully by the end, you will hopefully rush to the shelves or place a hold, some of which are available at the Niles Library. So let’s get started starting with the Number 5 show (available as an interlibrary loan): Veronica Mars
Bruno Mars became a household name last Sunday after his performance during the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show.
We’re used to watching music legends like The Who, Bruce Springsteen, and Prince perform during the Super Bowl Halftime, but this year was a little different. Hawaiian native Bruno Mars, who only has two studio albums, performed a few of his hits including Locked Out Of Heaven, Treasure, and Just The Way You Are. He was joined on stage by famous rock band, The Red Hot Chili Peppers. At only 5 ft, 4 in tall, he brought the Super Bowl audience on their feet with his electrifying performance. According to reports, this year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show was the most watched ever. That’s quite impressive considering the superstars that have performed in the past.
If you’ve never heard of him before, here are 3 quick facts about Bruno Mars: