There’s nothing quite like a musical to bring you out of the winter doldrums. The Harper Library has recently acquired many movie musicals on DVD – most are classics, like The Music Man, and others are relatively new and unconventional, like South Park, Bigger, Longer & Uncut. But they’re all great movies and a wonderful escape!
Recently added titles include:
The Busby Berkeley Disc (featuring production numbers from many Busby Berkeley musicals)
South Park, Bigger, Longer & Uncut
A Star is Born (1954 version starring Judy Garland)
Meet Me in St. Louis
On the Town
The Band Wagon
The Music Man
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Love Me Tonight
If you’re interested in finding more movie musicals owned by Harper Library, search the Harper Library Catalog for the subject heading “Musical Films”. And if there’s a title you don’t see that you would like us to have, feel free to let any library staff member know!
We all know (or should know) that we should be quiet when in a library. What better way than to watch a silent film? Harper College Library has recently added many new titles in this genre from the earliest days of motion pictures.
I should note, however, that it will be very hard to keep quiet while watching the wonderful comedies from Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. Harper now has several titles (comedy shorts and feature-length films) from both of these groundbreaking comedians. Harper also has two “talkies” featuring Chaplin: The Great Dictator and Limelight.
If you’re looking to be scared and amazed, look no further than Lon Chaney. Known as “The Man of a Thousand Faces”, this master of makeup made filmgoers sympathize with even the most horrific characters. Harper College Library has the first film adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera, as well as a great boxed set with The Unholy Three, Ace of Hearts, Laugh, Clown, Laugh; a recreation of the lost film London after Midnight and a great documentary on Chaney’s life and career.
For documentary buffs, there is Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North – the 1922 classic that is widely considered to be the first feature-length documentary film. It details the life and struggles of the Inuit Nanook and his family in the Canadian arctic. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is a prime example of German expressionist cinema. It stars Conrad Veidt as a somnambulist who commits murders at a hypnotist’s bidding.
Director D.W. Griffith helped develop many film tricks that we now take for granted: cross-cutting between scenes to elevate tension, dissolve shots, groundbreaking camera movements. Harper now has his historic (and historically inflammatory) The Birth of a Nation, detailing the formation of the Ku Klux Klan during the Civil War and Reconstruction, and Way Down East, a drama featuring Lillian Gish, who was featured in many Griffith films.
Other silent film titles owned by Harper include Haxan, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, Metropolis, Diary of a Lost Girl, Thief of Baghdad, Battleship Potemkin and Nosferatu. As always, stop by the Harper College Library and “check out” our newly-expanded silent film collection!
One of Harper Library’s ongoing projects is to keep up with changing technologies, and adapting what we have available to our wonderful patrons. For example, I recently added over 120 titles in streaming video format to the Harper catalog.
What is the benefit of streaming videos, you might ask? Say you forgot that you had to watch that video on infant nutrition or Sudan or Paganism or English grammar for class tomorrow – and it’s 11:00 at night! With streaming videos, you can access the title directly from the online Harper catalog – and you can even watch it in your pajamas if you like! You can click right in the record and it will send you directly to that title. Off-campus users will be required to log in with their Harper ID.
From the Library website click on Library Catalog (upper left). Search “streaming videos” as a subject heading to view all titles available at Harper Library or, if you already know your title, simply type it in for a title search. Topics include:
- Advertising and marketing
- World cultures
- Health care
- Women’s studies
- Interpersonal relations
- English grammar and composition
- Ancient history
If you watch a program please leave a comment here on the blog. We’d love to hear any pros (or cons) of the streaming videos.
I think most of us can agree that there’s nothing quite like curling up in your favorite easy chair with a mug of hot chocolate and a good book (especially with the weather we’ve been having). However, we know that’s not always possible. What is required of us in our hectic lives often chips away at our precious remaining free time. Being a working mother has forced me to make the most of my available time, and because of that, I’ve discovered audiobooks! They’re a wonderful way to catch up on all those books I’ve been meaning to read, but just don’t have the time. I often listen to audiobooks during my commute to and from Harper, and they’re a great way to make the drive seem not so bad.
The Harper Library just added over 40 audiobook titles to the collection, most of them staples of American and European literature. Here’s a sampling of what’s available:
There are audio collections from William Faulkner, John Updike, Allen Ginsberg, Ernest Hemingway, Gwendolyn Brooks, John Cheever, Kurt Vonnegut, T.S. Eliot, Emily Dickinson, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Eudora Welty, Dorothy Parker, Langston Hughes and E.E. Cummings. Also, there’s Dylan Thomas: The Caedmon Collection, which is a great collection of the Welsh poet reading his poems, stories and other writings.
Also available are classic novels by Jack Kerouac (The Dharma Bums, On the Road), Joseph Heller (Catch-22), Richard Wright (Black Boy), Zora Neale Hurston (Their Eyes Were Watching God), Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar), Anthony Burgess (A Clockwork Orange) and Rudyard Kipling (Captains Courageous
For those of you into classic American theatre, there are three full-cast recordings available: Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman and The Crucible, and Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie.
So come “check out” the new audiobooks – and don’t forget to let us know what you think by posting comments right here on the blog!
Hello students/faculty/staff of Harper! I hope that your semester break was fun/relaxing/invigorating, but I’m sure you’ll say it was boring/exhausting/lugubrious. Regardless of how you spent your break, I hope that everyone is ready to dive into a new semester – and what better way to start a new semester than with the new DVDs that are available at the Harper Library?!
Just in are some older films that you’ve likely heard about, but may or may not have seen: The Secret of NIMH, Last Action Hero, Lorenzo’s Oil, Shadow of the Vampire, The Animatrix, The Stonecutter and House of Games. The recent hits 300 and V for Vendetta were both based on graphic novels. We also have some foreign films: The Decameron, How Tasty was my Little Frenchman and Turtles can Fly. Two documentaries on current events in Afghanistan are available: Dateline Afghanistan, about the journalists covering this “forgotten war”, and Daughters of Afghanistan, which tells the stories of girls and women living with varying degrees of freedom.
For those of you who are into anime (a genre of animated films from Japan), we have some classic films in that genre: Akira, Cowboy Bebop, Princess Mononoke, Ghost in the Shell, Whisper of the Heart and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind. And for those of you who like something a little off-the-wall, we have a DVD chronicling the career of avant-garde New Wave band DEVO.
There’s definitely something for everybody in this latest batch of DVDs available at Harper Library. Please come over and “check them out”! And who knows: some of you might even see these films as part of your classes!