Movies

Banned Books at the Movies

banned booksBanned Books Week, celebrated annually during the last week of September, was established in the 1980's to bring awareness to the long-lasting effects of book challenges. It is a recognition of every person’s freedom to read. At the library, we not only support your right to read whatever books you want, but your right to watch movies based on those books.

For the past 24 years, the Office of Intellectual Freedom has recorded book challenges from across the country and compiled them into lists. The books on these lists range from classic works of literature, to new and popular novels for all age ranges. While it is no secret that Hollywood finds inspiration in books on a regular basis, you may not be aware just how many banned books have provided the plots for award-winning films and box office hits. This fall alone saw the release of two movies based on banned books: The Giver, Lois Lowry’s dystopian classic, and in November, the latest installment in The Hunger Games series, Mockingjay Part 1.

Below is a list of just some of the movies based on books from the American Library Association’s lists of challenged or banned books. Do you have a favorite?

Before The Great War...

As you may have seen on our website and Facebook page, this year’s Gulf Coast Reads will take place during the month of October.  Now you might ask, “What’s Gulf Coast Reads?”  Well, simply put, it’s an event encouraging residents of the Gulf Coast area to read or listen

When History Isn't History: Legacies of the Great War

Marching toward the Battle of the SommeRegrettably for humankind, the “War to End All Wars” did not live up to that hopelessly hopeful appellation. In fact, most historians will tell you that it and the treaty that ended it, were the chief causes of the Second World War which remains the only war in human history to surpass it in the cost of human life.

As you will have heard by now, over the next four or so years, the world will be commemorating the hundred year anniversaries of the events of what has come to be known—exactly because it could not measure up to that overly optimistic sobriquet—World War I.

Chicago

It’s been years since I’ve been to Chicago.  I mean years!  And that was just a day trip.  But I have to say, I thought it was one of the greatest cities I’d ever been to.  I’ve been wanting to return, but circumstances have kept me from going again.  One of my best friends lives in Illinois and visits the city quite often.  She invited me to visit her next year and sai

Lauren Bacall (1924-2014)

First, we have to acknowledge the voice.  That slightly rough, very smooth, absolutely arresting voice.  Then the look.  Chin down, gaze up, right-in-the-eyes look.  And finally, the attitude.  Tough with a streak of vulnerability.  Is it any wonder that men fell hard for

Robin Williams (1951-2014)

Most of us first saw him on Happy Days, where he played Mork from Ork.  From there, he went on to a spinoff series Mork & Mindy<

Moves Like Jagger

twirlingIt’s no secret that I have a fondness for dance movies. I own a good number of them and have been known to watch the best dance scenes from each movie, one after the other. So when I stumbled across the book Mambo in Chinatown, the newest novel by author Jean Kwok, I knew it was meant to be. Mambo in Chinatown is about Charlie Wong, a Chinese American girl in her twenties who is struggling between respecting her family and her heritage, and following her dream to become a ballroom dancer. It’s a beautifully written novel that has quite a bit in common with some of my favorite dance movies.

A Musician's Life

street musicianWhether it’s a beautifully composed score supporting the emotionally tenor of a movie, or a carefully selected song overlaying the action, music has always been an important component in movies. It is not surprising that many filmmakers have chosen to bring that music to the forefront with biopics on famous musicians and composers and stories about fictional musicians. Unlike musicals, which tell stories through music and dancing, these movies focus on the lives and passions of the people who create the music.

This season alone, three different films focusing on musicians have opened in theaters, adding variety to the typical summer movie fare. One, Begin Again, is the fictional story of a producer and a musician as they make their own album in the streets of New York City. The other two are more traditional biopics. Jersey Boys, based on the hit Broadway musical, tells the tumultuous history of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, while Get On Up follows the life of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown. All three movies aim to seamlessly blend movies and music and uncover what it is that drives musicians to perform.

James Garner (1928-2014)

James Garner’s passing was very sad to hear about.  He was always a welcome presence in movies and TV series.  An actor who could handle any genre, from comedy to action-adventure, from romance to western.  I grew up watching his TV shows and fil

Dear Sir or Madam.....

It’s an idea that dates back centuries.  A character in a play – comedy or drama – will dress as a member of the opposite sex.  Sometimes it’s for money.  Sometimes to trick another person for a noble cause.  Sometimes just to hide out for a while.  Shakespeare was fond of having a strong female character disguise herself as a

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