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Memento's Mementos

Feb 18, 2011 10:59 AM | 0 comments

In the ten years since it was first released, Christopher Nolan’s Memento has crossed over from indie success to general popularity. The story of an amnesiac investigating his wife’s murder, Memento’s questions of identity, memory and authority seem irrevocably modern. However, it would probably be most at home alongside the great film noirs of the 1930s and 1940s.

 

The classic Hollywood noir was film’s answer to hardboiled detective novels—stories where cynical, world-weary investigators take up with mysterious femme fatales to solve convoluted cases. Some of the most enduring noirs bridged the gap by directly adapting successful hardboiled novels from writers like Dashiell Hammet and Raymond Chandler. Other enduring noirs just borrowed their themes and worldview.

 

By the end of the 1990s, most filmmakers only addressed film noir and hardboiled crime fiction with a superficial wink—through loving homage or self-conscious parody. Memento, on the other hand, managed to bring the concept of the film noir into a contemporary setting without a hint of irony. It plumbed hardboiled fiction for its core motifs: mistrust of police and authority, infatuation with feminine mystery, and a conviction that the world is complex and humans mostly selfish.

 

The books that are the source for Memento’s themes are some of the best pot-boilers and page-turners in American literature. Why not stop by your neighborhood library and pick up a book by one of the genre’s godfathers?

 

Books by Dasheill Hammett

 

The Maltese Falcon

The Dain Curse

Crime Stories and Other Writings

 

Books by Raymond Chandler

 

The Big Sleep

Farewell, My Lovely

The Long Goodbye

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Hail to the (New York) Chief

Feb 17, 2011 9:29 AM | 0 comments

Monday is Presidents Day. Officially known as Washington’s Birthday, some states, including New York, also recognize Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. While these former presidents are revered in February, we’d like to remind you of four other noteworthy commanders-in-chief: the Empire State’s own Martin Van Buren, Millard Fillmore, Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt.

To brush up on your knowledge of these and other US presidents, check out these selections from your Library:

The Complete Book of US Presidents by William A. DeGregorio
Martin Van Buren by Ted Widmer
Millard Fillmore by Jane Clark Casey
Theodore Roosevelt: A Twentieth-Century Life by Michael L. Cooper
FDR by Jean Edward Smith

Don't forget to visit us online for more presidential books today!

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Free Events: Searching Made Simple

Feb 16, 2011 9:47 AM | 0 comments

Our online calendar of events has a brand new look! And now it’s even easier to find out what’s going on at your local library.

 

You can search for events by date, location or age group. Or if you’re doing a keyword search in our online catalog, events that are related to your topic will now appear in your search results. You can even print out organized lists of events or share them on your Facebook or Twitter page!

 

Check out the new Events Calendar right now!

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Love Don’t Cost a Thing

Feb 9, 2011 2:30 PM | 0 comments

To many, Valentine’s Day is a pseudo-holiday created by women simply to receive nice dinners, fancy chocolates and bunch of red roses. For others, it’s an overrated day that’s guaranteed to send you to the poorhouse.

 

At Brooklyn Public Library, we believe that love doesn’t have to cost you an arm or a leg. This Valentine’s weekend we have some free events that are sure to score you cool points with that special someone.

 

Nothing says loving like a little tango. On Saturday at 4 PM, grab your beau and head over to Central Library for our free tango class. After you’ve wowed your date with your fresh dance moves, head down to our Song Book of Love program. On Sunday, romance your honey with BPL’s Classical Interludes by pianist Angelina Gadeliya.

 

Still not feeling the love? Check out our other events taking place this weekend.

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Snow Days Rick's Way

Feb 4, 2011 10:16 AM | 0 comments

Hey, everyone, guess what? We’ve gone two whole days without snow, sleet or rain!

 

For my childhood friends, snow days meant sledding and snowmen and snowball fights. For me, that all just seemed like a quick way to catch a cold, get frost-bitten hands and—sooner or later—take an ice ball in the face. No, I preferred to spend my snow days warm, indoors and either reading a book or watching a movie.


Since then, I’ve learned to enjoy a good romp in the snow once in a while: I’ve gone hiking and sledding, and once I even had an epic snowball fight with my friends in a giant fort we made ourselves. But a snowy Brooklyn looks amazing through an apartment window, so if you’re looking to stay indoors during tomorrow’s forecasted “wintry mix,” then let me recommend the books and movies that I turned to most often to pass away snow days:

 

Books

 

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Silver Chair, by C.S. Lewis

A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar

 

Movies

 

Mary Poppins

Ghostbusters

Batman

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