Books on Film
Saturday, September 22, and Sunday, September 23
Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Atrium and Phyllis Wattis Theater
Free and open to the public
Pick up a book at Added Value: An Alternative Book Sale, and then check out films that explore the critical role of libraries in our communities.
Toute la Mémoire du Monde
Saturday, September 22 , 12:30pm
Alain Resnais, 1956, 22 minutes
Widely known for the Holocaust film Night and Fog and his seductive ode to memory and lost love, Last Year at Marienbad, Alain Resnais began his career experimenting with cinematic form in short documentaries. Toute la mémoire du monde is both a look at the inner workings of the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris and a meditative piece about the fragility of human memory and the ways in which we try to support it.
Running time: 22 minutes
Director: Alain Resnais
Screenwriter: Rémo Forlani
Producer: Pierre Braunberger
Cinematographer: Ghislain Cloquet
Editor: Alain Resnais
Source: L’Agence du du court métrage
Ex-Libris: The New York Public Library
Saturday, September 22 , 1:30 p.m.
Frederick Wiseman, 2017, 197 minutes
“Frederick Wiseman’s film, Ex-Libris: The New York Public Library, goes behind the scenes of one of the greatest knowledge institutions in the world and reveals it as a place of welcome, cultural exchange, and learning. With 92 locations throughout Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, the library is committed to being a resource for all the inhabitants of this multifaceted and cosmopolitan city, and beyond. The New York Public Library exemplifies the deeply rooted American belief in the individual’s right to know and be informed. It is one of the most democratic institutions in America — everyone is welcome. The Library strives to inspire learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen communities.” —Zipporah Films
Running time: 197 minutes
Director: Frederick Wiseman
Producer: Karen Konicek and Frederick Wiseman
Cinematographer: John Davey
Editor: Frederick Wiseman
Source: Zipporah Films
Sunday, September 23, 12:30 p.m.
Daniel Taradash, 1956, 85 minutes
Director Daniel Taradash tackled themes drawn from the conflict and political passion in American life of the 1950s — Communism and McCarthyism and its by-products book banning and censorship. Filmed in Santa Rosa, California, the film stars Bette Davis as the small town librarian who fights the city council when asked to withdraw the book The Communist Dream from the library’s collection. This was among the first overtly anti-McCarthyism film to be produced in Hollywood exploring the effects on the free circulation of ideas and the damage that can be done to an individual and to a community when this freedom is challenged. In 1957, Storm Center was awarded the Prix de Chevalier da la Barre at the Cannes Film Festival, where it was cited as “this year’s film which best helps freedom of expression and tolerance.”
Running time: 85 minutes
Director: Daniel Taradash
Screenwriter: Daniel Taradash and Elick Moll
Producer: Julian Blaustein
Cinematographer: Burnett Guffey
Editor: Willam A. Lyon
Source: Sony Repertory/Swank Pictures
Sunday, September 23, 2:30 p.m.
François Truffaut, 1966, 112 minutes
Based on the author Ray Bradbury’s dystopian novel, this film is set in a future where the possession of books is considered a crime by the government whose squad of firefighters sets out to destroy the illicit literature with flamethrowers. Fahrenheit 451, it is explained, is the temperature at which books are reduced to ashes. When fireman Guy Montag meets his neighbor Clarisse, he is introduced to an underground network of book collectors and others who flout the law in order to keep books alive in both page and memory.
Print screens courtesy of the British Film Institute.
Country: United Kingdom
Running time: 112 minutes
Director: François Truffaut
Screenwriter: François Truffaut and Jean-Louis Richard
Producer: Lewis M. Allen
Cinematographer: Nicolas Roeg
Editor: Thom Noble
Source: British Film Institute