Marie, Columbine Library

Money, Power and Wall Street is a FRONTLINE special originally shown on PBS about a year ago. In a special four-hour investigation, this documentary tells the inside story of the origins of the financial meltdown and the battle to save the global economy. It explores key decisions, missed opportunities, and the bailouts of financial institutions that citizens of the United States may not know about. These unprecedented moves by government officials and banking leaders have affected the fortunes and futures of millions of people worldwide in fascinating ways. The documentary ends with an exploration of the news rules and regulations that are currently under consideration. Will they be enough to fend off the next financial crisis?

Emily, Columbine Library

The story of how Herb and Dorothy Vogel assembled one of the most extensive and important collections of 20th century art is quirky, inspirational, and just plain fun.  The NYC based couple worked at the US Post Office and the Brooklyn Public Library and spent their evenings and weekends scouting and buying art directly from people who would become some of the most influential artists, painters, and sculptors of the century.

If their story intrigues you, check out the documentary about them, Herb & Dorothy.

Sunshine, Columbine Library

The following DVDs may challenge, change, or enhance the way you look at food, the food industry and food culture.

Food Inc.
Food Inc. looks at the current state of the corporate/industrial food production systems in the US and the government agencies that regulate those systems; as well as the outcomes these systems are having on our health, the planet, and the economy. Food Inc. has interviews with Eric Schlosser, the author of Fast Food Nation, Michael Pollan, the author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and Denver Congresswoman Diana DeGette, just to name a few.

Forks Over Knives
What would you say if more than one doctor told you most degenerative illnesses could be prevented and/or cured if people stopped eating animal-based and processed foods? The doctors in Forks Over Knives make just such a claim. They also talk about the real life changes they have witnessed in their patient’s health and bodies when they do switch to a plant based diet.      

Dive! is a multi-award winning documentary about food waste in America. Did you know every year in the US we throw away 96 billion pounds of food? The creator of the film, Jeremy Seifert, is well aware of this, which is why he dumpster dives for most of his food. If dumpster diving seems nauseating, watch the DVD; you might be surprised! Dive! looks at food as something precious and sacred, rather than just another commodity.   

Ingredients is about the local food movement, from farmer’s markets and chefs who deal directly with local farmers to Community Supported Agriculture programs. It follows food from the farm to the table and features the celebrated chef’s Alice Waters, Peter Hoffman, and Greg Higgins.

Sean, Standley Lake Library

Have you heard of the Digital Public Library of America? It's a non-profit organization that's taking historical works and archives from several state libraries and cultural organizations and making them available to patrons from all over the world. Part library, part museum, the Digital Public Library of America offers over 2.4 million free resources, has incredible exhibitions of art, photographs and manuscripts, and includes collections from the New York Public Library, the Smithsonian, and the National Archives.

Their website launched just the other day, and it's a great place to go for anyone interested in exploring our history and shared heritage. The wealth of information it conveys is suitable for students at all levels, and contains fascinating insights into thousands of topics. Of course, you don't have to be doing research to enjoy the DPLA! You can think of their site as the ultimate highbrow timewaster! (And come on, you were probably getting tired of playing Pacman, right)?

Susannah, Standley Lake Library

Three short (40 minute) documentary films will be screened at Standley Lake Library in April and May. Don’t miss the chance to see films that are not currently in the JCPL collection and to participate in a discussion led by Dr. Vincent Piturro, film professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, Indie Prof on Facebook.

All films will show at 6:30 p.m. Thursdays in the Standley Lake Library meeting room

April 18
Strangers No More (
At Bialik-Rogozin School in Tel Aviv, children from 48 countries study, recover from their past and build new lives together.
Directed by Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
Oscar winner, 2011 – Best Documentary, Short Subjects

April 25
Sun Come Up (
Environment refugees from Carteret Island in the South Pacific must find a new home as the ocean rises.
Directed by Jennifer Redfearn
Oscar nominee, 2011 – Best Documentary, Short Subjects

May 2
Saving Face (
Women attacked by acid in Pakistan try to rebuild their lives, and a plastic surgeon returns to his native country to rebuild their faces.
Directed by Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Oscar winner, 2012 – Best Documentary, Short Subjects

We’re also thinking about starting a film group at Standley Lake Library. It would work like a book group – the group would decide which films to watch, watch the films on their own time, and come to film group to discuss it. If this interests you, please contact Susannah ([email protected]) by email or at the Standley Lake Information Desk.

Jayne, Golden Library

A father heads overseas to recover the body of his estranged son who died while traveling the "El Camino de Santiago" pilgrimage trail from France to Spain. Knowing there is no longer any chance at reconciliation due to his passing, as a tribute to his son, he decides to finish the journey for him. Along the way, he meets and travels with three other pilgrims whose stories and outlooks on life all have their effects on each other. A powerful, moving, and occasionally humorous film about family, friends, and life choices. Beautiful cinematography as well. Stars Martin Sheen (father) and Emilio Estevez (son), real-life father and son.


Emily, Columbine Library

Where are you on the hold list for Downton Abbey, season 1, 2, or 3?  Here are some suggestions for British drama to tide you over until it’s ready!  Feel free to chime in with your own ideas, too.

The Cazelets

Coming Home

The Forsyte Saga

The Pallisers

Upstairs Downstairs

Sunshine, Columbine Library

If you like watching westerns, you might try some of the following DVDs:

The Outlaw Josey Wales
The Outlaw Josey Wales stars Clint Eastwood as Josey Wales.  Josey refuses to surrender to Union soldiers after the war.  He returns home to find his family murdered and that is where his quest for revenge begins.  This is one of my favorite westerns because Clint Eastwood gives a great performance as Josey Wales. 

Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid
Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid stars James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson and Bob Dylan.  Pat Garrett is the new lawman in town and he is in charge of capturing Billy the Kid, his former partner in crime.  Who will win – the lawman, backed by cattle interests, or the outlaw, backed by the people?  Watch the DVD to find out!

3:10 to Yuma
Russell Crowe and Christian Bale star in this newest version of 3:10 to Yuma.  Daniel Evans, a small farmer, is struggling to keep his land when he gets a chance to make $200 transporting the famous outlaw, Ben Wade, to justice.  After losing a great deal of confidence and part of his leg in the Civil War, Daniel Evans is struggling to redeem himself in the eyes of his teenage son.  Is Daniel able to save his land and restore the image his son has of him?  I guess you will have to watch 3:10 to Yuma to find out!

The Professionals
In The Professionals, a rich Texan rancher hires four mercenaries to rescue his wife from a revolutionary in Mexico.  However, not everything is as it seems, as the mercenaries soon find out.  The Professionals was made in 1966 and although it has it serious moments, it is a fun and lighthearted western.  Jack Palance gives a great performance, along with Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin.   

Sean, Standley Lake Library

Reading the Bard’s plays isn’t for most guys. Thankfully Hollywood has taken care of the culture gap by making some truly arse-kicking (remember, Shakespeare’s British), testosterone-fueled adaptations especially for the Die Hard crowd. They are, as TBS might call them, “Shakespeare movies for guys who like Shakespeare movies.”

Here’s the lowdown:

Henry V - Forget that Laurence Olivier crap. Kenneth Branaugh’s version is gritty and violent, and the epic final battle in the mud has everything except girls and a volleyball. Dudes willing to forgive this oversight will enjoy a really intense war movie.

Hamlet - Kenneth Branaugh’s adaptation goes for the artsy and is sure to disappoint the bros. You want Mel Gibson’s version. To be or not to be Rambo is the question. The body count at the end will tell you the answer.

Romeo + Juliet - "But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?" It’s not light breaking through that window, chump: it’s a spray of bullets. This update uses all the play’s original language but remakes the story into a tale of gangster warfare in Verona. Shakespeare liked his violence. You’ll like it too.

Titus - This movie’s so intense and bloody it really needs to star Wolverine. Instead we get Anthony Hopkins playing a character so bloody it makes Hannibal Lecter look like a vegan. Want to play a game? Take a drink every time someone loses a body part!

Richard III - Ian Mckellen (that’s Gandalf, yo) turned this play into a story about England in the 1930s taken over by a fascist government that looks just like the Nazis.  A little bit V for Vendetta, a little bit Valkyrie, there’s plenty here to like.

Much Ado About Nothing - Even hardcore guys have to mellow out sometimes. This retelling of Shakespeare’s comedy has Keanu Reeves, Denzel Washington and Kate Beckinsale. No blood in this one, but hang out for some laughs because this is a real Shakespeare movie for guys who like Shakespeare movies.

Emily, Columbine Library

Most people are aware of the countless retellings of Jane Austen’s works, especially Pride and Prejudice.  Another author who was writing slightly later in the 1800’s, but whose works are also considered classics is Charlotte Bronte.  The continued popularity of Jane Eyre, in particular, is clear when you look up the title in the library’s catalog and see 67 references to books, movies, and articles!  Here are a few highlights…


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