If I ever wanna talk-movies, I go to Ed; particularly when it comes to the classics, but also when I want to be assured that the opinions and insights provided are of a fine taste.
Our Head of Reference at the Ferndale Public Library is as knowledgeable of the cinema as he is capable in the art of Library Science, (not to mention dependable, as he has twice risen to the temporary rank of ad-hoc Director to steer the FPL ship through times of transition).
This week, Ed thought he was just going to pick at-random but discovered an underlying theme halfway through. Listen up:
By Ed Burns
I had no particular theme in mind this go-around. I was just going to feature some recent acquisitions that I particularly enjoyed watching.
But, as I was putting my list together, I realized that, coincidentally, these works are all movies (and one TV show) that were written and directed by their lead actors/actresses.
There is so much I admire about these talented and driven artists. Chiefly, the ability to multi-task. Enjoy!
(DVD TV G)
Girls is an HBO series created by 26-year old wunderkind Lena Dunham. She also stars as Hannah, wrote or co-wrote all the episodes and directed some as well. The writing is so sharp and all of the actors are pitch-perfect in their parts. Dunham herself must be completely without vanity to put Hannah into some of the awkward and humiliating situations she does.
I knew I was going to love the show shortly into the first episode when Hanna was eating a cupcake in the bathtub. (And, be sure to check out Tiny Furniture, a painfully funny 2010 indie film that Dunham also wrote, directed and starred in.)
The Wise Kids
(DVD Drama W)
Wise Kids is a low-budget indie about conservative southern Christians. It centers mostly around three teenage friends – a boy discovering he’s gay, a girl questioning her faith, and a girl trying to resolve her devout faith with the changes in her friends. It is that rare film that is devoid of stereotypes and is non-judgemental of all of its characters.
It’s sympathetic to alternative sexuality, without demonizing strongly religious types. The story was so wonderfully executed, it makes me hope someone gives writer/director/co-star Stephen Crone a much bigger budget for his next project.
(DVD Comedy L)
This is a dramedy about a 35-year old man who returns to his alma mater for the retirement of a favorite professor, and becomes enamored of a 19 year-old student. I found this to be a refreshingly un-Hollywood movie. It’s full of flawed but likeable people. The conversations and the behavior of the characters are all believable. And the conclusion is satisfying.
I never rolled my eyes or thought, “yea right.” Most of the credit for that can go to writer/director Josh Radnor who also stars. But, the entire cast is terrific. Look for an almost unrecognizable Zac Efron in a zany, against-type role.
(DVD Comedy T) is a comedy that starts out with a lonely 8-year old wishing his teddy bear would come to life. It does, and the two are still best buddies 27 years later.
I was surprised how much I like this movie, which is about equal parts sweet and raunchy. It was very easy to buy into the premise. Credit great animation of Ted and a game performance by Mark Wahlberg. Writer/director Seth MacFarlane also provides the voice of Ted. He’s a riot.
Ferndale Patch thanks Ed Burns and Jeff Milo at the Ferndale Public Library for contributing to Patch! Check back soon for more ideas from library staff. Are you looking for recommendations on something specific? Email email@example.com, and we'll pass on your questions to the library.