- Jonathan’s favourite film is Aliens (dir. James Cameron) [DVD] for its “excitement and great story line.”
- Don’t you forget about… the Breakfast Club (dir. John Hughes) [BoB]. These kids did weekend detention in style while discovering a bit about each other (and themselves). This film reminds Jonathan of being a teenager.
- Amelie (dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet) [DVD] whimsical and most charming is the choice of another member of Library staff – enchanté. And Grease is their summer lovin’ choice.
- Catherine loves Wayne’s World (dir. Penelope Spheeris) [BoB] because it always makes her laugh. Catherine, we’re not worthy.
- She also loves Point Break (dir. Kathryn Bigelow) [BoB] for its depiction of the technical art of surfing, she forgot to mention the top acting. Vaya con Dios Catherine.
- Lynn loves that 90s classic Parenthood (dir. Ron Howard). “Family clashes, crazy parents and kids, teenage tantrums and old rivalries shown with humour. It always makes me laugh and it all turns out right in the end.”
- Lynn’s favourite summer themed film is Something Wicked This Way Comes (dir. Jack Clayton). “The oppression in the film is not only caused by the heatwave but a sinister set of characters rolling into town. A lovely view of the eternal summers experienced as a child.”
- Alex G’s pick is the perennially wonderful Some Like it Hot (dir. Billy Wilder) [DVD]. He says “You can watch it over and over and it’s still so funny. Characters, script and performances are such quality.”
- His favourite summer film is Jaws (dir. Steven Spielberg) [DVD]“Even though I laugh at it, even though I know what happens in the end – I still get SCARED!”
- The Wizard of Oz [DVD] is good all year round for one member of staff.
- May the force be with our library staff member who loves Star Wars (dir George Lucas) [DVDs] and also Cocoon (dir. Ron Howard) [BoB], this film about some rejuvenated retired folk gives them a warm summertime feeling.
- Samantha is keen on The Princess Bride (dir. Rob Reiner) because “Swashbuckling. And the bit where they roll down the hill and end up with the RoUS. OH and the bit when he’s dead but not completely dead.”
- Nobody is putting Samantha in a corner this summer as she has the time of her life watching Dirty Dancing (dir. Emile Ardolino) [BoB] “The music and the dancing is awesome, but mostly because it looks like a sweet entertaining cult chick flick but it’s actually a treatise on why you should trust your children and the importance of women’s healthcare and reproductive rights.”
- Annie Hall (dir. Woody Allen) [DVD] got the vote from another member of staff who sums up the vibe with a “La-di-da”.
- This staff member’s favourite summer film is A Bigger Splash (dir. Luca Guadagnino) “Sunshine, singing and death all on the tiny Italian Island of Pantelleria.”.
- Catie has recently been impressed with Baby Driver (dir. Edgar Wright) but she’s not thinking about films at the minute “When good weather blesses you with its presence as much as it has this summer, watching films is sacrilege.”
- Nevertheless, her favourite summer films are Fast Times at Ridgemont High (dir. Cameron Crowe) or Wet Hot American Summer (dir. David Wain), “They are institutions. For real though they evoke the specific feeling of freedom and infinite possibility you get in the summer when you’re an adolescent that summer days could stretch on forever.”
- Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (dir. Stephen Herek) [BoB] ranks high on another staff member’s list:
“Got only 24 hours before a big presentation? This highly relatable story set in the world of San Dimas academia will show you how you can take your presentation from meh to wow, and if you start to lose your audience – end on a “City Uni football rules!””
- Their summer favourite is Do the Right Thing (dir. Spike Lee) which “takes place on the hottest day in summer. This is one of the greatest films of all time, it was inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress who deemed it “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant””.
- A Librarian recommends: Canterbury Tales (dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini) and A Canterbury Tale (dir. Powell and Pressburger) [BoB] – which is a very different film. The Twin Peaks prequel Fire Walk with Me (dir. David Lynch), which has a great David Bowie cameo, and Dazed and Confused (dir. Richard Linklater) – have you seen this one? It’d be a lot cooler if you did.
With the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday the end credits will roll on another year of tearful acceptance speeches, surprising snubs and red-carpet wardrobe disasters. To mark the occasion we’ve crunched the numbers on our DVD collection to discover your most popular movies based on usage.
Here are your all-time top ten. The results might surprise you…
10: The Godfather: Part II (1974)
Does it prove the theory that sequels are always better than the originals (Aliens, The Empire Strikes Back) and that third instalments are always much, much worse than their predecessors (Godfather: Part III, Superman III, Richard III…)? The Godfather: Part II certainly took your Marlon Brando, raised you Robert De Niro, and walked off with 6 Oscars including Best Picture.
9: Maria Full of Grace (2004)
Catalina Sandeno Moreno was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar at the 77th Academy Awards for her performance as a Colombian teenager who gets pregnant and then winds up becoming a drug mule. She also won Best Actress (Silver Bear) at the Berlin Film Festival where the movie was nominated for the Golden Bear. Seriously, the Golden & Silver Bears. Brilliant.
8: Being John Malkovich (1999)
Nominated for 3 Oscars, the film stars John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener and of course the eponymous Mr Malkovich himself and is about, well, people getting inside someone’s head. Literally. It’s probably easier to watch than to describe.
7: Naked (1993)
Legendary filmmaker Mike Leigh’s film was overlooked by the Academy, but was recognised at a wide range of other ceremonies and film festivals worldwide, including at Cannes where it scooped Best Director and Best Actor for David Thewlis. Described as a comedy-drama, its adult content and themes means it’s, well, not for faint-hearted; and there’s not a cheesy-pineapple stick in sight.
6: Amélie (2001)
This French romantic comedy, directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, is definitely at the more joie de vivre end of the cinematic spectrum, and delighted audiences mondialement back in 2001. The story about a girl whose mission in life is helping others to be happy earned itself 5 Academy Award nominations, but sadly went home empty-handed.
5: Goodbye Lenin! (2003)
Set against a backdrop of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, this German film about a young man pretending to his unwell mother that East Germany still exists was lauded at award ceremonies pretty much everywhere except the Oscars, and lost out at the BAFTAs in the Best Film Not In the English Language category.
4: This is England (2006)
Shane Meadows’ take on skinheads living in 80s Britain helped launch the careers of several British actors including Stephen Graham, picked up the Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film at the BAFTAs and spawned several television sequels. Nothing at the Oscars though, despite posting positive critical reviews stateside.
3: When Harry Met Sally (1989)
“Can men and women ever just be friends?” That’s the key question in this classic Rob Reiner rom-com written by Nora Ephron (who picked-up the film’s only Oscar nomination for her screenplay). With charming performances by a cast including Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal and the late Carrie Fisher, even the curmudgeonliest individual will want what they’re having after 96 minutes.
2: Manhattan (1979)
Neurotic writer? Check. Awkward romantic entanglements? Check. Diane Keaton? Check. The ‘overrated’ Meryl Streep thrown in for good measure? Indeed. Despite winning Best Film at the BAFTAs Woody Allen’s classic didn’t even get shortlisted at the Oscars, with the Academy only nominating it for Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress (Mariel Hemingway): it won neither.
and, at number one…
1: Adaptation (2002)
4 Oscar nominations (including one for Meryl Streep), 1 win (Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Chris Cooper) and a whole host of other awards, Charlie Kaufman’s film is about a writer hired to adapt a book for the screen. Oh, and that writer happens to be Charlie Kaufman, who wrote Being John Malkovich (see, no.8)…