Friday, November 15, 2013
Your Sister’s Sister (2011)
review by Cassie Muilenburg
If you find yourself looking for a casual movie to watch mid-term or something relatively light for the upcoming holidays, Your Sister’s Sister might be a good choice. This film is the latest from UW alumni and Seattle-native, Lynn Shelton and is set close to home in the Puget Sound Area. Starring Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Mark Duplass, this romantic drama explores themes of life, love, and family through the context of one of the more complicated love triangles that I imagine a Puget Sound cabin has ever seen.
The initial triangle is comprised of Iris, Jack, and Jack’s now-deceased brother, Tom. In the opening scene, we learn that Tom has been dead for one year, and Jack is still far from reconciling that fact. Iris, Tom’s ex-girlfriend and Jack’s closest friend, attempts to console Jack by persuading him to take some time to find himself at her family’s cabin. However, when Jack arrives, he is surprised to find the cabin already inhabited by Iris’s half-sister, Hannah, who has recently moved in after the end of a long lesbian relationship. Hannah allows Jack to stay and with the help of many shots of tequila and a quick romp, Hannah, Jack, and Iris quickly become entangled in love triangle number two.
This becomes clear when Iris shows up unannounced the next morning and confesses her love for Jack to her sister. Being that the three of them are stuck in the cabin together, it does not take long for Jack and Hannah’s short-lived affair to be revealed, and with this comes other important divulgences that throw the threesome into a tumultuous sequence of apologies and introspection.
Though this drama-filled plot could have easily turned out shallow in the wrong hands, Lynn Shelton spins this story into a tale worth telling with well-written dialogue and flawed but endearing characters. The three very talented actors are fun to watch as they explore the limits of their relationships, and the film concludes on a high note that transcends their situational circumstances (though many might find the unresolved final scene a tad infuriating). Your Sister’s Sister embraces the unconventional in a feel good kind of way, and though it does not make the list of my top favorites, I still think it would be a great film to watch with my family this Thanksgiving.
Monday, October 7, 2013
at the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center. The symposium brought together archivists, ethnomusicologists, anthropologists, digital humanists, performance artists, museologists, and host of other “-ists” committed to the preservation and ethical dissemination of cultural heritage materials. In particular, the aim of the symposium was to…
“energize the discussion of ethnographic archival thought and practice by presenting fresh and dynamic strategies for contemporary archival realities. It will also provide a forum for new voices to present and discuss emerging archival initiatives as well as case studies focused on several key topics for a public audience. The symposium will combine longer presentations by invited speakers with short, focused papers on a range of topics.”
To be sure, over the course of two days participants presented on and spoke to one another about a wide range of topics, including archival repatriation, curatorial re-mixing and performance, and archive/community partnerships. My paper was entitled "Collaborative Archiving out West: Celebrations and Frustrations.” In it I gave an overview of some of my archival efforts at UCLA and UW, including projects with musicians, community-based non-profits, faculty and students, and record companies. I focused on what has worked and what has not, and highlighted the challenges of balancing the competing demands of open access and rights.
Presenter bios and paper abstracts
- John Vallier
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Fever Fever (2002) was the second full-length CD by Puffy -- perhaps the best known female Japanese pop duo. It's replete with catchy, occasionally rocking, sometimes bossanova-ing, and always well-polished pop ditties. Opening with repeated references to fishcakes that eventually give way to cackles of laughter, Fever Fever is comprised of 15 cloyingly constructed pop tunes. Puffy's two members, singers Yumi Yoshimura and Ami Onuki, are backed up by a variety of studio musicians. With their photos decorating the liner notes, both Yoshimura and Onuki use the CD as an opportunity to showcase what was their hyper-hip and eclectic fashion sensibilities. Since the vast majority of the songs are sung in Japanese, English-only speakers may feel a little alienated, though they shouldn't. The cute and melodic vocals lines -- whether you understand their literal meaning or not -- emit a bouncy, happy, fun-loving feel that is characteristic of the CD as a whole.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Listen up and watch out! Today is World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, a day founded by UNESCO to raise awareness about both the profound richness and unstable nature of our common audio and visual collections. UNESCO's Director-General Irina Bokova writes: "A vector of identity and memory, it [audiovisual heritage] carries the promise of sharing experience and broadening the horizons of everyone. It provides unique insight to humanity’s great cultural and scientific diversity. No other medium bears such vibrant testimony to the world’s rituals, customs and cultural expressions."
True that, however the intrinsic importance of our AV collections isn't powerful enough to save them from neglect and deterioration. Many AV formats--both analog and digital--are also intrinsically unstable: nitrate film, acetate discs, DAT tape, AMPEX 406/40 audio tape, etc., etc., etc.... And even when we find an AV format that is relatively stable and somewhat resistant to deterioration, the peril of format obsolescence descends. What is format obsolescence? When's the last time you tried to buy a Mini-Disc, VHS or laser disc player?
Enough words! Now it's time to tune in and check out a 16mm film and reel-to-reel sound recoding we recently digitized for preservation and access at the UW Libraries Media Center.
Cannibals Once (1931) is an out of print film from the "Ports of Call Series." It's an early sound travelogue presenting the post-missionized "happy natives" of Fiji and an astonishing example of blatant racism (it appears UW is the only WorldCat library to hold this title). The film is from our Educational Media Collection
Long live our audiovisual heritage!
Friday, March 9, 2012
Beginning this summer, Odegaard Library will undergo a 2-year renovation project. In order to make way for this work, the Media Center will be moving to Suzzallo Library's 3rd floor. We plan to move over the Spring-Summer interim and open in Suzzallo by the beginning of Summer Quarter A-Term (June 18). Stay tuned for updates.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
The Media Center has been awarded a Friends of the Libraries grant to simultaneously screen, digitize, and broadcast several hundred orphaned films from the Educational Media Collection. The project, called Films From The Vaults, begins this October 19 (in OUGL 220, from 9-Noon) and will focus on NW architecture and structures. Esteemed Built Environments Librarian Alan Michelson will be on hand to offer pithy insights and critiques in those awkward silences that crop up between films. Can't make it in person? Tune in live for an even grainier experience here. This is our inaugural (1st of 18) screenings, so check back here periodically for updates on future dates and themes.
Screening schedule for the 19th:
- Tacoma Narrows Bridge Failure - 1964 - color - 21 min - 16mm - Photographs showing the construction and opening day ceremonies and then the movements of the bridge that led to its collapse. Scale models made later by the Engineering Experiment Station at the University of Washington show the identical movements when subjected to stresses duplicating those which caused the bridge collapse. Topics: (Civil Engineering, Engineering, Pacific Northwest)
- Newsreel 1940, Includes Tacoma Bridge Collapse - 1940 - b & w - 10 min - 16mm - Events of 1940 including: The Battle of Britain, the military draft in the United States, President Roosevelt defeating Wendell Wilkie and the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsing in the wake of heavy winds. Topics: (Communications, History: American, Pacific Northwest)
- The Space Needle Story - 1965 ----- b & w ----- 14 min ----- 16mm - Contains historic footage of the erection of the needle from the foundation in which the center of gravity is below ground level, to the 50 foot spire at its' top rising over 600 feet in the air. Topics: (Building Construction, Civil Engineering, Pacific Northwest)
- The Rebuilding of a Port - 1972 ----- color ----- 12 min ----- 16mm - In 1960 as a result of a television documentary exposing the inadequacies of the Port of Seattle, the city presented a bond issue to the voters. Subsequently the improvements in the ability of the port to handle the new container mode of shipped goods has made Seattle the third largest port in the United States and the sixth largest in the world, just behind London. Together with the massive rebuilding of the waterfront facilities, the port undertook the complete modernization of the Sea-Tac International Airport. Topics: (Pacific Northwest, Transportation, Urban Planning/Restoration)
- Fountain/Sculpture - 1975 ----- color ----- 18 min ----- 16mm Documents the step by step fabrication of a major fountain/sculpture commission by George Tsutakawa. Starting with the design of the model, the evolution of the work is followed through to the final installation at the 1974 World's Fair, Spokane, Washington. The artist discusses his approach and philosophy. Mr. Tsutakawa has completed over 50 major fountain/sculpture commissions during the past 17 years. Topics: (Artists, Landscape Architecture, Pacific Northwest, Sculpture)
- The Kingdome - 1977 ----- color ----- 17 min ----- 16mm - Chronicles the construction of King County's multi-purpose, domed stadium. Traces the stadium project from ground-breaking to completion. Reference to Pioneer Square and the history of the stadium site is included. Film of the inaugural ceremonies and dedication on March 27, 1976, is interwoven with construction scenes in a series of flashbacks. The arrival of the Seattle Sounders, the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Mariners provides an additional dimension and meaning to the Kingdome and this presentation. Topics: (Engineering, Pacific Northwest, Urban Planning/Restoration)
- Ports: The Peoples' Business - 1979 ----- color ----- 29 min ----- 16mm - From 1852 when the first cargo of logs was shipped out of Seattle to San Francisco, ports around the Puget Sound have been an increasingly complicated issue. In 1910 the railroads covered the entire length of Seattle's waterfront. Yet the Port of Seattle is a public industry--a servant of the people--providing more than 60,000 jobs in the Greater Seattle area. (Produced by the Washington Sea Grant Program). Topics: (Cities and Towns, Economics, Pacific Northwest)
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
What? UW Libraries Dance Party
When? September 27, 2011 - Noon to 4pm
Where? Odegaard Library' on UW's Red Square
Experience a postmodern pastiche of music and sounds at the first annual UW Libraries Dance Party. Nerdy (but welcoming) archivists will be on hand, playing tunes and spinning vinyl from UW Libraries' audio holdings. Come to dance, listen, and learn more about the Libraries' unique holdings, such as the Crocodile Cafe and Kearney Barton collections. Visit us online for more information:
Sponsored by the UW Libraries Media Center
Contact John Vallier for more info: vallier "at" uw.edu
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
I recently had the opportunity to attend a preview for Ken Burns’ upcoming 3 part documentary, Prohibition, at MOHAI. Although it was only a ~15 minute clip, it intrigued me to say the least. I do not recall seeing any of Ken Burns’ other works, such as The Civil War or Baseball, so I was not sure what to be prepared for. It turns out that he seems to be a very traditional documentary filmmaker. He strives to be very historically accurate and to take an objective stance on the subject mater. Burns combines historical footage and interviews with historians and authors to further this accuracy.
I cannot help but compare him to Errol Morris, another documentary filmmaker (Have you seen The Thin Blue Line?), who is not as traditional. Morris seems to be more interested in allowing the audience to go through the facts and choose how they feel about the topic. He chooses to use reenactments of an event; however, changes them as actual testimonies are being told. Quite the opposite of Ken Burns, I would say.
I appear to be a fan of both filmmakers and would recommend Ken Burns’ Prohibition (airs in October on KCTS) and Errol Morris’ recently released film, Tabloid (I have only seen the trailer, but ended up researching it further, and it looks super interesting! And also my professor said it was great), and The Thin Blue Line if you have yet to see it (we have it in the Media Center).