Friday, October 29, 2010

"The Case of M. Valdemar":
Another Big Read Film Showing Tuesday

A small but excited audience watched "The Black Cat" last week (one student even read the story the night before to get ready!), so next Tuesday we'll screen another of the Tales of Terror vignettes.

Come at lunch on November 2 to watch "The Case of M. Valdemar," 25 minutes based on Edgar Allan Poe's story "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar," which brings together Vincent Price as a dying gentleman and a wicked Basil Rathbone, also known as the original Sherlock Holmes actor, as a mesmerist (hypnotist) with evil intentions. This story has an interesting history, as it was taken to be a scientific report for some time before Poe admitted it was a work of fiction!

Curious but can't make it to the library on Tuesday? Sample this theatrical trailer for the 1962 release instead.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Big Read

We've been focusing on Edgar Allan Poe this week in the library. Of course, black cats and ravens go nicely with Halloween too.

On Monday at lunch, we showed the 1962 short film The Black Cat, a campy horror piece starring Vincent Price and Peter Lorre. This morning, John and Sydney's class came in for a creepy bit of library time featuring a "creepy story" book talk (zombies, vampires, Windigos and the like), and the animated short, "The Tell Tale Heart". They'd read the story to prepare, and we talked a bit about the film and how it amplified or differed from Poe's original.

The horrific face on display next to the Poe books is student Theodore Davis' original interpretation of "The Masque of the Red Death," which he was inspired to create after reading Poe's story. Several high school students have stopped short to take a closer look, with one clear opinion -- "that's creepy." Yup, and that's the point!

Next Tuesday at lunch - another one of the "Tales of Terror" shorts. Maybe The Case of M. Valdemar . . .

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Full Month

What do you get when you cross Hispanic Heritage Month . . .

top right: Ellen Ochoa, first Hispanic female astronaut

with Gay and Lesbian History Month?

bottom right: Juan Julio Diaz, first openly gay man to run for public office, 1961

The opportunity to learn about a LOT of amazing people!

top left: Emmanuel Xavier, spoken word artist
bottom right: Michelle Bonilla, actor

top left: Gloria Anzaldua, activist; top right: Marisa Demeo, judge
middle right: Ramón Navarro, silent movie star
bottom left: Guillermo Diaz, movie actor; bottom right: Marga Gomez, comedian

For some reason, October is always jam-packed with events. The Metro Atlanta Big Read starts Thursday. At Paideia, October started with possibly the best-ever BBQ & Dance and another successful Library Donation Sale. Last week we had two days with mindfulness educator Linda Lantieri, this week ends with Fall Break (yay!) and then we're on to the October 30 Day of the Dead celebration sponsored by the Latino Parents Group. Come by the library to see how we're celebrating all the wonderful things happening in this autumnal month.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Reading Big!:
Metro Atlanta Reads Edgar Allen Poe

The Big Read is a nationwide literacy program of the National Endowment for the Arts, with the goal of bringing back literary reading (as opposed to People magazine reading, I suppose) to American popular culture. Cities and towns across the country have chosen annual Big Read books, then sponsored a month of parties, readings and other participatory events to highlight and celebrate adult literary reading.

Metro Atlanta has celebrated The Big Read for three years now, spearheaded by the Atlanta History Center's Literary Center at the Margaret Mitchell House. This year's reading is The Stories and Poems of Edgar Allen Poe, appropriately creepy for the Halloween month. The kickoff event is a Masquerade Ball at the Atlanta History Center on October 14, and a ton of free events for all ages are happening in following weeks, including several book chats at intown bookstores and library branches, and a Poe film festival (The Fall of the House of Usher and The Masque of the Red Death). The NEA has produced a fascinating podcast about Poe's writings featuring Richard Wilbur, Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket) and others -- click the Play arrow next to Edgar to listen now, or download it from iTunes.

The Edgar Allen Poe radio show on The Big Read

I haven't quite decided how we'll celebrate The Big Read here in the library, but I'm thinking maybe a lunch of Poe film shorts, poetry reading (MMM, maybe) and definitely a raven or two. Watch for details by October 14.

Until then, I'll leave you with this short film of The Tell Tale Heart. Guilt, my friends, is hard on the psyche. Life a clean life, and stay sane. Or not . . .

Read more information about this short film on its Vimeo page.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Banned Books Week in the Junior High

Paideia Junior High students, under the inspired leadership of teacher Sydney Cleland, have really run with their Banned Books Week investigations.

The ground level hallway sports 3 new bulletin board displays featuring covers and information on nearly a hundred books that have been challenged or banned in recent years somewhere in the United States.

In a stroke of genius, Sydney also included brown paper comment walls with leading questions for student response.

Tough question . . .

Which one would YOU save?