And the nominees are…

The nominees for the Academy awards have been announced for this year. For me the most notable inclusions are “genre” films in the Best Picture category. It’s unusual for genre films to get much love from the Academy in this category (Peter Jackson’s The Return of the King is so far the only fantasy film to ever win Best Picture) so it will be interesting to see if either Guillermo Del Toro‘s fairy tale fantasy (The shape of water) or Jordan Peele‘s modern gothic horror (Get out) will take the out the Oscar. They’re both up against more traditionally “Oscar-worthy” films in this category so it seems unlikely, in my opinion ( but if you’re interested in knowing more, may I direct you to this graph showing how the genre preferences of the Academy for Best Picture stack up)

Oscar nominated movies must have opened in the previous calendar year, which means that some (but not all) of these films are now available in New Zealand. Flicks has a useful list of where and how you can watch the 2018 Oscar-nominated movies locally.

As for the library collection, below are the 2018 Oscar-nominated films available for loan on DVD or with tie-in reading material. See how many you can watch/read ahead of the awards ceremony on Sunday, 4 March (Monday, 5 March here if you’re planning on watching live).

2018 Oscar nominated films available on DVD

Related books and soundtracks

A number of  this year’s nominated films are either based on books or have tie-in titles or soundtracks, so you might want also want to check out:

  Cover of The breadwinner by Deborah Ellis Cover of Call me by your name by Andre Aciman Cover of The disaster artist by Greg Sistero and Tom Bissell Cover of Dunkirk: The history behind the major motion picture by Josh Levine Cover of Molly's game by Molly Bloom Cover of Mudbound by Hillary Jordan Cover of Star Wars the last jedi, the visual dictionary Cover of Victoria and Abdul by Shrabani Basu Cover of Wonder by R. J. Palacio Cover of The world of Kong: A natural history of Skull Island

Find out more:

Tis the Oscar season

coverI’m a big movie fan and the Oscar season is exciting because it often means some of the top contenders get released in February and March. The other thing a good film often prompts me to do is to go back to the library to read a bit more – the book it was based on, the life of the character, the historical events portrayed in the film.

Some new releases this February look particularly tempting. First up is J.Edgar starring Leonardo Di Caprio. What a monster (Hoover that is not Leo). The grip he held on American public life for so many years and his hidden private life have sparked an energetic publishing boom. The library has an interesting selection – you can even hear Hoover’s voice on the Kronos Quartet recording and we also have a few meaty tomes on the F.B.I .

The one that really intrigues me is The Artist. French actors winning awards! Has Hollywood lost its mind? A silent movie, in black and white! Well the dog is cute.  Books about and DVDs of the silent film era are available in our catalogue. As well there are a raft of biographies of some of the great stars – Chaplin, Valentino, Louise Brookes and so on.

Marilyn Monroe is one of the great movie icons. Colin Clark’s revelation that as a 23 year old working on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl he had a brief fling with Marilyn has been turned into a movie My Week with Marilyn. Colin Clark is overshadowed by his brother Alan in the tell all publishing stakes. As for Marilyn – well writers and photographers were drawn to her train wreck life like bees to honey.

The Oscars and Red carpet fashion

Made for each otherWell the Oscars are done and dusted for another year. It was good to see some well deserved recognition for the Coen brothers and Tilda Swinton amongst others.

The Academy Awards are not only a big event for the movie world, they are one of fashion’s shining moments. The Oscars web site has some pages showing us what’s hot on the red carpet this year and in years gone by.

The Library also has some books on the Academy Awards and some focus on fashion and style in particular:

I think my favourite Oscar outfit is the one Cate Blanchett wore in 1999 – a John Galliano design featuring gauze, lace and gorgeously intricate floral embroidery on the back.