What We’re Watching: Jane

Jane DVD cover

Available at Main Campus Library: QL 31 .G58 J36 2017

This movie was watched by Julie Humphrey, Library Director.

Title: Jane

Director: Brett Morgen

Genre: Documentary

Why did you choose to watch this movie?
I am a huge admirer of primatologist, Jane Goodall, and her animal conservation work.  I had heard that this film featured never-before-seen archival footage of her years working in Tanzania in the early 1960’s.

What did you like about it?
The film footage by wildlife photographer Hugo van Lawick is incredibly beautiful and captivating. The director had access to more than 100 hours of this amazing film from the National Geographic archives.  I liked hearing Dr. Goodall’s story in her own words as narrator.  I learned so much about her life and work.

Image of Jane Goodall and baby chimpanzee

Image from Hugo van Lawick, National Geographic, reprinted in the New York Times

Did it remind you of any other movies?
It certainly reminded me of other wonderful nature documentaries like March of the Penguins but it is a very unique and fascinating biography.

Was there anything noteworthy about the movie?
I didn’t realize that Jane was only 26 when she first went to the forest of Gombe to observe and document chimpanzee behavior.  She had great support from her mother who accompanied her on the expedition for the first few months.  I also wasn’t aware that she didn’t have a college degree at the time of her work in Africa. She was secretary for Dr. Louis Leakey, paleoanthropologist and archaeologist, who sent her to Tanzania. She went on to her earn her PhD a few years later.  Jane fell in love with the wildlife photographer that was filming the experience and they married and had a son together so there is the added bonus of a love story!

Who would you recommend the movie to?
Nature and science enthusiasts, animal lovers, and anyone who appreciates compelling documentaries and learning about fascinating people.

What would you pair this movie with?
Other new biographical films of inspirational women like activist Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the first farm worker’s union.

Dolores DVD cover

Available at Main Campus Library, HD 6509 .H84 D65 2018

What We’re Watching: The Florida Project

Forida Project DVD cover

Available at Main Campus Library PN 1997.2 .F56 2018

This movie was watched by Julie Humphrey, Library Director.

Title: The Florida Project

Director: Sean Baker

Genre: Drama

Why did you choose to watch this movie?
I had noticed that this film was on many “best” lists for the year and I had seen the director’s previous film Tangerine and really liked it.  I enjoy supporting and watching independent films.

What did you like about it?
It’s a very moving and powerful portrait of childhood. The acting by the children and adults is incredible. The kids’ adventures, mischief, and wonder is a joy to watch.  It offers a rare view of the lives of people struggling and trying to get by from week to week to survive. It’s the story of a single mother and her six-year-old daughter living in a motel outside of Disney World but it’s also so much more than that.

Did it remind you of any other movies?
Boyhood
, which is another amazing film about childhood and youth.

Was there anything noteworthy about the movie?
As Roger Ebert said in his review on his website (https://www.rogerebert.com), “It’s enough to make you want to slow down the next time you pass a place like the Magic Castle and look more closely at the lives unfolding there. It takes a very special movie to change the way we look at the people around us. “The Florida Project” is a very special movie.”

Who would you recommend the movie to?
Everyone. This is an independent movie that deserves a wide audience.  It’s very real, funny, honest, raw, eye-opening, and ultimately heartbreaking. Willem Dafoe was nominated for an Academy Award for his outstanding performance as supporting actor, but the film was widely overlooked at the Oscars.

What would you pair this movie with?
Some Kleenex for the end of the film!  Also, an ice-cream cone as some of my favorite scenes were of the kids sharing ice-cream cones.