What We’re Watching: At Eternity’s Gate

At Eternity's Gate DVD cover
Available at Main Campus Library: PN 1997.2 .A8 2019

This movie was watched by Julie Humphrey, Library Director.

Title: At Eternity’s Gate

Director: Julian Schnabel

Genre: Drama

Why did you choose to watch this movie?

I liked one of the director’s previous films (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) and I wanted to learn more about Vincent Van Gogh. Willem Dafoe was nominated for a best actor academy award for this role and I really like his acting and I enjoy biopics.

What did you like about it?

It was a fascinating and vivid portrait of the artist later in his life, during his time in Arles, Southern France.  It wasn’t a traditional biography chronicling his entire life, but instead just exploring the short time he lived and worked in Arles. His friend, painter Paul Gauguin, comes to live and work with him for a while and I didn’t know about their intense relationship. It’s a beautiful film and setting with outstanding acting, but not a lot happens.  It’s more of a meditation on Van Gogh as an artist, what his days are like, his artistic process and vision.

Did it remind you of any other movies?

Other artist biopics like Frida, starring Selma Hayek as Frida Kahlo and Pollock, starring Ed Harris as Jackson Pollock. I now also want to watch Schabel’s 1996 film Basquiat, about NY painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. 

Was there anything noteworthy about the movie?

Watching this film, really felt being inside Van Gogh’s mind. Viewers experiences the agony and torture of mental illness. Also, Dafoe looks remarkably like Vincent Van Gogh even though Dafoe is actually about 30 years older than Vincent is in the film! Vincent’s famous “ear incident” is also depicted.  I never really knew the story behind it.

Who would you recommend the movie to?

Anyone who appreciates art, artists, or art history, fans of biography, anyone interested in exploring mental illness through film.

What would you pair this movie with?

Books of Van Gogh’s drawings, paintings, and letters.

Vincent by himself book cover
Vincent by himself: A selection of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings together with extracts from his letters, N 6953 .G63 A3 1985
Van Gogh Library of Great Painters book cover
Van Gogh (Library of Great Painters), ND 653 .G7 S386 1994

Celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month

Pride month image of rainbow

Each June, the library celebrates the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities by highlighting resources in our collection.  We have recently added several new DVDs and books at Main Campus Library! 

Explore the library’s guide to LGBTQ resources for fiction, graphic novels, nonfiction, ebooks, DVDs, streaming video, and recommended websites. 

Last week Governor Roy Cooper proclaimed June as LGBTQ Pride Month in North Carolina. The month of June was chosen to commemorate the riots that took place at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan, New York, June 28, 1969, which is viewed as the beginning of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. The proclamation says “the state of North Carolina will continue to advocate for statewide protections for all LGBTQ individuals to make our state a place where all people – regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression – are treated with dignity and respect.”

Carolina Asia Center Funds New Library Material

We have a bunch of awesome new materials for check out thanks to the Carolina Asia Center at UNC. Funded by their Title VI grant from the Department of Education, the Carolina Asian Center fosters Asian studies on campus by supporting instruction, collaborating on cultural events, and working with faculty interested in adding Asian content to their courses.

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New DVDs in the Library

Now that the weather outside is frightful, it’s time to stay inside and watch movies! Check out some of our new DVD titles.

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?
, 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.

Time for a Movie

It’s not too late to pick up one of our movies to watch this weekend! Check out some of our new titles below.

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New Movies!


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MAYbe It’s Time to Watch a Movie?

⬆️See what I did there? I crack myself up!

Check out (literally) our fresh film titles.

If you have a library account, they’re FREE.*


*You can check anything out for free. It’s awesome! 

February New DVDs

These are some of the new films we have for you to check out. Because sometimes reading is too much effort.