#StayAtHome Film Festival: Hannah’s Travelling Picks

Travelling introduces you to new places, new people and new cultures. However, as the world has gone into lockdown and travelling is at a standstill the only way to travel safely is vicariously through film. Thanks to the magic of film you can be transferred to somewhere outside of your bubble. Here are some films that incorporate travel and discovery that take you to France, Turkey, Spain, China, Australia and America. These films can be accessed on our wonderful streaming services Beamafilm and Kanopy!


Faces Places

Year: 2018
Length: 89 minutes
Country: France
Directors: Agnès Varda and JR

Watch the full film here!

This film is simply wonderful and is a real joy to watch. It follows the iconic film director Agnès Varda as she teams up with artist JR. They go to rural parts of France in a photobooth van and take photos of locals to print off on a massive scale to paste onto the side of buildings. They travel to small villages which is great to see as they go to places that you wouldn’t think to visit. Every local they meet is friendly and has a story to tell. It makes you appreciate the importance of listening and learning from people.

Agnès says, she wants “to meet new faces and photograph them so they don’t fall down the holes in my memory” which I can relate to as I take photos of everything as a reminder. There is a joyful playfulness to this film but there is also melancholy as Agnès wonders “if everyone that she meets will be the last”. This film celebrates and embraces life as they both marvel and wonder at every aspect and it makes you realise you need to appreciate life.

Discover More:

Beamafilm: Find out more about the artist JR by watching Inside Out The Peoples Art Project.

CIA World Factbook: Find out facts about France with the CIA World Factbook! This provides data and information on different countries so you can find out about key demographics, government, economy and more.

LinkedIn Learning: If you want to improve your photography skills then there are heaps of useful photography tutorials on LinkedIn Learning.


Kedi

Year: 2016
Length: 79 minutes
Country: Turkey
Director: Ceyda Torun

Watch the full film here!

This sweet and charming documentary transports you to Istanbul where there are an incredible number of stray cats roaming the streets which has been the case since the Ottoman Empire! One person in the documentary states that “without the cat Istanbul would lose a part of it’s soul” and throughout the film you can see how much of an impact the cats have on everyone. The people who take care of the cats show incredible displays of kindness, such as a café owner who donates all his tips to look after the cat who frequents his café. It’s amazing to see how cats can change and enhance people’s lives as one man states that the cats that he looks after helped him to recover from his nervous breakdown. I especially like how the camera shows you Istanbul from the cats’ point of view as they explore and wander through the city.

Discover More:

PressReader: Want to know more about cats? Then you should check out the magazine Modern Cat that is available for you to read on PressReader!

Mango Languages: Did you know that the title of the film Kedi is Turkish for cat? Learn some more Turkish words by heading to Mango Languages.


The Trip To Spain

Year: 2017
Length: 108 minutes
Country: Spain
Director: Michael Winterbottom

Watch the full film here!

This is the third installment of The Trip as comedians Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan play fictional versions of themselves and on this occasion, they take an adventure around Spain. Steve wants to follow in the footsteps of Laurie Lee and Cervantes and their route is heavily influenced by these writers. They drive around the country and this allows us to soak up the exquisite scenery, especially Malaga’s amazing coastline road. The impressions are non-stop as they compete to be the best Sir Mick Jagger, Sir Michael Caine, Sir Ian McKellan and Sir Roger Moore in a variety of fancy restaurants. If you are familiar with The Trip and The Trip to Italy then you’ll know what to expect but I still enjoy spending time with these two as their often cutting exchanges and quick-witted banter is fun to watch.

Discover More:

OverDrive: If you’re looking for new recipes to try out at home during lockdown, then check out this awesome Spanish cookbook eBook.

OverDrive: Want to read As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee that inspired the trip? Well you’re in luck as it’s available as an eBook here.

OverDrive: The other book that was mentioned a lot in The Trip To Spain is Don Quixote and this can also be borrowed from our extensive eBook collection.


The Nightingale

Year: 2015
Length: 96 minutes
Country: China
Director: Philippe Muyl

Watch the full film here!

In fast-moving, business-focused Beijing two parents Chongyi and Qianying are busy trying to make a career and don’t have enough time for their child Renxing who is glued to her iPad. The parents both have work trips at the same time, so Qianying entrusts Renxing to be looked after by her grandfather, who has previously lost her whilst under his care. Renxing and her grandfather are off on their travels to visit his village along with his bird, a nightingale. At first Renxing acts up, but they soon bond after getting lost in a luscious bamboo forest. Rural China’s scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. This film is extremely cute and lovely and the grandfather and granddaughter are engaging characters who have a beautiful rapport as they learn much from each during their journey.

Discover More:

Dragonsource: Take a look at Dragonsource for Chinese language magazines in both simplified and traditional Chinese for online reading.

Encyclopaedia Britannica: This is a treasure trove of interesting facts where you can learn more about the nightingale and specifically the Chinese nightingale too.


Dusty

Year: 1983
Length: 85 minutes
Country: Australia
Director: John Richardson

Watch the full film here!

The Australian countryside is shot stunningly in this film that is all about the bond between man and his dog. A dog gets sold to a farmer, Tom, who is told that the dog is pure kelpie but is actually part dingo. By day, Dusty becomes a trusty and reliable sheep dog but at night he does like to terrorise the sheep when his natural dingo traits come out. This causes tension on the farm as some people want Dusty dead whilst Tom has grown incredibly fond of him. The film shows how much humans and dogs can be attached to each other due to friendship and gives an insight into life in the Australian countryside.

Discover More:

OverDrive eAudiobooks: Want to know how to make your dog happy? Then listen to Cesar Milan’s Guide to a Happy Dog here.


Buddymoon

Year: 2016
Length: 79 minutes
Country: America
Director: Alex Simmons

Watch the full film here!

This silly comedy follows David and Flula as they go on what would have been David’s honeymoon hike. David has been dumped by his fiancé so his incredibly happy and enthusiastic German friend Flula decides to join the hike to cheer him up. Flula is a character that you’ll either love or hate–I love his eccentricities, strange logic and how excitable he is. David provides narration of journal entries from American pioneer explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and the comparison of Meriwether to Flula is a running joke. This is a sweet bromance film that is lots of fun. Their hike into the wilderness is incredibly shot and will make you yearn for an outdoor excursion which hopefully we can do again sometime soon!

Discover More:

OverDrive: This film is all about friendship and David and Flula are best friends in real life. If you want to carry on the theme of friendship with humour thrown in then take a look at these eBooks.

#StayAtHome Film Festival: Gus’ Picks for Weird & Thrilling Films

One of my favourite things to do on my Friday shift at the library is to pick through the DVDs before closing time and grab a film I’ve been meaning to see but have never had the time to check out before. While I can’t stroll through the aisles of Arapaki for the time being, exploring Kanopy and Beamafilm has been scratching that itch for me.

As someone who’s always learning more about the history of film-making and storytelling, I tend to gravitate toward strange, high-concept films and subjects; legacy directors who gained and spent multiple ‘blank checks’ over their careers to make their passion projects, festival films with off-kilter premises that become critical darlings, and weird thrillers that expand what kind of stories you can tell on a budget. These recommendations might not be what you would call ‘comfort viewing’, but I hope they can expand your film-viewing horizons as they have mine. Enjoy!


Swiss Army Man

Year: 2016
Length: 98 mins
Directors: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

Watch the full film here!

A critical darling at Sundance the year of its release, Swiss Army Man follows Hank (Paul Dano) as a man trying to get back to civilization with the aid of a talking, farting corpse named Manny (Daniel Radcliffe). It’s every bit as weird as it sounds, but Dano and Radcliffe’s performances buoy the film as the friendship blossoms between the two men and they help one another discover how to be human again, although it applies to one of them a bit more literally. The physical comedy is also a treat to watch, as Radcliffe forgoes the use of a dummy to do all of the corpse’s stiff, action-figure-like stunts himself. It’s a charming, bizarre, and surprisingly moving movie about how to come back from a period of self-isolation, make lasting connections with people, and rediscover how to live in the world again.

Discover more:

PressReader and RBdigital: If watching Hank and Manny’s trek through the California pines has you missing the joys of trekking the wilderness, both PressReader and RBdigital provide online access to hundreds of magazines including many on mountaineering, tramping, and more.

Overdrive: You’ll never have a better excuse to reread the series that gave Daniel Radcliffe his first big acting break; that’s why Overdrive has made the first Harry Potter book available for free in both ebook and audiobook form in multiple languages.


Enemy

Year: 2013
Length: 91 mins
Director: Denis Villeneuve

Watch the full film here!

Director Denis Villeneuve is more associated with his recent expansive science-fiction films such as Arrival, Blade Runner 2049 and the upcoming Dune adaptation, but there was a time where he worked on smaller thrillers, including the critically-beloved but little-seen film Enemy. Based off the novel The Double by José Saramago, Jake Gyllenhaal plays Adam Bell, a history professor who discovers an actor in a local film that appears to be his exact double. His actor doppelganger soon discovers Adam as well, as do each of the men’s wives. As their lives begin to intertwine, each one threatens to undo the existence of the other until the film crescendos into one of the freakiest endings to a movie I’ve ever seen.

Discover More:

Kanopy: Can’t get enough of Gyllenhaal? Kanopy also has his early hit Donnie Darko in both the theatrical and director’s cut.

Overdrive: Want to see what inspired Enemy? You can check out the works of Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese writer José Saramago on Overdrive.


Shin Godzilla (Shin Gojira)

Year: 2016
Length: 120 mins
Director: Hideaki Anno

Watch the full film here!

Taking a break from the reboot of his groundbreaking giant robot series Neon Genesis Evangelion, director Hideaki Anno revitalizes the Godzilla brand with Shin Godzilla, taking a more esoteric, body-horror approach to the classic kaiju (‘strange beast’). A huge hit in Japan and winner of seven Japanese Academy Prize awards, many Godzilla fans hold this as one of the best of the series. If you need to convince your housemates who aren’t as versed in genre films to check this out, the interesting twist to this iteration is that the human focus is on the government officials trying to react in real-time to Godzilla’s sudden appearance, rather than the military or a lone hero. What better film to watch now than one about a bureaucracy responding to a sudden evolving threat and using clever infrastructure solutions to mitigate harm and protect their citizens? These days, that’s a story I can get behind.

Discover More:

Kanopy: Kanopy has a range of cinema from Japan, including “ramen western” Tampopo, Studio Ghibli co-production The Red Turtle, and Tokyo Story (Tokyo monogotari), widely considered to be one of the best films ever made.

Beamafilm: Beamafilm offerings of Japanese cinema include Studio Ghibli documentary The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness and the art documentary Kusama: Infinity, which chronicles the work of Yayoi Kusama.


Good Time

Year: 2017
Length: 102 mins
Directors: Benny and Josh Safdie

Watch the full film here!

If you’ve seen and loved the Safdie brothers’ newest film Uncut Gems, it’s well worth your time to check out Good Time, their previous film from 2017. Robert Pattinson plays Constantine, a small-time crook who has to break his brother out of prison while avoiding the police and struggling to pay off a bail bondsman after a bank heist gone wrong. Flat-out from minute one, Constantine races the underbelly of New York City, churning through one unsuspecting ally after another in his desperate quest to reunite with the only family he has left. Robert Pattinson brings a raw and pitiable emotional depth to Constantine, and the Safdie brothers’ trademark use of first-time actors gives their version of New York a rough and lived-in feel.

Discover More:

Kanopy: Eager for more crime thrillers? Kanopy has you covered. Check out one of the genre’s classics, Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder, or Joaquin Phoenix’s recent hit You Were Never Really Here.


Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World

Year: 2016
Length: 99 mins
Director: Werner Herzog

Watch the full film here!

Werner Herzog is a director I’ve always wanted to check out but was only familiar with from terrible impersonations and his surprisingly frequent cameos in primetime cartoons. Lo and Behold is a great contemporary introduction to one of cinema’s most celebrated directorial voices (and what a voice!), following Herzog’s attempt to examine the history of the Internet, from its humble origins in American university campuses to its future potential for self-awareness. Herzog tracks down original Internet Protocol engineer Robert Kahn, hacker Kevin Mitnick, and a community of people in rehab for ‘internet addiction’, among others, to examine the transformative power the Internet affords us a species, while also looking at its precarity as a construct and how our reliance on it can be socially damaging. As more and more of us have to rely on streaming, social media and web conferencing to get by, Herzog invites us to consider just how valuable the internet is to us.

Discover More:

Kanopy: Kanopy has more of Herzog’s most recent works, including crime thriller Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, the Gertrude Bell biography Queen of the Desert, and the environmental thriller Salt and Fire.

PressReader and RBdigital: You can keep up with the latest science and technology news and magazines like New Scientist with both PressReader and RBdigital.


Exit Through the Gift Shop

Year: 2010
Length: 83 mins
Director: Banksy

Watch the full film here!

Cast your mind back to 2010, the heyday of street artists who turned the world into their canvas with their bold and politically loaded art and began to find mainstream success in gallery shows. A typical biopic this is not; Exit Through the Gift Shop follows not Banksy himself, but his filmmaker friend turned disciple Thierry Guetta, who first becomes embroiled in the street art community as a documentarian before deciding to become a street artist himself. Complicating matters is the long-standing accusation that this film was made as a hoax, as Thierry’s rocketing to success as a street artist can come off to some as too staged and polished for a real-life subject, a claim that has been repeatedly denied by the film-makers. Regardless of its veracity, after rewatching this in lockdown, I’m never going to take the streets for granted again.

Discover More:

Kanopy: Eager to learn more about street art? Kanopy recently added a new documentary chronicling the movement’s history, Banksy and the Rise of Outlaw Art.

PressReader and RBdigital: Both Pressreader and RBdigital provide online access to hundreds of magazines including many on art, illustration, photography and more.

Small books on big topics – check out the BWB Texts Collection

The BWB Texts Collection is one of the hidden gems in our online collections line-up that we LOVE and think more of you should know about.

Why? Well in a nutshell the collection brings together a diverse group of short and accessible eBooks on some of the biggest and most important issues facing New Zealand. Some of the topics covered include: the housing crisis, climate change, public health, child poverty and inequality. Dive in to discover stories, insights and analysis by some of New Zealand’s best writers and commentators.

The BWB Texts Collection is also easy to access and use. All you need is your Wellington City Libraries card and a device to read on — PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Ebooks have unlimited simultaneous users and are read in your web browser so there is no waiting or downloading – simply click on any title and read!

Some just released titles that you might like to check out are:

Imagining Decolonisation – contributors include: Rebecca Kiddle, Bianca Elkington, Moana Jackson, Ocean Ripeka Mercier, Mike Ross, Jennie Smeaton and Amanda Thomas
“Decolonisation is a term that alarms some, and gives hope to others. It is an uncomfortable and often bewildering concept for many New Zealanders. This new BWB Text seeks to demystify decolonisation using illuminating, real-life examples. By exploring the impact of colonisation on Māori and non-Māori alike, Imagining Decolonisation presents a transformative vision of a country that is fairer for all.” (from title description page)

The Climate Dispossessed: Justice for the Pacific in Aotearoa? – by Teall Crossen
“The world is heating up beyond the capacity of some countries to cope. Entire populations of Pacific islands are threatened, jeopardising the sovereign rights of these countries and the security of the region. This book explores what a just response to the risk of climate change displacement in the Pacific could look like.” (from title description page)

Transforming the Welfare State: Towards a New Social Contract – by Jonathan Boston
“Eighty years ago, New Zealand’s welfare state was envied by many social reformers around the world. Today it stands in need of urgent repair and renewal. One of our leading public policy thinkers asks: What might the contours of a revitalised ‘social contract’ for New Zealand look like?” (from title description page)

The Broken Estate: Journalism and Democracy in a Post-Truth World – by Mel Bunce
“A lack of knowledge about the world can be a very dangerous thing…Drawing upon the latest international research, Bunce provides a fresh analysis that goes beyond the usual anecdote and conjecture. Insightful and impassioned, this short book provides a much-needed assessment of the future for New Zealand journalism in a troubled world on issues of justice, tikanga, trade-offs, finance, futurism, adaptation, and more.” (from title description page)

Rebuilding the Kāinga: Lessons from Te Ao Hurihuri – by Jade Kake
Rebuilding the Kāinga charts the recent resurgence of contemporary papakāinga on whenua Māori. Reframing Māori housing as a Treaty issue, Kake envisions a future where Māori are supported to build businesses and affordable homes on whānau, hapū or Treaty settlement lands. The implications of this approach, Kake writes, are transformative.” (from title description page)

#No Fly: Walking the Talk on Climate Change – by Shaun Hendy
“What happens when a leading New Zealand scientist (and frequent traveller) rules out flying for a year? From overnight buses to epic train journeys, Shaun Hendy’s experiences speak to our desire to do something – anything – in the face of growing climate anxiety. #NoFly confronts the hard questions of one person’s attempt ‘to adapt’. Was this initiative merely symbolic? Did it compromise his work, his life? And has it left him feeling more optimistic that we can, indeed, reach a low-emissions future?” (from title description page)

#StayAtHomeFest: Aotearoa Road Trip–Day One!

We’ve all seen them: photos of deserted highways stretching through the country, not a car or truck in sight. While this emptiness is a testament to the great work being done to stop COVID-19, it can be hard not to imagine a time when you can once again venture out and re-discover the rest of the country.

But now there’s no need to wait! Thanks to the magic of our eLibrary you can join us on a road trip across Aotearoa, from classic sites on State Highway One to secret spots known only to the wisest, most road-wily librarians. So grab your road atlas, double-check your internet connection and prepare for an epic (virtual) road trip. Read on to begin!


Day One: Pōneke/Wellington to Taupō

Pōneke/Wellington

Population: 202,737
Weather: Probably windy

It may be the first day of your road trip north, but you can’t help having a quick look around the capital. So fire up your new electric car (click here for charging stations), grab your thermette and see what you can find!

Digital Attractions:

Glamorous Histories: Did you know that the site of Wellington’s Central Library was once home to Carmen Rupe’s Balcony strip club–and the legendary Red Mole theatre troupe? Discover more via Wellington City Recollect.

A City of Film: Wellington was chosen as a UNESCO City of Film in 2019, but it’s not just blockbusters that give the city it’s cinematic reputation. The 2013 documentary Gardening With Soul won Best Documentary at the New Zealand Film Awards and is set in Island Bay–watch it now via Beamafilm.


Kapiti Coast (State Highway 1)

Okay, now it’s really time to go. Luckily the traffic out of Wellington isn’t too bad, and you get a smooth run past Pukerua Bay and all the way up the Kapiti Coast–nice one! Your first destination is Whanganui, but there’s plenty to see before then!

Digital Attractions:

Range on the Right: The Tararua Range may look like an impenetrable wall of mountains and bush, but don’t be fooled–up to 150,000 people a year explore its slopes! For more info check out Wilderness, New Zealand’s most popular tramping magazine–and available at RBdigital.

Desirable Island: While adverts promoting Kapiti Island highlight its role as a bird sanctuary, the island has another, more strategic history–discover it via the Roadside Stories audio guides, accessible through Digital NZ and our eLibrary.


Whanganui

Population: 45,309
Weather: Not so windy

Well done, you’ve reached the first stop on your trip. Time for a quick coffee and a snack somewhere–raspberry and lime Fruju, anyone? You park by the river and watch it slide by. What’s waiting for you upstream?

Digital Attractions:

Te Awa Tupua: The Whanganui River has its own legal identity, with all the rights, duties and liabilities of a person! Learn more via NZ Geographic (or explore He Whiritaunoka through the Waitangi Tribunal).

Moturoa: Did you know that in 1868 there were rumours of abandoning Whanganui after Riwha Titokowaru’s victory at the Battle of Moturoa? Find out more in James Belich’s I Shall Not Die–described as “a riveting piece of historical writing.”


Forgotten World Highway (State Highway 43)

You continue on around the coast, stopping for a Fanta and a bag of Fruit Bursts in Stratford before turning onto State Highway 43–aka the Forgotten World Highway. It doesn’t take long for things to get a bit bumpy, and the Fanta suddenly seems like a mistake. But never fear, Taupō isn’t far off!

Digital Attractions:

Turning Green: If you’re feeling a bit car sick by now, distractions can help. And luckily BorrowBox has a range of fantastic audiobooks to help you out–including great local content!

Breakaways: 1989 was a tough year for a lot of New Zealand, not least the people of Whangamomona. So what did they do? Formed their own republic, of course! Past presidents have included Sir Murt Kennard and Billy Gumboot the Goat. Learn more about Billy’s reign thanks to the library’s combined search.


Taupō

Population: 23,900
Weather: Not so cold that you can’t swim

You made it to Taumarunui without being sick–an achievement! You celebrate with a suitably greasy lunch, then continue on to your destination of Taupō. Just enough time for a swim before dinner–congratulations!

Digital Attractions:

Beauty and Fear: Whether you want to experience terror or awe while you’re in nature, Taupō has you covered. If you just want to read about terror or awe, then Pressreader has you sorted, too–with NZ Adventure Magazine.

New Boots: Have you read New Boots in New Zealand yet? It tells the story of Gillian Orrell’s quest to walk all of New Zealand’s Great Walks–including the Tongariro Northern Circuit! Have a read of it via Overdrive.

#StayAtHome Film Festival: ANZAC DAY

How do you mark ANZAC Day in a time of social distancing? It’s a question that had to be tackled during the 1919 Spanish flu pandemic, with marches postponed and commemorations held privately at gravesides. The approach this year will be different again. Virtual dawn services are being held across the country; cut-out poppies will adorn windows; the Royal New Zealand Ballet will give a special performance of Dear Horizon.

Another way you can mark the day is with resources such as books and films–including the documentaries below. Works include Leanne Pooley’s 25 April, the excellent Paris 1919 which looks at events at the end of WWI and the recent documentary Almost Sunrise, examining PTSD in returned soldiers. There are other great sources of information as well, including NZ History, and footage such as Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old and the 100 year commemoration of the return of members of the Māori Pioneer Battalion to Tairawhiti.


25 April

Year: 2015
Length: 85 minutes
Director: Leanne Pooley

Watch the full film here!

25 April is an innovative feature documentary created to bring the story of the New Zealand experience at Gallipoli (Turkey) to life for a modern audience through a re-imagined world. Using graphic novel-like animation, 25 April brings First World War experiences out of the usual black-and-white archive pictures and into vibrant, dynamic color. Weaving together animated ‘interviews’ based on the diaries, letters and memoirs of six people who were actually there, the film tells the compelling and heart-wrenching tale of war, friendship, loss and redemption using the words of those who experienced it.”


The Colour of War: The Anzacs

Year: 2004
Length: 135 minutes
Features: Russell Crowe

Watch the full film here!

“This is the story of Australia and New Zealand at war as never seen before. For the first time, only original colour footage is used to paint a vividly detailed picture of these closely allied nations, from the build up to World War Two to the end of the Vietnam conflict.”


Paris 1919: Negotiating Peace After WWI

Year: 2009
Length: 95 minutes
Director: Paul Cowan

Click here to watch the full film!

“For six months in 1919, Paris was the capital of the world. The last shots had just been fired in the most devastating war of all time – and the old global order lay in tatters. Delegations from over 30 nations urgently descended upon Paris for the most ambitious peace talks in history. Paris 1919 takes us inside this singular event with a vivid sense of character and narrative.”


Almost Sunrise: Two Iraq Veterans Confront their PTSD on a Cross-Country Journey

Year: 2016
Length: 98 minutes
Director: Michael Collins

Click here to watch the full film!

“This moving documentary follows two Iraq veterans, Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson, both tormented by depression for years after they returned home and pushed to the edge of suicide. The two embark on an extraordinary journey – a 2,700 mile walk across the country from Wisconsin to California, in order to reflect on their haunting experiences of war and to ultimately, save themselves.”


The Ottoman Empire: WWI (Lecture Series)

Year: 2017
Length: 31 minutes
Features: Kenneth W. Harl

Watch the full lecture here!

“Though it entered the First World War enthusiastically, the Ottoman Empire was not prepared for total war. In this lecture, focus on the empire’s offensives against the Russian Caucasus Army and the Suez Canal, as well as its struggle against an impending British invasion in the Dardanelles.”

#StayAtHome Film Festival: Shinji’s Picks

Wellington City Libraries’ film streaming services Beamafilm and Kanopy have a range of must-see international movies to get you through lockdown. Included is the Criterion Collection, which includes titles like Summer with Monika–a lovely early Bergman film with some memorable, historically famous scenes. There are also other contemporary and classic films from around the globe, from 2016’s Julieta to the cult classic Funeral Parade of Roses–and many more, including titles previously unavailable on DVD!


Summer with Monika

Year: 1953
Length: 96 minutes
Country: Sweden
Director: Ingmar Bergman

Watch the full film here!

A girl (Andersson) and boy (Lars Ekborg) from working-class families in Stockholm run away from home to spend a secluded, romantic summer at the beach, far from parents and responsibilities. Inevitably, it is not long before the pair are forced to return to reality. The version initially released in the U.S. was reedited by its distributor into something more salacious, but the original Summer with Monika (Sommaren med Monika), presented here, is a work of stunning maturity and one of Bergman’s most important films. (Kanopy)

Discover more:

Mango Languages: Kanopy has a great range of films by Ingmar Bergman–but to watch them without subtitles you’re going to need to brush up on your Swedish! Get started with Mango Languages.


Uncle Boonme Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Year: 2010
Length: 110 minutes
Country: Thailand
Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul

Watch the full film here!

Suffering from acute kidney failure, Uncle Boonmee has chosen to spend his final days surrounded by his loved ones in the countryside. Surprisingly, the ghost of his deceased wife appears to care for him and his long lost son returns home in a non-human form. Contemplating the reasons for his illness, Boonmee treks through the jungle with his family to a mysterious hilltop cave – the birthplace of his first life… (Kanopy)

Discover more:

LinkedIn Learning: Director Apichatpong Weerasethakul has described how for Uncle Boonme he tried to replicate the style of old Thai TV shows, where the “monsters were always in the dark to hide the cheaply made costumes. Their eyes were red lights so that the audience could spot them.” Begin your own adventure into special effects design with LinkedIn Learning!


Funeral Parade of Roses

Year: 1969
Length: 106 minutes
Country: Japan
Director: Toshio Matsumoto

Watch the full film here!

Director Toshio Matsumoto’s shattering, kaleidoscopic masterpiece is one of the most subversive and intoxicating films of the late 1960s: a headlong dive into a dazzling, unseen Tokyo night-world of drag queen bars and fabulous divas, fueled by booze, drugs, fuzz guitars, performance art and black mascara. No less than Stanley Kubrick cited the film as a direct influence on his own dystopian classic A Clockwork Orange. (Kanopy)

Discover more:

Archives of Sexuality and Gender: There are several reviews of Funeral Parade of Roses in the Archives of Sexuality and Gender–with a variety of different opinions on the film! Have a read via our eLibrary.


Julieta

Year: 2016
Length: 95 minutes
Country: Spain
Director: Pedro Almodovar

Watch the full film here!

In this powerful and thrilling family drama from contemporary auteur Pedro Almodovar, a chance encounter causes a woman (Emma Suarez) to reflect on the tragic circumstances surrounding the disappearance of her daughter. Nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Nominated for Best Film Not in the English Language at the BAFTA Awards. Winner of Best Lead Actress (Emma Suarez) and nominated for Best Director and Best Film at the Goya Awards. (Kanopy)

Discover more:

Overdrive: Did you know that Julieta is based on several short stories from Alice Munro? Have a read of Munro’s work via Overdrive–part of our eLibrary!


Eat Drink Man Woman

Year: 1994
Length: 124 minutes
Country: Taiwan
Director: Ang Lee

Watch the full film here!

A gastronomic delight from Academy Award-winning director Ang Lee (Life of Pi, Brokeback Mountain), Eat Drink Man Woman is a classic tale of simmering frustrations and relationship woes as semi-retired Master Chef Chu (Sihung Lung) shares his culinary skills and tends to his three unmarried daughters’ respective emotional journeys. (Beamafilm)

Discover more:

Gale Intereactive: Science: Did you know that Ang Lee’s wife Jane Lin is a microbiologist and university professor? (She also supported Lee before he was able to find work as a director.) Begin your own quest into science with Gale Interactive: Science–and check out the great 3D models, including one of the human body!


Tall as the Baobab Tree

Year: 2013
Length: 82 minutes
Country: Senegal
Director: Jeremy Teicher

Watch the full film here!

Coumba and her little sister Debo are the first to leave their family’s remote African village, where meals are prepared over open fires and water is drawn from wells, to attend school in the bustling city. But when an accident suddenly threatens their family’s survival, their father decides to sell 11-year-old Debo into an arranged marriage. Torn between loyalty to her elders and her dreams for the future, Coumba hatches a secret plan to rescue her young sister from a fate she did not choose. (Beamafilm)

Discover more:

Combined Search: Tall as the Baobab Tree is the first film to be performed in the Pulaar language–spoken by almost a quarter of Senegal’s population. To learn more about Senegal’s language, culture and history, try a combine search of our eLibrary.

#StayAtHome Film Festival: Louise’s Doco Picks

If like me you are curious about the world AND an information junkie who loves non-fiction with a strong narrative then this selection of documentary movies is for you. Without hesitation I can say that documentaries are my favourite genre of movie and the best will resonate in my mind for days, months, and years to come. Documentaries help us understand our natural and human world at the same time as entertaining and informing us. I will never forget the first time I saw Errol Morris’ The Thin Blue Line in 1989 and became aware of the power of documentary as compelling storytelling with a deeper social commentary. This personal selection below only touches the surface of the many amazing documentaries that can be found on Beamafilm and Kanopy, but I hope it provides a taste of the range and depth on offer.


Herb and Dorothy

Year: 2008
Length: 87 minutes
Director: Megumi Sasaki

Watch the full film here!

I love this film. The gentle story of Herbert Vogel, a postal worker, and Dorothy Vogel, a librarian, who built an important contemporary art collection from their modest and fascinating one bedroom New York apartment is truly beautiful.  Its exploration of what compelled Herb and Dorothy to start collecting Minimalist and Conceptual art, with very modest means, until they had one of the most important modern art collections contained in their one bedroom New York apartment is charming and insightful. A testament to art and Herb and Dorothy’s personalities and relationship, this is a documentary that I highly recommend.

Discover more:

Oxford Art Online: Learn more about Minimalist and Conceptual art with encyclopaedia-style articles on the visual arts, including more than 21,000 biographies of artists and craftsmen, and over 5,000 searchable art images, drawings and maps. Content covers painting, sculpture, graphic arts, architecture, photography and more.


Mountain

Year: 2016
Length: 74 minutes
Director: Jennifer Peedom

Watch the full film here!

Wow! This visually stunning documentary about the lure of mountains for humans is breathtaking. Willem Dafoe has the perfect voice to narrate and the soundtrack is by the Australian Chamber Orchestra and includes works works by Chopin, Grieg, Vivaldi, and Beethoven. The grandeur of the mountains is matched by the majesty of the music and the story it tells is simple and beautiful. Why we climb and go into the wilderness, and the beauty of our world’s mountains, has never been shown in a more elegant and compelling way.

Discover more:

PressReader and RBdigital: Both PressReader and RBdigital provide online access to hundreds of magazines including many on mountaineering, tramping, photography and more. If you enjoyed Mountain, you will find more to whet your outdoors appetite here.


Straws

Year: 2017
Length: 33 minutes
Director: Linda Booker

Watch the full film here!

Although a short documentary, Straws packs a punch in its informative exploration of plastic pollution in our oceans. By showing how individuals, groups, and businesses around the globe are reducing plastic straw use through education, collaboration, policy development and utilisation of non-plastic alternatives, Straws helps us understand the impact of one plastic product on our environment. This optimistic and engaging documentary shows that small changes can make a difference.

Discover more:

Gale’s GREENR Global Reference on the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources: Learn more about the physical, social, and economic aspects of environmental issues such as plastic pollution. Topics include authoritative analysis, academic journals, news, case studies, legislation, conference proceedings, primary source documents, statistics, and multimedia.


Dancer

Year: 2016
Length: 81 minutes
Director: Steven Cantor

Watch the full film here!

Dancer is a fascinating character study of a virtuoso ballet dancer that demonstrates how wealth and success might not be enough to satisfy our quest for personal and professional identity. At 19, Ukrainian Sergei Polunin became the Royal Ballet’s youngest ever principal dancer. However after two years, and at the height of his success, Sergei resolved to stop dancing. Filled with amazing footage of classical and contemporary dance (including his viral performance to Hozier’s “Take Me to Church”), this is a beautiful and melancholic exploration of how growing from a child prodigy through to a successful artist does not guarantee happiness.

Discover more:

Naxos Video Library: If you love ballet, then this is for you: watch the world’s greatest opera houses, ballet companies, orchestras and artists perform on demand!


The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness

Year: 2014
Length: 118 minutes
Director: Mami Sunada

Watch the full film here!

My kids grew up with Studio Ghibli movies and at 19 and 21 they still regularly watch and rewatch the magical films that have come out of the mind of Hayao Miyazaki and his team. The fantastical and beautiful animation of films such as Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Howl’s Moving Castle are captivating and gorgeous. This beautiful documentary looks at how Miyazaki and Ghibli became successful and asks what could come next for these talented film makers. Recommended for anyone who has enjoyed a Studio Ghibli movie or loves animation.

Discover more:

Mango Languages: Have you ever wanted to watch and enjoy Studio Ghibli movies in their original Japanese? You can start learning Japanese today with Mango Languages–available through our website and FREE with your library card.

Communicating in a crisis

**UPDATE 10/02/2021 – Lynda.com is now LinkedIn Learning. Read more about the change.**

Even experienced Managers may be feeling challenged during this current crisis. I hope the following LinkedIn Learning video courses prove helpful.

Advice for leaders during a crisis. In this video just uploaded on April 10, leading experts in crisis, leadership, and finance provide you with important methods to keep you and your team focused, inspired, and aligned during this unique time.

Crisis Communication In this 1hr course, Laura Bergells will talk you through how to communicate with key audiences in this crisis which impacts your business or brand.

Managing in difficult times What do leaders do to manage effectively in difficult times? It’s as much about what they do to prepare as it is about how they react.

Marketing during a crisis Learn how to reposition your brand during a crisis, take immediate actgion, re-evaluate the landscape, and understand the new consumer mindset.

#StayAtHome Film Festival: Mark’s Music Doco Picks

I can’t get by without a daily dose of music, so during the lockdown I’ve been using PressReader and RBdigital to keep up with the latest releases. I’ve also been checking out some music documentaries on our online streaming services Beamafilm and Kanopy–old favourites I enjoy seeing again, plus some new ones. Below are six fantastic music documentaries from the last few years, including Academy Award-winners and local gems–enjoy!


Searching for Sugar Man

Year: 2012
Length: 86 minutes
Director: Malik Bendjelloul

Click here to watch the full film!

In the late 60s, a musician was discovered in a Detroit bar by two celebrated producers who were struck by his soulful melodies and prophetic lyrics. They recorded an album that they believed was going to secure his reputation as one of the greatest recording artists of his generation. In fact, the album bombed and the singer disappeared into obscurity. Two South African fans then set out to find out what really happened to their hero. Academy Awards winner for Best Documentary.

Discover More:

Naxos Jazz Library: Did you know that Rodriguez opened the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2013? Discover more great jazz resources via the Naxos Jazz Library–including over 200,000 tracks.


20 Feet From Stardom

Year: 2013
Length: 91 minutes
Director: Morgan Neville

Watch the full film here!

This great documentary shines the spotlight on the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. Triumphant and heartbreaking in equal measure, the film is both a tribute to the unsung voices who brought shape and style to popular music and a reflection on the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others.

Discover More:

Lynda.com: Did you know that Lynda has courses on how to sing? Start practicing now via our eLibrary.


The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble

Year: 2015
Length: 96 minutes
Director: Morgan Neville

Watch the full film here!

Spanning the globe, this is the celebratory story of the renowned international musical collective created by legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The feature-length documentary follows this group of diverse instrumentalists, vocalists, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers as they explore the power of music to preserve tradition, shape cultural evolution and inspire hope.

Discover More:

Press Reader: Press Reader has a range of great music magazines from around the world, including BBC Music Magazine and more.


Liam Gallagher: As it Was

Year: 2019
Length: 85 minutes
Directors: Gavin Fitzgerald and Charlie Lightening

Watch the full film here!

Liam Gallagher went from the dizzying heights of his champagne supernova years in Oasis to living on the edge, ostracised and lost in the musical wilderness of booze, notoriety and bitter legal battles. Starting again alone, stripped bare and with nowhere to hide, this intimate doco sees Liam risks everything to make the greatest rock’n’roll comeback of all time.

Discover More:

RBdigital: Want to read more about Oasis and Liam Gallagher in Rolling Stone? You can–right here in RBdigital!


Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

Year: 2013
Length: 88 minutes
Directors: Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin

Watch the full film here!

On Feb. 21, 2012, members of the feminist art collective Pussy Riot, donning their colorful trademark balaclavas, or ski masks, participated in a 40-second “punk prayer protest” on the altar of Moscow’s Christ the Savior Cathedral before being detained. Arrested and tried for trespassing, wearing “inappropriate” sleeveless dresses and disrupting social order, Nadia, Masha and Katia were accused of religious hatred in a trial that reverberated around the world and transformed the face of Russian society. An official selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it received the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Punk Spirit.

Discover More:

Combined search: Wellington City Libraries’ eLibrary has some great articles, videos, audio and biographies on Pussy Riot–have a search right here!


The Chills: The Triumph & Tragedy of Martin Phillipps

Year: 2019
Length: 95 minutes
Directors: Julia Parnell and Rob Curry

Watch the full film here!

Martin Phillipps came tantalizingly close to conquering the international musical world with his band The Chills, but instead fell into decades of debt and addiction in his hometown of Dunedin, New Zealand. At 54, he’s been given a dire medical prognosis, forcing him to face his demons and realise his musical ambitions before it’s too late.

Discover More:

Wellington Music at WCL: With interviews, reviews, archives and a gig guide, our specialist music page has got your local music needs covered.

Be productive during the lockdown

**UPDATE 10/02/2021 – Lynda.com is now LinkedIn Learning. Read more about the change.**

Need help staying focused and productive while in lockdown? I think we all do. Here are some really good strategies from the LinkedIn Learning tutors.

Productivity Tips: Setting Up Your Workplace with Dave Crenshaw
This shortish 40 minute video gives you quick tips for cultivating a workspace that makes it easier to stay focused, motivated, and productive. (It’s had over 2,500 views since it was loaded at the beginning of February)

Mixtape: Learning Highlights for Better Productivity with LinkedIn Learning Instructors This is a curated collection of insights from top LinkedIn courses on productivity. If you are particularly interested in any one of the courses, check out the full version of each course.

 

Productivity tips: finding your productive mindset – Dave Crenshaw
This hour length video has had over 8,000 views since it was released in January this year.
Dave Crenshaw shares bite-sized actionable tips for finding time in your routine to improve productivity and flexibility. Learn how to shake off negativity and add meaning to your workday.

Time Management: Working from Home with Dave Crenshaw
Another very useful and apt course which gives time management tips to stay productive and balanced when working from home part-time or full-time.

5 Ways to Control Your Time with Chris Croft
Find more time for what’s most important. Learn the 5 key time management strategies (from saying “no” to overcoming perfectionism) to reduce distractions and stay focused…

Storytime, now direct to your bubble!

Are your kids missing their Library storytime visits? Well, good news! You and your bubble can now enjoy storytime anytime at home with Storybox Library. Storybox Library features over 300 stories read aloud by a fantastically diverse range Australian and New Zealand storytellers. All you need is your Wellington City Libraries card and a device to watch on — PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

To get you started, here are some stories my bubble have enjoyed this week:

I Just Ate My Friend – written and illustrated by Heidi McKinnon and read by Tim Rogers
This story about a quirky wee monster looking for a friend will have the little ones laughing out loud, especially at the surprise ending! Performed with superb comic timing by musician Tim Rogers.

That’s Not The Monster We Orderedwritten by Richard Fairgray, illustrated by Richard Fairgray and Terry Jones and read by Richard Fairgray
What happens when the family next door gets an awesome monster!? Well everyone else wants one as well of course! But what if the monster you order isn’t necessarily the monster you get… Super funny and with a unique and ever so slightly offbeat illustrative style, this was a real winner in our house.

The Terrible Plop – written and read by Ursula Dubosarsky, illustrated by Andrew Joyner
This is an old favourite. All about a brave little rabbit, a grumpy bear and a mysterious Terrible Plop!


I Am Jellyfish – written and illustrated by Ruth Paul, read by Akina Edmonds
A glittery undersea story about a kind jellyfish who cleverly gets the better of a knife-nosed swordfish who is keen to have her for his dinner! Gorgeous illustrations and lyrical text make this a perfect choice to wind down before bed.


Pig the Pug – written, illustrated and read by Aaron Blabey
Pig is an outrageously selfish pug dog who decidedly does not want to share his toys with Trevor the dashshund. Something unexpected happens but will Pig learn his lesson? 

Room On Our Rock – written by Kate Temple and Jol Temple, illustrated by Terri Rose Baynton and read by Jay Laga’aia
A clever story about a seal-and-pup looking for a place of safety in an uncertain world. Reading front to back and then back to front gives two different thought provoking narratives.

Bear Make Den – written by Jane Godwin and Michael Wagner, illustrated by Andrew Joyner and read by Anne Edmonds
Bear is very industrious and wants to make the perfect den, but finds something is missing. What could it be? A simple, heartwarming story read with a great sense of playfulness by comedian Anne Edmonds.

The Patchwork Bike – written by Maxine Beneba Clarke, illustrated by Van T Rudd and read by Zahra Newman
A resourceful young boy and his brothers show that you don’t need a lot of possessions to have fun. Using everyday items and a creative spirit the brothers work to build the most amazing patchwork bike around.

AND after you’ve enjoyed the story, don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of each story page to discover a related at home activity!

#StayAtHome Film Festival: Kerry’s Fashion Picks

Looking to escape your living room lockdown by gazing at beautiful dresses and appreciating elegant design? Missing popping out for some lunchtime window shopping?  Dreaming of the opportunity to wear something more classy than trackies?  We have you covered!

Our online resources contain a surprising amount of fashion related content, from movies, to the all important magazines, and a whole resource dedicated to the Vogue archive.  You will never not know what a minaudiere is again.

Beamafilm, our online movie streaming platform, have a whole category dedicated to fashion films aptly titled Fabulous Fashion – so you can binge all of the movies.  Below is a selection of my documentary picks about well-known designers.


Dior and I

Year: 2014
Length: 90 minutes
Director: Frédéric Tcheng

Watch the full film here!

Raf Simons is one of the most revered designers of the last few years.  So much so that he will soon be joining Miuccia Prada at the helm of Prada – quite the honor!  This fascinating documentary covers his career at Dior, and in particular, the creation of his first haute couture collection for the house.  It is a real behind the scenes glimpse at both Raf and Dior, extremely chic and surprisingly emotional.  You can read an interview with director Fredereic Tcheng (from Interview magazine) here.


McQueen

Year: 2018
Length: 111 minutes
Director: Ian Bonhote

Watch the full film here!

McQueen follows the meteoric rise of Alexander McQueen as he was discovered and set up his own fashion label.  He was an incredibly inspired designer and the film highlights how innovative and influential he was on the fashion world during the late nineties and oughties.  It’s also a very moving film that looks a the challenges he faced professionally and personally and his eventual decline into depression.  A good watch for some drama. Vogue UK comprehensively covered this documentary, the director’s and McQueen’s legacy: begin your reading here.


Dries

Year: 2017
Length: 89 minutes
Director: Reiner Holzemer

Watch the full film here!

I watched this film recently and it is pure escapism.  Dries van Noten is a very elegant designer who creates beautiful, wearable – and covetable! – clothes.  This documentary looks at his career trajectory and design processes, following the creation of a collection and the corresponding fashion show.  We also see behind the scenes into his life, relationship and mind-blowing house.  Worth it just for the glimpse into his garden – the kind of magical garden we only can only dream of, especially at the moment.  (Here is a video interview with director Reiner Holzemer.)


Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist

Year: 2018
Length: 80 minutes
Director: Lorna Tucker

Watch the full film here!

Vivienne Westwood is a principled designer and activist whose message is more relevant than ever.  Throughout her career she has always espoused consuming less, protecting the environment and engaging with society.  This documentary takes us into her world, showing us what motivates her work.  It is told mainly in her words, through interviews – somewhat painfully and grouchily drawn out of her.  The movie also illustrates just how ground-breaking and iconic Westwood is in both her designs and lifestyle.  Director Lorna Tucker calls Westwood her hero, read an interview with her here.


Discover More:

Image from ‘The Wanderers’ Vogue, March 2010, v200 n3
For further reading on any of these designers you could try our Vogue Archive online tool.  It offers access to all the content from US Vogue, from 1892 to the present, both images and articles.  You can search for a designer or brand (or any topic or keyword) and it will show you articles, editorials and fashion shoots, and even adverts.  All high-resolution, downloadable, full-page, colour images.  The ability to limit your search results to find exactly what you want is incredibly detailed – you can search for a year, a fabric, an illustration, a type of clothing or style.  The perfect lockdown activity! (Click here for a Youtube tutorial to get you started.)

Who knows what changes will come to the fashion industry and magazine publishing post-Covid-19, so time for some reading now!  The library has a huge range of fashion magazines available, in lots of different languages, through our online magazine platforms – RBdigital and Pressreader.  My pick would be Vogue UK (pictured above and found in RBdigital) which is edited by Edward Enninful, who has created a magazine that addresses the challenges of inclusivity and sustainability.  Also pictured are Vogue India and Vogue Russia which, along with Vogue US and Vogue Australia, can be found in RBdigital.

Did you know that magazines from RBdigital and Pressreader can be read for free, on your computer or in an app on your tablet or phone?  You can download magazine issues to your device to read offline – and keep forever!  – as well as set up alerts that let you know when the latest issues are available.  You can find help getting started with these resources through our eLibrary here.  The RBdigital and Pressreader apps are available to download for free from the Google Play or Apple stores.

 

 

 

#StayAtHome Film Festival: Marilyn’s Picks

Welcome to my choices for the #StayAtHome Film Festival. I chose to focus on documentaries about women and girls fighting against the odds to participate in their chosen sports. As we are all facing changes and restrictions to our life (albeit in our democratic free society of Aotearoa), I thought it appropriate to select films highlighting how women and girls less privileged than us have fought for the same rights we have taken for granted. I hope you enjoy them and celebrate with the participants.


Life Without Basketball

Year: 2018
Length: 89 minutes
Directors: Jon Mercer and Tim O’Donnell

Watch the full film here!

This independent documentary premiered in 2018 at DOC NYC and tells the story of the young female Muslim African-American basketball player Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir and her fight for a professional career which was in danger of being derailed, as the wearing of hijab was banned. Her resolve has enabled millions of young women living in Muslim majority countries to play basketball.


Burn the Ships

Year: 2017
Length: 88 minutes
Directors: Danielle Miller and Julia Thorndike

Watch the full film here!

As in most other professional sports, women’s professional softball pales in significance to men’s softball when it comes to job security, exposure and funding. Through the eyes of one women’s team, the Akron Racers we see how they go about playing the game they love and their commitment, come what may.


Streetkids United II: The Girls From Rio

Year: 2015
Length: 78 minutes
Director: Maria Clara Costa

Watch the full film here!

This 2014 documentary is a follow up to Streetkids United and is about the parallel World Cup for homeless children, played at the same time as the FIFA World Cup. Focussing on the Favela Street Girls, who were chosen to represent Brazil, the film traces the life-changing experience for these girls as they train and become a team.


Afghan Cycles

Year: 2018
Length: 90 minutes
Director: Sarah Menzies

Watch the full film here!

Following the young female members of the National Cycling Team in Kabul and a group of young women in rural Bamiyan, this film uses the bicycle to tell a story of women’s rights in Afghanistan. These young women risk their lives every time they go out to train and compete in the sport they love.


Warrior One

Year: 2014
Length: 84 minutes
Director: Jon Fitzgerald

Watch the full film here!

This is another well regarded documentary about the Wellfit Girls Challenge where a group of teenage girls from across Florida undergo intensive group training in fitness, interpersonal communication, yoga and social entrepreneurship. The aim is to make these girls who have come from a variety of challenging backgrounds become inspired to become global leaders, and to develop their own unique style of leadership. After the five months is up, they take an 11 day service and adventure trip to Peru. This is well worth viewing and encompasses more than just sport.


Granny’s Got Game

Year: 2013
Length: 74 minutes
Director: Angela Alford

Watch the full film here!

The participants face a different challenge than all the other documentaries featured here as the film looks at a year in the life of a senior women’s basketball team in North Carolina as they get ready for another National Senior Games championship. The women are all in their seventies, fighting the obstacles of age to continue playing. They’ve been playing together for over 20 years and transcend just being a team. They are family.


Discover More:

Lynda.com: Unlimited access to over 3500 online video courses. Topics include writing, directing and editing documentary projects, and much more!

Gale Contemporary Women’s Issues: Contemporary Women’s Issues covers a spectrum of women’s concerns ranging from domestic violence, employment and the workplace, and gender equity to family, reproductive health and human rights from across the globe.

givUS: Offers access to more than 1,200 grants and schemes for communities, volunteer organisations, schools, groups, sport clubs and iwi. Part of the Generosity NZ suite of resources – the largest digital search facility for funding information in Aotearoa.

#StayAtHome Film Festival: Welcome!

With over 30,000 films available via Wellington City Libraries’ free film streaming services, it can be hard to know where to start. Do you want a movie with drama? Something to scare you? Perhaps you want to be inspired, or distracted, or maybe you just want to be convinced that the mice that have recently overrun your house are really just cute little dust sprites? (Totoro, I’m counting on you!)

Whatever your cinematic needs, Wellington City Libraries has got you covered! Over the next few weeks our librarians will be presenting hand-picked selections of some of their favourite films in a variety of genres. To take part, all you need to do is make sure you’re a Wellington City Libraries member (click here to find out more), then sign up to both Kanopy and Beamafilm.

And don’t forget to keep an eye out for associated resources: for example, did you know Lynda.com has a wide variety of courses on how to make films yourself?! Discover more with the #StayAtHome Film Festival, coming soon to a library blog near you!

Selections:

Marilyn’s Picks: Women and Girls Against the Odds

Kerry’s Picks: The Latest Fashion Documentaries

Neil’s Picks: Comedy Greats

Mark’s Picks: Music Documentaries

Louise’s Picks: Documentaries that Resonate

Shinji’s Picks: Films From Around the World

Paul’s Picks: ANZAC Day

Gus’ Picks: Weird and Thrilling Films

Hannah’s Picks: The Best Travel Films Around

Susannah’s Picks: Classic and Contemporary Horror

Louise’s Picks: Māori and Pasifika Movies and Docos

StayAtHomeFest: Comic Creators #1!


The moment has come. You know what we’re talking about: your secret dream of writing and drawing a graphic memoir of your childhood, full of precise, personal details, bright, expressive imagery and a bold title that sums up the first 18 years of your life in a single sentence. It won’t be easy. Many have tried, and many have failed. But we believe in you. You can do it! Just take that work notepad and scribble out all those old meeting minutes; steal the felt-tip pens from your child or flatmate’s bedroom. Then settle down and get started–we’re waiting to read it!

(You could also check out these interviews with some of our favourite cartoonists and associated resources first, if you need inspiration–or a distraction…)


JILLIAN TAMAKI

Most cartoonists have a FAQ section on their website, but not all FAQ sections have the question “What is it like to have a banned book?” But that’s exactly what happened to Jillian and Mariko Tamaki’s This One Summer, a coming of age story of two teenage girls that was one of the most challenged books of 2016. It’s also been called an “emotional tour-de-force of a comic, a perfect snapshot of the strange purgatory that lies between childhood and adulthood.” Enjoy!

Overdrive cover This One Summer, by Jillian and Mariko Tamaki (eBook)
“Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It’s their getaway, their refuge. Rosie’s friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. One of the local teens – just a couple of years older than Rose and Windy – is caught up in something bad…” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Overdrive: Did you know Jillian Tamaki grew up reading Archie comics, and is a big fan of Riverdale? Have a look at Archie–and the Riverdale comic adaptions–through Overdrive!

RBdigital: As well as her illustration, comic and blogging work, Jillian Tamaki also does embroidery. Take up your own crafting via RBdigital’s craft magazine selection.


THI BUI

Cartoonist and lecturer Thi Bui was born in 1978, just three months before the end of the Vietnam War. Bui and her family fled to America, and it is this story of escape, as well as the difficulties faced upon arrival in the States, that became the focus of Bui’s acclaimed 2017 graphic novel The Best We Could Do. The Best We Could Do has been described as “one of the first great works of socially relevant comics art of the Trump era.”

Overdrive cover The Best We Could Do, by Thi Bui (eBook)
“This beautifully illustrated and emotional story is an evocative memoir about the search for a better future and a longing for the past. Exploring the anguish of immigration and the lasting effects that displacement has on a child and her family, Bui documents the story of her family’s daring escape after the fall of South Vietnam in the 1970s, and the difficulties they faced building new lives for themselves.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

MasterFILE Complete: Thi Bui recently went to the island of Lesvos in Greece to learn about the refugee situation there. Follow her at her website, and learn more via MasterFILE Complete.

Story Box: Did you know that Thi Bui has also illustrated a children’s book, Chicken of the Sea, with her son? Check out more children’s stories via Overdrive and listen to readings via Story Box Library!


EMIL FERRIS

Reviews can be important for writers and illustrators; who doesn’t want to hear that people have engaged with–and like–your work? But author Emil Ferris took this a bit further when Forbes declared that her debut work, My Favorite Thing is Monsters, was of such quality that it was not only “one of the most profound, ambitious and accomplished creative works to appear in any medium this decade” but would transform graphic literature! (For more info, check out ‘I didn’t want to be a woman – being a monster was the best solution’.)

Discover More:

Oxford Art Online: Are you inspired by art galleries as much as Emil and Karen? Visit Oxford Art Online through our eLibrary!

Kanopy: Classic horror movies have also had a distinct impact on Emil Ferris’ work: watch them for yourself on one of our free film streaming services.


LYNDA BARRY

When Lynda Barry received her MacArthur fellowship in 2019, not one but two strands of her career in comics were highlighted: the groundbreaking work she’s produced since Ernie Pook’s Comeek was first released in 1979–including The Good Times Are Killing Me and One! Hundred! Demons!–and her ongoing role as a teacher. Her celebrated workshop on writing and creativity, ‘Writing the Unthinkable’, has been described as “freaky, vivid, and a lot of fun”–and also a lot of hard work!

Discover More:

Lynda.com: Did you know Lynda Barry has a course on Lynda.com? It’s true! Have a look via the link!

RBdigital: In 1991 Lynda Barry’s essay on the Gulf War (entitled “War”) was published in Mother Jones. Read the original essay here and check out the latest edition of Mother Jones via RBdigital.


DAVE MCKEAN

If you found yourself having nightmares after seeing the dementors in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, you have one person to blame: Dave McKean. Designing dementors is in fact a very small part of McKean’s output, which has included the distinctive covers for Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, illustrating the most successful graphic novel ever published (Arkham Asylum, 1989), producing the graphic comic Cages, directing three feature films and much, much more!

Overdrive cover The Sandman (1989), Volume 1, by Neil Gaiman (eBook)
“NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Neil Gaiman’s transcendent series SANDMAN is often hailed as the definitive Vertigo title and one of the finest achievements in graphic storytelling. Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Lynda.com: Whether you love McKean’s films, illustration, photography or writing, Lynda.com has a tutorial to match!

Naxos Jazz Library: Did you know McKean founded the jazz label Feral Records? For more jazz–including iconic works by Chet Baker, Miles Davis and John Coltrane!–visit our premiere jazz streaming service.

StayAtHomeFest 2020: Day Three

It’s the start of the second week of lockdown: if you’re anything like us, you’ve probably run out of coffee. And olive oil. And anything resembling a vegetable. But you don’t want to go out unless you have to, so it’s time to start combining the ingredients you’ve got left: tofu and powdered cheese butter; tuna and hot cross buns; pasta and Nutella. Keep at it–who knows what interesting food combo you may inadvertently discover!

Meanwhile, we’ve also got our third day of StayAtHomeFest, combining talks from some of our favourite authors with links to eBooks of their work via Overdrive. We’ve also added links to associated digital resources in case you want to do a bit more exploring. So grab whatever’s left at the back of your cupboard (Is that garlic? An old Easter egg?) and join us for Day Three of this socially-distanced digital event!


ROBERT MACFARLANE

Since he published his first book in 2003, Robert Macfarlane has been one of Britain’s foremost nature writers. His most recent work, Underland: a Deep Time Journey has been called “one of the most ambitious works of narrative non-fiction of our age”, and was included in the Guardian‘s 100 Best Books of the 21st Century (at #56, just ahead of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.)

Overdrive cover Underland, by Robert Macfarlane
“In Underland, Macfarlane delivers his masterpiece: an epic exploration of the Earth’s underworlds as they exist in myth, memory and the land itself. He takes us on a journey into our relationship with darkness, burial, and what lies beneath the surface. Traveling through ‘deep time’ – the dizzying expanses of geologic time that stretch away from the present – he moves from the birth of the universe to a post-human future.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Gale in Context: Environmental Studies: Underland is an exploration of both the world beneath our feet and also the time we live in. Continue this exploration of our geological age with our premiere environmental database.

Oxford English Dictionary: Macfarlane’s fourth book, Landmarks, examines the language of landscape–did you know the word feith refers to a watercourse running through peat in a way that resembles veins? Discover more magical descriptions via the Oxford English Dictionary!


MARIANA ENRIQUEZ

If you had to read one short story collection on a Halloween evening, you’d struggle to find a better one than Mariana Enriquez’ Things We Lost in the Fire. And not just because of the dread that underlies her work–although there’s plenty of it!–but also because of the powerful political realism. As Enriquez herself explains, “There’s something about the scale of the cruelty in political violence… that always seems like the blackest magic to me.”

Overdrive cover Things We Lost in the Fire, by Mariana Enriquez (Audiobook)
“An arresting collection of short stories, reminiscent of Shirley Jackson and Julio Cortazar, by an exciting new international talent.” Short stories include “The Dirty Kid”, “The Inn”, “The Intoxicated Years”, “Adela’s House”, “Spider Web”, “End of Term”, “No Flesh Over Our Bones”, “The Neighbor’s Courtyard”, “Under the Black Water”, “Green Red Orange”. (Adapted from Overdrive description)
Discover More:

Pressreader: As well as writing novels and short stories, Mariana Enriquez is also a journalist at Página/12. Browse more Argentinian newspapers–as well as a range of other international titles–via our free full-page eNewspaper database.

Academic Search Elite: Mariana Enriquez has also talked about the importance of psychogeography in her work. Discover more about psychogeography (“a way to delve into the soul of a city”!) at Academic Search Elite.


KELLY LINK

There are a lot of descriptions of Kelly Link’s writing out there: the MacArthur Foundation called her work “surreal and fantastical with the concerns and emotional realism of contemporary life”; Publishers Weekly described it as “Like Kafka hosting Saturday Night Live”; Neil Gaiman simply declared her a “national treasure”. So what exactly can you expect from this Pulitzer-nominated author? Read on to find out!

Overdrive cover The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, by Rich Horton
“This volume of the year’s best SF features stories by some of the genre’s greatest authors, including Elizabeth Bear, Nancy Kress, Jay Lake, Margo Lanagan, Kelly Link, Paul McAuley, Sarah Monette, Lucius Shepard, Jo Walton, and many others. Selecting the best fiction from Analog, Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, F&SF, The New Yorker, Tor.com, and other top venues, The Year’s Best Science Fiction & Fantasy is your guide to magical realms and worlds beyond tomorrow.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Lynda.com: When she’s not writing, Kelly Link manages Small Beer Press. Learn more about the publishing industry, and how to publish your own eBooks, thanks to Lynda.com.

Novelist Plus: Link’s work has been described as uniquely difficult to categorise, and is sometimes classed as New Weird. Find out more about this genre–and what New Weird works to read next–via Novelist Plus.


KAI CHENG THOM

When Kai Cheng Thom’s debut work, Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir was released in 2016, it was described as “a genre-breaking refusal of the idea that the only stories trans people have to tell are their autobiographies.” Since then, Thom has published not only a children’s book and poetry collection but also I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl’s Notes from the End of the World–recently named a Stonewall Honor Book by the American Library Association!.

Overdrive cover I Hope We Choose Love, by Kai Cheng Thom
“In a heartbreaking yet hopeful collection of personal essays and prose poems, blending the confessional, political, and literary, Kai Cheng Thom dives deep into the questions that haunt social movements today. With the author’s characteristic eloquence and honesty, I Hope We Choose Love proposes heartfelt solutions on the topics of violence, complicity, family, vengeance, and forgiveness.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Gale Archives of Sexuality and Gender: “I wanted to… write my life, but to do so in a way that put relationships between trans people, rather than the expectations of cis people, front and centre.” Discover more via the Gale Archives of Sexuality & Gender!

Libby: Want to read Kai Cheng Thom’s work on your phone or tablet? Then don’t forget to download Libby, Overdrive’s fantastic eBook and eAudiobook app.


CAROL LEONNIG

There have been a number of books written about Trump’s presidency since his inauguration in 2016, but perhaps none have been quite as well researched, detailed or “unsettling” as Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker’s A Very Stable Genius. Learn more about Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Carol Leonnig and the writing of A Very Stable Genius via the Slate Political Gabfest–and below!


Overdrive cover A Very Stable Genius, by Carol D. Leonnig
“For the past three years, Rucker and Leonnig have chronicled the ways President Trump has reinvented the presidency in his own image. They take readers inside Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and the Trump legal team’s scramble for survival, behind the curtains as the West Wing scurries to clean up the President’s mistakes and into the room to witness Trump’s interactions with foreign leaders, and assess the consequences.” (Adapted from Overdrive Catalogue)

Discover More:

Lynda.com: Interested in becoming a journalist yourself? Head to Lynda.com to see what skills you’ll need, including courses on video journalism, social media, article writing and more.

RBdigital: Explore some of the world’s best investigative reporting via RBdigital, our free eMagazine resource–with titles including the New Yorker, Time, Mother Jones and the Listener.

StayAtHomeFest 2020: Day Two

It’s day two of quarantine and you’ve already eaten all the Toffee Pops. And the Squiggles. And the Chocades. (Don’t worry, it happens to all of us.) And besides, you’ve still got StayAtHomeFest 2020 to help you get through!

StayAtHomeFest 2020 combines talks from some of our favourite authors with links to eBooks of their work via Overdrive. We’ve also added links to associated digital resources in case you want to do a bit more exploring. So make yourself a mug of lapsang souchong, dig out that old packet of Chit Chats from the back of the cupboard and settle in for Day Two of this socially-distanced digital event!

(Day One of StayAtHomeFest 2020 can be found here.)


TOMMY ORANGE

The pressure has been on Tommy Orange since the success of There There in 2018. Luckily for readers, he’s not only running 10 kilometres a day, he’s also in the process of finishing the sequel to his debut novel! While you’re waiting, check out this great profile he recently wrote in Esquire.

Overdrive coverThere There, by Tommy Orange
“Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and hoping to reconnect with her estranged family. That’s why she is there. Dene is there because he has been collecting stories to honour his uncle’s death, while Edwin is looking for his true father and Opal came to watch her boy Orvil dance. All of them are here for the celebration that is the Big Oakland Powwow. But Tony Loneman is also there. And Tony has come to the Powow with darker intentions.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Lynda.com: Did you know that as well as writing, Tommy Orange also composes music?! Develop your own music composition skills (and more) with Lynda.com.

ProQuest Research Library: Learn more about the 1969 Alcatraz Occupation featured in There There via our in-depth research database.


SELINA TUSITALA MARSH

“What if I forget my lines, trip up the holy steps, or accidentally step back onto the sacred Cosmati Pavement, causing the Abbey ministers to cry out (like I did during rehearsal)?” It’s not easy to perform in Westminster Abbey, but for poet, academic and former New Zealand Poet Laureate Selina Tusitala Marsh, it’s just part of life!

(And if you haven’t seen it already, check out Mophead, Tusitala Marsh’s recently-released graphic memoir–featured below.)

Overdrive cover Fast Talking PI, by Selina Tusitala Marsh
Fast Talking PI is the first ‘singular, confident and musical’ collection of poetry by Auckland writer Selina Tusitala Marsh. ‘Tusitala’ means writer of tales in Samoan, and Marsh here lives up to her name with stories of her life, her family, community, ancestry, and history. Her poetry is sensuous and strong, using lush imagery, clear rhythms and repetitions to power it forward. The list poem is a favourite style, but she also writes with a Pacific lyricism entirely her own.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

MasterFILE Complete: Read more about Selina Tusitala Marsh’s work via this collection of full-text magazines, journals and reference books.

DigitalNZ: DigitalNZ has millions of local texts, videos and audio recordings–including fantastic performances from Tusitala Marsh. Check them out via the link.

Story Box Library: “All 11-year-olds should have the opportunity to see and hear poetry in a way that explodes their world.” Discover more poetry and stories for kids via Story Box Library!


KILEY REID

You know you’ve written something interesting when your book causes shoving matches between strangers, but that’s exactly the impact Kiley Reid’s debut novel Such a Fun Age has been having since its release. It’s been called “a bold, urgent, essential exploration of race, class, labor, friendship, identity and self-delusion, both deliciously readable and incredibly complex.” Check it out before the movie arrives!

Overdrive coverSuch a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid
“When Emira is apprehended at a supermarket for ‘kidnapping’ the white child she’s actually babysitting, it sets off an explosive chain of events. Her employer, Alix, resolves to make things right. But Emira herself is aimless, broke and wary of Alix’s desire to help. When a connection emerges between the two women, it sends them on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, each other, and privilege.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Kanopy: As well as working on her second novel, Reid is also writing the screenplay for Such a Fun Age. Discover more book-to-movie adaptions via Kanopy, our free film streaming service.

BWB Books: Kiley Reid describes her writing as addressing “class, money, and race”. For more works looking at these topics, check out the BWB Books database.


ILIANA REGAN

Did you know that Iliana Regan’s culinary memoir Burn the Place was the first food title to be longlisted for a National Book Award since Julia Child’s nomination in 1980? But then, not every work about food explores such a powerful range of topics (while still having time to take readers foraging for mushrooms in the fairy-tale forests of childhood!).


Overdrive coverBurn the Place, by Iliana Regan
Burn the Place is a galvanizing culinary memoir that chronicles Iliana Regan’s journey from foraging on the family farm to opening her Michelin-starred restaurant, Elizabeth. Her story is alive with startling imagery, raw like that first bite of wild onion, and told with uncommon emotional power. It’s a sure bet to be one of the most important new memoirs of 2019.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Gale Archives of Sexuality & Gender: Burn the Place has been described as a book that combines stories about gender and sexuality with food and cooking. Discover more stories of gender and sexuality via our fantastic new database.

Lynda.com: Did you know that Lynda.com has resources specifically for restaurant owners–as well as for a range of other businesses?!

Gale Health and Wellness Resource Center: Burn the Place has also been described by the New Yorker as a “memoir of addiction”. Investigate more addiction-focussed resources via one of our key health databases.


FRANCISCO CANTÚ

Between 2008 and 2012, Francisco Cantú worked as a US border patrol agent on the US-Mexico border. His book The Line Becomes a River exposes the violence of past immigration policies towards both migrants and refugees, as well as his own psychological well-being. “This is work that endangers the soul…”

Overdrive coverThe Line Becomes a River, by Francisco Cantú
“In this extraordinary account, Francisco Cantú describes his work in the desert along the Mexican border. He tracks humans through blistering days and frigid nights. He detains the exhausted and hauls in the dead. The line he is sworn to defend, however, begins to dissolve. Haunted by nightmares, Cantú abandons the Patrol for civilian life – but he soon faces a final confrontation with the world he believed he had escaped.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Mango Languages: As well as writing and teaching, Francisco Cantú is also a translator. Begin your own language exploration with our free language-learning database.

RBdigital: Francisco Cantú’s essays have appeared in Best American Essays and magazines including Harper’s. Download the latest copy of Harper’s via our free eMagazine resource.

StayAtHomeFest 2020: Day One

It can be tough being stuck at home. You need plenty of food, you need exercise, you need social support (and, it seems, you need a large stockpile of toilet paper). But there’s something else you need, too–the arts! Presenting: StayAtHomeFest 2020!

StayAtHomeFest 2020 combines talks from some of our favourite authors with links to eBooks of their work via Overdrive. We’ve also added links to associated digital resources in case you want to do a bit more exploring. So make yourself a coffee, move the cat from the best spot on the couch and settle back for Day One of this socially-distanced digital event!


ISABEL ALLENDE

What better way to start than with the legendary Isabel Allende? The Chilean-American author has written 24 books, sold more than 74 million copies of her work and won over 60 awards. Her latest novel, A Long Petal of the Sea, has been described as “a masterful work of historical fiction about hope, exile and belonging”–perfect for times like these.

Overdrive cover A Long Petal of the Sea, by Isabel Allende
“Victor Dalmau is a young doctor when he is caught up in the Spanish Civil War. Together with his sister-in-law he is forced out of his beloved Barcelona and into exile. When opportunity to seek refuge arises, they board a ship chartered by the poet Pablo Neruda to Chile, the promised ‘long petal of sea and wine and snow’. There, they find themselves enmeshed in a web of characters who come together in love and tragedy over four generations.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Kanopy Films: As well as writing for the page, Allende has authored numerous screenplays, and had several novels adapted for the screen. Discover more via one of our free film streaming services!

Mango Languages: Want to read Allende’s work in the original Spanish? Check out Mango Languages, our free database for learning languages on the go.

Gale World History In Context: Did you know Isabel Allende’s stepfather was one of the first people to meet the SS Winnipeg when it reached Chilean waters? Learn more at one of our premiere historical databases.


MAX PORTER

Next up is UK writer Max Porter. Porter is primarily known for his debut novel Grief is the Thing with Feathers, winning him the Sunday Times PFD Young Writer of the Year Award and a shortlisting for the Guardian First Book Award–but did you know he also edited Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries? His most recent work, Lanny, has been described as “a joyously stirred cauldron of words.”

Overdrive cover Lanny, by Max Porter
“Not far from London, there is a village. This village belongs to the people who live in it and to those who lived in it hundreds of years ago. It belongs to England’s mysterious past and its confounding present. It belongs to families dead for generations, and to those who have only recently moved here, such as the boy Lanny, and his mum and dad. But it also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort, who has woken from his slumber in the woods. Dead Papa Toothwort, who is listening to them all.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Beamafilm: Did you know Lanny is being made into a film starring Rachel Weisz? Discover more book adaptations with the second of our two film streaming services, Beamafilm.

Oxford Art Online: Explore Oxford Art Online’s images, drawings and maps and you’ll be drawing like Lanny and Mad Pete in no time!

Gale Literature Center: Porter’s use of language has been compared to James Joyce’s Ulysses. Discover more about the connection via our comprehensive online literary site.


SUKETU MEHTA

Pulitzer finalist Suketu Mehta burst into Best-of lists last year with his groundbreaking This Land is Our Land: An Immigrant’s Manifesto, a book laying out a powerful argument for mass migration as a form of global justice. The work has been called “among the most comprehensive, clearest, lucid and persuasive arguments in favour of immigrant rights yet written.”

Overdrive cover This Land Is Our Land, by Suketu Mehta
“Drawing on his family’s own experience, and years of reporting around the world, Suketu Mehta subjects the worldwide anti-immigrant backlash to withering scrutiny. The West, he argues, is being destroyed not by immigrants but by the fear of immigrants. He juxtaposes the phony narratives of populist ideologues with the ordinary heroism of labourers, nannies and others, and explains why more people are on the move today than ever before.”
(Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

New York Times: Suketu Mehta lives in Manhattan, and luckily we’ve got access to his hometown newspaper and its archives! Explore the New York Times via the link.

RBdigital: Mehta’s work has also appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books and Harper’s. Check out the latest copies via RBdigital, our free eMagazine resource.


VINCENT O’MALLEY

Over the last four years, Vincent O’Malley has helped to fundamentally change how many people view the New Zealand Wars, arguing that the Waikato War should be seen as the defining conflict in New Zealand history. Both The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800-2000 and The New Zealand Wars/Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa have been bestsellers across the country.

Overdrive cover The Treaty of Waitangi Companion, by Vincent O’Malley
“Since the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840 it has become the defining document in New Zealand history. From the New Zealand Wars to the 1975 Land March, from the Kingitanga to the Waitangi Tribunal, from Captain Cook to Hone Harawira, The Treaty of Waitangi Companion tells the story of the Treaty and Māori and Pākehā relations through the many voices of those who made this country’s history.” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

BWB Books: Go deeper into Aotearoa’s history with free access to some of Bridget Williams Books’ most popular titles, including O’Malley’s fantastic The Great War for New Zealand: Waikato 1800-2000 and The New Zealand Wars/Ngā Pakanga o Aotearoa.

Raraunga Kōrero–Māori Databases: Browse an index of clippings collected by T.F. Grey, as well as an index to articles from the Dominion and Evening Post dating back to 1930. Rohe/iwi mentioned include Te Ati Awa, Ngāti Mutunga, Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Mataatua.

Wellington City Recollect: The team at Wellington City Libraries have been digitising historic photos, pamphlets and postcards from the Wellington region–look through them right here!


OLGA TOKARCZUK

Before the US publication of Flights in 2017, Polish author Olga Tokarczuk was described as “probably one of the greatest living writers you have never heard of.” Two years and one Nobel Prize later, Tokarczuk has become a powerful literary figure beyond her country of origin, with English language readers waiting eagerly for the translation of The Books of Jacob, due in 2021.

Overdrive cover Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, by Olga Tokarczuk
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead takes place in a remote Polish village, where Duszejko, an eccentric woman in her sixties, recounts the events surrounding the disappearance of her dogs. When members of a hunting club are found murdered, she becomes involved in the investigation. Duszejko is reclusive, preferring the company of animals; she’s unconventional, and is fond of the poetry of William Blake…” (Adapted from Overdrive description)

Discover More:

Pressreader: Olga Tokarczuk’s Nobel Prize win was covered extensively by some of Poland’s media–but not by the newspapers of the country’s nationalist right. Compare the difference via Pressreader, our free full-page newspaper database.

Gale in Context: Environmental Studies: Looking for the most up-to-date environmental info after reading Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead? Check out Gale in Context: Environmental Studies, including full-text articles from New Zealand and around the world.

Gale LitFinder: Suddenly hooked on William Blake? Read his complete works via Litfinder!

New for RBdigital online magazines in 2020

 The library has just renewed our RBdigital online magazine subscriptions for 2020. This provides us with a good opportunity to review our collection and look at what new magazines are on offer. Unfortunately, there’s always some cancellations too – either by us (due to performance), by RBdigital (which is beyond our control) or because they are no longer being published.

First up, this year’s new magazines include popular magazines Australian House and Garden, Period Living and New Zealand Property Investor, as well as BBC Sky at Night, Motorcycle Trader, New Idea and staff pick, The Hollywood Reporter.  All are available to read and download now, and come with a year’s worth of back issues.

Titles that have gone this year are Bass Player, Kung Fu Tai Chi, Popshot Journal and That’s Life; three magazines that have ceased publication: Smith Journal, Web Designer and National Geographic Traveller ; and three that now available to read through Pressreader: NZ Weddings, New York magazine and Town and Country UK.

If you love magazines and haven’t used RBdigital before then it is well worth a look!  RBdigital provides us with lots of magazines that you can read for free, on your computer or in the RBdigital app on your tablet or phone.  You can also download magazines to your device to read offline – and keep them forever!  You can find the RBdigital homepage through our eLibrary.  There’s a helpful userguide to get you started, all you’ll need is your library card and PIN number.  The RBdigital app is available to download for free from the Google Play or Apple stores.

So check it out!  And if you need any help, pop in to your local library for assistance or fill out our technical support form to put you in touch with our eLibrary team.

Naxos Music/Jazz Library: Things you didn’t know you could do with your library card

“Having fun isn’t hard, when you’ve got a library card”

Arthur Timothy Read

 

Today, we’ll be taking a look at Naxos Music Library and Naxos Jazz Library. An online catalogue of > 2,000,000 tracks, featuring world music, Classical, jazz, blues, world music & more.

The oboe’s belting an A so let’s tune up and take a look at…

Three amazing things you can do with Naxos Music/Jazz Library

1. Create Playlists and Curate Your Favourites

If this is your first time using Naxos you’ll have to enter the site using our Wellington City Libraries’ website. Lots of our online services use a portal like this to verify that you have access to these services (don’t worry, we got you, all WCL’s online services are free for patrons). Just log in with your library card number and your four digit pin (the final four digits of the phone number we have on file for you (if you can’t remember what phone you put down on the form seven and a half years ago just get in touch and we can help you out)).

Now you’re on the Naxos home page, you’ll want to create an account so you can start saving playlists. To create your account click on “Playlists” down the left hand column. At the top you’ll see “Student/Member Account Login/Sign up”. Next, just fill out that form, verify your email and voila, you’re ready to start making playlists and adding tracks and artists to your favourites.

Also, once you have an account you’ll be able to log-in directly from www.naxosmusiclibrary.com. Although the portal is always there if you need it.

2. Listen to music on the go (and offline) with the Naxos App

Available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store the Naxos Music Library app and Naxos Jazz Library app take Naxos music from your PC to your phone and on the go. Once you’ve downloaded the app to your device; log-in using the account you created above and you’re good to go. Plus, all the awesome playlists you’ve already made will be there waiting for you.

If you want to take your classical playlists to the park or your Christmas bangers to the beach, there is also the option to download tracks for offline listening. Just use the menu in the top right hand corner to download tracks and take your musical stylings out of Wifi range.

3. Listen to Awesome TV show and Movie Themes

We haven’t even got the chance to talk about all the awesome stuff there is on Naxos Music and Naxos Jazz Libraries (I mean there are over 2,000,000 tracks). Earlier in the year we put out an informative guide on how to keep up to date with all the new material being added but one of my favourite features is the huge amount of movie and TV themes available. From John Williams to Hans Zimmer (and the rest of the alphabet) and heaps of TV shows (including The Crown) there’re ready made playlists to transport you to any fictional world. I love using them if I want to capture a certain mood while I’m writing (for example this blog was accompanied by Gershwin’s An American In Paris, extra pep with a touch of whimsy).

If you have any further enquiries about Naxos Music Libraries or Naxos Jazz Libraries be sure to get in touch. Remember to have your library card on hand 😉

Story Box Library: Things you didn’t know you could do with your library card

“Having fun isn’t hard, when you’ve got a library card”

Arthur Timothy Read

Today, we’ll be taking a look at Story Box Library. Available from the eLibrary page on the Wellington City Libraries website, Story Box Library is an educational website, created for children with short videos of stories by local authors and illustrators, being read aloud by fantastic, predominantly Australian and New Zealand, storytellers.

Well, we’re all seated on the mat with our arms folded so it’s time to look at…

Three amazing things you can do with Story Box Library

1. Hear stories from your favourite performers and authors

Story Box Library features over a hundred charismatic and diverse storytellers. The storytellers on Story Box Library include actors, comedians, performers, AFL players, influencers, teachers and students from various races, creeds and walks of life.  Story Box Library is an awesome way for your little ones to hear from not just parents, guardians, teachers or librarians but a diverse range of storytellers and people.

2. Broaden the experience with Activity Time

Each Story Box Library video comes with its own activity sheet to deepen the story experience (and to help keep the kids occupied on rainy afternoons). Ranging from writing a news report on events in the story to drawing your own version of a character these are an awesome way to prompt deeper thought into the events and themes of a story. Each Story Box Library book also has tags to link it to other books with similar themes and ideas. Perfect for collating several books into a lesson plan or looking for books with a specific message.

3. Jump into the authors world with the “Meet” series

Would you love to know how your favorite author or illustrator works? The “Meet” series gives you a look inside their world to see how picture books are made. For young and old alike, they are a fascinating peek inside the process that turns ideas into books. In this video, we meet Tania McCartney, who feels most comfortable when in a library (!!).

So there it is! Story Box Library provides hours of wholesome, literary entertainment.

 

LinkedIn Learning: Things you didn’t know you could do with your library card

**UPDATE 10/02/2021 – Lynda.com is now LinkedIn Learning. Read more about the change.**

“Having fun isn’t hard, when you’ve got a library card”

Arthur Timothy Read

 

Today we’ll be looking at LinkedIn Learning. At a recent Technology NZ conference, an educational start-up owner refused to believe that we offered LinkedIn Learning to our patrons for free. Only when I pulled up the app on my phone did the skepticism cease. But who could blame them? The service -which offers video courses taught by industry experts in software, creative, and business skills- can cost up to $39.99 per month! And it’s available for free with your Wellington City Libraries card. *woof*!

Three amazing things you can do with LinkedIn Learning

1. Professional Development

HTML, Ruby on Rails, Photoshop, basic grammar. If you’re anything like me, then you know these things exist but have no idea how to use them. But LinkedIn Learning is here to help. Informative video tutorials on thousands of different topics to help you professionally. From coding to accounting there are heaps of skills that can go straight on your CV.

Many LinkedIn Learning tutorials even come with a download package so you can practice alongside the video. Working on your own spreadsheet while someone talks you step by step how to draw up formulas and graphs. Now that’s what I call learning!

2. Get a new hobby

Learning a new skill is the perfect way to keep your mind sharp and fight boredom. Instead of a sudoku or crossword, how about learning to code that idea for a game that’s been swilling around in your brain for years or perfecting your photo editing skills to take your social media to the next level. Who knows, your new found skills could even turn into a little side hustle.

3. Start a big project

Learning is a lifelong skill and LinkedIn Learning has plenty to keep you learning for years and years. Why not set yourself a big goal five, ten or even twenty years down the track?

Ever dreamed of making your own movie? With your library card and LinkedIn Learning you have access to tutorials on… *deep breath*… expressive and creative writing, editing, grammar, *ahem* overcoming writers block, screenwriting, 2D animation, 3D ANIMATION, film editing, voice recording, microphone use, music composition, music production, website design (for promotion), website coding and how to throw an awesome launch party for your premier (okay I made up that last one). Plus, ALL the above can be added to a handy playlist to keep you on track. Sure, it might be a few years long but as they say “good things take time”.

So what are you waiting for? There’s a world of learning right at your finger tips. If you have any further questions about LinkedIn Learning about  be sure to get in touch. Remember to have your library card on hand 😉

 

The New Yorker and More with RBDigital!

When editor Harold Ross was first establishing The New Yorker in the 1920s, he ran into a significant problem: Ernest Hemingway charged too much for his short stories. Ross’ response? Find the next generation of (more affordable) writers to publish instead, including John O’Hara, John Cheever, J. D. Salinger and Shirley Jackson.

So continued the tradition of young writers getting their break in literary magazines before going on to publish longer works. Many magazines continue to play this role today, as well as being a place for established writers to experiment with new ideas (and, occasionally, for people not traditionally known as writers to find a receptive audience).

Several of the most successful of these magazines are now available via rbDigital completely free of charge, and once you download them they’re yours forever. So sign up or log in to start reading!

The New Yorker


“Founded in 1925, The New Yorker publishes the best writers of its time and has received more National Magazine Awards than any other magazine, for its groundbreaking reporting, authoritative analysis, and creative inspiration. The New Yorker is at once a classic and at the leading edge.” (Adapted from rbDigital)

The Paris Review


The Paris Review publishes the best fiction, poetry, art, and essays from new and established voices, and the Writers at Work interviews offer some of the most revealing self-portraits in literature.” (rbDigital)

The New York Review of Books


“For over 47 years, The New York Review of Books has been the place where the world’s leading authors, scientists, educators, artists, and political leaders turn when they wish to engage in a spirited debate on literature, politics, art, and ideas with a small but influential audience that welcomes the challenge. Each issue addresses some of the most passionate political and cultural controversies of the day, and reviews the most engrossing new books and the ideas that illuminate them.” (rbDigital)

Harper’s Magazine


Harper’s Magazine, the oldest general interest monthly in America, explores the issues that drive our national conversation through such celebrated features as Readings, Annotation, and Findings, as well as the iconic Harper’s Index.” (rbDigital)

New Streaming Picks from the Naxos Music Library

New music keeps coming to the Naxos Music Library; the most comprehensive collection of classical music available online. If you haven’t started streaming from them, please check our guide to streaming. Check out our recent picks below and enjoy streaming!

Cover from Naxos SHOSTAKOVICH, D.: Symphonies Nos. 6 and 7 / Korol’ Lir (King Lear) Suite (Hudgins, Boston Symphony, A. Nelsons)
Performed by: Boston Symphony Orchestra; Hudgins, William R.; Nelsons, Andris
Andris Nelsons is the Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and new Gewandhauskapellmeister of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. With both appointments, and in leading a pioneering alliance between these two esteemed institutions, he is firmly underlined as one of the most renowned, exciting and innovative conductors on the international scene today. Nelsons and the BSO continue the acclaimed cycle with the ‘Symphonies Nos. 6 & 7’.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Cover from Naxos BUXTEHUDE, D.: Membra Jesu nostri / Gott hilf mir (Ricercar Consort, Pierlot)
Performed by: Bayodi, Hanna; Keohane, Maria; Mena, Carlos; Pierlot, Philippe; Ricercar Consort; Thompson, Jeffrey; Vieweg, Matthias
“In 1680, Dietrich Buxtehude sent his friend Gustav Düben the score of ‘Membra Jesu Nostri’. In this perfectly balanced work, he addresses the senses directly, immersing us in the sufferings of Christ: we feel the hammer blows, the heart that stops beating. Through the genius of his music Buxtehude succeeds in moving us, enlightening us and instructing us in the profound meaning of the text.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Cover from Naxos RACHMANINOV, S.: Préludes, Op. 3, No. 2, Opp. 23 and 32 (Giltburg)
Performed by: Giltburg, Boris
“Written over a period of 18 years, Rachmaninov’s sets of Préludes are a mirror and a record of his compositional development. With so rich a variety of character, colour, texture and mood, no two préludes are fully alike, and differentiation of tempo and register ensures that each prélude’s character is clearly defined. The first eleven pieces were conceived by Rachmaninov as a single cycle, and their full-hearted Romanticism contrasts with the significantly more angular, modernistic Op. 32. Whether evoking ballad or bell toll, the exotic or folk influences, the Préludes stand in the great tradition of works by Bach and Chopin written in all 24 major and minor keys.” (Naxos Summary)

Cover from Naxos HANDEL, G.F.: Acis and Galatea (1718 original version) [Opera] (Crowe, A. Clayton, Hulett, N. Davies, Budd, Curnyn)
Performed by: Budd, Jeremy; Clayton, Allan; Crowe, Lucy; Curnyn, Christian; Davies, Neal; Early Opera Company Orchestra; Hulett, Benjamin; Pierce, Rowan
“The award-winning Early Opera Company under the direction of founder Christian Curnyn celebrates the 300th anniversary of the premiere of one of Handels most sublime creations: Acis and Galatea. This unique interpretation is performed as Handel himself specified in the manuscript: supported by fourteen period instruments, the outstanding cast of singers takes on the solo parts as well as the magnificent choruses. This is Handel writing at his highest levels of intimacy and intensity; the music superbly supports the libretto’s evocative portrayal of the story, simultaneously restrained, economical, and deeply moving.” (adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Cover from Naxos DUBHLINN GARDENS (THE) (Besson, Van Mechelen, A Nocte Temporis)
Performed by: A Nocte Temporis; Besson, Anna; Van Mechelen, Werner
“The Dubhlinn Gardens: an evening in the high society of 18th century Dublin, where traditional music was civilizing itself for the salon This programme was inspired by the passion for traditional Irish music that flautist Anna Besson has felt since she was a child. Surprising as it may seem, it was playing the Irish flute that led her to study the baroque instrument For the past few years Reinoud Van Mechelen too has begun to train himself in the traditional Irish song. This twofold practice of early as well as traditional music has led the ensemble A Nocte Temporis to offer a programme that is both vivacious and extremely touching.” (adapted from amazon.com)

Cover from Naxos TRISTANO, F.: Tokyo Stories (Tristano)
Performed by: Guti; Portal, Michel; Shibuya, Keiichiro; Tristano, Francesco; U-zhaan, ; Watanabe, Hiroshi
“Born and raised in Luxembourg, Francisco Tristano is one of the most innovative pianists of today, performing from baroque to avant-garde. He has issued unique recordings from Deutsche Grammophon including the acclaimed ‘Bach Cage’, which can be listened from Naxos Music Library. He is a musician more like Ryuichi Sakamoto or Nils Frahm than a traditional classical pianist, and his new album is inspired by the city of Tokyo that he loves and has visited so many times. It’s another intriguing music; somewhere between classical, techcho and ambient, by the unconventional artist.” (Shinji)

Avengers readers, assemble! New Marvel comics are on Overdrive!

Continuing on from Comicfest 2019, that happened on May 4th, and the box-office smash hit Avengers: Endgame, we’ve updated our Overdrive collection with new comics and classic comics from the House of Ideas, Marvel Comics! From the tales that inspired the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to new hits that have been the critical darlings of the comic world, there’s enough to satisfy any True Believer!


Overdrive cover Black Panther (2016), Volume 1, Ta-Nehisi Coates (ebook)
“A new era begins for the Black Panther! MacArthur Genius and National Book Award-winning writer Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me) takes the helm, confronting T’Challa with a dramatic upheaval in Wakanda that will make leading the African nation tougher than ever before. When a superhuman terrorist group calling itself The People sparks a violent uprising, the land famed for its incredible technology and proud warrior traditions will be thrown into turmoil.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Iron Man: Extremis, Warren Ellis (ebook)
“A landscape of terrifying new technologies threatens to overwhelm fragile mankind! What is Extremis, who has unleashed it, and what does its emergence portend for the world?” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Planet Hulk, Greg Pak (ebook)
“Savage alien planet. Oppressed barbarian tribes. Corrupt emperor. Deadly woman warrior. Gladiators and slaves. Battle axes and hand blasters. Monsters and heroes…and the Incredible Hulk!” (Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover New Avengers (2004), Volume 1, Brian Michael Bendis (ebook)
“In the wake of the systematic destruction of the original Avengers, just what sort of threat to the world could persuade Captain America to assemble an all-new team? How does Cap, Iron Man, Spider-Man and Wolverine sound? Fate has brought them together, and now Captain America wants to make it permanent! Who will take his hand and join the new Avengers? And will they be strong enough to fight the mysterious forces at play around them?” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover The Amazing Spider-Man (2014), Volume 3, Dan Slott (ebook)
“When the evil Inheritors begin exterminating spider-characters throughout the multiverse, every single Spider-Man ever is needed to save the day! A spider-army gathers to fight Morlun and his deadly family, and the Superior Spider-Man intends to lead it! Our universe’s amazing Spider-Man has an issue with that, but the army doesn’t have time for this in-fighting! When the Prophecy comes to fruition, every spider must fight — and no spider is safe!” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Ms. Marvel (2014), Volume 1, G. Willow Wilson (ebook)
“Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City – until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! As Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to handle? Kamala has no idea either.” (adapted from Overdrive description)

Overdrive cover Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2015), Volume 1, Amy M. Reeder (ebook)
“Lunella Lafayette is a preteen genius who wants to change the world, but lives in fear of the Inhuman genes inside her! Now, Lunella’s life is turned upside down when a red-scaled beast is teleported from the prehistoric past to a far-flung future we call…today! Together they’re the most Marvelous Team-Up of all — Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur! But will they be BFFs forever, or just until DD’s dinner time?” (adapted from Overdrive description)