Join us for a three-part film series showcasing the use of classical music in war movies. The series kicks off at the Central Library this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. with Gallipoli. Live musical accompaniment for some scenes will be provided by members of the Cambridge Symphony Chamber Players for all three films.
1981; Starring Mel Gibson, Mark Lee, Bill Kerr, Harold Hopkins, Charles Yunipingli, & Ron Graham; Rated PG; 1 hour 52 minutes
Amazon.com says, “An outstanding drama, Gallipoli resonates with sadness long after you have seen it. Set during World War I, this brutally honest antiwar movie was cowritten by director Peter Weir. Mark Lee and a sinfully handsome Mel Gibson are young, idealistic best friends who put aside their hopes and dreams when they join the war effort. This character study follows them as they enlist and are sent to Gallipoli to fight the Turks. The first half of the film is devoted to their lives and their strong friendship. The second half details the doomed war efforts of the Aussies, who are no match for the powerful and aggressive Turkish army. Because the script pulls us into their lives and forces us to care for these young men, we are devastated by their fate.”
The next two movies in this series are:
Scent of a Woman, on Saturday, November 17th at 10:00 a.m.
1998; Starring Al Pacino and Chris O’Donnell; Rated R; 157 minutes
Amazon.com says, “Hoo-ah! After seven Oscar nominations for his outstanding work in films such as The Godfather, Serpico, and Dog Day Afternoon, it’s ironic that Al Pacino finally won the Oscar for his grandstanding lead performance in this 1992 crowd pleaser. As the blind, blunt, and ultimately benevolent retired Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade, Pacino is both hammy and compelling, simultaneously subtle and grandly over-the-top when defending his new assistant and prep school student Charlie (Chris O’Donnell) at a disciplinary hearing. While the subplot involving Charlie’s prep-school crisis plays like a sequel to Dead Poets Society, Pacino’s adventurous escapades in New York City provide comic relief, rich character development, and a memorable supporting role for Gabrielle Anwar as the young woman who accepts the colonel’s invitation to dance the tango. Scent of a Woman is a remake of the 1972 Italian film Profumo di donna. In addition to Pacino’s award, the picture garnered Oscar nominations for director Martin Brest and for screenwriter Bo Goldman.”
Platoon, on Saturday, December 1st at 10:00 a.m.
1986; Starring Charlie Sheen, Forest Whitaker, Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, and Johnny Depp; Rated R; 120 minutes
Amazon.com says, “Platoon put writer-turned-director Oliver Stone on the Hollywood map; it is still his most acclaimed and effective film, probably because it is based on Stone’s firsthand experience as an American soldier in Vietnam. Chris (Charlie Sheen) is an infantryman whose loyalty is tested by two superior officers: Sergeant Elias (Willem Dafoe), a former hippie humanist who really cares about his men (this was a few years before he played Jesus in Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ), and Sergeant Barnes (Tom Berenger), a moody, macho soldier who may have gone over to the dark side. The personalities of the two sergeants correspond to their combat drugs of choice–pot for Elias and booze for Barnes. Stone has become known for his sledgehammer visual style, but in this film it seems perfectly appropriate. His violent and disorienting images have a terrifying immediacy, a you-are-there quality that gives you a sense of how things may have felt to an infantryman in the jungles of Vietnam. Platoon won Oscars for best picture and director.”
The Cambridge Symphony Orchestra has worked with organizations that honor American veterans over 2012. The CSO has chosen these three war-themed films, and through an introduction with live chamber music, will spotlight how familiar classical music underscores the theme of war and its aftermath for veterans.
These programs are free and all are welcome. We hope you can join us!
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We’ll be closed tomorrow due to Sandy. Stay safe everybody and we’ll see you on Tuesday!
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Come to the East Branch Library on Thursday, October 18th at 7:00 p.m. and meet one of the nation’s foremost authorities on Halloween, Lesley Pratt Bannatyne. Lesley will share her knowledge of Halloween in a talk and slide show. She will also be signing copies of her new book, Halloween Nation.
On a mission to define the modern Halloween, Lesley delves into the world of enthusiasts, fanatics, and subcultures including Goth, metal, and zombie. In a series of investigative interviews, people from all walks of life reveal their devotion to this fall celebration as Bannatyne crafts a portrait of a wildly popular and surprisingly meaningful twenty-first-century Halloween.
A leading authority on Halloween, Lesley Pratt Bannatyne contributed the Halloween article found in World Book Encyclopedia and is Halloween advisor to the Vampire Empire. She has shared her knowledge of the holiday on television specials for Nickelodeon and the History Channel. Bannatyne is also the author of A Halloween How-To: Costumes, Parties, Decorations, and Destinations; A Halloween Reader: Poems, Stories, and Plays from Halloween Past; Halloween: An American Holiday, an American History; and Witches’ Night Before Halloween, all available from Pelican. She is a Somerville resident.
“After reading this book, I’ve added about thirty things to this year’s ‘Halloween to-do list’! Halloween Nation is the perfect source for hundreds of different ways to celebrate our favorite holiday!”
-Richard Christy, writer/producer, The Howard Stern Show, SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio
“A sophisticated yet playful celebration of all things macabre, morbid, and marvelous . . . Bannatyne makes a great case for celebrating Halloween everyday, all year long. . . . It’s an energetic, thorough, and breathless salute to everyone’s favorite horror holiday.”
-Chris Alexander, editor in chief, Fangoria magazine
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On Tuesday, October 9th, the Friends of the Library invite you to attend their Somerville Public Library Benefit at Flatbread Company (45 Day Street in Davis Square.) A portion of the money from each pizza sold during the benefit will go directly to support programming and events at the three Somerville Library branches. Eat-in or take out. There will also be a small curated book sale and a wicked raffle. Prizes include;
- 2013 Burton snowboard
- $100 in LLBean gift certificates
- Framed print from Union Press
- One-year membership to the Friends of the Somerville Public Library and our 24oz canvas book bag (huge and indestructible, made in Charlestown, MA – you want this…)
- Pounds of coffee from Entimos and Magpie Coffee Roasters
- Skate deck from RAW
- Plus gift certificates to local favorites; Somerville Theatre, Posto, The Painted Burro, Picture Renewal, Ball Square Fine Wines, Somerville Grooves, Redbones, Porter Square Books, and even Flatbread itself!
The Friends of the Somerville Public Library is a not-for-profit organization that helps the libraries to provide programs, services, and materials not covered by the library’s normal operating budget. If you would like to become a member of the Friends, or have questions about the Flatbread Benefit, please contact the Friends by email at: FriendsSomervillePublicLibrary[at]gmail.com
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Join us this Saturday, September 8th at 3:00 p.m. as we welcome Too Human for a concert of jazz standards from the Great American Songbook. The concert will be held outdoors if the weather permits, otherwise, we’ll be in the auditorium.
Too Human is an acoustic music act with vocals, guitar, percussion and upright bass. They perform jazz standards as well as their own originals. The program will include some of the great feeling songs from the American Songbook of the 20s, 30s and 40s such as Pennies From Heaven, It Had To Be You, Nice Work If You Can Get It, All of Me, Sentimental Journey, and others.
Too Human performs all over the East Coast at festivals and fairs, libraries, museums and galleries, civic events and summer concerts, vineyards and wine tastings, clubs, arts councils, schools, coffeehouses, private parties, and restaurants. They’ve written songs for Cher, Pat Benatar, Anne Murray, Nancy Wilson, Teddy Pendergrass and many others. You can see and hear them perform by clicking here, here, here, here, and here.
This free concert is funded by the Friends of the Library. We hope you’ll be able to come!
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Posted by: Ellen in News
Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone and Director of Libraries, Maria Carpenter, announced today that the City of Somerville has been approved by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) to be placed on a waiting list for an $18 million construction grant to partially fund a new public library in the heart of Union Square. Fourteen other communities were listed, but Somerville received the highest grant award in the state and placed first in the second round of review. Eight more Massachusetts communities received provisional construction grants. Somerville’s high placement on the list means that the City will almost certainly receive funding provided that it meets the MBLC’s criteria, including a the requirement that the recipient community match the grant with funds of its own.
Earlier this year, the City of Somerville presented a building proposal to the MBLC that provided for a new public library in Union Square that would more than double the footprint of the current Main Library at 79 Highland Ave. The state-of-the-art building proposal, which was created with community input through a series of meetings in Fall 2010 and an online survey with over 700 respondents, is estimated at $45 million and includes: greatly expanded community meeting and exhibit space; quiet and group study rooms; green space in the form of an outdoor courtyard and terraces that bring light and air into the building; children’s play areas; enhanced and expanded children’s and teen areas; a 200-seat auditorium with after-hours event access; and a café and retail space. The new Main Library will be fully accessible and be secure, well-lit, climate controlled, and environmentally green. The City of Somerville is currently seeking match and additional funding to fulfill grant requirements.
“This generous award represents a major vote of confidence in our community-based planning process and our long-term commitment to maintaining a vibrant and creative library program. It’s also an exciting step forward in the City’s commitment to Union Square as an evolving civic and business hub for the entire metro-Boston region,” said Mayor Curtatone. “In this round of funding for public libraries, Somerville was the front-runner by more than $10 million, demonstrating the state’s support for our community, and to the ongoing development of Union Square. Our proposal was designed with the input of community members, and with all residents in mind; it includes traditional library elements as well as the latest in technology, green space, and recreational elements for both young people and adults. It will expand on our active living opportunities, arts and performance spaces, and create a civic presence in one of our fastest-growing and most popular business districts, as well as serve as a catalyst for economic activity in the area. A new Main Library will serve as the civic and cultural beacon of Somerville. We are thankful to the Board of Commissioners, Board of Alderman, Library Trustees, and to the community members who made this grant application successful, and we look forward to seeing this come to fruition.”
“This is a rare opportunity that Somerville has been given– to come together and build an iconic civic building– a new Main Library for all residents where they can meet, explore, learn, and dream. This new building will offer a much larger and better-equipped community and educational resource for Somerville residents. I am so thankful to the MBLC for this funding opportunity, and to our Library Trustees, community members and City staff for collaborating over many months to create an initial design that truly reflects our city’s wants and needs,” said Carpenter. As we move forward, additional community forums will be held, leading up to the detailed construction plans. “This is also an opportunity for this administration to leave a lasting legacy on our city. With shrinking funding for municipalities, I cannot imagine that we’ll have another opportunity like this, and I’m excited to be a part of this transformation of our public libraries, and of one of our busiest squares.”
“Though our current Central Library is a great historic building and a community gem, the plans for a state-of-the-art building in the heart of Union Square, especially as it becomes an even stronger business hub in the coming years, are terrific. I’m excited to pursue this opportunity, and look forward to working with residents of all ages as we get this going,” said Ward 3 Alderman Tom Taylor, who also currently serves as President of the Board of Aldermen.
“I’m so proud of how far Ward 2 and the Union Square area in particular has come, and thankful to all of the federal, state, and local partners for providing the necessary support and resources to see projects like this come to fruition in our community,” said Ward 2 Alderman Maryann Heuston.
The grant award provides that the building be constructed in Union Square which, as part of the City’s larger plan to redevelop and reinvest in the Square, would provide additional economic development incentive for the business district.
“The library trustees are enthusiastic about our expanding opportunities to foster literacy, provide access to digital resources, and strengthen community. The new library will support emerging partnerships with local artists and universities to expand programming for children, teens, and adults,” said Mark Howland, Director of the Library’s Board of Trustees. “Mayor Curtatone and Director Carpenter’s efforts on behalf of the library successfully cap over a decade of effort by the City and community to transform the central library into an evolving, state-of-the-art facility that will serve Somerville for many decades to come.”
Funding for the projects was authorized by Governor Deval Patrick and the Legislature in the General Governmental Needs Bond Bill, signed by the Governor on August 11, 2008. While libraries that received a provisional MPLCP grant are guaranteed funding, funding for Waiting List libraries depends on several factors including the state’s five year capitol plan and whether libraries that have provisional grants are able to secure local match funding and move forward with a project.
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If you were in the Boston area in the 70s or 80s, chances are you had a least a passing acquaintance with Channel 56′s Creature Double Feature. That beloved old series is the inspiration for our latest Community Curated film series, Saturday Morning Creature Show: Selections from WLVI’s Creature Double Feature. The series kicks off at the Central Library this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. with Destroy All Monsters.
1968; Starring Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, Manda, King Ghidora, and more!; Not Rated; 90 minutes
Everything seems secure on Monster Island until aliens use remote-control devices to command the monsters to destroy…New York, Moscow, London, and Peking find themselves under attack – yikes!
The next two movies in this series are:
Planet of The Vampires, on Saturday, July 7th at 10:00 a.m.
1965; Starring Barry Sullivan, Norma Bengell, and Ángel Aranda; Not Rated; 88 minutes
Amazon.com says, “Italian horror master Mario Bava brought his considerable skills to bear on this hypnotic genre hybrid, creating one of the most eerily atmospheric science fiction films ever made. A spaceship is lured to a mysterious planet, where members of its crew are slaughtered, and their bodies possessed by a near-extinct alien race–a minimalist plot, to be sure, but in the hands of Bava and cinematographer Antonio Rinaldi, Planet of the Vampires (the best-known of this film’s many titles) is a near-masterpiece of style over substance. The simplest sets and backdrops are composed with a perfect eye for perspective and color, with sensible spaceship design and memorable costumes that look like they sprang from the futuristic fantasies of an S&M biker gang. Performances are secondary but effectively low-key, serving to enhance Bava’s painterly use of matte work and miniatures. With a surprise twist ending, POTV is an essential addition to anyone’s sci-fi collection.”
Dracula Has Risen From The Grave, on Saturday, July 21st at 10:00 a.m.
1968; Starring Christopher Lee, Rupert Davies, Veronica Carlson, and Barbara Ewing; Rated G; 92 minutes
A village trembles in fear; a priest forsakes his vows in the service of evil; young beauties fall victim to a mysterious seducer; and each night brings a new threat of death, all because Dracula has risen from the grave!
This film series is curated by Mike Piso, a filmmaker who studied film and video at Mass College of Art. Mike helped to found an art collective in Jamaica Plain in 2003 that put on regular film and video screenings. He has also programmed film screenings at the Aviary Gallery in Jamaica Plain and as part of the Mass College of Art Film Society series. Mike will offer brief introductory remarks before each film, and there will also be time afterwards for comments, questions, and discussion.
These free programs are sponsored by the Friends of the Library and all are welcome. We hope you can join us!
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Last month employment specialist Gary Gekow came to the Central Library and presented a great workshop on resume writing. This month he's coming back with two more workshops for job seekers.
Wednesday, June 20th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
This is an interactive and informal question and answer session where we role-play typical interview questions and how best to answer them. The workshop also includes ways to avoid job candidates’ most common interview mistakes.
Online Job Search and Résumé Submittal Workshop
Wednesday, June 27th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
We will analyze numerous online search strategies including job alerts, job boards, job aggregators, and company employment pages. We will then discuss how to best utilize these websites when submitting one’s résumé.
These free workshops are the final two in a series of three that has been funded by a generous grant from the Tufts Neighborhood Service Fund, an organization which supports local non-profits in Somerville and other communities.
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Join the Friends of the Somerville Public Library for our upcoming Annual Meeting at the Central Library on Monday, June 11th at 7:00 p.m.!
The entertainment at this year’s meeting will be a “Somerville Story Hour” of original fiction and personal memoirs, hosted by Judah Leblang, author of the entertaining memoir, Finding My Place: One Man’s Journey from Cleveland to Boston and Beyond…
Joining Judah will be some talented local writers who will read from their own work. This program reunites some of the members of Judah’s memoir writing course, offered at the West Branch Library in 2009, who provided a memorable evening of stories for the public at the close of the course. We expect this evening of stories to be equally captivating.
The meeting will also include a brief business meeting where we read our financials and conduct other business, as legally required of all 503c organizations. Light refreshments – generously donated by Petsi Pies will be served.
Also, Judah will be back at the Central Library with local musician Yani Batteau for “An Evening of Words and Music,” on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. More about this later!
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Summer is right around the corner! Whether fireside, beachside, poolside, or cityside, kids will have some idle time to cozy up with a good book. Please join us for a discussion about good books to share with your kids this summer. Tammy McKanan, Somerville resident and homeschooling parent; Ann Downer, Somerville resident, author of Hatching Magic and Elephant Talk: the Surprising Science of Elephant Communication; Cindy Ritter, reviewer from The Horn Book; Ellen Jacobs, SPL librarian and parent; and Cathy Piantigini, SPL librarian and supervisor of service to children, will offer recommendations ranging from hard to track down but worth it, to tried and true classics and new releases. Resources where you can find other recommendations, and approaches to discovering books with your children will be discussed. Feel free to add your own suggestions to the mix! The focus will be on reading material recommended for kids ages of 8 to 12. Light refreshments will be provided, as well as some free goodies from Candlewick Press.
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