We live in an age where movie studios and TV networks love to adapt new shows and movies from previously established books. From big blockbuster ratings smashes, such as Game of Thrones to smaller Indie flicks like The Fault in Stars, books have found their way into the mainstream of the industry. The good news is that you can find a lot of these books, like last years Oscar Nominees, American Hustle (The Sting Man) and 12 Years a Slave, to upcoming releases like FX’s The Strain and the David Fincher directed, Gone Girl all for free using the Library’s eBook service 3M Cloud Library.
If you are new to using 3M you can find a detailed description on how to use it here, in our article 5 Steps to Checking Out Ebooks. After you download the App you can read any of the books on your PC, Tablet, or E-Reader with the simple touch of a button. So go on and say, “yeah, that show was okay, but you should check out the book”, there is nothing stopping you.
It is the year 2044 and climate change, limited physical resources and The Great Recession has rendered life on earth virtually unbearable. To escape the misery, the majority of humans ignore the fact that they are living in vertically stacked trailer parks and spend their waking hours in the OASIS, a massive multiplayer online simulation where the sky’s the limit (think of OASIS as Facebook meets World of Warcraft meets the Matrix without all the mean AI robots). In the OASIS, people go to school, build and explore virtual worlds, experience space flight, play video games, listen to music, hang out with friends … in fact in the OASIS people can do pretty much anything they want, given that they have enough “credits”.
OASIS was created by an eccentric, socially awkward programmer named James Halliday (whose character is a mashup of Steve Jobs and Howard Hughes with a lesser known eccentric programmer, Richard Garriott thrown in), whom died five years before the story takes place. After his death a video will is release to those in OASIS along with a book that was dubbed Anorak’s Almanac, which purports to be a journal written by James Halliday’s on his passions and obsessions. The video says that whoever can collect three keys (Copper, Jade, and Crystal) that are hidden throughout the OASIS and pass through the matching gates will receive his fortune and controlling stake in Halliday’s company. This becomes known as the Hunt and people immediately begin the search for Halliday’s Easter Egg. Those searching for the Egg are referred to as “gunters,” a truncation of “egg hunters.” Gunters devote an enormous amount of time to studying 1980s pop culture, the decade Halliday grew up in and was perpetually obsessed with, in the hope it will assist them with locating and solving the puzzles involved with the Egg.
When we are introduced to the novel’s protagonist, Wade Watts (an allusion to the Marvel superhero, Deadpool), it is five years after this announcement of the hunt. A lonely Oklahoman teen, Wade goes by the name of Parzival (a reference to a Arthurian Poem from Germany) in the OASIS. Obsessed with cracking Halliday’s puzzle Wade spends the majority of his free time studying Halliday’s passions for all things ‘80s, from Galaga to Rush to The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai.
His journey spans the length and breadth of the OASIS, taking the you on a magical mystery tour to distant planets that are influenced by everything from Blade Runner to Back to the Future. Along the way he finds friendship, love, and the ultimate enemy in the shape of Innovative Online Industries, a powerful corporation who will stop at nothing to win the contest and turn the OASIS into a purely commercial destination.
Will Wade find the keys before the evil corporation? To find out stop by the library’s fiction shelves and grab a copy of Ready Player One. You can also continue reading after the jump for ways to watch the music, play the video games, and listen to the music referenced (or easter egged in the book).
The birth of cinema is said to have taken place in France with Auguste and Louis Lumière’s L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat in 1895. Since that time, France has been vital to the experience of cinema, with one period (French New Wave) during the 1950s-1960 being of vital importance to the growth of film.
The French New Wave was a term blanketed by critics for a group of French filmmakers during the late 1950s to the 1960s. Inspired by Italian Neorealism these creators broke from the conservative film-making style of their predecessors. Directors such as Goddard, Truffaut, Rohmer, and Chabrol began to make bold movies that experimented with techniques previously believed to be antiquated. Using portable equipment, direct sounds, and a film stock that required less light, allowed these pioneers to create movies in a documentary style. Combining discontinuous editing, long takes, combining subjective and objective realism, and adding ambiguity and unreliableness to the narration, allowed French New Wave to give a voice to the political upheaval that was occurring around them.
You can check out all of the French movies, including this year’s best picture winner, The Artist, below or continue reading after the jump for more resources of French Cinema.
The Prairie State library has recently subscribed to the great new database Films on Demand, which provides educational films to help you with whatever academic subject you’re studying. With films from trusted sources like PBS, The History Channel, and the BBC, this isn’t just a collection of old obscure documentaries, and you might be able to really wow your professor with what you find. Continue reading “Films on Demand”
I must admit, I was not a big film person growing up. Just like with books I stuck to one genre and one genre only: horror. I was also of the belief that the book is always going to be better than the movie (actually I still cling to my beliefs) so what would be the point in watching the movie? After a few of my friends became determined to change my mind I gave in…slightly. Movies are definitely an art form unto themselves, and when they are done right they cannot be beat.
One of the biggest surprises that the PSC Library has to offer is their collection of movies. I am not just talking about the unintentionally campy science films, or the extended learning films, or even the nursing tapes. We have a collection of both good quality and just plain fun films. Now there is bad, good, better, and the best news. The bad news is that students cannot browse our DVDs. The good news is that if you have a certain movie in mind, or just want to pick whatever, you can check our card catalogue or ask one of the librarians for a recommendation. The better news is that if you have a craving for a certain film, and you are willing to wait, we can order it for you at no charge. And the best news is that I am going to sample a few films that we have at PSC: Continue reading “Wait…we own THAT?! Cinema”