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The Miyazaki legacy: film collection

Miyazaki_Films   hayao_miyazaki_2905000c
“You must see with eyes unclouded by hate. See the good in that which is evil, and the evil in that which is good. Pledge yourself to neither side, but vow instead to preserve the balance that exists between the two.”   -Hayao Miyazaki
    Hayao Miyazaki is a Japanese producer, director, writer, and artist. He is critically acclaimed, worshiped even, in Japan and worldwide. His animations, whether as mangas, series, or films, are one of the most recognizable themes of Japanese anime and cultural identity.   On Nov. 17th, 2015 Miyazaki’s film collection on Blu-ray was officially made available on amazon: The Collected Works of Hayao Miyazaki. For those of us who cannot afford such a wonderful package, here is a list of his movies available at the media library.
  1. The Castle of Cagliostro (1979, director)
  2. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984, director)*
  3. Castle in the Sky (1986, director)*
  4. My Neighbor Totoro (1988, director)
  5. Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989, director)*
  6. Porco Rosso (1992, director)THE-KINGDOM-OF-DREAMS-AND-M-thumb-630xauto-51842
  7. Whisper of the Heart (1995, writer)
  8. Princess Mononoke (1997, director)
  9. Spirited Away (2001, director)
  10. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004, director)*
  11. Ponyo (2008, director)
  12. The Secret World of Arrietty (2010, writer)
  13. From Up on Poppy Hill (2011, writer)
  14. The Wind Rises (2013, director)
*These are also available in Blu-ray! In addition, check out The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, a movie discussing the notorious Studio Ghibli co-founded by Miyazaki. The documentary follows director Hayao Miyazaki, producer Toshio Suzuki, and director Isao Takahata for a year as the studio is working on two feature films.

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  Love it or hate it, Monopoly is hands down one of the most iconic board games in existence. This elaborate, often long, game of taking ownership and buying as much as you can was very much a reflection of actual monopolizing in the society it was created in. jpg_PDVD_012     Z0091220   Monopoly is commonly known to be invented by Charles Darrow in the 1930s. Until recent years, this seemed to be the case. But recently it was discovered that Elizabeth Magie, a progressive individual, created a game called The Landlord’s Game, which was the actual first known version of the Monopoly we know today.       38_00392       It was meant to originally point out the immorality of Monopoly, particularly reflecting on Monopolists of those times like Carnegie and Rockefeller. The Monopoly we know now is exactly what it wasn’t originally meant to be: The elitists taking control of territories and business.           But, looking past that, Monopoly is now the most popular family board game and has grown into multiple versions. With today’s monopoly games you can find pretty much any theme you can think of, from Dog-opoly, Horse-opoly, Seinfield-opoly, etc. output_OuqWYtUNT Media Library has various kinds of Monopoly games, including a card game version, a junior version, and Monopoly for the wii! So, Happy National Play Monopoly Day folks! Get your game on.
Monopoly (Classic) Boardgame 65
Monopoly (Wii) Game 423 Wii
Monopoly: Here & Now Boardgame 30
Monopoly: Here & Now: The World Edition Boardgame 31
Monopoly Deal Game: Card Game Board game 185

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Every Tuesday, UNT Media Library highlights a title from their growing collection of tabletop games. This week, read about: Hive box cover

Hive, Boardgame 233

Number of Players: 2
For Ages: 9+
Duration of Play: 20 minutes
  Hive is an addictive strategy game in which two players compete to block in the other player’s queen bee. The players have an arsenal of bugs, each with its own rules for movement – much like in chess. Think ahead, and watch out for spiders. (The spiders aren’t special to the game though. I just think they’re creepy.)

From the publisher:

A fantastic game for two, be the first player to surround your opponent’s Queen Bee using a team of assorted creatures. Because each creature has its own way of moving about the Hive, the game is sometimes called ‘nature chess’, yet simpler rules, no need for a board and an added dimension make it a far more flexible and accessible game that can be played anywhere. Simply great fun!

— Smart Zone

If you like Hive, you may also enjoy these titles, also available at UNT Media Library:
Mega Chess Set image Go box cover Ricochet Robots box cover

Mega Chess Set, Bag 1 & Bag 2

Go, Boardgame 144

Ricochet Robots, Boardgame 216

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Every Tuesday, UNT Media Library highlights a title from their growing collection of tabletop games. This week, read about: Tsuro box cover

Tsuro, Boardgame 313

Number of Players: 2-8
For Ages: 8+
Duration of Play: 20 minutes
  Tsuro is a short game in which players collaboratively create a board and competitively strive to keep their pieces on the table the longest.

From the publisher:

Create your own journey with Tsuro: The Game of the Path! Place a tile and slide your stone along the path created, but take care. Other players’ paths can lead you in the wrong direction—or off the board entirely! Paths will cross and connect, and the choices you make affect all the journeys across the board. Find your way wisely and be the last player left on the board to win! Stay the path–your journey begins here.

— Calliope games

If you like Tsuro, you may also enjoy these titles, also available at UNT Media Library:
Ticket to Ride box cover Hive box cover Blokus box cover

Ticket to Ride, Boardgame 48

Hive, Boardgame 311

Blokus, Boardgame 66

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You may recognize aspects of a Film Noir classic with or without knowing the formal definition of this genre. One source defines Film Noir as “a style of film-making developed in the 1940s, with a plot involving suspense, mystery, crime, and corruption, and a bleak, often shadowy, setting, or a film in this style. Film noir begins as the French appreciation of an American genre: the thriller or mystery film with a disillusioned or neurotic hero afraid of the world, the city, the night, and femmes fatales. ” (Allen). Both films discussed in this post, as well as other Film Noir classics, are available at the UNT Media Library collection. LauraTCMdbImage Click image for Laura TCM trailer page Femme fatales and cynics are common characters in Film Noir. Enter Clifton Webb as Waldo Lydecker, the eloquent cynic with a dark side, in Laura (1944).  Webb may steal scenes but never truly gets the girl. The dark humor and self –absorption of Webb’s characters understandably frustrates others.  Cool Detective Mark McPherson, played by Dana Andrews, immerses himself in Laura’s case both professionally and personally. Gene Tierney is believably cast as multi-talented Laura, who captivates almost every one. DarkCornerTCMdbIMageSqaure Click image for Dark Corner TCM trailer page. The Dark Corner (1946), is more obscure than Laura (1944). The pleasant surprise for me was the female lead played by Lucille Ball. She is not a femme fatale, but a partner. The lead, Bradford Galt, played by Mark Stevens, is another cynic but when you learn more about his past, you get it. Clifton Webb appears yet again, this time as Hardy Cathcart. It is not a risky choice because it is pretty much typecasting.  As in Laura, he wants to add the women he admires to his collection of valuables, but he seems more vulnerable because his betrayal is less perceived and more real. In Film Noir, you may find characters who are seemingly devoid of morals faced off with prominent characters who may share the cynicism but not to the point of unapologetic violence. ‘“There goes my last lead. I feel all dead inside. I’m backed up in a dark corner and I don’t know who’s hitting me.” (qtd. in Nowlan). There are other parallels and topics to explore with this series, but I will stop there. I am not a film expert, just a fan. I do find many of these films to be a fascinating glimpse into America’s cultural past. I often happen upon one of these “classics” by accident or references in film history books.You can film many film books in the library as well.   If you are interested in browsing for similar films at the Media Library, you can do a Subject Search in the UNT Media Library Catalog for Film Noir  The trailers and the film profile pages give you a generous overview of the plot. If you check out these films, I do hope you find them worth your time. Resources:
  • Film Noir. (2007). In R. Allen (Ed.), The penguin English Dictionary. London, United Kingdom: Penguin. Retrieved from
  • Despair and desperation. (2013). In R. Nowlan & G. Nowlan, Film quotations: 11,000 lines spoken on screen, arranged by subject, and indexed. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. Retrieved from
  • Preminger, O., Dratler, J., Hoffenstein, S., Reinhardt, B., Tierney, G., Andrews, D., Price, V., … Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc. (2005). Laura. Beverly Hills, CA: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. UNT Media Library DVD 9636   Series: Fox film noir; 1
  • Hathaway, H., Dratler, J., Schoenfeld, B. C., Kohlmar, F., Ball, L., Webb, C., Bendix, W., … Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Inc.,. (2005). The dark corner.  UNT Media Library DVD 14533  Series: Fox film noir; 10
  • Laura (1944), The Dark Corner (1946) and Clifton Webb  profiles. Turner Classic Movie Database (TCMdb) at:
Happy #Noirvember! ~ Lilly Ramin (@lillylibrarian)

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Every Tuesday, UNT Media Library highlights a title from their growing collection of tabletop games. This week, read about: Sushi Go! box cover

Sushi Go!, Boardgame 245

Number of Players: 2-5
For Ages: 8+
Duration of Play: 15 minutes
  This quick and delicious card game is played in just three rounds. Each player starts with a hand of cards. Everyone picks a card and reveals them together. Then each player passes their hand. The round is over when the last cards are passed. The goal is to score the most points by putting down delectable sets of sushi, shrimp, and dumplings with pudding for dessert! The pudding stays on the table until the end of the game because you eat it – er, score it – last. The most points wins the game. Enjoy!

From the publisher:

Pass the sushi! In this fast-playing card game, the goal is to grab the best combination of sushi dishes as they whiz by. Score points for making the most maki rolls or for collecting a full set of sashimi. Dip your favorite nigiri in wasabi to triple its value. But be sure to leave room for dessert or else you’ll eat into your score! Gather the most points and consider yourself the sushi master!

— Gamewright

If you like Sushi Go!, you may also enjoy these titles, also available at UNT Media Library:
Bohnanza box cover Set box cover Takenoko box cover

Bohnanza, Boardgame 234

Set, Boardgame 250

Takenoko, Boardgame 177

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Every Tuesday, UNT Media Library highlights a title from their growing collection of tabletop games. This week, read about: Galaxy Trucker box cover

Galaxy Trucker, Boardgame 203

Number of Players: 2-4
For Ages: 10+
Duration of Play: 60 minutes
In Galaxy Trucker, it’s up to you to move cargo and a crew through space in a ship of your own making. Space is a rough place if you don’t prepare though. Be sure you have enough room for your cargo and crew… and gun power enough to stave off space pirates! If you survive, the trucker with the most cosmic credits comes out on top.

From the publisher:

In a galaxy far, far away… they need sewer systems, too. Corporation Incorporated builds them. Everyone knows their drivers – the brave men and women who fear no danger and would, if the pay was good enough, even fly through hell. Now you can join them. You will gain access to prefabricated spaceship components cleverly made from sewer pipes. Can you build a space ship durable enough to weather storms of meteors? Armed enough to defend against pirates? Big enough to carry a large crew and valuable cargo? Fast enough to get there first? Of course you can. Become a Galaxy Trucker. It’s loads of fun.

— Rio Grande Games

If you like Galaxy Trucker, you may also enjoy these titles, also available at UNT Media Library:
Guillotine box cover Smash Up box cover The Castles of Burgundy box cover

Guillotine, Boardgame 38

Smash Up, Boardgame 158

The Castles of Burgundy, Boardgame 256

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Fright Night DVD covers (1985 on left, 2011 on right)
Everyone has neighbors. Even all the creeps. Every creepy thing, every creepy creep… all live next door to someone. Do you know who your neighbors are? Do you ever see them out? In the daylight? In the Fright Night films, Charley Brewster gets a new neighbor with strange sleeping habits and a weird diet of fruit… and people. Well, people’s blood anyway! Jerry Dandridge from Fright Night (2011 on Left, 1985 on Right)

Lend these guys some sugar?

With all the fad diets out there, you never can be too careful. Maybe you should adjust your diet too… just add some garlic to everything. David Tennant as Peter Vincent

David Tennant as Peter Vincent in the 2011 film thinks that’s an excellent suggestion.

You may want to watch Fright Night (1985) and Fright Night (2011) to see how Charley handled the situation along with help from famed vampire killer Peter Vincent. Both films are available at the Media Library.

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In an October Scare-A-Day post last week, we mentioned Tom Savini for his work on Dawn of the Dead (1978).

Dawn of the Dead film poster Savini working on Bub zombie from Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Tom Savini is a master of movie makeup, gore, special effects, and visual effects. You have also seen him acting in several spooky/gorey flicks such as From Dusk Till Dawn, Planet Terror, and even in a special cameo of the Dawn of the Dead remake in 2004. Savini as Sheriff in Dawn of the Dead (2004) cameo

Did you catch the reference?

Take a look behind the scenes and gore, fake blood, and latex as Savini himself talks about his gruesome craft in this Video on Demand available through the UNT Media Library, “Horror Effects Hosted By Tom Savini“. Horror Effects Hosted by Tom Savini still image   If you want a little more, “I Heart Monster Movies” is also available for online viewing and features an interview with Tom Savini along with other big horror buffs, including Sid Haig, Doug Bradley, Bill Moseley, Dee Wallace, and many others. I Heart Monster Movies title still image   Don’t be scared to check out the online videos available through the UNT Media Library. There’s something for everyone!  

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Sam Raimi burst on the scene with Bruce Campbell in this snappy horror that trims all the fat and cuts to chase with the urgency of a pencil to the ankle. Evil Dead has a group of friends plan to have some fun in an old cabin that happens to have a book bound with human flesh and they decide, “Let’s mess around with dark forces for fun!” You tell me if that was a good idea or not.

This is too much

The Media Library also has the sequels Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness available just in case you need more Ash in your life.