Prior to getting a ‘proper job’ for the library service I used to live hand to mouth as a freelance music producer/DJ and as such was obsessed with music (much to the annoyance of my long suffering other half.) As the evolution of music decreased from its excessive accelerations of the early to mid 90s rave/electronica scenes to its stasis and rear view mirror staring position of the 00’s I found a huge void ever widening in my cultural life. It became harder and harder to find music with a truly modernist vanguard agenda, and once various uncovered gems I’d missed from the past had been listened to, digested and assimilated it left the question of where to now?
One of the perks for me of working for the library service is ploughing my way through the stock, in particular film. Although I’ve always loved film, music always took priority, but with the dearth of exciting new sounds on offer it was time to delve headlong into the world of movies.
An area that the library excels in is World Cinema and this multifaceted output whetted my appetite for the exotic and unknown. The only stumbling block was the subtitles but pretty soon I learned to absorb the subtitle info without it distracting my attention from the film playing.
What do I love about World Cinema? It’s a great antidote to Hollywood for starters. Many of the films come across as more idiosyncratic with a truly creative intention that seems to be made beyond the purpose of fattening up someone’s hedge fund. There is also the thrill and surprise of experiencing other cultures and mores albeit through the director’s lens. From a purely visual perspective the scenery, costumes, settings etc are often beyond what one experiences not only in day to day life but also in your average Hollywood movie. And the stories are often strange and startling drawing on different myths than those I’ve been brought up with, although archetypal themes seen through a different cultural lens also yield surprise.
Here’s a selection of some of the films I have seen and enjoyed: Love Exposure, In the Realm of the Senses, Together, Tears of the Black Tiger, Lilya 4 Ever, Belle Epoque, Lust Caution, Ong Bak, Daisies, L’Ennui, Opera Jawa…. The list goes on.
I recommend you invest in an annual subscription card forthwith, get yourself to the library and delight and astound yourself with some cinematic treats. And if you have any recommendations for some truly ear warping music please let me know
Jake – E-Services Manager
An AudioVisual subscription card gets you up to eight items, with DVDs half price and audio items, including talking books, CDs and language courses for free. At £10 for three months and £30 for a year, it’s a bit of a bargain if you can manage a few trips down to the library.