88th Academy Awards – February 28, 2016

oscarsAh yes, it is award season for the film and television world once again. With less than two weeks until the big show, I thought it relevant to write a post about the notable Oscar nominations for 2016. Whether you make a big deal of the event with friends or simply want to participate in the water cooler chat at work, you may want to get watching!

Best Picture
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
*The Revenant

Actor in a Leading Role
Bryan Cranston in Trumbo
Matt Damon in The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio in *The Revenant
Michael Fassbender in Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl

Actress in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett in Carol
Brie Larson in Room
Jennifer Lawrence in *Joy
Charlotte Rampling in *45 Years
Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in The Big Short
Tom Hardy in *The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight
Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone in Creed

Actress in a Supporting Role
Jennifer Jason Leigh in *The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara in Carol
Rachel McAdams in Spotlight
Alicia Vikander in The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet in Steve Jobs

Animated Feature Film
Boy and the World
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There

*The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
*The Revenant

Costume Design
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
*The Revenant

 The Big Short
Mad Max: Fury Road
*The Revenant

Documentary Feature
*Cartel Land
The Look of Silence
*What Happened, Miss Simone?
*Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Foreign Language Film
*Embrace of the Serpent
*Son of Saul
*A War

Music – Original Score
Bridge of Spies
*The Hateful Eight
*Star Wars: The Force Awakens

*Not yet available on DVD

For the complete list, see http://oscar.go.com/news/nominations/best-actor-nominations-2016-Oscars


Books About Movies: Develop Your Critical Senses

An article in the Book section of the Toronto Star recently caught my interest.   It was actually a list of books that were deemed Cocktail Party Fodder.  One of the titles mentioned was How To Watch A Movie by David Thomson. In case you are not aware, David Thomson is a well-respected movie critic. He has written about movies in The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, The New Republic, Salon, Movieline, Film Comment, and Sight & Sound. Not to mention the fact that he is the author of more than 30 books on film.

If David Thomson offers us tips on how to watch a movie, we should all take advantage of his advice.

How To Watch A Movie by David Thomson (2015):


From one of the most admired critics of our time, comes brilliant insights into the act of watching movies and an enlightening discussion about how to derive more from any film experience.

Since first publishing his landmark Biographical Dictionary of Film in 1975 (recently released in its sixth edition), David Thomson has been one of our most provocative authorities on all things cinema. Now he offers his most inventive exploration of the medium yet: guiding us through each element of the viewing experience, considering the significance of everything from what we see and hear on-screen—actors, shots, cuts, dialogue, music—to the specifics of how, where, and with whom we do the viewing.

With customary candor and wit, Thomson delivers keen analyses of a range of films from classics such as Psycho and Citizen Kane to contemporary fare such as 12 Years a Slave and All Is Lost, revealing how to more deeply appreciate both the artistry and (yes) manipulation of film, and how watching movies approaches something like watching life itself.

Discerning, funny, and utterly unique, How to Watch a Movie is a welcome twist on a classic proverb: Give a movie fan a film, she’ll be entertained for an hour or two; teach a movie fan to watch, his experience will be enriched forever. – Publisher Summary

Other new books about movies to capture your interest (and a couple of my older favourites):

Do The Movies Have A Future? by David Denby (2012)

In the second decade of the twenty-first century, the movies, once America’s primary popular art form, have become an endangered species. Do the Movies Have a Future? is a rousing and witty call to arms. In these sharp and engaging essays and reviews, New Yorker movie critic David Denby weighs in on “conglomerate aesthetics,” as embodied in the frenzied, weightless action spectacles that dominate the world’s attention, and “platform agnosticism,” the notion that movies can be watched on smaller and smaller screens: laptops, tablets, even phones. doAt the same time, Denby reaffirms that movies are our national theater, and in this exhilarating book he celebrates such central big movies as Avatar and The Social Network as well as small but resonant triumphs like There Will Be Blood and The Tree of Life.

Denby joyously celebrates what remains of the shared culture in romantic comedy, high school movies, and chick flicks; he assesses the expressive triumphs and failures of auteurs Quentin Tarantino, the Coen brothers, Pedro Almodóvar, and David Fincher. Refusing nostalgia, he mines the past for strength, examining the changing nature of stardom and the careers of Joan Crawford, Otto Preminger, and Victor Fleming, and the continuing self-invention of Clint Eastwood. And he recreates the excitement of reading two critics who embodied the film culture of their times, James Agee and Pauline Kael.

Wry, passionate, and incisive, Do the Movies Have a Future? is both a feast of good writing and a challenge to fight back. It is an essential guide for movie lovers looking for ammunition and hope. – Publisher’s Summary

The Film Club: A True Story of a Father and Son by David Gilmour (2007)

The_Film_ClubFrom the 2005 winner of the Governor-General’s Award for Fiction and the former national film critic for CBC television comes a delightful and absorbing book about the agonies and joys of home-schooling a beloved son. Written in the spare elegant style he is known for, The Film Club is the true story about David Gilmour’s decision to let his 15-year-old son drop out of high school on the condition that the boy agrees to watch three films a week with him. The book examines how those pivotal years changed both their lives.

From French New Wave, Kurosawa, and New German cinema, to De Palma, film noir, Cronenberg and Billy Wilder, among many others from world cinema, we read about key moments in each film, as the author teaches his son about life and the vagaries of growing up through the power of the movies. Replete with page-turning descriptions of scenes and actors and directors, the narrative is framed with the tender story of his son’s first bittersweet first loves.

This is a charming and poignant story about a very special time in a father and son’s relationship. David Gilmour is a novelist who has earned critical praise from literary figures as diverse as William Burroughs and Northrop Frye, and from publications as different as the New York Times to People magazine. The author of six novels, he also hosted the award-winning Gilmour on the Arts. He lives in Toronto with his wife Tina Gladstone. – Publisher’s Summary

Movie Star Chronicles: A Visual History of the World’s Greatest Movie Stars by Ian Haydn Smith (2015)

Movie Star Chronicles promises to satisfy the curiosity of moviegoers, cinephiles, and the Hollywood-hungry fans that fuel today’s entertainment news industry. movie.pngFor film students, it is a practical reference to the most important actors in cinematic history.

Entries illustrated with film and television stills and other archival material chart the careers of 330 actors from the era of silent film to today’s blockbusters. Expert text gives an entertaining overview and color-coded timelines provide an at-a-glance guide to the actor’s career, their roles, movie release dates, earnings and awards.

Covering Hollywood, Bollywood and world cinema, Movie Star Chronicles is truly international and comprehensive.  – Publisher’s Summary

Silver Screen Fiend: Learning About Life From An Addiction To Film by Patton Oswalt (2015)

untitled.pngNew York Times bestselling author, comedian, and actor Patton Oswalt shares his entertaining memoir about coming of age as a performer and writer in the late ’90s while obsessively watching classic films at the legendary New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles.

Between 1995 and 1999, Patton Oswalt lived with an unshakeable addiction. It wasn’t drugs, alcohol, or sex. It was film. After moving to L.A., Oswalt became a huge film buff, absorbing classics and new releases at least three nights a week at the New Beverly Cinema. Silver screen celluloid became Patton’s life schoolbook, informing his notions of acting, writing, comedy, and relationships. Set in the nascent days of the alternative comedy scene, Oswalt’s memoir chronicles his journey from fledgling stand-up comedian to self-assured sitcom actor, with the colorful New Beverly collective supporting him all along the way.

Ideally timed for awards season, when everyone’s mind is on Hollywood, Silver Screen Fiend follows up on the terrific reception of Oswalt’s New York Times bestselling debut, Zombie Spaceship Wasteland. Already a beloved fixture on the comedy stage, on television, and in film—not to mention his 1.87 million Twitter followers—Oswalt announces, with this second book, that he’s also here to stay on the page. – Publisher’s Summary



Popular Christmas Flicks


The seasonal materials have been out from storage for quite a while now and are in high demand.  Guelph Public Library has many classics from Dickens to Dr. Seuss. There are musicals, comedies, animated and feature films, as well as television specials for your viewing pleasure.  Curl up by the fire with eggnog and popcorn, and watch a holiday movie!  Better yet – have a movie marathon…

The Library has recently put some popular Christmas flicks on 2-day loan to allow as many people to view these titles as possible during the season.

Some of these seasonal titles may also be available on Hoopla (one of Guelph Public Library’s eresources) if the DVD copy is not currently available.  Stream movies for free. Simply sign up using your email address and library card number. Enjoy 10 titles a month!

Borrow these movies from Guelph Public Library:


A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965): Charlie Brown tries desperately to organize a Christmas Pageant and save a sickly Christmas tree. DVD CHA



51msgahuYzLThe Christmas Card  (2007): In the midst of war in Afghanistan, Cody Cullen is touched by a lovely Christmas card sent to him by Faith Spelman. Faith lives in the small, picturesque town of Nevada City, California. As months pass, the card never leaves Cody’s side, giving him the strength to survive and setting him on a mission for find her. DVD CHR


A Christmas Carol (1951): DVD-coverClassic holiday tale in which the miserly Scrooge is visited by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, who show him the error of his ways. With Alistair Sim. DVD CHR



A-Christmas-StoryA Christmas Story (1983): A young boy must convince his parents that a toy rifle is the only Christmas gift that will make Christmas worthwhile. Not only do his parents face what many other parents do during that time of the year, but their actions fit in with the All-American Christmas. With Darren McGavin. DVD CHR


SSS136Christmas Lodge (2011):   During a weekend trip to the mountains, Mary finds herself at the now-dilapidated lodge where she spent the holidays with her family growing up. She becomes determined to restore the building to its former glory and during the process finds herself drawn to Jack, a handsome man who loves the lodge as much as she does. DVD CHR


christmas-miracle-212x300Christmas Miracle (2012): A group of strangers are forced to seek refuge in an abandoned church after a major snow storm hits. Over the course of the evening these strangers rely on one another to make do during these very difficult times. DVD CHR


Christmas Ornament (2014): The-Christmas-Ornament-DVD-flatYoung widow Kathy attempts to ease her pain by avoiding Christmas traditions until she meets a dashing Christmas tree store owner who gives her an ornament that embodies the spirit of hope. Later, with the support of her best friend Jenna, Kathy summons the courage to live and love again. DVD CHR


7d059ba5794f2fad0c31875c35371c61Christmas Vacation (1989): While Clark is determined to have an old fashioned Christmas, disaster strikes when his crude cousin from Kansas arrives unannounced. With Chevy Chase. DVD CHR



00560611-474185_500Elf (2003): A young orphan child mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag and is transported back to the North Pole to be raised as an elf. Years later, Buddy learns he is not really an elf and goes on a journey to New York to find his true identity. With Will Farrell. DVD ELF



frost_1Frosty the Snowman (1969): Frosty the Snowman goes where he’s needed most, and the town of Evergreen sure needed a visit. Mr. Tinkerton, the mayor, runs a tight ship, and there’s no room for talk of magic or any other such nonsense. But, when Frosty the Snowman comes to town, he shows the town’s children that magic is real. DVD FRO


51JDZL+BC1L__SY300_The Holiday (2007): Two women, one Los Angeles and the other in London, exchange homes during the Christmas holiday to forget the men in their lives, only to fall in love again.




Holiday Inn (1941): A song and dance man leaves showbiz to run an inn that is open only on holidays. A former partner joins him and the two find themselves competing for the affections of the same lovely lady. With Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. DVD HOL



512QVB8ZTEL__SY300_Home Alone (1990): An eight-year-old boy is left home alone on Christmas, and has to defend his home against two bumbling burglars. With Macaulay Culkin.              DVD HOM



how-the-grinch-stole-christmas-dvd-coverHow the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966): The grumpy, grouchy, Yule-hating Grinch plots to ruin the Whos of Whoville’s Christmas. Can he steal their holiday spirit by stealing their holiday treats? Perhaps Christmas means a little bit more than just presents and candy. With Boris Karloff. DVD HOW


61xXxU8ml9L__SX940_It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002): ‘Tis the night before Christmas and the Muppet Theater is in danger of being torn down. With heavenly help and hilarious send-ups of just about every holiday movie ever made, Kermit and the Muppets discover what matters most is their love for each other. With David Arquette, Joan Cusack, William H. Macy and Whoopi Goldberg. DVD IT



It’s a Wonderful Life (1946): A man is saved from a suicide attempt by an angel and is then shown how important he is to the people who love him. With Jimmy Stewart. DVD ITS


Miracle on 34th Street (1947): 51VGaDTIwVLThe real Santa is hired by Macy’s to play the department store’s Santa in the Thanksgiving Day parade, but has to prove in court that he is who he says he is. With Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara and Natalie Wood. DVD MIR


The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992): The story of a malevolent miser who discovers there is more to life than what can be tallied in a ledger book. DVD MUP


mDe3UoV4wL8o2_kGZLot51QThe Polar Express (2004): When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. With Tom Hanks. DVD POL



Prancer (1989): Little Jessica finds an injured reindeer in the forest; she is convinced this reindeer is Santa’s Prancer and she plans to nurse it back to health. Her father has other plans. DVD PRA




Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer (1964): Christmas will be cancelled unless Santa can find a way to guide his sleigh through a blizzard. With Burl Ives. DVD RUD



786936195026_3fThe Santa Clause (2002): After Santa has a fatal accident, Scott Calvin dons Santa’s suit and assumes his role and identity (including beard and stomach), not realizing there is no loophole in the Santa Clause. With Tim Allan. DVD SAN




Scrooged (1988): A modern, comedic telling of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. With Bill Murray. DVD SCR



tim_burton_s_the_nightmare_before_christmas_dvd_by_marco_the_scorpion-d88h9erTim Burton’s The Nightmare before Christmas (1993): Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King, tries to bring the magic of Christmas to Halloween Town and kidnaps Santa. With Catherine O’Hara.  DVD NIG


514HF4MXVMLWhite Christmas (1954): Two talented song-and-dance men team up after the war to become one of the hottest acts in show business. One winter, they join forces with a sister act and trek to Vermont for a white Christmas. They discover that the inn is run by their old army general who’s now in financial trouble. With Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. DVD WHI


And don’t forget all those sequels!

Happy Holidays from Guelph Public Library!





November Awareness Month Flicks

The month of November in Canada highlights for awareness: health and diseases, safety, crime, etc. The Library has some great documentary DVDs that support many of these health and social issues.

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation:

First response C.A.R.E. CPR (2011): The program is the most current and expansive video resource of its kind, featuring the KIAK4rNEW American standards in basic lifesaving skills as set out in the latest Emergency Cardiac Care Guidelines, 2010. Viewers will learn techniques such as Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and how to deal with airway obstructions in choking situations. These important skills are described and demonstrated for the adult, child, and infant casualty, and much more. DVD FIR


The greatest Canadian. Volume 3, Lester B. Pearson ; Frederick Banting (2004): Profiles two of the top ten finalists for the title of the Greatest Canadian. Frederick Banting: Banting was just a young doctor when a journal article about diabetes research sparked a moment of inspiration. DVD GRE

Fat head (2012): FatHeadDirectorDVDTom Naughton is a health writer, comedian, and popular blogger. Through humor and logic, Tom reveals why much of what we’ve been taught about diet and nutrition is flat-out wrong. If you or someone you care about is suffering from obesity, diabetes, or heart disease, this film may quite literally save a life. Discover the history of the low-fat movement, what our Paleolithic ancestors ate, the science behind why we get fat, and how to regain your health. DVD FAT

Forks over knives (2011): This documentary “examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.” DVD FOR

Cancer (Lung, Prostate, Stomach):

Holiday lectures on science. Learning from patients the science of medicine (2004): Medical researchers discuss how working with patients has influenced their efforts to understand and treat cancers and neurological disorders. DVD HOL 2003

untitledCancer, the emperor of all maladies (2015): Spurred by a personal tragedy, America’s foremost documentarian is tackling cancer. Ken Burns examines cancer with a cellular biologist’s precision, a historian’s perspective, and a biographer’s passion. The series artfully weaves three different films in one: a riveting historical documentary; an engrossing and intimate verite film; and a scientific and investigative report. DVD CAN

Nova scienceNOW. 2008. Episode 6 (2008): Profile: Judah Folkman: Once scorned for his ideas about how cancer grows, the late Judah Folkman is now hailed as a visionary. DVD NOV


Holiday lectures on science. Of hearts and hypertension blazing genetic trails (2006): Consists of four lectures on the heart, including information on risk factors, advances in diagnostic methods, identifying “disease genes,” and genetic factors in hypertension. DVD HOL 1998

Community Safety and Crime Prevention:

pPBS3-13845442regNova ScienceNOW. Can science stop crime? (2012): David Pogue gives the third degree to scientists pushing the limits of technology, not only to solve horrific murders, but to try to prevent crimes. Peer inside the criminal mind and discover cutting-edge forensic techniques that help investigators stop criminals in their tracks. DVD NOV

Also check out some great movies on Hoopla through the Guelph Public Library website. Stream movies for free. Simply sign up using your email address and library card number. Enjoy 10 titles a month!


Cancer (Lung, Prostate, Stomach):

The Good News about Cancer (2015): Health measures to lower the chances of getting cancer are offered at this health seminar by the Medical Director of the Georgia Department of Human Resources, Kimberly Redding, MD. Steps include eliminating obesity, regular exercise and eating fresh fruits and vegetables, according to Dr. Redding. This is an important health protection video.


Fun-To-Know – Diabetes – Facts, Nutrition & Cooking (2004): A solid introduction to Diabetes this Fun-To-Know guide offers helpful tips for how to best deal with the disease. By suggesting manageable changes to the diet and lifestyle nutritionist and host Kathy Tigue provide sufferers with ways to cope. Providing the program’s cooking demonstrations is Barbara Seelig Brown the author of “Stress Free Cooking”.


Yoga For Health – For Hypertension (2005): YOGA is an ancient Indian form of balancing mind and body through breath control and a series of asanas. It aims to attain the unity of mind, body and spirit through asanas, breathing and meditation. Yoga-Hypertension: Yoga addresses the whole person, considering not only their physical needs, but emotional, mental, intellectual and spiritual needs as well. Through gentle movements, relaxation, breathing, lifestyle attitudes and meditation, Yoga asanas can help with the control of Hypertension.

Remembrance Day: A Visual Celebration

2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Canadians and Guelphites have distinguished themselves in many wars and the Guelph Public Library has several films, both feature and documentary, that tell the story of our efforts.

local%20history_flanders%20fieldThe Guelph Angle:

Guelph Public Library recently added a separate link to our website’s Local History section entitled In Flanders Field. Learn more about John McCrae as poet, physician, soldier, and as a Guelphite.

Films about John McCrae, his poem and the participation of Guelphites in the World Wars are listed below:

FlandersIn Flanders fields (2005) A retelling of the famous poem, In Flanders fields written by the Canadian soldier and poet, John McCrae, accompanied by animated scenes of the European battlefields illustrating the reason why, on November 11 every year, we remember those who lost their lives fighting to protect the freedoms we enjoy today.

John McCrae’s war In Flanders fields (2006) Chronicles McCrae’s life from his childhood in Guelph, Ontario, to the battlefields of Belgium. It tells the story of his famous poem and pays tribute to the Canadian soldiers who died for a few feet of Belgian soil.

Lest we forget Guelph and the liberation of the Netherlands (2010) This documentary paints a portrait of the Royal City during the Second World War and the brave men of Guelph who took part in the liberation of Holland, the start of a long bond of friendship between Canada and the Netherlands.

The Guelph Public Library has a great collection of documentaries about Canadian participation in both World Wars as well as previous conflicts such as the war of 1812.  There are even a few feature films specific to Canadian participation in the two World Wars.

World War I:


5138Canada, a people’s history. [Episode 12], Ordeal by fire, 1915 to 1929 (2001) Canada’s heavy military role in World War I (60,000 dead in a population of 8 million) transforms its society, its politics and its place in the world. The horror, bravery and sacrifice of trench warfare is evoked in Canada’s great battles: Ypres, the Somme, Vimy Ridge, Courcelette and Passchendaele. The domestic consequences of Canadas war effort are also wrenching – the conscription crisis of 1917 makes a low point in English-French relations. After the war ends, labour revolts in Winnipeg and across the country raise fears of a Bolshevik insurrection. The return to stability in the mid-1920s lasts only briefly as the crash of 1929 plunges the country into economic chaos.

Far from home : Canada and the Great War (1999) 11044231_oriSam’s army – The story of Sam Hughes, the bigoted, ignorant, self obsessed Minister of Militia, whose enthusiasm for war created Canada’s first Expeditionary Force. Battle of Vimy Ridge – A recreation of one of the greatest battles in Canadian military history. Last 100 days – The story of Canada’s outstanding military achievements in the last 100 days of World War 1.

For King and Empire (2001) With historian Norm Christie as our guide we explore the battlefields, cemeteries, and monuments of the First World War. In their own words, the men who fought tell their 5179Arx4vmL__SY445_stories, and we discover how the naïve, amateur soldiers of 1914 became, by 1918, perhaps the most feared, efficient, and deadly Allied Corps on the Western Front the Canadian Corps. Baptism of fire: The Canadians at Ypres – 1915, tells how, fresh off the boat, Canadas amateur soldiers march straight to the most dangerous sector on the Western Front, the bulge in the Allied line around the Belgian city of Ypres, the bulge known as the Ypres Salient. Within days, the untried Canadians confront Germany’s new secret weapon and the first mass poisoned gas attack in history. Fought to a bloody finish, the battle of Ypres 1915 signals the beginning of total war. In Episode 2: Slaughter and sacrifice: The Canadians on the Somme – 1916 On July 1, 1916, on the first day of the battle of the Somme, 60,000 British soldiers fall. But the British continue their offensive. And, finally, the High Command orders in the Canadians. Supported by the first tanks ever used in battle, Canadian troops assault German fortifications at Courcelette and then at Regina trench. They slog to victory, and suffer 25,000 casualties on the battlefield known as the graveyard of armies.

The Great War (2007) A documentary-style mini-series that explores Canadas involvement in the First World War (1914-1918) through the stories of those who fought, and sacrificed their lives. A bonus documentary follows the adventures of 150 First World War descendants who spend two weeks living in a 1914 military camp, during the filming of THE GREAT WAR.

Feature Films:

091003044140_l Passchendaele (2009) Michael Dunne, a wounded soldier returns to Calgary to a military hospital where he falls in love with Sarah, a nurse who cares for him. When Sarah’s younger asthmatic brother signs up to fight in Europe, Michael feels compelled to return to the front lines to protect him. The two men are sent to fight in the third battle of Ypres, also known as Passchendaele.

World War II:

Documentaries: Canada at war. Vol. 3 (2005) This historic 13-part series represents one of NFB’s most ambitious documentary projects ever undertaken. Culled from over 16 million feet of film shot by Canadian, British, American, German and Russian cameramen, the series details Canada’s war effort in relation to the overall allied strategy.

Canadian Experience : The 13th mission (2004) The 13th Mission tells the wartime story of a Lancaster bomber, the women who built it, and the men who flew it. The women who built the bomber never met the men who flew it but their dedication, and the airplane itself, were what they had in common.

7720393No price too high : Canadians and the Second World War (1995) Chronicles Canada’s role in the major events of the war, including The Battle of Britain, the invasion of Italy, and D-Day. Traces Canada’s role from the pre-war years to the development of the A- Bomb.

Storming Juno (2011) Discover the crucial role the Canadian military played in one of the most decisive battles of World War II as director Tim Wolochatiuk details the battle at Juno beach during the Allied invasion of Normandy. The date: June, 6th, 1944. The mission: Operation Overlord. storming_junoNever before in history had a seaborne invasion of this magnitude been attempted. As 160,000 Allied soldiers made their way across the English Channel on a mission to penetrate “Fortress Europe,” Canadian forces targeted Juno Beach. Incredibly, they would push deeper into France than any other Allied force. Though victory came at a high price, the sacrifices made by those brave Canadian soldiers during that fateful mission played a crucial role in shifting the tide in favor of the Allies, and heralding the downfall of a ruthless tyrant.

The Valour and the horror (1992) Closely scrutinizes three military campaigns that involved thousands of Canadians–the defense of Hong Kong, the allied invasion of Normandy, and the massive aerial bombardment of Germany. In each film Canadian veterans return to their respective fields of battle, vividly relive their experiences and meet with the people they once fought against. Dramatic segments, based on true stories tell what occurred behind-the-scenes. The result is an insightful, emotional and sometimes shocking account of the terrible price Canadian soldiers and airmen paid in the march toward an allied victory. Closed captioned for the hearing impaired.

Feature Films:

Captains of the clouds (2007) MV5BMTQ1NDE0NzAxNl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjc4NzEyMjE@__V1_SY317_CR6,0,214,317_AL_A group of bush pilots from Northern Canada feel their patriotic spirit roused during Winston Churchill’s famous “Blood, sweat and tears” radio speech to pump up the British/Allied morale. They decide to enlist as pilots, only to find their age and attitude working against them. Brian McLean needs to do things his way leads to tragedy and in the end he must find some way to redeem himself.

The Devils Brigade (1968) Misfit American GIs join efficient Canadian troops for commando tactics against the Nazis in Italy during World War II.

Canadian Military:

Truth, duty, valour the Canadian military at their best (2005) The Canadian Forces is a special national institution. In every, generation, Canadians have served with great distinction, in peace and in war, at home and around the world. Whether the mission is disaster relief or peace support, environmental protection or nation building, Canadian Forces personnel stand ready. Find out what it takes to be a member of Canada‘s largest team of professionals.

For other great films celebrating Canadians and their war efforts please see the Library’s e-resource Hoopla. Stream movies for free. Simply sign up using your email address and library card number. Enjoy 10 titles a month!


Scary Movies For The Whole Family At Guelph Public Library


Halloween is right around the corner and Guelph Public Library knows how to get you into the right frame of mind. Prior to Halloween we invite you to an awesome event at the Main Library called Hungry For A Scare. Enter if you dare the Teen Advisory Group’s Haunted Library! Bring a nonperishable food item to support the Guelph Food Bank. The event is run as a “lights on” event, suitable for all ages, on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2015 from 1:30-2:30 pm.  From 2:30-3:30 on Oct.24, the lights are dimmed, and we invite kids 7-11 years old for a scarier version of the same haunted library.  Last year I personally visited the haunted library and was very impressed by the hard work and creativeness of the Teen Advisory Group.  I copied lots of great ideas to decorate my own home in haunted, bone-chilling style.

When the kids come home and all the Halloween candy has been examined, traded, and consumed, they will love to share a movie night with their friends and family.


Traditional, spooky horror films for adults, as well as comedies and films to entertain the children are available from the DVD collections at all branches of the library. Here are a few films that can add to the occasion.

For adults:MV5BMTU3ODA2NzE5MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODE2ODg3OA@@__V1_SY317_CR12,0,214,317_AL_

Halloween (1978)

Halloween II (2001)

Halloween H20 twenty years later (1998)

Hocus pocus (2002)

Tim Burton’s The nightmare before Christmas (1993)

Trick ‘r treat (2009)

Wrong turn 5: bloodlines (2012)



For Kids:

Curious George: A Halloween boo fest

Dear Dracula

Halloweentown high (2005)

The haunting hour don’t think about it (2007)

R.L. Stine’s Mostly ghostly. Have you met my ghoulfriend? (2014)

Spooky buddies (2011)

There are also a wide variety of Halloween films available on Hoopla.  Stream videos, television shows, audiobooks, eBooks, graphic novels, and music for free with GPL’s Hoopla Digital eResource.  Simply sign up using your email address and library card number. Enjoy 10 titles a month.

Happy Halloween!

Earth Day docs on Hoopla

Yesterday was Earth Day and what better way to mark this important event then to educate yourself on topics like sustainability, eco-friendly living, alternative energy, and others with an engaging documentary. Of course we have many options in DVD at all GPL locations, but Hoopla also has a great selection (and doesn’t require you leaving your couch!). Don’t have a Hoopla account yet? It’s easy! Just go to www.hoopladigital.com/register (make sure you have your library card number handy!).

Going Green: Every Home an Eco-Home / Tony Shalhoub

Sacred Planet / Robert RedfordA Green Truth / Earth Songs / Michael YorkA New We / Strange Days on Planet Earth - Season 1 / Food Matters / Plastic Planet / Werner BooteA Fierce Green Fire / Robert Redford