Grand Canyon or Bust!

Grand Canyon daisy
Source: Moyan_Brenn Flickr.com

My family and I drove the 3,200 miles to the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona and back in eight days. Almost four days were spent in a rented Chevy SUV because we wanted to see the West from a car window. We planned our trip using the Chicago Public Library’s rich collection of Southwest U.S. travel books such […]

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Government Publications Department: What’s Up, Docs?

Roadmap for the Office of Space Science Origins Theme
Source: NASA 2003

When you think about government documents, what comes to mind? Of course, students and researchers peruse the vast array of Senate and House reports or pore over the current and archived census data. The scope of Federal documents actually covers a much wider range of topics.                   […]

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American Presidents on DVD

Lincoln Memorial
Source: MarkusR, Flickr

In February, we celebrate President’s Day as a national holiday. Much has been written and recorded about our chief executives, especially on film. Throughout American history, our presidents were in the forefront of issues facing our nation.  Founding Fathers (2000 TV-Mini-Series), with a cast including Brian Dennehy as George Washington, James Woods as John Adams, […]

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Photogenic Chicago: Hollywood and the “Windy City”

Call Northside 777 movie poster

Chicago has always been considered one of the most photogenic cities in the world. Hollywood movie producers have utilized the city’s scenic assets (e.g. the sparkling lakefront, the awesome skyline, the gritty industrial sites, the diverse neighborhoods, etc.) on numerous occasions as background and as part of a film’s content. Many movies shot wholly or in […]

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Film Noir: Playing in Shadows

FABIO, Flickr
(Dis)Appeared
New York, NY 2008

    Film noir is a style of black-and-white movies that first appeared in the early 1940s. The term film noir (literally “black film”) was initially used by French film critics to describe and comment on the dark, downbeat looks and themes of many of the American crime movies released in French theaters following World War […]

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Some Chilling Euro-Horror Movies

Barbara Steele in "Black Sunday" (Mask of Satan) 1960

   After World War II, the horror film genre was nearly dead.  Hollywood was producing comedic satires of movie monsters like “Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein” and dozens of nuclear-fused, giant bug and outer space films. Beginning in the late 1950s, British, Italian and French movie makers delved into fresh re-workings and re-imaginings of the gothic […]

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A Fistful of Pasta: Spaghetti Westerns

Photo by nicksarebi
Almeria, Spain Spaghetti Western movie set

  A dusty, indistinct rider enters the small desert town.  At the end of the main street, three seedy-looking men block the rider’s passage. Eye contact is established; tension builds. The rider gets off his horse, stands facing the trio, and sweeps back his poncho revealing his six-shooter. The men stand erect and ready. Suddenly, […]

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