Once again on May 23, 2017, the Morrill Memorial Library's submission to the Massachusetts Library Association 2015-2016 Public Relations Awards won first place in the News category. A representative 25 columns were submitted. They were written by Charlotte Canelli, Nancy Ling, April Cushing, Allison Palmgren, Kate Tigue, Liz Reed, Bonnie Wyler, Diane Phillips, Norma Logan, Jeff Hartman, Sam Simas, Nicole Guerra-Coon, and Meredith Ruhl

On May 4, 2015 the Morrill Memorial Library's submission to the Massachusetts Library Association 2013-2014 Public Relations Awards won first place in the News category. A representative 24 columns from 2013 and 2014 were submitted. They were written by Marg Corjay, Shelby Warner, Nancy Ling, Diane Phillips, Brian Samek, Bonnie Wyler, Marie Lydon, Norma Logan, Allison Palmgren, April Cushing, Liz Reed, Kate Tigue, Jillian Goss, and Charlotte Canelli.

Library staff have written over 492 columns since 2009.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Find Movie Magic at the Library

Written by Khara Whitney-Marsh, a student at the Simmons College Graduate School of Library Science in Boston, who is interning at the Morrill Memorial Library this fall.

Alice Hoffman said that books are the only true magic, and I agree they are truly magic. But I must confess that I also love movies and have felt touched, even changed by their magic again and again.

The best explanation I’ve found for the effect movies can have was in an episode of “Northern Exposure.” Ed, the local movie buff, has been enlisted to create a film festival that will get Cicely, Alaska on the map. Leonard, a shaman played by Graham Greene, comes to town seeking the “healing stories” of white people. Though the townspeople are eager to assist him, the stories they bring range from Paul Bunyan and the Blue Ox to assorted urban myths, like the one about spiders nesting in a woman’s beehive hairdo. Leonard is confused by these fables that lack the healing properties of great mythology.

Meanwhile, Ed has decided to dedicate his film festival to Orson Welles, but it has him so stressed he develops stomach problems. A discouraged Leonard wanders into the local movie house and finds Ed watching an old print of “Citizen Kane.” He notices that Ed is enthralled with the movie and appears to have totally forgotten his ailment.

Leonard asks and Ed says his stomach is better. Then he asks, “You’ve seen this movie a number of times?” Ed says, of course. “Yet you want to see it again. Why?” Ed replies, “It’s a great story, it’s beautiful. It’s fearless. You know that quote in the beginning where Kane says it might be fun to run a newspaper? Well, I think that’s the way Orson Welles approached this. It might be fun to make a movie. He didn’t know what he was doing and yet he did something that was perfect. Makes you think about what’s possible.”

Leonard ponders Ed’s words. “Maybe this is it,” he says. “White medicine. Movies. They say it’s magic. Seems to have cured you.”

If you also love healing stories that come to us through the medium of film, I would like to share a few small jewels that are available at Morrill Memorial Library or through the Minuteman Library Network.

Director Anthony Minghella’s first film, “Truly, Madly, Deeply” starring Alan Rickman and Juliet Stevenson, is a moving and funny take on a young, recently widowed woman who cannot find a way to leave her grief behind and begin again, until her husband’s ghost returns, along with several pals from unknown time periods, to help her do so.

Minghella later became famous for “The English Patient,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” and “Cold Mountain,” but he wrote this story for himself while he was also writing the Inspector Morse mysteries for the BBC. Minghella wanted to see the sardonic, martini-dry Alan Rickman play a leading man just once. Professor Snape, we hardly knew ye. Available through Minuteman.

John Turturro is a virtuoso actor with a long list of credits, which include stand out performances in Coen Brothers movies, like “Oh, Brother Where Art Thou?” and “The Big Lebowski.” But he is also a multi-talented writer/director with several films under his belt.

Two of my favorites are “illuminata” and “Romance and Cigarettes.” Both films are beautifully crafted, brilliantly funny slices of strange and wonderful life. “Romance and Cigarettes” stars James Gandolfini, Susan Sarandon, Christopher Walken, Mary Louise Parker, and Kate Winslett, among others. In this one, you want to see Christopher Walken’s Elvis impersonation. Did you know the Scary Guy is really a great song and dance man?

Walken does another turn in “Illuminata” as an Oscar Wildian theater critic trying to seduce rubber-faced Bill Irwin; Susan Sarandon chews up the scenery as an over-the hill Sarah Bernhardt wanna-be; and Rufus Sewell (“Zen” on Masterpiece Mystery) finds ways to make you adore the narcissistic leading man by playing him fearlessly. For a preview of “Illuminata” watch Turturro and Walken with Charlie Rose at http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/4149. Both movies available through Minuteman.

“The Station Agent” which stars Patricia Clarkson (“Goodnight and Good Luck”), along with Peter Drinklage and Bobby Cannavale, is about the gift of friendship and how it can get you through a lot, even when you never expected to find it. OK, I admit I had to see the movie for the line about librarians at the end, but it was everything that came before that I loved. Find it at Minuteman.

Finally, I wish everyone in the world could see “Snow Cake,” which is available here at Morrill Memorial Library. It stars Alan Rickman and Sigourney Weaver. Weaver, sans glamour and firepower, plays a high-functioning autistic woman who ultimately helps Rickman put his life back together. If you think it’s going to be mushy, think again. There’s a knife at the heart of this film that neatly slices yours open and lets in the most glorious light.

The Minuteman Library Network has the Masterpiece Mystery “Zen” and all 6 seasons of “Northern Exposure,” including the movie episode called “Rosebud” in the fifth season. Morrill Memorial Library also has “The English Patient,” “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” “Cold Mountain,” “The Big Lebowski,” “Oh, Brother Where Art Thou?” “Good Night and Good Luck,” and “Citizen Kane.”

Contributors to the Morrill Memorial Library "From the Library" Column

Library Director, Charlotte Canelli began writing columns for the Peterborough Transcript in 2001 when she was the Youth Services Librarian at the Peterborough Town Library, 2001-2005. Soon after becoming the director of the Morrill Memorial Library, she began to write weekly columns for the Norwood Bulletin and Transcript. Since February 2009 other Morrill Memorial librarians have written many other columns. They include: April Cushing, Vicki Andrilenas and Liz Reed, Adult and Information Services Librarians; Jean Todesca, Kate Tigue, Nicole Guerra-Coon, Children's Librarians; Allison Palmgren, Technology Librarian; Sam Simas, Web Designer; Bonnie Warner, Literacy and Outreach Librarian; Diane Phillips, Technical Services Librarian; Norma Logan, Literacy Coordinator; Nancy Ling, Outreach Librarian; Cynthia Rudolph, Graphic Artist and Circulation Assistant; Jeff Hartman, Sr. Circulation Assistant; Margaret Corjay, Circulation and Outreach Assistant; Patricia Bailey, Circulation Assistant; retired librarians Hope Anderson, Marie Lydon, Shelby Warner, Margot Sullivan and Tina Blood; previous MML librarians, Beth Goldman, Kelly Unsworth, Brian Samek and Jenna Hecker; and library interns Kirstie David, Meredith Ruhl, Samantha Sherburne, Melissa Theroux and Khara Whitney-Marsh.