2021 CIFF Streams Recap

This year I had the opportunity to watch four films through the Cleveland International Film Festival. Though the event couldn’t be held in downtown Cleveland, as is tradition, the streaming option was a welcome alternative during the pandemic.

Spaceboy – Belgium, Director: Olivier Pairoux, Writers: Eusebio Larrea, Olivier Pairoux

Spaceboy is about Jim, a gifted young boy who moves to a new town with his astrophysicist father, Graham.  Jim gets paired up in his new class with a girl named Emma for a science fair. He uses it as an opportunity to put his plans of recreating Kittinger’s ‘Excelsior’ project into action.  Jim’s determination is soon fueled by a personal drive to prove to his father that anything is possible.  This was such a moving story.  I can’t wait for this one to come out in the US.  

Games People Play- Finland, Director: Jenni Toivoniemi, Writer: Jenni Toivoniemi

A group of longtime friends meet at one of their parents’ vacation homes on a remote island in Finland to celebrate one of their birthdays. 

This was a complex story about relationships.  The party seemed to last forever as they disconnected from the world and put their phones down.  They played baseball, cooked and ate, and drank a lot.  There was singing and dancing, and a lot of intimacy.  

It was beautiful and funny story of the intricacies of friendship and self-identity.   

Perfectly Normal Family – Denmark  Director: Malou Reymann, Writers: Maren Louise Käehne, Malou Reymann,Rune Schjøtt

Emma this she has a perfectly normal family until one day her father, Thomas reveals that he is transgender. As Thomas transforms into Agnete, both Emma and Agnete struggle to accept how their relationship will evolve.  The movie does a really good job of shifting the viewers perspective to that of a timid child, naïve to the world, and very uncertain with her own identity.   

Goodbye, Soviet Union – Finland Director: Lauri Randla, Writer: Lauri Randla

Is the coming of age story of Johannes, a courageous young boy living on the cusp of western culture during the collapse of the soviet union.  His mother leaves the Estonian Soviet Republic to work in Finland, leaving Johannes in the care of his grandparents.  It has romance, comedy, and history in it.  I really enjoyed this movie and can’t wait for it to get distribution in the US.  

-Beth

Beth’s 2020 Top 10

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam is a quietly suspenseful novel, which is eerily related to current times.
How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi outlines the myriad of cultural constructs that we all need to assess within ourselves to build a more just society.
The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline tells the fictional historic account of women forced to colonize Australia.
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michelle Richardson is the historic fictional account of the WPA program in Appalachia.
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett tells the story of one family and the house that raised them.
Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age is a coming of age story with a thought-provoking message of race and the roles people take on.
The Silent Patient is the psychological thriller of an artist turned murder, whos trauma sentences her to a life of silence.
Delia Owen’s Where the CrawDads Sing tells the triumphant story of woman forced to make her own way in the marshlands.
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates is an intimate letter to his son sharing his personal lived experience as an African American raised in the United States.
Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld is a fictitious twist on the life of Hillary Clinton.

Streaming Film Festival

Earlier this year when the Cleveland Film Festival was still planning their 44th year, and a grand bon voyage to the original hosting venue, Tower City, Rocky River Public Library was excited to be a community partner for the film Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century. Based on the book by the same name written by French economist, Thomas Piketty.

Spoiler alert, the film fest was canceled. BUT!

The great news is that the movie is now available to stream for free on Kanopy with your RRPL card!

The CIFF website has a page dedicated to searching for alumni movies now available on a variety of streaming services. The call it CIFF ALUM STREAMS and it is awesome!

With the power of the CIFF Alum Streams database and a library card, you can spend the rest of the pandemic streaming 44 years of amazing cinema from around the world. Give it a try!

-Beth

Imagine Your Story – In the Garden

It’s not too late in the season to take advantage of one of our newest library resources, the Seed Bank Library! With fewer social obligations on the calendar and more time at home, I’ve taken this as an opportunity to get my hands dirty in the garden. Thanks to the seed library, I’ve been able to continually grow fresh produce in my garden and in containers on my back deck.

Not sure where to start? Try the quick growing and easy to care for Organic Pink Beauty Radish.

I planted these in a 10″ pot on June 18th
Growth progress as of July 7.
Harvested on July 22.

That’s right, it took just over a month for these radishes to grow from seed to harvest. I watered them daily since it was so hot, but otherwise, they were maintenance free. The seed packet includes seeds and simple planting instructions.

Request your seed packets today!

Imagine Your Story: Catching Up With New Releases

With all the time that has passed as we are getting to know our new norm, many of us have really missed the opportunity to catch up on the new release DVD and BluRay movies we get through the library. One minute it was award season, and the next minute everything but essential businesses were shut down and you were stuck with what you had on hand or access to. Now that the library is open for curbside service, You can place holds on these new titles and stop by to pick them up.

Okay, Okay…this list is getting long and since I’m limited to how I can format these images and still link them to the catalog, you’ve been scrolling a while. I’ll add more new release DVD and BluRay titles here soon. Place your holds and visit the library for curbside pickup or coffee in the reading garden soon.

Imagine Your Story — A Postcard From Home

This summer isn’t panning out to include the travel many of us were hoping for. One summer tradition we don’t need give up on this year is sending postcards. That’s why each of our adult summer reading participants can stop by the library’s curbside service to pick up one of these fantastic ‘Greetings from Rocky River’ postcards. Shout out to our graphic designer, Stephanie for bringing this design to life!

You can pre-register for our summer reading by creating an account and logging in here. Stop by the library’s curbside service starting Saturday, June 6 to request your free postcard while supplies last.

—Beth

Your Library Staff at Home – Need a little laugh?

Is the news continually bringing you down? I know that I’ve had to take some news breaks myself. Another way I try to counter balance all of the brutal reality of today is to distract myself with laughter. I’ve always appreciated stand-up comedy, and since I can’t necessary go to a comedy club right now to see live comedy, Hoopla is coming in very handy.

Hoopla has hundred, and maybe thousand of stand-up comedy albums available for you to borrow right now. Here are some of my favorite comedian stand-up albums available through Hoopla:

-Beth