jump to navigation

“Keep the Change” might be the most important film I saw this year. August 18, 2018

Posted by lgvora in Movies.
Tags: ,
add a comment

Something I learned, and continue to learn, as the sister to a brother who has Asperger Syndrome is that autistic people are not typically well understood in North American culture. Maybe this has something to do with who’s doing the storytelling. While a few films about people with autism have been released in recent years, the actors who tell the story aren’t always autistic.

This is what makes Keep the Change—and the fact that it won Best Picture at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival—so important. It is a film about autistic people, based on the lives of real autistic people, played by autistic people. It’s a film that dignifies their lives, validates their experiences, and helps others understand their situations in a way that abled actors couldn’t convey.

keep the change2

In short, Keep the Change is about David, a thirty-something autistic man who, after telling a cop an inappropriate joke, is mandated to join a social skills group at the Jewish Community Center.

But it is about so much more than that. It’s a story about coming to terms with who you are, when you have long denied that you’re different. It’s about being a person with special needs in a family that looks down on and stigmatizes people who have special needs. It is about becoming part of a group of people like you, and admitting that you need their help. It’s about falling in love with one of those people, and the complications of being in a romantic relationship when you’re autistic (for instance, touching each other affectionately or going out on dates can be confusing and hard).

null

One of the words critics are using to describe Keep the Change is “disarming.” And it is that. The characters have brave, difficult conversations about the behavior of and attitudes toward people with special needs. In a particularly wince-worthy scene, David feels ashamed when his girlfriend, not understanding social cues, embarrasses him in front of a group of Broadway actors. He ends up angrily telling her to shut up, further embarrassing everyone present. While the film portrays the characters empathetically and thoughtfully, it doesn’t sugarcoat or romanticize autism.

keep the change 3

The film is also disarming in its sweetness. One scene that brought me to tears was when David took Sarah on a date at Coney Island. The two go on a ride together, and David, feeling overwhelmed by the lights and sounds around him, has a meltdown. Instead of judging him, Sarah gives him a hug. She receives him with tenderness and patience in a way that his family has not.

Another beautiful thing about the film is how vibrant, warm, and genuinely funny the supporting cast of autistic actors are. They are playing real people, not caricatures of autistic people. The joy and power they bring to the film is not something that abled actors playing autistic adults could replicate.

Our society needs stories that dignify and shed light on the lives of autistic people, and Keep the Change is one small but important step in that direction. I am so excited and proud that our library has selected it to be part of our collection.

Lyndsey

Advertisements

Back to School August 17, 2018

Posted by Dori in Book List, Fiction, Graphic Novel, Horror, Literary Fiction, Movies, Young Adult.
add a comment

As much as everyone loves heading back to school, saying goodbye to summer and hello to a new semester can be a drag. But there’s a light at the end of this tunnel: school is also a great opportunity to buy new school supplies, reconnect with friends and finally get the hang of algebra. With that in mind, check out a few movies and books that will definitely get you psyched for school or, if you’re like me and your school days are behind you, give you that hit of nostalgia.

virginghostcarriewilleleanorperkscalamityhate

standhigherelectionfastrushmorefameferrisbring

~ Dori

 

 

American History July 10, 2018

Posted by Dori in Book List, Fiction, Literary Fiction, Movies, Westerns.
add a comment

With a degree in American History, you’d think I’d enjoy reading historical non-fiction more than fiction, but that often isn’t the case; I really love learning through fiction and even enjoy getting a lesson through movies. Sometimes they capture characters and images that a dusty old history book isn’t able to. Here are a few titles that immerse you in American history and lives, but it’s only scratching the surface – you’ll find more here at RRPL!

hoursknowncitygoodlordjamesapollograpeshighamistad

~ Dori

In the Summertime June 12, 2018

Posted by Dori in Beach Reads, Book List, Fiction, Literary Fiction, Movies.
add a comment

Ahhh summer, a time of rest and relaxation, days at the beach and nights under the stars. While some folks want to embrace undemanding fare while lounging poolside, others may want to read or watch that classic or prize winner that they’ve neglected. Either way, here’s a selection of movies and books that take place during this most blissful of seasons!

mammamiaunderdirtystealingadventuredescendents

talentedfrogsagsummerbeautifulmysteries

For more suggestions, new hot titles, beach reads and more, stop by Reference Desk and we’ll be glad to help!

~ Dori

Mothers are Complicated May 15, 2018

Posted by Dori in Book List, Fiction, Movies, Mystery, Science Fiction.
add a comment

We just celebrated Mother’s Day, a day rightly set aside to celebrate such a fundamental figure, but, well, maybe I’m biased, but shouldn’t we get at least a month? Regardless, it’s important to turn the spotlight on mothers. Check out these books and movies that give a glimpse into the broad spectrum of ‘Mom’.

roomsoulmermaidsjoymommyalicemildredcarrie

belovedlittleamong-others-200x30041kqzQIBlZL._SX330_BO1204203200_-200x300Here-Comes-the-Sun-by-Nicole-Dennis-Benn-198x300The-Mothers-by-Brit-Bennett-198x300we-love-you-charlie-freeman-200x300postcards

Cheers!

~ Dori

 

Earthy Movies April 21, 2018

Posted by Beth in Movies.
Tags:
add a comment

We are finally getting signs of spring in Ohio so odds are you will be spending the weekend outside enjoying the above freezing temperatures.  Once you’ve had your fill of fresh air and need a little evening entertainment, why not sit down to one of these movies that will help remind you how magnificent our wonderful planet is?

Cover image for

Cover image for

Cover image for

Cover image for

Happy watching!

 

Stormy Weather April 18, 2018

Posted by Dori in Adventure, Book List, Fiction, Movies.
add a comment

Ugh Cleveland weather, right? We can’t EVER win in that department. It’s April and we’re supposed to be beginning to emerge from our winter cocoon, but I’m still burrowed in, longing for a little sunshine and heat in my bones.

In the spirit of this lovely season, here are a few books and movies that will keep you rapt inside while the weather outside does its thing. Hopefully when you look up from the screen or the page, the sun will be shining!

whiteoutararathurricanestorm

forcesiceagedayhard

Stay warm and dry – see you in May…hopefully…

~ Dori

 

 

March Movie Madness March 22, 2018

Posted by Beth in Movies.
add a comment

You know all those Academy Award nominee movies that you meant to see in the theater but missed?   What about the new superhero movies you need to watch again? Odds are they are released on DVD as of this month.  To get an idea of just how great March was for movies released on DVD, here are the most popular titles now available on DVD at Rocky River Public Library:

THOR: RAGNAROK

LADY BIRD

BREADWINNER, THE

JUSTICE LEAGUE

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

DISASTER ARTIST, THE

SHAPE OF WATER, THE

I, TONYA

JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE

DOWNSIZING

PITCH PERFECT 3

STAR WARS - THE LAST JEDI

 

Place them on hold or stop by the library today to see if there is a Quick Flick waiting for you!

 

 

 

 

Top of the Mornin’ – RRPL Style March 13, 2018

Posted by Dori in Fiction, Literary Fiction, Movies.
add a comment

Here in Cleveland, many of us can trace our roots to Ireland, myself included. Here at RRPL we have a bounty of Irish books and movies to get you in the mood to celebrate, St. Patrick’s Day style.

Books:

secretgatheringcharmingbrooklyn2

 

 

 

 

For more titles in Irish fiction, click here.

Movies:

warsongshinekissesjimmy'sgrabbers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more Irish movies, click here.

For a comprehensive list of Ireland and the Irish in films, check out this incredible site, The Irish in Film.

Sláinte!shamrock

~ Dori

Top 7 of 2017 December 13, 2017

Posted by brubakerb in eBooks, Graphic Novel, Movies, Non-Fiction, Top Ten.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Let me introduce myself since I’m the newest sub at the Reference Desk. You might also see me around the library shelving for the Circulation Department. I’m Byron. I’ve written movie reviews online for Flixster (now Rotten Tomatoes) and published a collection of 365 of those reviews in my book 100+ Years of Movies. Through some entrepreneurial struggles and not having as much leisure time to read I’ve unfortunately fallen short of my reading goal this year. It seemed silly to me to recommend my top 10 when I only read 22 books all year. Therefore, listed in the order I read them, I present my Top 7!

Awake in the Dark: The Best of Roger Ebert by Roger Ebert • I regularly read about the art of cinema. As the cover says this contains some of the best of Ebert’s writing throughout forty years of his career. If you are only familiar with his reviews, you can sample his essays and unique interviews here too.

AwakeintheDark

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates • Journalist Coates has such important things to say about race relations in America. It is not to be dismissed, but will likely require careful repeat reading of passages to fully grasp everything. Glancing at my co-workers’ posts earlier this week I’ve noticed that at least two others have also recommended this work.

BetweentheWorldandMe

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 5: Super Famous by G. Willow Wilson • Marvel has had certain writers reimagining classic heroes to introduce more diversity. Volume 5 in the series about Muslim American teen Kamala Khan is a return to the excitement of the beginning of the series considering I thought Volumes 3 and 4 went a little off track.

MsMarvelVol5

March: Books One, Two, and Three by John Lewis • During 2017 I read all three parts of this graphic novel autobiographical series by Congressman John Lewis. Book One is slightly weaker in structure with so much exposition compared to Book Two and Book Three, however taken together they are all very strong. This period of history comes alive in graphic format.

MarchBookOneMarchBookTwoMarchBookThree

American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard • I’ve been intrigued by this title for quite awhile. I had to wait several months to check out the ebook on OverDrive. I’ve been struggling to understand recent National election results and have felt the country is more divided than united. America is more complicated than two political parties, red states, and blue states. This book dives into North America’s history and uncovers eleven cultural nations that have been vying for power since the beginning.

AmericanNations