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House (1977) – DVD 10694

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

house2.1

Nobuhiko Obayashi’s House (1977) is hard to explain in words. On its surface it appears to be a horror film, but at its heart it’s a slapstick comedy, a coming-of-age story, a tale about the bitterness of war, and an experimental avant-garde art film, all rolled into one.

House has been one of my all-time favorite films since I saw it during my senior year of high school, watching it in a dark basement with a friend, neither of us having any idea what we were getting into. That is probably the best way to experience House: in a dark corner of your home, knowing as little about what you’re getting into as possible, with someone there with you. Each of these is an important factor. The first keeps you isolated, so you can totally immerse yourself in the movie. The second preserves the many surprises that the film has in store. And the third, the most necessary, is so you have someone to turn to make sure you really did see what you think you saw.

A group of schoolgirls, Gorgeous, Fantasy, Prof, Melody, Kung Fu, Mac, and Sweet, take a trip to visit Gorgeous’ aunt for their summer vacation. But Gorgeous has an ulterior motive for suggesting the trip: her widower father is newly engaged and Gorgeous isn’t very happy about it. Things take a strange turn that even Gorgeous didn’t expect, however, as strange supernatural events start to take place, and her aunt’s home changes from a dream vacation to a haunted nightmare.
House is a film that refuses to let itself be restricted by traditional cinematic techniques, whether in framing, editing or sound design. It doesn’t try to act like it has some obligation to be realistic when it is already a fantastical story of ghosts and “witch cats”. And there isn’t an ounce of irony or self-mockery to be found. House is absolutely earnest about being totally crazy and that level of dedication and heart makes me love it more than any elaborate plot or incredible performance could. This is a movie that eschews doing things a specific way just because that’s how it’s traditionally done and instead tries as many new and different things as possible, creating something truly original and new. To quote Chuck Stephen’s essay on the film, it is “eye-poppingly demented, jaw-droppingly inventive”, a film “that must be seen to be believed, and then seen again to believe that you really did see what you think you saw.” Compared to anything of its time, or even of today, House is an utterly unique experience, and one I’d recommend to anyone looking for a good time.

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Printing Update

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Printing at Bailey/Howe is now at full capacity. There are four of them on the first floor.

The one near the reference desk is called Ref_BW_Catscratch or bw_catscratch_queue
Another is located behind the stand-up computers leading to the Cafe: is it called Reserve_BW_Catscratch or reserve_catscratch_queue
Two are located in the Cafe: Cafe_BW_Catscratch and Cafe_Color_Catscratch or cafebwcatscratch_queue color_catscratch_queue

If you need or are printing from your laptop, always check the library’s printing page for any updates Printing from laptops at Bailey/Howe. For windows laptops, a new update is available. The print package for Mac’s will be updated tomorrow, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014.

The Smithsonian Wants You!

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

The Smithsonian Institute is looking for crowd-sourced volunteers to help make its online collections accessible via a massive transcription project. Get your nerd on for the public good!

Smithsonian Digital Volunteers who sign up at the projects’ Transcription Center can help decipher handwritten archival collections from bee specimens to field notes from an Arctic journey to a study of Native American vocabularies.

Diary of William Dall

1866 diary of 21 year old Arctic explorer William Dall.

Pamela Henson, a historian at the Smithsonian says, ““These volumes open a window on the past and allow those who lived in the past to speak directly to us today…The Smithsonian has relied on the kindness of strangers to assist with its work since the 1840s, when volunteer weather observers began to send climate data to our Meteorological Project. In some ways we are continuing that tradition.”

New books in Bailey/Howe

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

These works can be found on our New Book shelf in Bailey/Howe, an ever-rotating sampling of things we’re adding to our collection. You can also review all our newest books online, and subscribe via RSS to receive alerts about acquisitions, by discipline.

The Gay Essay cover

The gay essay by Anthony Friedkin ; [edited by] Julian Cox

“For more than forty years, American photographer Anthony Friedkin (b. 1949), creating full-frame black-and-white images, has documented people, cities, and landscapes primarily in his home state of California. During the culturally tumultuous years of 1969 and 1970, Friedkin made a series of photographs that together offer an eloquent and expressive visual chronicle of the gay communities of Los Angeles and San Francisco at the time. This is the first book to explore the series, titled The Gay Essay, in depth, within the broader historical context that gave rise to it.” –Publishers information

Last Stories and Other Stories cover

Last stories and other stories by William T. Vollmann

“Creatively sourced, boldly imagined, and incandescently written supernatural stories. . .Throughout this ingeniously fabulist, erotic, musing, and satirical treasury, Vollmann gives monstrous and alluring form to the forces that haunt us, from desire and love to regret and loss, as he contemplates with ardor, sorrow, bemusement, and wonder the beauty and terror of life and death and the vast mystery of the hereafter.” –ALA Booklist

Cambrian Ocean World cover

Cambrian ocean world : ancient sea life of North America by John Foster

“This volume, aimed at the general reader, presents life and times of the amazing animals that inhabited Earth more than 500 million years ago. The Cambrian Period was a critical time in Earth’s history. During this immense span of time nearly every modern group of animals appeared…The evidence of this Cambrian ‘explosion’ is preserved in rocks all over the world, including North America, where the seemingly strange animals of the period are preserved in exquisite detail in deposits such as the Burgess Shale in British Columbia. Cambrian Ocean World tells the story of what is, for us, the most important period in our planet’s long history.” –Publisher’s information

Keeping the Air Clear

Monday, August 19th, 2013

breath easy

The front entrance to Bailey/Howe continues to be a smoke-free corridor. UVM maintains a policy of no-smoking withing 25 feet of a building’s entrance or window.