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Movie Review | The Barkleys of Broadway

The Barkley’s on Broadway is a lighthearted film about a married couple who can’t seem to quit bickering. On stage, they’re one of the loveliest dance teams, but off, Josh and Dinah’s relationship isn’t quite that smooth. Josh always wants to control how Dinah performs, while she thinks she’d be just as good without him. Eventually, they get fed up with one another, and go their separate ways. Josh sticks with what he knows best, musical comedy, while Dinah joins with a suave, handsome director on his new play, Young Sarah. A bit of jealousy, drama, comedy, and music, all rolled up into one, The Barkley’s on Broadway certainly doesn’t disappoint. I definitely enjoyed this film, granted I’m quite partial to the historic duo (Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire). If you’re in the mood for romance with a few fun twists, this is the movie for you!

Written by: Reagan Fausett

Movie Review | Osama

“Osama” is a film made in Afghanistan depicting the life of a young girl living under the Taliban regime. During the Taliban regime women were especially repressed due to restrictions on work among other things. All of Osama’s male relatives have been killed in war so in order for her family to survive she is forced to dress as a boy, enabling her to go outside and work to earn food for her mother and grandmother. She is able to earn enough for her family, but is eventually discovered and put on trial.

This film was heartbreaking as you watch the suffering of so many widows who lost their husbands and sons to war which automatically makes them destitute and unable to provide for themselves or their families. It realistically displays the cruelty and harshness of the Taliban regime, giving it an almost documentary feel. I would recommend this film to anyone interested in the happening of the Middle East.

Written by: Mikela Rindlisbacher

Movie Review | Kiss in the Dark

Kiss in the Dark follows the sheltered concert pianist Eric Phillips as he unknowingly becomes the landlord of a run down apartment complex. As he tours his new acquisition, he finds himself inspecting the attractive tenant, Miss Polly Haines, more than the actual property. The two fall for each other as they work together on numerous improvement projects for the complex. Unfortunately, Polly’s potential fiancee (who isn’t afraid to throw a punch), and Eric’s selfish, meddling agent both do their fair share to throw a wrench in things.

Though the plot was fairly predictable, the film proved to be heartwarming and intriguing. I had a hard time with one of the supporting actors, however, the leads (David Niven and Jane Wyman) were spectacular as always. Each brought their own personal character to the part, which helped draw me into their story. I would recommend this movie to anyone looking for a lighthearted romance.

Written by: Reagan Fausett

Documentary Review | My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts

This was a short film tells the tale of a grandmother during WWII in Oslo who took what she knew to make a difference in the war.  Her grandmother ironed shirts, including the king’s, for a living and so when the king fled during the war, she took over ironing the Nazi’s shirts.  From there she could place bugs in the shirts and burn through them. As this short film goes, she was able to get the Nazi’s to leave through her efforts!  

Although this film is presenting more of a fable than a historical representation, there is some accurate history displayed.  I think the point of this short film is that no matter what our place in life, if we set our minds to it we can find a way to make a large difference.  

Written by: Emily Ashcraft

Documentary Review | Much Ado About Nothing

This performance of Much Ado About Nothing is done extremely well.  This play is set in the 1980’s, and although they use Shakespeare’s words, they did a great job applying them to a different century.  The acting was able to help the viewer so that even someone who is not very familiar with Shakespeare could figure out the details in the plot.  

This play was captivating, it made me laugh.  They did a great job presenting the theatrical performance as a film.  I would recommend this play to anyone who wants or needs a smile put on their face!

Written by: Emily Ashcraft

Documentary Review | Robert Burns in Global Culture

Professor Murray Pittock, who is a Scottish professor at the University of Glasgow, gave a lecture at BYU about the Scottish Poet, Robert Burns.  Pittock at the time was overseeing a 10 volume set of collection of Burns’ work. Burn’s works have been translated 3,042 times, which is one of the reasons Pittock said that Burns is really poet representing people around the globe, not just the Scots.  Burn’s role as a folk poet also gave him a voice of community, he wrote about international revolutions, enlightenment, radicalism, and the voice of the people. Pittock called Burns the “European poet of freedom” although he only spent a few months outside of the county where he was born.

I really learned a lot from this lecture and it inspired me to go read some of Burn’s poetry and see the wide impact it may have had.  I would recommend this lecture to anyone who enjoys literature or poetry.

Written by: Emily Ashcraft

Documentary Review | The English Reading Series

In this English Reading Series lecture, Brandon Sanderson talks about the challenges to becoming a writer, and encourages potential writers to keep trying and writing what they are passionate about.  He then shares a few excerpts from his book, The Way of Kings, which had not yet been published. The excerpts introduce characters like Dalinar, Adolin, and Shallan as well as the customs of the world Sanderson created.  

I would recommend this film to anyone who has read a book by Brandon Sanderson, or who has an interest in writing novels.  Hearing Sanderson read portions of his novel is very entertaining, and I also learned about writing from the lecture.

Written by: Emily Ashcraft

Documentary Review | Censorship or Selcection

This film showed a panel discussing censorship for books both taught in the classroom and available in school libraries.  The panel consisted of teachers, school librarians, school board members and others who are concerned about this issue. Through listening to this hour long debate, I realized that this is really an issue with a delicate balance, there will be parents and teachers who are not happy with either outlook.

Although this panel was over 25 years old and the books and details discussed have changed, this issue does still apply today.   Although I do not think watching this documentary is the best way to explore the concept, I think it is good for any teacher or parent to be aware of the benefits of both sides of the debate.

Written by: Emily Ashcraft

Documentary Review | Primetime War

This documentary showed news reporters and videographers in the Middle East documenting the Israeli Palestinian conflict.  A theme of the film is helping viewers to consider where the news is coming from and understand what might really be happening on the other side of the camera.  These reporters, from various countries, risk getting hit by rubber bullets or rocks by going near conflicts to get good footage.


I think this movie did a good job at portraying what they see is happening with the people that are gathering news, and it brings a great message of being cautious with what we see.  I think this message is even more applicable today with the news often spreading through social media. I enjoyed this film, however it is a little bit outdated and I do not think I would recommend this film to anyone who isn’t interested in this conflict in the middle east or in news production.  

Written by: Emily Ashcraft

Documentary Review | Pajaros de Papel

Pajaros de Papel is a Spanish film about the people who are in the cities during and after the Spanish Civil War.  It follows struggling musicians, and a boy that they end up caring for, as they try to deal with the war and put their lives back together.  It is a touching story that shows how you can find joy even in the worst of circumstances.

I was really impressed by this movie.  It taught me a lot about the importance of friends and of having some happiness in your life.  This film is in Spanish, but there are English subtitles.  I would encourage anyone to take the time to watch this film.

Written by: Emily Ashcraft

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Students: Audiobooks can be checked out for three weeks; DVDs can be checked out for seven days.

Faculty: Audiobooks can be checked out for three weeks; DVDs can be checked out for two weeks.

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