“Two Men in Manhattan” is French film noir, which is a wonderful confluence, since the term noir — in honor of a particular kind of American movie – was given to us by French film critics in the first place. In this case, director Jean-Pierre Melville pulls off a rather fascinating bit of movie-making: he combines an American setting and style — New York noir, in the 50s — with a very French post-war theme. To explain that too much might spoil the movie for the viewer, though. You’ll have to watch it to find out.
The story concerns a disappearance — a classic mystery set-up — of a French UN official. But instead of the police doing the investigating, it’s French reporters who are on the trail, one a womanizing photographer, the other (played by the director himself) more of a straight arrow. Together they journey through an unsavory world of New York vice, and more rarified theaters and recording studios, always missing their man, but continuing to pick up clues. According to the DVD’s extra — an interview between film critics Jonathan Rosenbaum and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky — only the exterior shots were done in New York itself, while the rest was done in France, on sound stages. This makes for an interesting contrast, given that many movies of this type at that time were done on numerous on-site locations. Additionally, the powerful jazz score used in the film is a great accompaniment to the editing, which pulls us from place to place throughout the city, conveying the disorientation that these foreigners must sometimes feel in their adopted city. As the reporters continue their prowl throughout the December night, they eventually get their scoop, though not without some depressing revelations, brought to them partially through their own ambiguous choices — a plot twist doubtless important to this story of darkness both literal and figurative.
(This film is not rated, but does have some brief nudity in it. Dialogue is primarily in French, with some English as well.)
Karen Katz has done it again! She has written another thoroughly enjoyable board book, Zoom, Zoom Baby! Lift the flap to see if baby is in the boat, or the bus. Where is baby? Your toddler will love peeking to see if baby is riding the train or flying the plane. Where is baby? Check out this book and find out!
–Liz W. at KDL’s Plainfield Township Branch
This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.
Has a KDL librarian made a real difference in your life? Have they gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide top-notch customer service and excellent programming? Show your appreciation by nominating them for a meaningful award!
Nominations for the national Carnegie Corporation of New York / New York TimesI Love My Librarian Award will be accepted through September 12 and must be submitted online.
The award invites library users nationwide to nominate librarians in public libraries, as well as those in school and academic libraries. It is an opportunity for patrons to share how librarians improve the lives of people in their communities.
Ten librarians will win $5,000, a plaque and a $500 travel stipend to attend an awards reception in New York , hosted by The New York Times. The award is administered by the American Library Association with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York and The New York Times.
Language lovers, rejoice — our online language learning resource, Mango Languages, recently added 10 new chapters and over 1,000 additional learning hours to 40+ of their language courses (indicated in bold in the table below)
Mango Languages is FREE to all KDL cardholders, and is an easy, effective way to learn to speak a foreign language. Courses are currently available in 62 foreign languages and 17 English as a Second Language (ESL) courses:
Spanish (Latin American)
ESL for Arabic (Egyptian) Speakers
ESL for Arabic (MSA) Speakers
ESL for Armenian Speakers
ESL for Chinese (Cantonese) Speakers
ESL for Chinese (Mandarin) Speakers
ESL for French Speakers
ESL for German Speakers
ESL for Greek Speakers
ESL for Italian Speakers
ESL for Japanese Speakers
ESL for Korean Speakers
ESL for Polish Speakers
ESL for Portuguese (Brazilian) Speakers
ESL for Russian Speakers
ESL for Spanish (Latin American) Speakers
ESL for Turkish Speakers
ESL for Vietnamese Speakers
Once you’ve signed up for an account through KDL, you can even access Mango Languages on-the-go with free mobile apps for iOS and Android!
Watch the video below to see Mango Languages in action, then start using it today!
This month there is only one new teen booklist and it features Books with a Music Theme. One of my favorite books is included on the list: Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John. I am not a big music fan at all, but I loved the characters and the storyline of this book! Piper is deaf; having her be a manager of a band might be strange, but she is willing to working hard and prove herself. But it is not easy to manage five very different personalities and look for a venue for them to play.
Below are a few of my other favorites from the list:
Are you going to be on vacation or otherwise unable to get to the polls for the August 5 primary election (which includes a KDL millage proposal)? Request an absentee ballot using this form. You can also obtain an absentee ballot from the city or township office where you are registered to vote. The deadline to apply to receive an absentee ballot by mail is 2:00 PM on Saturday, August 2. After this, you may request an absent voter ballot in person at your local clerk’s office up until 4:00 PM on Monday, August 4.