Like the Cinémathèque Française, where young French filmmakers like, Jean-Luc Godard and François Truffaut received their early cinematic education, the Denver Public Library preserves and makes available a large collection of films from a variety of eras and cultures, as well a number of books and articles on film history and criticism. Channel the spirit of the nouvelle vague and let DPL turn your living room into a screening room. Vive la France!
Motivated by an intense love of all things cinematic, the core group of directors associated with the New Wave -- Godard, Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, Jacques Rivette and Eric Rohmer -- transformed themselves from film lovers to film critics, and from film critics to film directors.
With The Prestige (2006) -- the second installment of DPL's Steampunk Film Series -- Christopher Nolan paints a vibrant portrait of magic and science in the Victorian era that brims with historical detail while remaining thoroughly modern in its tone and themes. It's a complex and visually striking film that begs to be viewed on the big screen.
Adapted from Christopher Priest's 1995 novel of the same name, The Prestige features the kind of multi-layered, time-shifting narrative that has become a Nolan signature. At its heart is the epic rivalry between two stage magicians, Borden (Christian Bale) and Angier (Hugh Jackman), that subtly echoes the real life power struggle between scientific wizards Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. In the figure of Tesla -- played by an otherworldly David Bowie -- the fragile boundaries between science and magic collapse.
Libraries are sites of imagination and possibility. Each book contains a tiny world capable of transporting the reader into a radically different time and place. In a similar way, the space of the library itself -- whether dark and dusty or bright and modern -- also has the potential to transport us out of the realm of the ordinary.
In honor of National Library Week I'd like to present a few of my favorite cinematic libraries. All these titles are available to check out through DPL.