Chester Fritz Library Updates

News and notes from UND's Chester Fritz Library

Spring Into a Coming-of-Age Movie!

With the seasons changing in Grand Forks, why not borrow a movie about the metaphorical change in life’s seasons? Below are listed some of the library’s films about childhood, adolescence, and growing up.

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Brand Upon the Brain!

Guy Maddin (Erik Steffan Maahs as old Guy, Sullivan Brown as boy Guy) returns to a Canadian island called Black Notch, where he was raised under the thumb of his controlling mother (Gretchen Krich). Guy reflects on his phantasmagoric childhood, populated by acquaintances like bully Savage Tom (Andrew Loviska) and crush Wendy Hale (Jake Morgan-Scharhon), who morphs into a boy called Chance with a simple haircut. Smears of Vaseline on the camera lens, quavering shots that look hand-rendered, quick-cut editing, and sets alongside costuming lend the film an over-the-top nostalgia that borders on camp. (2006, dir. Guy Maddin, 99 minutes)

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Based on the best-selling Stephen King novel, Sissy Spacek stars as Carrie, a tortured high-school misfit with no confidence, no friends, and no idea about the extent of her secret powers of telekinesis. When her strict mother and sadistic classmates finally push her over the edge, the once-shy teen unleashes her ‘special gift’ in a famed cinematic frenzy of blood, fire, and brimstone. (1976, dir. Brian de Palma, 98 minutes)

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Coraline Jones (Dakota Fanning) is bored in her new home in Oregon. Her parents (Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman) are too busy to play with her, and her new neighbors are strange. One day Coraline finds a secret door that leads her into a world that’s just like her own, but where adults pamper her with treats and attention. She wishes she could stay forever, but the price proffered by her “Other Mother” is steep. Coraline must count on her resourcefulness and bravery, plus the help of a talking cat (Keith David), to get home. Adapted from the children’s novel by Neil Gaiman. (2009, dir. Henry Selick, 100 minutes)

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Dazed and Confused

The story deals with a group of friends on the last day of high school in Austin, Texas, 1976. Good-natured football star Randall “Pink” Floyd (Jason London) navigates effortlessly between the worlds of jocks, stoners, wannabes, and rockers with girlfriend and new-freshman buddy in tow. Everyone has their own plans for the night, but everyone is asking, “What happens next?” A cult classic featuring an ensemble cast of 90’s up-and-comers (Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich, Adam Goldberg, Parker Posey, Ben Affleck, and Anthony Rapp) (1993, dir. Richard Linklater, 102 minutes)

The Hate U Give

Based on the best-selling novel by Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give tells the story of Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), who lives in two worlds: the poor, Black neighborhood where she resides and the mostly White prep school she attends. This uneasy balance is shattered when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood friend by a policeman. Facing pressures from all sides, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right. (2018, dir. George Tillman, Jr., 133 minutes)

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Westerburg High School’s elite clique of popular girls is “The Heathers,” comprised of the powerful Heather Chandler (Kim Walker), the green-with-envy Heather Duke (Shannen Doherty), and the craven Heather McNamara (Lisanne Falk). Rounding out the foursome is Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder), who is so fed up with her so-called friends and the high school hierarchy that she starts running with J.D. (Christian Slater), a mysterious – and possibly sociopathic – motorcycle-riding newcomer. It doesn’t take long for their teen rebellion to produce a mounting body count. (1988, dir. Michael Lehmann, 103 minutes)

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Ivan’s Childhood

During the World War II, 12-year-old Russian boy Ivan (Nikolai Burlyaev) is orphaned after his family are killed by the invading Nazis. He joins a Soviet partisan group, which uses his diminutive stature and agility to gather intelligence. Worried about his safety, his commanders take Ivan away from the front line but the boy, determined to avenge parents’ murder, insists on being given more dangerous assignments. (1962, dir. Andrei Tarkovsky, 94 minutes)

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Billy (Dai Bradley) is a fifteen-year-old miner’s son, picked on by his cruel half-brother and dismissed as a hopeless case by his teachers. However, his close bond with a wild kestrel and growing interest in falconry provides him with a spiritual escape from his dour days. Loach’s breakthrough film is considered a quintessential portrait of working-class life in Northern England. (1969, dir. Ken Loach, 112, minutes)

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The Last Picture Show

Adapted from Larry McMurtry’s novel, The Last Picture Show focuses on the daily lives of three teens in a dusty little Texas town—enigmatic Sonny (Timothy Bottoms), wayward jock Duane (Jeff Bridges), and desperate-to-be-adored rich girl Jacy (Cybill Shepherd). As they figure out what, if anything, their futures will be, they rub shoulders with adults all too aware of life’s disappointments (Cloris Leachman as a football coach’s wife; Ben Johnson as the ex-cowboy who owns the town’s movie theatre and pool hall). (1971, dir. Peter Bogdanovich, 118 minutes)

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Love & Basketball

Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps) are next-door neighbors in Los Angeles who share a love of basketball. They teach each other how to play the game and grow closer through high school into college. However, with diverging career trajectories, their commitment to the sport will force them to make a choice between each other and the game—between love and basketball. (2000, dir. Gina Prince-Bythewood, 127 minutes)

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The Night of the Hunter

A tall, handsome “preacher” — his knuckles eerily tattooed with “love” and “hate” — roams West Virginia, leaving a trail of murdered women in his wake. Rev. Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) is now hunting a buried $10,000 treasure—and two little children (Billy Chapin and Sally Jane Bruce) are the only ones who know where it is. Once Powell charms their mother (Shelley Winters), the two kids will need the help of a kindly old woman (Lillian Gish) to escape his clutches. The lone directorial effort of British actor Charles Laughton, The Night of the Hunter has been acclaimed as one of cinema’s great films noir. (1955, dir. Charles Laughton, 92 minutes).

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Whale Rider

A young mother dies in childbirth along with her newborn male son, who was supposed to be the Māori Whangara tribe’s next leader. His twin sister, Pai (Keisha Castle-Hughes), survives and is brought up by her grandparents (Rawiri Paratene and Vicky Haughton) while her distraught father (Cliff Curtis) pursues an art career in Germany. She enlists the help of her uncle (Grant Roa) to learn the art of chiefdom, yet despite her natural aptitude for leadership, her grandfather stubbornly clings to the patrilineal tradition. Based on the novel by Witi Ihimaera. (2002, dir. Niki Caro, 101 minutes)