Archive | July, 2021

Visually Stunning and Poetic Horror: Santa Sangre

28 Jul

If the movie, Santa Sangre, was a car; at first you might think Alfred Hitchcock was driving but behind the wheel is talented director, Alejandro Jodorowsky. What you have from Jodorowsky is a first class trip to destination Santa Sangre.

This movie definitely falls under the Avant Garde, even phantasmagorical category rather than just calling it a horror flick or psychological thriller. I’d like to think of it as a psychological fairy tale with an arsenal of symbolic references that at first seem to be going nowhere; but then, you reach the end of the film and it comes together. Get ready for a visually stunning and poetic tale of of everything human that leads to murder. This movie’s artistic beauty balances the visceral gore and sexual content that the film contains.

Besides DVD and Blu-Ray editions available from BCCLS libraries, Hoboken Library patrons have access to Santa Sangre through Kanopy. Also available from Kanopy is an exclusive making-of documentary featuring interviews with the cast and crew.

Hoboken patrons have access to 20 checkouts of Kanopy streaming media per month. Hoboken resident cardholders also have unlimited access to Kanopy Kids and The Great Courses Series. In addition Kanopy will be offering through certain content partners a selection of titles that will not deduct play credits from your account so you can watch them in addition to your 20 checkouts (these titles are listed under Credit-Free Viewing). Over 30,000 films can be streamed from computers, televisions, mobile devices or platforms by downloading the Kanopy app. The films include award-winning documentaries, rare and hard-to-find titles, film festival favorites, indie and classic films, and world cinema. Kanopy Kids includes educational and engaging videos for children of all ages—as well as the young at heart. With the motto of “thoughtful entertainment,” Kanopy provides films of unique social and cultural value; films that are often difficult or impossible to access elsewhere, and programming that features diversity.

Hoboken Resident Cardholders can also check out additional film and TV shows, as well as graphic novels, ebooks, and digital audiobooks from Hoopla.

Written by:
Sacha Chavez
Reference Assistant

A Richly Detailed Historical Novel: Hour of the Witch by Chris Bohjalian

21 Jul

Since my mother’s ancestors date back to John Alden, a crew member on the historic 1620 Mayflower voyage, I’ve always been fascinated, as a Mayflower descendant, by the history of the Pilgrims as well as with their customs and lifestyle. Therefore, when I came across Chris Bohjalian’s enthralling new historical novel Hour of the Witch, I was inspired to read it, because of my proud New England roots and my penchant for Puritan history.

Set in 17th century early Boston, Bohjalian’s engrossing new novel focuses on the Puritans as they establish themselves in the new world and develop a strict set of values, beliefs, and laws. Mary Deerfield is a young and feisty Puritan woman who has married Thomas, an older man, who is not only an alcoholic, but is physically and verbally abusive. Unfortunately, she has not been able to bear him any children, so he berates her for failing as a wife.

Mary is faithful and resourceful but fears the demons that plague her soul. So, she plots her escape from a violent and unfortunate marriage. During a drunken rage, however, Thomas drives a three-tined fork, a symbol of the devil, into the back of her hand. She then resolves that she must divorce Thomas to save her life. During this time, however, divorce is highly uncommon and only raises suspicion by her neighbors and the townsfolk that she is probably an unfit wife with a tainted soul.

Naturally, her petition for a divorce is not granted and she is forced to continue with her unhappy marriage to a cruel and violent man. As she attempts to come to terms with this defeat, their jealous servant girl, with eyes for Thomas, accuses Mary of witchcraft, when she discovers a three-tined fork and a pestle, engraved with the wicked fork, in Mary’s apron. Now Mary must endure a harrowing trial, reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials, where she must defend herself and her very character. She must now not only fight to escape her marriage, but also the gallows.

Bohjalian’s twisting and tightly plotted story is filled with a riveting cast of characters and richly detailed history about the early Puritans. The dark and sinister second half of the book kept me spellbound and rooting for Mary’s vindication and freedom. She is truly an intelligent, well rounded, and respectable woman ahead of her times and readers will identify with her and sympathize with her plight. The story’s surprise ending, certainly caught me off guard, and gave me a great deal of satisfaction.

You can borrow it in print from BCCLS libraries or as an ebook from elibraryNJ or eBCCLS as an ebook.

Written by:
Ethan Galvin
Reference Librarian

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