The Library received a nice little surprise in the mail today. Our new edition of Esopus arrived and with it, new content available solely to subscribers.

If you are unfamiliar with Esopus, it is a twice-yearly publication featuring a wide selection of cross-disciplinary content, presented in a strikingly visual format with no advertising. Each issue of Esopus includes three long-form contemporary artists’ projects: one by an established artist and two by emerging artists.

Like many print publications, Esopus has recently rolled out new content just for subscribers. Since the Library at Watkins is indeed a subscriber, this is great news for the library’s patrons.

The Library Staff has a special key code at the circulation desk that you can center at this Web site. From there, you will be able to unlock a range of features on the Web site’s Current Issue page. Examples of the exclusive content are:

  • downloadable audio files of the CD included with the magazine. Just click on “Download Audio.”
  • web-exclusive material related to the issue’s contents. For the latest issue, you will find fascinating footage of artist Joyce Pensato at work in her studio.

Check back often as Esopus promises to release more exclusive content for subscribers over the next few months before the new issue arrives in October.

Simply e-mail the library, call us at (615) 277-7427, or come visit us to get the Subscriber Key Code for Esopus!



Harold defines experimental film as any film whose subject is how film works.  In basic terms, any good film is an experimental film as the magic of motion pictures is part of the message.  Looking at a film that is overtly experimental can be like stepping behind the curtain at a magic show to view the mechanics of the trick.  Step behind the curtain with faculty member Chuck Stephens’ “Exploded breakaway_bconnerView” column in the Winter 2013 edition of Cinema Scope. Stephens points out both the beauty of the illusion and the mechanism in his essay on Bruce Conner’s 1966 film Breakaway.  As usual, Stephens brings his scholar mind as well as his fan mind to bear on the subject.  Follow his advice, “just go watch Breakaway right now, five times, all the way through,  before you do anything else  with your life.”  Check out Cinema Scope in the library, Breakaway online, and look up the Bruce Conner bio in Oxford Art Online.

The 2012 Academy Awards ceremony was marked by a distinctly nostalgic tone both from the ceremony, hosted by  old-timer Billy Crystal, and the awards, such as  for Christopher Plummer, after 50 years as an actor, for Beginners and 76 year old Woody Allen, for Midnight in Paris. Capping the evening was the best picture Oscar for The Artist, the first “non-talkie” to win since Wings at the first intouchablesmovieAcademy Awards in 1929.  Meanwhile, back in France, the distinctly mainstream The Intouchables was released.  The Artist  was a hit both at home and abroad earning $133 million worldwide.  The Intouchables was the cultural event of the year in France according to one poll, becoming the highest grossing french film in history and earning over $364 million worldwide.

The popular appeal of The Intouchables does not come from the originality of the script.  An immigrant, street hustler, Driss, played by Omar Sy, brings life, spontaneity, and pop music to the life of stodgy up-tight millionaire Phillipe, played by Francois Cluzet.  Change the accents and the story is familiar.  Popularity did not come from brilliant insight  into French race relations.  Critics decried the simplistic viewpoint of the film.  If things were this easy, things would be much better.  The joy of The Intouchables comes from the details of the story, based on an actual relationship, and, overwhelmingly, from the performances of the two lead actors.  Newly arrived in The Library, check out The Intouchables and see why Omar Sy won the Cesar award for best actor beating Jean Dujardin of The Artist.  While you’re at it, check out The Artist, Beginners, and Midnight in Paris, all part of the Library collection.

vday collage

Happy Valentine’s Day from the Library at Watkins!

To celebrate, the evening staff chose You’ve Got Mail for our viewing pleasure tonight. It got Harold thinking about some of his favorite movies that celebrate all things love (OK, with a little help from the evening librarian who loves romance). His top romantic movies are:

  1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  2. My Fairy Lady
  3. Casablanca
  4. Beauty & the Beast
  5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

What are some of your favorite movies that celebrate love? Both good and bad? (Eternal Sunshine isn’t exactly the happiest movie of the bunch, Harold understands.)


The Library at Watkins is celebrating the upcoming 85th Academy Awards in our latest exhibit in the library.

With well over 100 movies in our collection that are Oscar winners, we didn’t have room for all of our collection to be featured in the exhibit, but we have lists available for your interest of the Oscar winners we own that are available to you for checkout.

We’ve also printed up ballots of this year’s nominees for you to play along at home on Oscar night and mark your predictions as well as the winners!

What were your favorite movie moments in 2012? Who do you hope wins? Who do you think was the greatest snub this year? Paging Ben Affleck…

The Library at Watkins is happy to be open after a great winter break and especially thrilled with Harold’s return to blogging. We have some new programs and features we will be rolling out this semester, along with updates on new additions to the library circulation. And as Harold mentioned in the spring, he lives for awards shows. With the Academy Awards upon us, suspect to read upcoming posts on the nominated movies, previous nominees and winners, and of course those movies or actors who Harold feels was snubbed.

What would you like to hear Harold write about this spring? Leave notes in the comments!


The Library at Watkins is displaying a fun assortment of new items in our collection that features the very best in illustrations in children’s literature and graphic novels. Come check them out!

Red Knit Cap Girl written & illustrated by Naoko Stoop
House Held Up By Trees by Ted Kooser;illustrated by Jon Klassen
Unspoken written & illustrated by Henry Cole
The Beetle Book written & illustrated by Steve Jenkins
Little Bird written by Germana Zullo & illustrated by Albertine
Gloriana written & illustrated by Kevin Huizenga
Right State written by Mat Johnson  illustrated by Andrea Mutti
Unterzakhn written & illustrated by Leela Corman
Fables: The Deluxe Edition Book One written by Mark Buckingham & illustrated by Lan Medina
Stephen & the Beetle written by Jorge Lujan & illustrated by Chiara Carrer
Ex Machina: The First Hundred Days written by Brian K. Vaughan & illustrated by Tony Harris
Pedro & Me: Friendship, Loss, & What I Learned written & illustrated by Judd WinickThe Hueys in the New Sweater written & illustrated by Oliver Jeffers