Reader poll winner (scary movie edition)

The votes are in… and y’all chose the horror comedy spoof Transylvania Twist (1989) as your next adventure!

Reel Librarians | Reader poll results

So next week I will be back with a film analysis post about Transylvania Twist. Stay tuned!

And if you’d like to browse more scary movie titles featuring reel librarians, here are previous films I’ve analyzed the past few Halloween seasons:





Reader poll: Choose your next adventure (scary movie edition)

If you’re a regular reader — as always, thank you! — then you know that I highlight scary movies every October. You’ll also know that every few months, I do a reader poll, when I ask readers to vote for the next film for me to analyze. This year, I’m combining both traditions!

I’ve pulled together four scary movies that include reel librarian portrayals. Now is the time to choose your next adventure, scary movie edition!

The following titles are from my personal collection:

Reel Librarians | Reader poll, scary movie edition

Reel Librarians | Reader poll, scary movie edition

  • Public Access (1993) — suspense thriller
    • A stranger arrives in the sleepy, small town of Brewster and stirs up dark secrets with his public access TV show that asks, “What’s wrong with Brewster?” He dates the shy, young town librarian.
    • Director Bryan Singer’s first feature-length film
  • Shadows in the Storm (1988) — suspense thriller
    • Ned Beatty has a chance encounter with a beautiful young woman (Mia Sara) and begins an affair. The nightmare begins when he is blackmailed by a mysterious caller…
    • Although described on the video case as a businessman, he’s described on the Librarians in the Movies:  An Annotated Bibliography site as “a Donne-quoting librarian.” We shall see?
  • Transylvania Twist (1989) — horror comedy
    • Horror film spoof from legendary Hollywood producer Roger Corman (The Little Shop of Horrors)
    • Angus Scrimm plays Stefen, a librarian from Transylvania who tries to collect the fines on a book that’s 200 years overdue!
  • Wilderness (1996) — horror drama
    • Amanda Ooms plays Alice White, a librarian at a British university, who has a dark secret: she locks herself away every month when she transforms into a werewolf!
    • Originally a three-part British mini-series, I have a copy of the abridged movie version released in the U.S.

What should I watch next? You decide!

The poll will stay open through this week, and I will reveal the winner next Wednesday.

Browse through all my posts tagged “reader poll” if you’re interested in past reader polls.

From the mixed-up files

E. L. Konigsburg, 1930-2013, remains one of my favorite authors, with such YA classics as Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth (1967); From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1967); A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver (1973); The View from Saturday (1996); and The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place (2004). Konigsburg is one of only six writers to have won two Newbery Medals, and remains the only writer to be both a Newbery Medal winner and one of the runners-up in the same year. That was 1968, winning for my personal favorite of her books, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and runner-up for Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth.

I’ve never watched a film adaptation of one of her works, so I taped the 1973 version of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, starring Ingrid Bergman as the title character. The film was also released under the title of The Hideaways.

From the Mixed-Up Files -- book cover and movie poster

If you’re unfamiliar with the story, it focuses on two siblings, Claudia and her brother, Jamie, who run away from home to stay at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. They try to solve the mystery of the new angel statue, rumored to be the work of Michelangelo, which leads them to the statue’s donor and famous recluse, Mrs. Basil E. Frankerweiler.

Starting on their quest to solve the mystery (about 40 minutes into the 105-minutes film), guess where Claudia and Jamie begin? In the library, of course!

“Tomorrow, we’ll go to the public library and start our research.”

Claudia is a very smart girl, of course. We know this already, from how she’s thought out how they can live and hide out in the museum without getting caught, but this seals the deal for me. ;)

Reel Librarians | Researching Michelangelo in 'From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler' (1973)

Reel Librarians | Researching Michelangelo in 'From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler' (1973)

There’s no librarian that I can see in the background of this shot, so the film ultimately lands in the Class V category (no librarians). However, not all is lost, as Claudia and Jamie talk about the importance of research.

Jamie:  Are you sure detectives work in libraries?

Claudia:  Yes. Keep looking. Sometimes, the search can be very important to solving a mystery.

They talk about different things they find out about Michelangelo, and then use the information they learn later to… and that’s all I can say for now. You will have to either watch the movie, read the book — or both! There was also a later TV adaptation from 1995 starring Lauren Bacall as the title character.

The climax of the story takes place in Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler’s home and personal library of files and research. (No spoilers, as you get that from the story’s title!)

Reel Librarians | Screenshot from 'From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler' (1973)

The scene in the film is different from the book, but it’s still fun to see a visual representation of all those “mixed-up files.” Although, of course, they’re not mixed-up at all. They files are quite logically organized, at least according to the logic of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

Reel Librarians | Screenshot from 'From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler' (1973)

Reel Librarians | Screenshot from 'From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler' (1973)

As she warns Claudia:

“Don’t mix up my files! They are in a special order, that makes sense only to me.”

Spoken like a librarian? ;)

Celebrating four years of Reel Librarians!

This week, the Reel Librarians blog celebrates its fourth anniversary! Four years of reel librarian fun, can y’all believe it?! ;)

What have YOU enjoyed so far? Please let me know and leave a comment while you’re here.

Reel Librarians

Quick stats:

  • Over 112,000 total views!
  • Home page over 50,000 total views!
  • 310+ posts (not including this one) + 21 pages
  • 114 visits daily average
  • 430+ followers via the blog, email, Pinterest, and Bloglovin
Reel Librarians | A look at site stats, Fall 2015

No wonder Wednesday is the most popular day! That’s when I publish weekly posts on Reel Librarians.

Top 10 most popular posts this past year:

For a trip down memory lane, be sure to check out the blog’s firstsecond, and third anniversaries! :)

Rewriting the library

I recently watched the 2014 movie The Rewrite, the third film collaboration between director Marc Lawrence and actor Hugh Grant. (The other two films were 2002’s Two Weeks Notice and 2007’s Music and Lyrics, two films I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve rewatched several times.) I enjoyed The Rewrite, a film about a washed-up screenwriter, Keith Michaels (Grant), who starts teaching a screenwriting class at Binghamton University to make ends meet. Interestingly, J.K. Simmons, who plays the English department chair, was featured heavily in most of the ads, as he was coming off an Oscar nomination, and subsequent win, for Whiplash. I also loved ALL of the scenes with J.K. Simmons, and Allison Janney is also a hoot as a Jane Austen scholar and professor.

So what does this film have to do with librarians or libraries?

A few minutes into the film, after Keith Michaels arrives at Binghamton University, he walks out of a campus building. I immediately spotted the “Library” sign just to the side of the door, as seen in the screenshot below. My interest was piqued!

Reel Librarians | Screenshot from 'The Rewrite' (2014)

I had to hold that interest, however, as there wasn’t another scene set in the library until the credits!

In a bonus scene during the film credits, we spot Grant in the library stacks, and as he takes down a book, he spots a student from his screenwriting class down the row in a private study room.

Reel Librarians | Screenshot from 'The Rewrite' (2014)

He goes down the row and peeks in…

Reel Librarians | Screenshot from 'The Rewrite' (2014)

… and finds out that the student — who was known in class for being really dark and cynical and obsessed with death — is watching the film Dirty Dancing. She is also crying at the ending! The student warns him that if he tells anyone… you get the picture. ;)

I also appreciated that when she turns around, we also get a glimpse of the interior of the study rooms. Pretty spacious and organized for a private study room!

Reel Librarians | Screenshot from 'The Rewrite' (2014)

Even though there was no librarian in this short scene, I was glad to have watched through the credits to have at least seen one scene set in the library. However, The Rewrite does end up in the Class V category, which includes films with no identifiable librarians, although they might mention librarians or have scenes set in libraries.

I read trivia that this film was director Lawrence’s “love letter to Binghamton,” where he graduated college from. I also happen to personally know a librarian colleague who works at the Binghamton University Libraries, so I was excited to contact her and get the “inside scoop.”

My librarian colleague revealed that there were hardly any scenes filmed in Binghamton — basically the scenes in which Keith Michaels leaves the airport and drives through town. The director basically recreated Binghamton University at a different campus, and recreated well-known Binghamton locations and landmarks, as well. She didn’t even know the movie was being made until she saw a picture of Hugh Grant on the local Facebook site!

As she summed up her disappointment:

“I think the reason why it bothered me so much about the Binghamton scenes (or lack of) is because this movie is an homage to Binghamton and the university. And yet, what we saw on the screen was a false representation.”

Hugh Grant also voiced a similar disappointment:  “It’s sad we couldn’t have filmed more of it here.” That was a quote from a Q&A session with the film’s director and star after they premiered the film on the Binghamton campus, as revealed in a campus magazine article. Lawrence and Grant addressed the Binghamton absence right up front during the Q&A, with the director stating, “We had no money,” and that it would have been more expensive to shoot in Binghamton rather than shooting the film around New York City.

The film does do a good job of promoting Binghamton University, but it’s a bummer that we didn’t see more of the actual campus itself — or its library! This BU blog article reveals that a lot of the campus scenes were filmed using Long Island University’s C.W. Post campus as a makeshift Binghamton campus.

So y’all KNOW I looked up the LIU’s C.W.Post library, right? Here is a visual comparison of the two libraries. In the collage below, the top building is Binghamton University’s Glenn G. Bartle Library, and the bottom building is Long Island University’s B. Davis Schwartz Memorial Library on the C.W. Post campus.

Comparison of library buildings from BU and LIU

And that brings us full circle, to when Hugh Grant walks out of the building with the “Library” sign next to it, before he starts teaching his screenwriting class. (I’ll insert that screenshot again below, so you don’t have to scroll up and down.)

Reel Librarians | Screenshot from 'The Rewrite' (2014)

You can tell by the round windows and front steps that it was the library building after all! Just not the library on the real Binghamton University campus.

Movie magic revealed… is ignorance bliss then after all? ;)