Why is a librarian featured in Toto’s song “Africa”?
This post started via a Facebook conversation from my husband:
The song, “Africa,” from Toto’s 1982 album Toto IV, does indeed feature a librarian and a library/jungle setting. The plot seems to revolve around a man — played by lead singer David Paich — on the hunt for a book called “Africa.” There are multiple shots of the librarian, a woman of African descent, giving her very best “librarian glare” to the singer, whilst adjusting her spectacles amidst the usual library props of a wooden desk, book stamps, and bookcases. The music video also includes shots of the band “jamming” on top of a stack of books. Both multicultural AND cultured, eh? 😉
Lyrics that might have inspired the library setting for the video include:
But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
I stopped an old man along the way / Hoping to find some old forgotten words or ancient melodies
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had
The Wikipedia entry for this song also included a quote that the idea for the song came from David Paich, about “… a white boy [who] is trying to write a song on Africa, but since he’s never been there, he can only tell what he’s seen on TV or remembers in the past.”
After watching this video, methinks the video came from the idea of a white man trying to film a music video in a library, but since he’s never been there, he can only tell what he’s seen on TV or remembers in the past. 😉
Reel librarian in Filipino film ‘In My Life’ (2009)
Last week, I mentioned discovering the YouTube and Librarians (Movies) channel. Although I don’t focus on foreign language films on this blog, I do have a list of those that feature reel librarians, adding to it whenever possible. From this YouTube channel, I have added several more titles to the Foreign Films list, including the award-winning Filipino film, In My Life (2009). Check out the full trailer (over 4 minutes long!) below:
Even if you don’t understand the words — the film’s languages include Filipino and Tagalog, along with some English — the plotline seems pretty easy to follow! I’ve run out of fingers counting the reel librarian stereotypes… which ones are your faves? 😉
Mine might be the glasses-on-a-lanyard look as she throws some canoodling students out of the library.
Adding titles from the “YouTube and Librarians (Movies)” playlist
I can confirm hand-clapping when I recently came across the “YouTube and Librarians (Movies)” list online. This YouTube channel compiles various reel librarian film clips, and therefore, I was able to add several new titles added to my Master List! Of course, this means more homework for me… but as a daughter of two teachers, I’m obviously ok with that! 🙂
The Age of Stupid (2009):
In this cinematic mix of a fiction and documentary, Pete Postlethwaite plays The Archivist, who reviews archival footage relating to humans’ inability to address climate change.
Be Kind Rewind (2008):
This looks to include a short scene parodying the opening library scene in Ghostbusters.
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (2008):
Harold kisses a girl in the library stacks. Not sure if there’s a librarian in the movie — doesn’t look to be one in this clip — so I’ll have to watch the entire movie to make sure.
Late Afternoon of the Living Dead (2007):
It looks like this is a low-budget parody of zombie horror films, featuring a librarian as the main character, Chris. Sounds like a Liberated Librarian storyline…
The Librarians (aka Strike Force, 2003):
I think the “librarians” in this title are in name only, as the movie’s about a team of mercenaries on the hunt for a kidnapped girl. Not sure why the reference to librarians, but that just means I’ve got to watch it to find out.
Racing Daylight (2007):
Watching this clip, I was thinking, “Where’s the librarian?” Looking up the plot in IMDb, it turns out the main character (played by Melissa Leo) is a librarian! Leo plays a dual role as a modern-day woman and her Civil War-era ancestor.
It seems Ernest Borgnine plays some kind of archivist or record keeper. I’ve been wanting to watch this (Helen Mirren fan!), so extra reason now to do so.
Red Roses and Petrol (2003):
The main character (played by Malcolm McDowell) is a librarian, a family patriarch whose dysfunctional family gathers together after his death.
Shelf Life (2005):
A library-centric plot in this indie film that seems to be some kind of mashup of Party Girl (1995) and Election (1999).
Who knew a library could be grounds for such wicked office politics? It all starts when a fresh-out-of-rehab goth slacker Nikki Reynolds (Betsy Brandt) takes a job at the local library. Strict, by-the-book head librarian Betty Bonhauser (Elisa Bocanegra) is quick to remind everyone using a flip chart of her family’s successful librarian lineage.
The Ten (2007):
A film that includes 10 sketches parodying the “Ten Commandments.” One segment, “Thou Shalt Not Take the Lord’s Name in Vain” (a parody of Y tu mama también)features Gretchen Mol as a librarian who travels to Mexico for a fling.
Vault of Darkness (2009):
A horror anthology film comprised of four stories. story segments. One segment, “It’s Hour Come Round,” features a young librarian (Christina Cupo).
The Spider-Man franchise reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man, opens today. Oh, you haven’t heard of it? 😉 I was so excited last week to come across this YouTube video of Stan Lee, creator of Spider-Man and many other comic book series, at the 2011 Dallas Comic-Con. He talks about his cameos in movie adaptations of his works and then reveals his cameo in The Amazing Spider-Man — Stan Lee himself revealed the spoiler, so I don’t feel bad about revealing it here — which apparently features a major fight scene between Spider-Man and The Lizard in a library. And Stan Lee has a cameo as a librarian!
We were on the fence about watching the movie, but now, we’ve got to watch it! 🙂
The caption on YouTube stated it was awarded the jury’s 1st place at Steinerei 2011 (the theme that year was “Chaos”). Which of course, meant I had to look up what Steinerei was. And after using Google Translate, the Steinerei site told me that since since 2005, it’s an annual film festival in Germany that showcases brickfilms, which are short films created in stop-motion using plastic toys like Legos.