Welcome to the High Plains Library District Film and Movie Guide
Staff Movie Review: Jesus' Son
Based on the celebrated Denis Johnson short story collection of the same name, Jesus’ Son follows the feckless meanderings of a junkie who is drawn into one tragicomic episode after the next. The film’s protagonist, FH, plays the observer as a parade of down and out addicts, one opiate abusing girlfriend, and various other lowlifes, ricochet through his life. The action, which includes all manner of high-risk behavior (from an unrecommended surgical procedure to the illegal salvaging of copper wiring from an abandoned house), begins in the rain-soaked urban environs of the Pacific Northwest of the 1970s and concludes several years later in the Arizona desert.
While it could be easy to characterize this as a run-of-the-mill druggie period piece, there’s a depth to Jesus' Son that makes it far better than most other films of the genre. Samantha Morton, Billy Crudup, Jack Black, and Holly Hunter, in their respective roles, all convey a nuanced vulnerability which makes their crazy stories that much more compelling. Alison Maclean's competent direction manages to organize the scattershot nature of Johnson’s short story collection into a cohesive narrative while introducing a surprising number of creative cinematic touches (the drive-in theater/ graveyard scene is one such example). Best of all, the film is able to partially convey the genius of Denis Johnson’s written words via FH’s narration. Here’s a striking example of a passage from Johnson's book that FH narrates early on in the film.
“The traveling salesman had fed me pills that made the linings of my veins feel scraped out. My jaw ached. I knew every raindrop by its name. I sensed everything before it happened. I knew a certain Oldsmobile would stop for me even before it slowed, and by the sweet voices of the family inside it I knew we would have an accident in the storm.”
Brimming with pathos and humor, especially humor…., Jesus’ Son succeeds as a tale of one man's partial redemption amidst a sea of troubled souls.
James @ DSS
How would you like to screen a movie that is currently being shown at the Sundance Film Festival in your own living room? The High Plains Library District's brand new movie service, IndieFlix, allows you to do just that.
Indieflix offers HPLD patrons unlimited access to Award-winning independent movies, shorts, documentaries, and web series screened at more than 2,000 film festivals worldwide.
After setting up an account, library patrons can search for titles directly or apply a mood filter which sorts the films by genre, length of the film, and the film’s rating. Once you find something you like, watch it on your computer, Android or iOS tablets, Roku or Xbox.
Here are some of the other exciting Indieflix features:
Film Alerts – Select films that are being screened at current film festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, or the Seattle International Film Festival. IndieFlix FilmAlerts allows you to tag your favorites and get alerts on their availability.
Channels - Channels gives library patrons the chance to browse by film categories such as Horror, Animation, New Releases, Documentaries, Food, LGBTQ, Sci-Fi, and many others.
The IndieFlix Blog – Keep tabs on what’s going on at the latest film festivals. The blog includes interviews with the film makers, festival updates, and film alerts.
Submit a Film - Aspiring film makers can even submit their own films to Indieflix.
MOVIE CATALOG SEARCH
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Now Available at HPLD - The All Australian Edition
Here's a sampling of just a few of the recent additions to the library's movie collection.
Movies Certified Fresh by the reviewers at Rotten Tomatoes.
Jinni - Your Taste Engine for Movies and TV Shows
Do you ever have a hard time coming up with the title of a great movie that you saw ten years ago? Looking for movies in a particular genre?
Try out Jinni a search engine designed to help you search for movies by plot, mood, genre, time period, place or audience.