Desk Set

lady librarians from desk setDid you know that Katherine Hepburn and Spenser Tracey were in a Librarian movie together? Did you even know there were librarian movies? It’s called Desk Set, and we’re about halfway through watching it.

Desk Set somewhat unintentionally gives an interesting window into professional life for women in the late 1950’s. Apparently it involved lots of sexual harassment, patronization, and powerlessness. Oh, and trivia questions. Which is pretty cool.

We spend about ten minutes listening to Katherine Hepburn show off her black belt in historical and literary fact before her boyfriend (also her boss) lovingly tells her how stupid she is. In spite of the anachronisms, Hepburn’s character exudes competence, and it’s wonderful to watch a woman on film being unabashedly smart.

Like most pre-1980’s movies, it’s long and kind of slow. We got a bit bored, and will probably finish it later tonight. I’m looking forward to seeing the IBM “electronic brain” that is supposed to replace the reference department. I suspect it will involve lots of reel-to-reel tapes, blinking lights, and miraculous natural language processors.

Stay tuned.


It’s sweeps week here at librarian enterprises, so here’s some links about anthropodermic bindings.

For those of you who were asleep during The History of Books and Printing, that’s books bound in human skin. Because if you intellectualize it, it’s not icky. (from boing boing)

Speaking of books bound in human skin, have you seen Peter Greenway’s film The Pillow Book? It’s one of my favorites. It’s about a woman’s obsession with writing on the human body, and understandably also, her obsession with Ewan McGregor’s schlong. Don’t watch during dinner, in spite of or perhaps because of Ewan McGregor’s schlong. Special collections librarians: Play this movie at your next SLA meeting!

One sentence movie review – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

This movie, with its fantastic effects, original cinematography, and great directing has convinced me to forgive the franchise completely for all of those spiders in the second film.

Ok, I can’t restrain myself to one sentence. Believe it or not, I liked the latest Harry Potter movie even more than the book. For me, these days, the sign of a good action-adventure film is one with absolutely no Grab-my-hand scene, and very little Escape-in-front-of-the-fireball. There was one minor Escape-in-front-of-the-fireball incident, but since Harry’s butt caught fire in an amusing way, I choose to overlook it. There was lots of great, original stuff in this movie, and very little of the cliched crud that littered up the last few films.


serenity.jpgGet thee to Serenity. It required some monumental orchestration, but we got there Saturday and spent the rest of the evening saying things like "Woah" and "Damn".

Go. Go now. Then go again. Then buy the Firefly dvds in case you haven’t already. Ogod this was a cool movie. What are you doing sitting there? Look up film times!

One sentence movie reviews

For your summer viewing pleasure, here are some one-sentence movie reviews culled from my recent media consumption. Tune in tomorrow for two-sentence movie reviews.

The Corporation: Creepy facts set to ominous music.

Star Wars III: Dialog by Elmer Fudd.

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Too much Arthur Dent, not enough Ford Prefect.

Doctor Who (new BBC series): That Bittorrent guy who gave me these sure is great.

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou: It feels like I’ve watched this movie before…

Hero: Swing your swift sword sister, swing your swift sword now.

Finding Neverland: In Which Johhny Depp Acts and some other stuff happens, I dunno I lost track, but there’s a really great dog.

Devil’s Playground: Why the Amish are stupid.