Top 10: Films on Demand, October 2013

filmsondemand

Films on Demand is an online streaming video subscription available to all Clayton State students. Last month users were busy watching the following top 10 titles:

10. The Alzheimer’s Mystery (48 mins)
This program traces the century-long initiative to understand the disease first described by Dr. Alois Alzheimer. Patients in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and family members discuss how they cope with the illness, while medical professionals address the disease’s pathology, research toward a cure, and the importance of compassionate healthcare. No longer stigmatized as senile, patients are sympathetically viewed as victims of an insidious disease that is reaching epidemic proportions.

9. Exploring Vegetarianism: A Healthy Alternative (19 mins)
Am I a vegetarian if I don’t eat meat but I do eat fish? Can I still have milk and be a vegetarian? What about eggs? These are just some of the questions answered in this comprehensive video about a popular but often misunderstood subject. Terms like vegan, ovo-lacto vegetarian, and ovo vegetarian are clearly defined. Vegetarians offer firsthand information on which foods provide all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional supplements to keep our bodies healthy. And we take a look at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and maybe a few snacks, from a vegetarian perspective.

8. James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket (87 mins)
James Baldwin was at once a major 20th-century American author, a civil rights activist, and a prophetic voice calling Americans, black and white both, to confront their shared racial tragedy. This film biography of Baldwin’s life captures the passion of his beliefs with stirring excerpts from his novels and striking archival footage dating from the Harlem Renaissance through to the author’s commentary on civil rights to his writing retreats in Istanbul and Europe. Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, Ishmael Reed, and William Styron provide insight as the program skillfully links excerpts from Baldwin’s major works to different historical stages in black-white dialogue.

7. Solomon Northup’s Odyssey: Twelve Years a Slave (117 mins)
To be a free man and a man with a trade was a lot to be proud of for a black man in 19th-century America. Solomon Northup was such a man. Then, one fateful day, his good life and all his dreams came to a crashing halt. Solomon Northup was kidnapped and carried off into slavery to serve on plantations in the South. For 12 long years he experienced the cruelty and subjugation that was slavery. Under any circumstances, it’s a harrowing story. Under most circumstances, it would be a story worth telling. Under these circumstances, it is a story that needs to be told. For the story of Solomon Northup is a true story.

6. Eight Million Gods: The Japanese Matsuri Festival (21 mins)
This program examines the Japanese matsuri or “summer festival,” perhaps the best elucidation of that country’s ancient polytheism. Ceremony footage from Tokyo and surrounding areas illustrates various festival activities and explores the Japanese cultural emphasis on community, cooperation, and folk worship. Commentary by Japanese cultural scholar Yoshi Morikatsu, interviews with festival participants, and astonishing crowd scenes of matsuri processions make clear that Japan derives a strong sense of unity from these communal celebratory rituals.

5. Derek Walcott: The Poetry of Place (53 mins)
Hailed as one of the finest living poets writing in English, Derek Walcott grew up on an island where French, French patois, and Creole are also spoken. Filmed on St. Lucia, Walcott’s birthplace and the wellspring of his poetic vision, this program presents the biography of a major figure in contemporary literature. The poet talks about his childhood and education, his influences and techniques, and how he actually started out as a painter. Matched with beautifully filmed segments of the island and its people, Walcott reads selections of his poetry, including passages from his epic Omeros.

4. V. S. Naipaul: The Enigma of Writing (53 mins)
In this program, novelist V. S. Naipaul, winner of the 2001 Nobel Prize in Literature, explores the relationship between a writer and his work, offering insights into his life, his career, and his subtly incisive novel/memoir The Enigma of Arrival. In particular, he contrasts the inspiration of living in the English countryside with the Caribbean, Indian, and African influences that dominate his earlier writings. Excerpts from Miguel Street, A House for Mr. Biswas, and other books-read by actor Roshan Seth and by Naipaul himself-round out this engaging interview.

3. Derek Walcott (30 mins)
Derek Walcott was born a British subject on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia and studied English in school almost as a second language. In the language of great poets and literature, this winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature also discovered the tongue of political mastery: a culture imposed by white foreigners. This contradiction he confronts in both his poetry and his life, spending half the year in what he calls the prehistoric Eden of his childhood, and the other half teaching in the world’s newest empire, the U.S. In this program with Bill Moyers, Walcott discusses the power of his words and the recurring themes of the black struggle in his work.

2. Investigative Reports: Prime Time Violence (45 mins)
This episode of Investigative Reports asks: does violence on television cause violence in the home and on the streets? Distributed by A&E Television Networks.

and the number 1 Films on Demand video for October is:

1. Inferential Statistics (36 mins)
Who said statistics were boring? Using magic and circus motifs, this program demonstrates the significance of probability theory and the importance of using the correct test to analyze research data.

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