Top 10: Films on Demand, January 2014

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. Native American Religions (28 mins)
In this program, Dennis Wholey has a conversation about Native American religions with Suzan Shown Harjo, executive director of The Morning Star Institute in Washington, D.C. Topics of discussion include the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978; some common aspects of the approximately 300 remaining Native American religions being practiced in the U.S. today; the concepts of a supreme being and associated sacred beings as they exist in Native American culture; the prophecies of the Cheyenne prophet Sweet Medicine and the historical impact of North America’s settlers on the land’s indigenous peoples; and the pressing need for all Americans, non-native and native alike, to create a better future together.

9. The Phony War (58 mins)
It is 1938 and Chamberlain goes to Munich to bargain with Hitler for “peace in our time.” It was not to be. Instead, Hitler invades Czechoslovakia; Britain introduces conscription as trenches are dug and sandbags appear throughout London. Poland is invaded and Britain declares war. London evacuates its children and the British Expeditionary Force embarks for France. British shipping is being sunk, but this is nevertheless the “Phony War.” Blackouts are introduced and traffic accidents double. Churchill replaces Chamberlain. The BEF is routed in France and the disaster of Dunkirk becomes a miracle. De Gaulle flies to London as Paris falls.

8. Fractals: An Animated Discussion (63 mins)
Dazzling computer animation combined with the genius of Benoit Mandelbrot and Edward Lorenz present a captivating discussion of fractals and the fundamental concepts of fractal geometry-self-similarity and chaos. Mandelbrot uses a simple head of broccoli to demonstrate the complexity of fractals. Narrating over the three-dimensional animations, Mandelbrot discusses how fractals serve as an excellent model of irregular natural forms, such as coastlines, and how they relieve the scientist of the necessity of describing nature with simple geometric forms-clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones. The world of fractals is revealed, from the depths of the Mandelbrot set, to the Lorenz attractor.

7. Black Panther/San Francisco State: On Strike (34 mins)
This two-part program begins with the actual film the Black Panther Party used to promote its cause. Shot in 1969 in San Francisco, it’s an exemplar of 1960s activist filmmaking, featuring an interview from jail with Black Panthers cofounder Huey Newton, as well as footage of cofounder Bobby Seale explaining its Ten Point Program and Eldridge Cleaver discussing the Panthers’ appeal to the black community. The program’s second part, shot by students and their supporters during the San Francisco State University strike of 1968–1969, documents the groundbreaking protest that led to the establishment of the first ethnic studies department at an American university.

6. Why We Do What We Do (22 mins)
Beginning with a concise history of the media, this program explores the effects of TV and other information and entertainment sources on personal attitudes and actions as well as on public opinion. The impact of how appearance, language, and behavior are portrayed is considered. Tips on becoming a more critical viewer are included.

5. Sacred Spirit: The Lakota Sioux, Past and Present (51 mins)
This poignant collage features members of the Oglala Lakota Sioux living on and off the Pine Ridge reservation who present their unself-pitying yet pointed observations on Lakota history and modern-day Lakota life. Their creation myth and their attitudes toward Mother Earth and the concept of time contribute insights into their worldview, while footage of a major powwow and a tepee-raising offer glimpses of the people’s cultural heritage. Wounded Knee and the extermination of the buffalo are discussed. Gang violence, alcoholism, lack of employment, and housing and health problems are also addressed, as well as the many faces of subjugation.

4. 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. Host Amy and her friend Matt the Magician guide viewers through the need to make probability statements, and along with a team of students, use juggling skills to explore choice of test. Setting significance levels, tests of difference, the sign test, degrees of freedom, Yates correction, expected frequencies, parametric tests, and plastic interval scales are explored.

3. Black Is…Black Ain’t (45 mins)
Is there an essential black identity? In this documentary, acclaimed filmmaker Marlon Riggs explores the diversity of African American lifestyles and cultural expressions, even as many speakers bare their pain at having been called “too black,” or conversely, “not black enough.” Riggs brings viewers face-to-face with African-Americans young and old, rich and poor, rural and urban, gay and straight, while offering a powerful critique of sexism, homophobia, and colorism within the black community. Includes performances by choreographer Bill T. Jones and poet Essex Hemphill and commentary from noted cultural critics Angela Davis, bell hooks, Cornel West, and others.

2. Racial Stereotypes in the Media (42 mins)
Although demeaning and offensive racial stereotypes were pervasive in popular media of every kind during the 20th century, most observers would agree that the media is much more sensitive to representations of race today. But the pernicious effects of that stereotyping live on in the new racism arising from disparities in the treatment of stories involving whites and people of color in a ratings-driven news market, media-enhanced isolationism as a result of narrowcasting, and other sources. This program examines the relationship between mass media and social constructions of race from political and economic perspectives while looking at the effects media can have on audiences.

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

1. Explaining Globalization (56 mins)
Everyone talks about globalization, but what does it really mean? And what are its implications for the average American? In this compilation of NewsHour segments, experts from the U.S. and abroad speak their minds on a shrinking world and an expanding global economy.

Got Questions? Ask a Librarian

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