yellow brick road ii

(2006, 75 min.) This inspired and inspiring documentary, created by first-time filmmakers Matthew Makar and Keith Rodinelli, follows a group of young disabled adults as they prepare for a theatre production based on The Wizard of Oz. Their drama group is a component of a Long Island-based program called ANCHOR, an acronym for Answering the Needs of Citizens with Handicaps Through Organized Recreation.  ANCHOR is available to all children and adults who range through the entire spectrum of disability. Because his younger brother Danny is a member of the drama group, Maker had been a volunteer for several previous summers.

During the five-month rehearsal period for Yellow Brick Road, the filmmakers focus on several of the individuals with starring roles in the production — in particular the Tin Man (Dave), the Cowardly Lion (John), and the Wicked Witch (Elizabeth), all three of whom give memorable performances.  Sandy Braun, one of the theatre group’s two managers, is interviewed extensively concerning her philosophy and style of directing.   She is excellent in getting the most out of the actors and treats them with great respect.  However, many will find it somewhat disconcerting that she continually uses the term “kids” when referring to the young adult actors. However, because she comes off as such a mother hen and is not at all patronizing, “kids” in this context is understandable.

Curious as to how many theatre groups use disabled actors, I checked on the homepage of The National Arts & Disability Center.  Most of the groups listed are based in the U.S., with a few international listings.  I was pleased to see the number is more than I would have guessed – 34 as of December 2009.  I hope this is a growing movement, because the actors did a great job and clearly loved what they were doing.  In a society where the disabled are marginalized, succeeding in a production such as this one must be a wonderful boost to one’s self esteem.

While the documentary itself does not show much of the production for which the actors prepare with such determination, the DVD includes a separate short documentary, A Return to Oz. It’s really a treat to watch the actors laughing and crying in recognition as they watch themselves shine on the big screen.  I’m glad to know that Yellow Brick Road played at several film festivals as well as on the Home Box Office channel, and thus the actor’s efforts disseminated into the larger culture.

This documentary will be of interest to Special Education, Theatre, and Sociology professors and students.  It would be fun for undergraduate students to combine Special Education with Theatre courses.  To direct such special productions as these would be such a fulfilling career choice.

– Cathy Evans

Media Collections Final Exam Hours

Media Collections will maintain normal hours through the end of December 12.

Monday – Thursday: 10am – 7pm
Friday: 10am – 5pm
Sunday: 2pm – 7pm

Media Collections will operate with the following hours from December 13 to December 18.

Monday – Friday: 10am – 5pm
Sunday: Closed

Media Collections will be closed after December 18.  We shall open for business in spring semester.  Please see the reference desk for access after this date.



“Give me a child until he is seven, and I will give you the man.” Thus begins the premise of 7-UP, a documentary directed by Paul Almond in 1964. Almond interviewed fourteen British schoolchildren from three different social classes, gauging their views about social class and gender, and questioning them about their future expectations regarding marriage, family, and career. Michael Apted, a crew member on the original film, decided to interview the same children seven years later to see if their views had changed. The documentary was so stunning that Apted has revisited these same people every seven years (49-UP is the most recent installment), asking them about their lives, their families, their jobs, and their children. The entire series provides an amazing window into the developmental process.

I watched the series on sequential evenings last summer while visiting my parents. Despite the fact that we all have different tastes in film, the three of us could hardly wait to watch each installment. As each human being continued to unfold before our eyes like a flower filmed in high speed motion, we worried about some of the people, rejoiced for others, and were quite surprised by some of the changes. I don’t know of any other medium that has so well captured the developmental process of a human being over the course of so many years. Any film in this series, as well as the series as a whole, makes a wonderful classroom tool for psychologists, sociologists, and educators.

Has the original premise of the film held up to scrutiny? It has in some ways, but it could not be known in 1964 that many social movements would arise later in that very era, prompting individuals to question indoctrinated assumptions about class, race and gender. Although today in Great Britain, the class system remains quite intact, the individuals who are portrayed in the UP SERIES are less deeply affected by it than they would have been in previous eras.

– Cathy Evans

Nov 16: Feature Title

Alice Neel

Directed By:Andrew Neel
DVD: 82 min


A look at the life and struggles of being a single mother and female artist, that became one of the great artists of the 20th century, with subjects such as Andy Warhol, Allen Ginsberg, and more.

Special features: Director’s commentary with Hartley Neel and Richard Neel; painted by Alice; Communism and social consciousness; Alice’s apartment; The Porsche story.

ND1329.N36 A45 2008

Subject Areas:
Neel, Alice, 1900-1984.
Portrait painting, American.
Painting, American — 20th century.

Media Collections Shelf Shifting

Since Media Collections was established at the Addlestone Library in May of 2006 we have at least doubled our original collection of some 3000 video titles.  We are experiencing growing pains in the form of some very tight space.  To free up space for our growing collection we are in the process of shifting titles and re-labeling shelves.  We should be done by end of summer.  If you come by Media Collections this summer, you may notice some temporary shelf signs as well as signs of heavy movement and some construction.  Be not alarmed.  By the fall we will be well organized and prettied up.  Its only going to get better.

Video Round Table announces 2009 Notable Videos for Adults

<This information from the ALA web site>

The American Library Association (ALA) Video Round Table Notable Videos Committee has compiled its 2009 list of Notable Videos for Adults, a list of fifteen outstanding programs released on video within the past two years and suitable for all libraries serving adults.  Its purpose is to call attention to recent video releases that make a significant contribution to the world of video recordings.  The selections were made during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver, Colorado.  The winning titles are:

The Business of Being Born. 87 min. New Line Home Video. DVD: $27.98 (Available most distributors)

Cats of Mirikitani. 74 min. Arts Alliance America. DVD: $29.95. (Available most distributors)

Deep Water. 93 min. IFC Films. DVD: $24.95. (Available most distributors)

Fat Chance.  52 min.  Icarus Films.  DVD: $390.

How I Am. 49 minutes. Fanlight Productions. DVD: $249.

Miss Navajo. 53 min. The Cinema Guild. DVD: $295.00

No End In Sight. 102 min. Magnolia Home Entertainment. DVD: $19.99. (Available most distributors)

The Order of Myths. 80 min. Cinema Guild (with PPR): DVD: $395.00. New Yorker Video: DVD: $29.99.

Price of Sugar. 90 minutes. New Yorker Films. DVD: $29.99. (Available most distributors)

Sharkwater. 90 minutes. Warner Home Video. DVD: $19.99. (Available most distributors)

Steal a Pencil for Me. 94 min. Westlake Entertainment. DVD: $24.98. (Available most distributors)

To See If I’m Smiling. 60 min. Women Make Movies. DVD: $295.00 for Universities, Colleges & Institutions; $89.00 for K-12, Public Libraries & Select Groups.

War Dance. 107 min. THINKfilm. DVD: $24.99. (Available most distributors)

What Remains: The Life and Work of Sally Mann. 80 min. Zeitgeist Films. DVD: $29.99.

White Light, Black Rain. 86 minutes. Films Media Group (with PPR): DVD: $169.95; HBO Home Video: DVD: $19.98 (Available most distributors)

Members of the 2008-09 committee are:  Chair, Meghann Matwichuk, University of Delaware Library; Nora Dimmock, University of Rochester, New York; Tom Ipri, University of Nevada – Las Vegas; Cynthia Knight, Hunterdon County Library (N.J.); Chet Mulawka, San Mateo (Calif.) County Library; Jeff Pearson, University of Michigan;  Sam Readman, Miami-Dade  (Fla.) Public Library; Joan Skowronski, Hillsborough(Fla.)County Public Library; and Sue-Ellen Beauregard, consultant, Booklist magazine, Chicago.

For more information about the list and the Video Round Table please visit:

Media Collections Summer Hours

Media Collections will be open normal regular semester hours till May 6.  That is Mon-Fri 10am – 7pm.  We will be closed through graduation.  Our summer hours will begin on May 11:

Media Collections Summer 2009 Operation Hours
May 11- August 9

Mon – Thursday: 10am -5pm
Friday: 10am – 4pm
Sunday: 2pm – 7pm