Things to Do: June

Maybe you’re taking summer classes and need to destress in the evening. Maybe you’re working your summer job and need some social time. Maybe you don’t have anything to do this summer and have a lot of time to fill up. Don’t worry – there’s plenty to do in CU over the summer.

Sunny photo of UGL from outside

It’s very sunny out. Don’t let that deter you.

We promise that none of the suggestion on this list are “stay with in the UGL all day every day,” though of course you’re always welcome here during our summer hours and we’re always happy to see you.

On the Big Screen

Summer is the perfect time to sit in a cool, dark room and watch a fine film. If you get tired of doing that in your apartment (with DVDs from the media collection, obviously), you can always take a trip over to Champaign’s very own Art Theater Co-op and watch something there. Every Tuesday in June, the Art Theater is screening films for the 5th Annual Reel It Up Festival, presented by the UP Center of Champaign County. All films in the festival are in the spirit of LGBTQ Pride Month. If you miss the festival, you can always catch one of their regular movies – show your student ID to get a discount!

Arts and Performances

If you’re looking for entertainment that’s a little more immediate, there’s also plenty of live entertainment. You can visit the Krannert Center for Performing Arts to catch some theater – for June both a musical drama and a short play festival are lined up. For live music, Smile Politely has a weekly column called The Overture that highlights upcoming shows in downtown Champaign and Urbana.

Go Outside!

Remember that thing called outside? The one you used to explore when you weren’t in a classroom all day every day? Well, it’s still there and ready for you to explore. You can learn how to fish in Urbana parks, if you’d like, or take that fondness for live music outside with outdoor concerts in Champaign parks. You’re also free to do your own thing and run around with your friends, of course – just be care and make sure you know how to cope with the heat.

In the Library

We said you don’t have to stay in the UGL all day…but if you happen to be in the library this month, we have some pretty neat exhibits up. You can learn about the history of Western witchcraft, or what CU’s music scene was like in the 1980s.

These are just a few suggestions – there are tons of other ways to entertain yourself this summer. What are you doing in the name of fun?

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Mom Movies

This weekend (April 4-6) is Mom’s Weekend! Are you ready for all moms, all the time? Here’s a round-up of official Mom’s Weekend resources, as well as some mom-themed movies you can watch in your downtime, whether your mom is visiting this weekend or not.

Keep calm and have fun with mom.

The UGL can help!

Your first stop in Mom’s Weekend planning should be consulting the official Mom’s Weekend site. It’ll give you an overview of what’s happening, so you can get an idea of what kind of events you want to attend. When it’s time to get down to the nitty-gritty and plan your agenda, the Mom’s Weekend calendar will provide you with more details about times, locations, and prices. It has every single campus event you and your mom could possibly dream of.

Those will give you all the basic information you need. For extra credit, you can dig into the Daily Illini’s Mom’s Weekend Guide, for interviews and background on the scheduled events (as well as potential alternative plans). You can also find more information about the U of I Mom’s Association, who help plan and coordinate Mom’s Weekend, on their new official site.

The events that are lined up will be a lot of fun, but your mom (and you!) will probably want to rest at some point. For when you’re just hanging out, here are some movies and shows about moms that you can watch together. And if you don’t have a mom visiting you this weekend, grab a friend’s mom. They like to watch movies, too.

Gilmore Girls Seasons 1-7 starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel
Brave starring Emma Thompson and Kelly MacDonald
The Namesake starring Tabu and Kal Penn
Terms of Endearment starring Shirley MacClaine and Debra Winger
Mommy Dearest starring Faye Dunaway
Stepmom starring Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts
The Waterboy starring Adam Sandler and Kathy Bates
Freaky Friday starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan

What’s your favorite mom movie to watch? By that we mean your favorite movie to watch with mom, or your favorite movie with a mom in it. Let us know in the comments, and have a good weekend!

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Warm up for Spring Break at the UGL

Hey UGL-ers! Here in Chambana, it’s finally starting to warm up. Which means there’s only one thing on our minds—spring break! Whether you’re staying in town to catch up on sleep or packing for an exotic adventure, the UGL has all the resources you need to make this spring break the best yet.

Cover of Foder's Los Cabos guidebook

Where can you snorkel in Los Cabos? Find out here!

If you’re heading out of town for spring break this year, check out the UGL’s collection of travel guides to read up on your favorite destination. Where is the best place to hike in Wisconsin? Which towns in Spain are must-sees? Where can you snorkel in Los Cabos? All your travel questions can be answered in these handy guidebooks.

Traveling out of the country? Learn a few phrases or brush up on your conversation skills in hundreds of languages for FREE using our Tell Me More language software. Take a look at our previous blog post to learn how to use this great resource.

Cover of The Globetrotter Diaries

Get inspired for an adventure of your own.

If your spring break plans look a lot like your pillow, the UGL can bring out your inner hitchhiker while you catch some Z’s right here at home. Check out our Pinterest board that highlights a few of our favorite books about travel writing and photography, as well as the guidebooks we mentioned above.

The Hobbit DVD cover

“Not all who wander are lost.”

As always, the UGL’s collection of movies, TV shows, and audio books are ready to cure your travel bug from the comfort of your couch. Need a European adventure? Live vicariously through every James Bond film. Feeling wanderlust? Trek through Middle-earth with a Lord of the Rings marathon. Or, get pumped for the release of the next Captain America film with your Avenger pals. Stock up on all your favorites before break!

If you’re looking for a thrilling page-turner to pass some time over break, be on the lookout for our up-coming display “Road Trip with a Book.” We’ll surprise you with a great new read!

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Spotlight On…Film Resources

The 2014 Oscars have now been awarded, and whether you agree with the winners or not, the library has resources you can use to learn more about film history and theory, as well as find more movies to watch.

Researching Film History and Theory

  • Film Study Reference Guide – This research guide, put together by the Literature and Languages Library, is a one-stop shop for all film theory research needs. It has resources for finding film reviews, if you want to find out what critics said about those Oscar winners before they were winners, as well as lists of books that can serve as your introduction to the history and study of film.
  • Finding Article about Film in Databases – The Communications Library has put together a list of databases that contain articles pertaining to film history and criticism. Once you gotten a good introduction using the reference guide above, you can use these databases to find more specific articles about whatever film topic interests you.

Findings Movies to Watch

  • Finding Movies in the Library – Reading about movies is great, but reading reviews and articles won’t be helpful if you haven’t seen the movies themselves! The Undergraduate Library has a guide to help you find the movies you need in the library catalog.
  • Ideas for What to Watch – If you don’t know where to start, the UGL has Pinterest boards that collect our favorite horror movies, science fiction features, summer films, and movies based on books. Browsing the entire media collection by genre is tough, because it’s just not arranged that way, but here’s a tip: on the catalog search screen, change the first dropdown menu from “Keyword” to “Subject,” then try typing in what you’re looking for. You could try a genre, like “Horror films,” or a topic followed by the kind of  movie you want, like “High school students – Comedy.” It takes some practice, but soon you’ll be a master at finding great new movies.

What do you think about when you decide whether a movie is good or not? Let us know in the comments!

Need ideas for other great library resources? Find more in our Spotlight on… series here.

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It’s Almost Game Day!

Whether you’re a die-hard fan or haven’t watched a game all season, Super Bowl Sunday is a great excuse to get together with friends, take a break from homework, and, let’s be honest, eat. A lot. Wherever you fall on the spectrum, here are some tips and fun facts from the UGL to get you ready for this year’s game.

The Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks will face off this Sunday in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. If you follow the NFL, you may have strong feelings on the match-up, as the league’s best teams go head to head. What you may not know is our own Big Ten Conference will be well-represented on Super Bowl Sunday. Thirteen former Big Ten student-athletes and nine coaches with conference ties will vie for the title, including Bronco’s running back Montee Ball and Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson, both former Wisconsin Badgers.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks QB and former Wisconsin Badger. Photo courtesy of Football Schedule via Flickr

For many, the football game simply interrupts the true entertainment featured on Super Bowl Sunday: the commercials. Between mouthfuls of nacho dip, watch out for Illini alumnus Jim Coates (AM ’73), who is featured in “Time Machine”, one of the top 5 commercials competing in the Doritos “Crash the Superbowl” Contest.

Mmm…nachos. Photo courtesy of jeffreyw via Flickr

If Super Bowl Sunday is simply an excuse to hang out and eat, join the club. The UGL has your back with tons of cookbooks to help you prep the perfect appetizer, like Bobby Flay’s Throwdown. Are you vegan, gluten-free, or just on a budget? We’ve got you covered. Check out our Pinterest page for more staff suggestions and get cooking!

Whip up a delicious app with the Cheesy Vegan!

Now that the football season almost over, check out more gridiron greats in the UGL collection to keep you entertained until kick-off next season.

We already can’t wait until next season.

 

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Halloween Books and Movies

Fellow UGLers, Halloween is here! Are you ready to dress up and stuff your face with candy? If you’ve decided to stay in, the graduate assistants of the UGL have provided a list of their favorite movies and books for the season. We’ve compiled the list here and hope that it serves as a guide for your Halloween night festivities.

The Nightmare Before Christmas Movie

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Zoe recommends The Nightmare before Christmas. An animated movie directed by Tim Burton, this has been a popular one since its release in 1993. It is the story of the quirky and lovable pumpkin king who decides to bring the Christmas spirit to Halloween Town. A great movie for those who want to combine Halloween and the upcoming holidays. Grab your friends and some popcorn and spend the evening with the pumpkin king.

The Exorcist Movie

The Exorcist. Sure to give you a chill down your spine

If you want a good dose of fear this Halloween, Quetzalli recommends The Exorcist. This classic 1973 movie scared audiences all over the world. For those of who have not yet seen this classic film, based on a true story, it is the chilling story of a girl who becomes possessed and causes several gruesome deaths during her exorcism. Beware Club UGL, this movie is not for the faint-hearted.

 

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Are you in the mood for some rock opera, awesome costumes, and a good ole horror movie? Holly’s favorite is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. After a couple of kids have car trouble, they are left stranded at the door of a Gothic mansion. They meet a host of strange characters, including Dr. Fran-N-Furter from the planet Transsexual. Whether it’s your first time watching this movie or you’ve already seen it a million times, this movie is a good excuse to sign along at the top of your lungs.

The Haunting of Hill House Book

Looking for a good read this Halloween? The Haunting of Hill House is just the book for you

For those who want a quiet Halloween, but still feel the urge for a scary evening, Tad recommends The Haunting of Hill House written by Shirley Jackson. Hill House receives four visitors who are curious about the unexplained phenomena happening at the house. Some are there seeking knowledge and others want an adventure. Little do they know that Hill House has other plans for them.

For a quick, but fun read, Tad also recommends Halloween ABC. For each letter of the alphabet, a poem about Halloween and its festivities.

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad Movie

The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad

Some of us are not fans of this scary holiday, but don’t worry, Lily has a recommendation for you! The Disney movie, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad is the choice for you. This movie recalls two famous stories, The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving.

From the Dust Returned Book

From the Dust Returned

For those who want to enjoy a good book by the fireplace (or in college students’ case, the heater) while sipping on some hot chocolate, Christina recommends From the Dust Returned written by Ray Bradbury. It’s a story about the Eternal Family, who live in a legendary and mysterious house in upper Illinois. They are rarely seen during the daylight hours and are not like the other Midwesterners in the area. The house is being prepared for a family reunion that will bring together a mix of extraordinary and odd members.

Batman: The Long Halloween

Batman: The Long Halloween

For those who will be drowning in homework on Halloween, you can take a quick break and grab a comic book. Angeline recommends Batman: The Long Halloween. A serial killer nicknamed Holiday is on the loose. He’s killing once a month, but only on the holidays; Batman tries to stop this maniac.

Whatever your plans on Halloween or your interests, you have a variety of choices in front of you. In the mood for a movie? Grab a friend and make a night of it! Feeling like a night in? A good book and some candy corn just might be what you need this Halloween. Either way, have a safe and happy Halloween!

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Indian Cinema at 100: Film Festival

As you’ve probably noticed, the glass display case at the entrance of the UGL has changed (if you haven’t noticed, go take a look!). Hopefully it’s caught your eye and if you’ve taken a closer look, you’ll see it’s for the Indian Film Festival.

Film Festival Display

Film Festival Display Photo attribution: Courtesy of Quetzalli Barrientos

So, what exactly is the Indian Film Festival? The Indian Film Festival is about observing 100 years of Indian cinema. The purpose is to “examine the origins, evolution, growth, and productivity”. With a showing of eight films, there is a variety for everyone. This is not your typical “Bollywood” movie. They are films that explore social issues through cinema. Issues such as arranged marriages, homosexuality, war, and other culturally dominant beliefs are shown in these films.

For a complete list of films and showing times and other information, visit the official website, Past.Present.Future: Indian Cinema at 100.

All of the films will be screening in the Knight Auditorium at the Spurlock Museum. Since we are all poor and struggling college students, you should know that all the showings are free! Aside from movie showings, there will also be a few other events going on through December 1st.

The symposium will be on October 31st from 1 to 5 PM at the Coordinated Science Laboratory, which is located right on the engineering quad. This symposium will consist of distinguished professors from all over the country, and the guest of honor is Onir, the director of “I am” and “My Brother…Nikhil”. For those who are unfamiliar with Onir, he is a director, editor, producer, and philanthropist. His film, “My Brother…Nikhil” became the first mainstream Indian film to deal with the issue of AIDS and same-sex relationships.

Onir smiling on a staircase

Director Onir. Photo Courtesy of “Bollywood Hungama”

For those who cannot make the symposium, the next night, November 1st at 6:00 PM, there will be a reception with director Onir as the guest of honor. After the reception, there will be showing of his movie, “I Am.”

We encourage you to go to any movie that interests you and if you enjoy them, you might also want to attend the Corey Creekmur talk which will take place on December 9th at 8:00 PM. This talk will take place at the second floor of the Levis Faculty Center. The speaker, Corey Creekmur from the University of Iowa, will be speaking about historical Hindi colonial  films.

This film festival is a great opportunity to go out and see new films, learn more about another culture, or find out more about the issues portrayed in these films. So, grab a friend and make it a movie night!

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Celebrating Inclusive Illinois: Latin America and the Caribbean

Next Wednesday may be Inclusive Illinois Day (which you can read more about here), but no matter what day it is, it’s always enriching to learn about people, especially all the different cultures and histories that they can represent. If you’ve been wanting to learn more about Latin American and Caribbean cultures, you’re in luck – there are tons of events and resources available from the library and elsewhere in the CU that can expose you to new knowledge.

If you’ve never been to Champaign’s  Art Theater Co-op, you’re missing out. They show great movies, and you can get a student discount for most movies if you show your I-Card. Starting this Friday, in collaboration with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, they’re holding the annual Latin American Film Festival. There are seven different Latin American documentaries and films to choose from, playing over the entire weekend – or you can go see them all! Check out the trailers on the Art’s website.

You can also tune in on the small screen (a television, if you have access to one) to watch ‘Latino Americans,’ PBS’s original miniseries celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs September 15th through October 15th. A new segment airs every Tuesday night.

Too busy with homework to go see a movie or watch TV? If you’re studying in the library, you can always take a short study break to check out the Unity in Diversity exhibit on the first floor of the main library, curated by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Library. It features just a few of the wide-ranging resources that the library contains on Latin American studies. Or, if you have an afternoon free, mosey over to the Spurlock Museum to check out their Folk Art of Latin America exhibit.

And if you still can’t get enough, you can grab one of these movies or books by and about Latin American or Caribbean people on your way home from the library. Opportunities abound!

A Tree Within by Octavio Paz

A Tree Within by Octavio Paz (translated by Eliot Weinberger)

fruit of the lemon by andrea levyFruit of the Lemon by Andrea Levy

At the Bottom of the River by jamaica kinkaidAt the Bottom of the River by Jamaica Kincaid

Vivir para contarla by Gabriel Garcia MarquezViva para Contarla (Living to Tell the Tale) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Country Under My Skin by gioconda belliThe Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War by Gioconda Belli

Collected Fictions by jorge luis borgesCollected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges (translated by Andrew Hurley)

La Sirga cover

La Sirga directed by William Vega

The Devil's Backbone coverThe Devil’s Backbone directed by Guillermo del Toro

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Go 4th and Celebrate

This coming Thursday is July the 4th, also known as Independence Day. There are lots of fun ways to observe this US national holiday – here’s a round-up of resources to help you make the most of your celebration.

Just a quick note about hours – due to the holiday, all campus libraries will be closed on Thursday, July 4th. So if you want to check out a book or movie to get in the spirit of things, make sure you do it before Thursday! We’ll be back on Friday, July 5th for our regular summer hours.

Historical and Educational Resources
July 4th is a celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the full text of which can be found online via Credo Reference. There’s also an entry in the Encyclopedia of American Studies on the Fourth of July itself. For more information about the Declaration of Independence, the people who developed it, and the American Revolutionary War in general, you can check out some of the following books:
The Birth of the Republic, 1763-89 by Edward S. Morgan
Revolutionary America, 1763-1815 : a Sourcebook edited by Francis D. Cogliano
The Invention of George Washington by Paul K. Longmore
The Women of the American Revolution by Elizabeth F. Ellet
“Strong and Brave Fellows” : New Hampshire’s Black Soldiers and Sailors of the American Revolution, 1775-1784 by Glenn A. Knoblock
Founding Friendship : George Washington, James Madison, and the Creation of the American Republic by Stuart Leibiger
The Radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon S. Wood

Cookbooks
As with many holidays in the US, food is a major part of July 4th celebrations. Grilling food outside and cooking over open flames are especially appropriate for the midst of summer – check out one of these cookbooks to get fired up about your July 4th feast. Just remember to be careful and observe fire safety rules!

Kentucky BBQ book in library catalog America's Best BBQ book in library catalog Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction book in library catalog One Big Table: A Portrait of American Cooking book in library catalog 30-Minute Vegetarian Grilling book in library catalo Grilling Vegan Style book in library catalog Great Grillin' Cookbook book in library catalog

Films
After you’ve got your plate heaped with food, you might want to kick back with a movie, whether it be related to American history, takes place on the 4th of July, or is just about baseball, America’s pasttime. The movies below all fall into at least one of these categories. If you took advantage of any of the books above, maybe you can spot some inaccuracies in the historical films.
1776 movie in library catalogNational Treasure movie in library catalogJohn Adams movie in library catalogJaws movie in library catalogBorn on the Fourth of July movie in library catalogA League of Their Own movie in library catalogEight Men Out movie in library catalogBad News Bears movie in library catalog
And of course, don’t forget the best July 4th movie of all time: Independence Day.

Local Information
If you’re not throwing your own party, there are plenty of local events for you to attend instead. July4th.net is the online home of the Champaign County Freedom Celebration, which has information about a parade, an evening entertainment lineup, and a fireworks display. The Champaign County Park District will also have 4th of July festivities at the Sholem Aquatic Center, including face-painting and a watermelon eating contest. If you’re willing to travel a little, the Champaign County Forest Preserve is also having a Freedom Fest in Mahomet, Illinois.

Going to a public display is the best way to enjoy fireworks on the 4th of July – be safe and remember that using fireworks on your own could get you into a lot of trouble.

We hope this collection is helpful to you in your celebration! If you have any other ideas for ways to enjoy the holiday, feel free to share them in the comments, and have a wonderful Independence Day.

 

 

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Good Times

There’s a time and place for everything, and summer on campus is the time for (among other things) relaxing with some movies from the UGL media collection. If you find yourself with time to kill between your summer classes, why not try watching a film on the theme of time travel? Here are a few we’ve picked out – let us know if we missed any good ones!

DVD cover: some men have built an ominous box

Primer
This movie focuses on the consequences of time travel and how difficult it might be to navigate the ethics of time travel. It’s written, produced, and directed by Shane Carruth, who also plays one of the main characters, and who also was formerly an engineer, so I think we can trust his technological insights. The movie won big time at the 2004 Sundance film festival.

 

 

 

DVD cover: Jean Claude Van Damme has a futuristic gun
Timecop
For those that prefer their time travel to be heavy on the action, this 1980s flick might hit the spot. Set in the distant future year of 2004, it follows a government agent tasked with combating time crime. He races back and forth through time periods, unraveling political intrigue and avoiding the schemes of the perpetrators. It might have some plot holes, but it could still be worth your time if you’re looking for pure entertainment.

 

 

 

 

DVD cover: young Keanu Reeves and friends in a telephone booth
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Two high schoolers travel back in time in a phone booth and meet famous historical figures in an effort to pass a history class. Should they fail the class, their fates will be altered and the future Utopian society based on their leadership will never happen. This is why you should spend your time wisely, and study.

 

 

 

The Time Machine DVD cover: a scientist looks distraught as a monster assaults a person
The Time Machine
H.G. Wells’ novel The Time Machine is the origin of the popular term…”time machine.” It’s a classic of science fiction that has stood the test of time and inspired countless derivative works and sequels. This film version is from 1960, and won an Academy Award for Visual Effects for its time-lapse photography.

 

 

 

 

 

The Time Traveler's Wife DVD cover: people are snuggling sideways
The Time Travelers’ Wife
Most movie time travelers make use of technology or magic to move through time, but the protagonist of this story travels due to an unexplained genetic condition. He is unable to control when and where he ends up, his love life suffers many unpredictable consequences. The film is based on the novel of the same title by Audrey Niffenegger, which you can also check out.

 

 

The Fountain DVD cover: figures perched on sci-fi landscape
The Fountain
The characters in this film may not actually travel through time themselves, but the viewer is transported to many different time periods, connected by a narrative thread: a couple in love try to cope with the reality of death. Heavy stuff, but it’s worth reflecting on how to cope when your time is up.

 

 

 

 

That’s all we have time for right now – pick these up from the UGL if they interest you, or let us know in the comments what time travel movies you prefer!

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