Charlie Carroll’s obsession began with his chance discovery of Seven Years in Tibet in the “Adult Reading” section of his grade school library. The battered hardcover with faded gold lettering sparked a twenty-year obsession with Tibet, and after combing through every book, article, and documentary on the mysterious and controversial nation, Charlie finally decided it was time to stop reading other people’s records and thoughts. A high school English teacher by then, he took a sabbatical and set out to experience the shrouded land for himself. Contending with Chinese bureaucracy, unforgiving terrain, and sickness-inducing altitude, Charlie sought entrance to twenty-first-century Tibet in all its heart-stopping beauty.
In this impressive debut, Boelte sets up a dual narrative: one investigates San Francisco’s climate to explain the science behind the omnipresent fog; another explores Boelte’s memory as well as letters, notes, newspaper articles, and other artifacts that tell the story of his brother’s short life and eventual suicide.
Cinema is a universal cultural experience, one that floods our senses with images and sounds, a powerful force that influences our perspective on the world around us. Ison discusses the universal aspects of film as she makes them personal, looking at how certain films across time shaped and molded who she has become. Drawing on a wide ranging catalog of films, both cult and classic, popular and art-house, Reeling Through Life examines how cinema shapes our views on how to make love, how to deal with mental illness, how to be Jewish, how to be a woman, how to be a drunk, and how to die with style.
Second Life pulls back the curtain on those who exist on the edge of the medical profession, the ones who remove skin and tissue and bones from the dead, for use by surgeons, medical students practicing technique, cosmetic surgeons, medical equipment companies and labs running medical experiments–anyone in need of muscle and ligament and bones. It philosophically explores our obligation to protect the dead and thrillingly examines what happens when we –literally– leave the land of the living.
Luis Urrea offers a tour of Tijuana, spanning from Skid Row, to the suburbs of East Los Angeles, to the stunning yet deadly Mojave Desert, to Mexico and the border fence itself. Mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind, Urrea explores duality and the concept of blurring borders in a melting pot society.
The video stores are dying. But most of you don’t care. You’ve got your Netflix and your Redbox and your DVR, so why deal with VHS tapes or scratched DVDs? Why deal with the grumpy guy at the worn-down independent video store?
What place is there then for a black American in the “Tower of Babel”? Your quest proves to be greater than you anticipate, Jimmy, extending beyond your particular case as an American citizen of color.