Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Scenes From "Blue Valentine" Filmed in Reference Department at Albright Memorial Library (Wednesday, May 13th, 2009)

On Wednesday, May 13th, 2009, the Reference Department at Albright Memorial Library was used as a location to film scenes for the upcoming independent film Blue Valentine, starring Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain) and Ryan Gosling (The Notebook). Director Derek Cianfrance really loved the library building and selected it as a setting for pivotal scenes in the film.

Incentive Filmed Entertainment is financing Blue Valentine; Silverwood Films’ Lynette Howell and Hunting Lane Films’ Jamie Patricof and Alex Orlovsky are the producers. Also of note is that Hunting Lane Films is the same production company that produced 2006's Half Nelson, which earned Ryan Gosling an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

Yes, both Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling were in the Reference Department for the filming.

Now the big question...did you meet them?

No...and yes. Because the Reference Department needed to be private and silent for the filming, the Reference staff were relocated to the computer lab for the duration of the filming. When we were permitted to return to the department, the crew was busy removing film equipment, etc. As we were getting ready to reopen the department to the public, we looked out the window behind the Reference Desk and there, in front of our library, were both Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling talking to the crew at the main gate of the library. Seconds later, Michelle Williams returned and came up the steps to the Reference Department. The staff said Hi to her and she, in turn, said, "Hi." Then I asked, "How are ya?" and she smiled and responded, "Fine."

And that was it. But I can now officially cross "Exchange pleasantries with Oscar nominee" off my list of Things to Do Before I Die.

Also check out page 22 of the May 18, 2009 issue of People Weekly (the one with "Kirstie Alley's Weight Saga" on the cover), which features a photo of Michelle Williams in a wheelchair in Scranton filming a scene; to see the pic online, click here.

One final note: when they finished filming in Reference, a crew member for Blue Valentine told us not to be surprised if various weird objects turn up scattered in the department, left over from filming. A few days later, one of our student assistants found (of all things) a clothes hanger left over from filming. I kept it, just for the heck of it--after all, it is an authentic Blue Valentine filming artifact and, at worst, it will come in handy if I ever find myself feeling all Joan Crawford (NO WIRE HANGERS!!!!!!)

Blue Valentine is currently in post-production and is tentatively scheduled for a 2010 release.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Participants Wanted For Upcoming Greg Matkosky Documentary on The Scranton Sirens, Scranton in the 1920s

WVIA filmmaker Greg Matkosky (Stories From The Mines) is currently seeking people to be interviewed on-camera for his upcoming documentary about Scranton in the 1920s. He is looking for people who have personal experiences or second-hand stories about Scranton and NEPA in the 1920s--specifically The Scranton Sirens, prohibition and speakeasies, the notorious red light district in Scranton, and life in general during that time.

For more information, please email or call (570) 602-1153.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Between A Wok and A Hard Place: A Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery With Recipes by Tamar Myers (1998)

My delicious colleague and fellow avid reader Judi Keller informed me a popular food mystery by author Tamar Myers includes a reference to Scranton in her 1998 book Between A Wok and A Hard Place: A Pennsylvania Dutch Mystery With Recipes.

Set in Pennsylvania Amish Country, the mystery involves an Asian tourist found strangled and run over by a horse and buggy and attempts to find out who (or what) killed him. Recipes for the food described in the story are included throughout the book.

From page 168 of the paperback version:

"'We still can't get over how he broke his leg,' the sheriff said, laughing. 'Is it true he once shipped his cousin in Philadelphia a gallon of ice cream by UPS?'
"'He shipped the ice cream to his cousin in Scranton,' I sniffed, and pointed my shnoz skyward."

Between a Wok and A Hard Place is available to borrow from libraries throughout the Lackawanna County Library System. To place a hold on the paperback, click here; to place a hold on the Large Print version, click here.

Much thanks again to the eternally awesome Judi Keller for this reference.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Video Clip of Vivien Leigh Singing "Wilkes-Barre, PA" from Broadway musical Tovarich (1963)

Here is an unexpected find from YouTube--A black-and-white TV clip of Vivien Leigh (with Byron Mitchell) performing the song Wilkes-Barre, PA from the 1963 Broadway musical Tovarich, for which Ms. Leigh won a Tony.
For the original blog entry on Tovarich, click here.