Archive for October, 2018

Halloween Franchise Movie Review

October 31st, 2018

Hey All!

Here’s a spooky movie review from Tatum Myers, student assistant at the Reference Desk. A perfect start to the day’s festivities!

In honor of Halloween and the 40 year anniversary of John Carpenter’s Halloween, I made it my mission to watch all 10 movies in the Halloween franchise. While I could on and on about each film from the disappointing Halloween III: Season of the Witch to the underrated Rob Zombie reboots; for the sake of time I will be reviewing what is in my opinion the best films in the franchise; Halloween (1978) and most recent retroactive sequel by the same name.

41cnyG7PO5LCarpenter’s vision for the film was to make a scary, nerve-racking ride designed with the sole purpose of leaving the audience shaking with fear. And the film did exactly that! Halloween became the single most successful independent production of the time and changed the perception of the horror movie industry. The film begins on Halloween night 1963, in the suburban town of Haddonfield, Illinois. Six-year-old Michael Myers, dressed in a clown costume, stabs his older sister Judith to death with a knife in their home. Fast forward fifteen years later on October 30, 1978, Michael’s psychiatrist Dr. Loomis arrives at Smith’s Grove Sanitarium to escort Michael to court. Noticing that the patients are wandering about, Loomis gets out of the car to investigate. Michael then steals Loomis’ car and returns home to Haddonfield. The next day, on Halloween, Michael begins to stalk Laurie Strode (played by Jamie Lee Curtis), a local babysitter who Michael sees dropping off the key to his childhood home for her realtor father. Throughout the day, Laurie becomes increasing aware of a “shapeâ€� following her around, but her friends are quick to dismiss her concerns.

Later that night Michael goes a brutal killing spree, murdering many of Laurie’s friends. The cinematography of these scenes are a visceral experience. The audience is not simply watching the movie, but having it happen to us. It’s easy to create violence on the screen, but it’s hard to do it well. Carpenter’s skilled eye for contrast and foreground allow him to set up the shots to execute a hyper-realistic scare. His direction of the characters paint them as all ordinary, everyday people. The performances are all the more absorbing because of that; the movie’s a slice of life that is carefully painted (in drab daylights and impenetrable nighttimes) before its human monster enters the scene. The film ends with a sense of dread that the very real threat of someone like Michael is still present, his body is suddenly missing from the final shot after seemingly being killed by Dr. Loomis. The characters and the audience are all in the same boat and that’s precisely the scariest part of the entire film.

Forty years later, director David Gordon Green puts a new coat of paint on the now iconic story of Michael Myers and Laurie Strode. 2018’s adaptive sequel of Halloween pins an aged alcoholic Laurie against Michael in hunter vs. prey plot line, but these roles get blurred as the film goes on. Jamie Lee Curtis resumes her role of Laurie, who is now a deeply troubled doomsday prepper with a heavily secured headquarter, ready for when Michael returns one day. The audience is still given the realistic overview of Laurie and her estranged daughter and granddaughter (played by Judy Geer and Andi Matichak) with the threat of Michael constantly in the back of everyone’s mind. By staying true to Carpenter’s original vision for the franchise, Halloween (2018) brings the best out of Laurie since the 1978 original– by making Laurie anything but a victim of Michael’s torment. But defeating Michael is not that simple for Laurie, and ultimately what grounds the insanity of the horror is the three generations of Strode women. The plot takes unimaginable twists and turns that neatly wrap together, leaving nothing more to be desired.

Green takes the audience on the same suspenseful journey of Laurie and Michael with different jump scares, moments of silence, and snippets of intense gore. While the film closely follows the slasher template by sending Michael on a slashing, slicing, murder spree through Haddonfield, Green adds an equally important perspective of mass tragedy and trauma through the lens of a survivor.

After watching every good, bad, and downright boring variation of Halloween, these 477px-Frankenstein's_monster_(Boris_Karloff).jpgfilms stand for the tried and true slasher films throughout the decades. If Universal’s 1931 Frankenstein is hailed as possibly one of the most important horror movies ever made, Halloween runs in a close second in revamping the genre. The film’s success reached across generations paving the way for films like Scream (1996), I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), and Happy Death Day (2017).

Haunted Library Tour 2018

October 30th, 2018

Something sBOOky is shaping up in the stacks at Gleeson on October 31st. Meet us in the library lobby for a Haunted Library Tour starting at 12 Noon. Hope to see you there!

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Please join us for Open Access Week!

October 19th, 2018

Next week we’ll be holding three events for international Open Access Week: Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge.

How to publish in open access venues with CRASE
Tuesday, October 23 at 2:30pm
Gleeson Library Electronic Classroom Room 139
This interactive workshop will address the fear and uncertainty around open access to demystify the new publishing landscape. We will cover traditional publishing models, why open access exists, and how to publish in open access journals and make your work available to the world. Please bring your laptops!

“Paywall� Documentary Screening and Donuts
Wednesday, October 24 at 4pm
Gleeson Library Active Learning Classroom Room 213
Have you ever clicked on an article, seen a request for payment, and just closed the whole thing? This documentary “focuses on the need for open access to research and science, questions the rationale behind the $25.2 billion a year that flows into for-profit academic publishers, examines the 35-40% profit margin associated with the top academic publisher Elsevier and looks at how that profit margin is often greater than some of the most profitable tech companies like Apple, Facebook and Google.�

OpenStax and Open Education Resources Webinar with CTE
Tuesday, October 30 at 2:30pm
Gleeson Library Electronic Classroom Room 139
OpenStax is a nonprofit educational initiative based at Rice University that has created 29 textbooks for AP and college courses that are freely and openly available for anyone to use. Please attend to learn more about their resources.

RSVP appreciated at  Or email Charlotte Roh at

Campus FrankenFest Begins Today at Gleeson Library | Geschke Center

October 18th, 2018

According to the Shelley-Godwin archive, Mary Shelley conceived of her famous novel, Frankenstein, during a summer stay in Geneva that sounds like the summers we know in San Francisco: cold.

A year and a half later, in January of 1818, Shelley anonymously published the novel, and the rest is history — a rich history, of Frankenstein scholarship and artistic interpretations including books, films, and recently even a ballet, proving that Shelley’s masterpiece is as relevant as ever to audiences today.

FrankenFest: A Campus-Wide Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of  the novel — organized by USF’s English Department — begins this week with the opening of a Student/Faculty curated exhibit “On the Bicentenary of Frankenstein: Mary Shelley and her Contemporaries” in the  Donahue Rare Book Room of Gleeson Library | Geschke Learning Resource Center.

This opening will be immediately followed by a Science and Social Science Faculty Panel (Dissecting the Modern Man) at 5 pm in the Berman Room in Fromm, as well as several other events over the next two weeks.

I’m particularly excited about Franken-Reads, a campus-wide reading of the ENTIRE novel on Oct. 31st in the K-Hall Amphitheater starting at 9am. We’ll be in good company; the Library of Congress is also reading the novel aloud on Halloween (and live-streaming it!).

Frankenstein_3 copy

“On the Bicentenary of Frankenstein: Mary Shelley and her Contemporaries” will run in the Rare Book Room through December 14th. For more information about the exhibit, visit: Gleeson has also pulled out our print copy of Mary Shelley’s letters, some books about her life, and other material related to the 200th anniversary of the novel — you can find that display on the first floor.

Fall Break Media Recommendations

October 15th, 2018

Hey All,

Here are some media recommendations from the students over at the Reference Desk. The students recommended two books and a movie suitable for a long weekend with some extra lounging time.

1. Turtles All the Way Down – John Green

This book is proof that it’s definitely possible to like and dislike a book at the same time. 81cAi-RIjcLTurtles All the Way Down is a hard book to read because the emotions in it are so raw and you feel for Aza, the main character, when things don’t go right. It’s not a happy book, but it’s consuming, interesting, and a book that people should read for mental health awareness.  – Molly Creagar


2. Grave of the Fireflies – Isao Takahata

p158931_v_v8_aaThis movie is a touching story about a boy who lives with his mother and little sister during WWII and how he must take care of his sister after the heart wrenching death of his mother and father. This story will play on your heart like it’s the world’s saddest violin. I highly recommend it for its ability to not only grab your attention emotionally but also mentally. The film makes you appreciate the things that you have, no matter what size they come in.  – Danni McCorkle


3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

This is a coming of age novel that centers around Charlie, a high school freshman in the 61pzzHtaTPL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_90’s. It is written in a letter format as if Charlie is writing to you, which makes the novel feel a lot more as if you’re talking to a friend. It consists of a lot of ups and downs, but they’re well worth it by the end. It’s been one of my favorite novels since I was 12 years old. A book that’ll touch your heart, hope you enjoy!  – Juliana Molina