By Christine Iannicelli
One of my most vivid memories as a child is riding in the car with my dad and going through his music collection in the glove compartment. Inevitably, I would come across the The Commitments, which was one of his favorite soundtracks to listen to (and still is). I’d stare at the photos on the CD cover, confused as to who these people were and why I had never heard of them before.
My father explained to me that this was the soundtrack to an independent film about a group of working class Dubliners who form a soul band. We would drive and listen to these Irish men and women sing classics like “Mustang Sally”, “Land of a Thousand Dances”, and “In the Midnight Hour”. I enjoyed the music so much that I couldn’t wait to watch the movie!
When I was old enough (the film is littered with profanity and sexual innuendos), my dad let me watch it. Frankly, I was a little disappointed. The actors’ accents were pretty thick so I couldn’t understand half of what they were saying and the film didn’t speak to me like I thought it would. Don’t get me wrong, though. It was an interesting concept for a film (like an Irish version of That Thing You Do) and there were several comedic moments. The band’s manager, Jimmy, is constantly pretending to be interviewed by a newscaster when he’s alone (usually in the bathroom) and his Elvis-loving father brought a smile to my face. But as a pre-teen, I couldn’t understand why the band members fought all the time and how they could let their egos get in the way of their success. Years later, I realized that’s exactly what the film was going for: to show us the price of fame.
Every now and then, I’ll check out the film from the Gabriele Library and watch it. Maybe it’s because The Commitments is a common interest my father and I both share, or maybe it’s because the music is so catchy. The cast, who were mostly unknown at the time and chosen for their musical talent rather than acting ability, do a great job of making their eccentric characters come to life. The lead singer of The Commitments is Deco, played by Andrew Strong. Only 16 at the time, his character looks, acts, and eats like a slob; yet, when he sings, you forget all of that and are captivated by his voice. His rendition of “At the Dark End of the Street” is truly memorable. If nothing else, watch this film for the music.
Favorite Quote from the Movie:
“The Lord doesn’t like when we whisper.”
“Why, is he deaf?”
The Gabriele Library is looking for volunteers to participate in a focus group on Wednesday, February 19 @ 2:00 p.m. in the Library Media Classroom.
You must be an Immaculata traditional undergraduate student to participate.
The focus group will last no longer than one hour and will focus on your perceptions of librarians and reference services.
Light refreshments will be provided.
We encourage you to attend and share your thoughts!
by Christine Iannicelli
Starring John Cusack, Ray Liotta, and Amanda Peet, Identity starts off like any horror film. A hodgepodge of individuals (including a limo driver, an actress, a prostitute, and a cop) are stranded at a seedy motel during a thunderstorm. One by one, they start dying. As the remaining victims scramble to ascertain who the murderer is and stop him/her from killing anyone else, we are presented with numerous questions.
First, is one of the stranded travelers the murderer? None of the characters seem all that trustworthy, except maybe a caring father who is too busy tending to his injured wife (who was struck by the limo driver’s car) and her son to worry about a killer on the loose. But as the movie progresses, we realize that any of these people could be the murderer. After all, how much do we really know about them?
Another possibility is that maybe none of these individuals are involved and instead, a deranged serial killer is on the loose. Most of the film takes place at this motel, but every once in a while, the film switches gears and shows us an insane mental patient being interrogated by a judge, a psychiatrist, and a few attorneys. Is he the murderer? How is this man related to this massacre?
For that matter, why are these specific individuals being targeted? Is it just a random coincidence that they are all stuck at this motel, or are they all connected somehow?
These questions and more are what make Identity so fascinating. As the movie progressed, I found myself growing more and more interested in solving the mystery. By the end, we the audience receive not one, but TWO incredible twist endings that explain everything. I was blown away by the ending and immediately wanted to watch the movie again from this new enlightened perspective.
Like an Agatha Christie novel, the mystery is what drives this movie just as much as the suspense. It’s not scary as much as it is psychologically mind-bending, designed to play with your notion of reality. It remains one of my favorite films! I highly encourage you to check it out.
By Christine Iannicelli
Watching TV is one of my favorite pastimes; consequently, I am always on the lookout for a new (or old) television show to watch. Going through the stacks at the Gabriele Library, I came across a 90’s British crime drama called Cracker. The show starred Robbie Coltrane as a criminal psychologist named Fitz who assists police officers in locating and interrogating murderers (essentially, he helps them “crack” the case). Robbie Coltrane is best known for his portrayal of the lovable Hagrid in the Harry Potter series and as a thief hiding out in a convent in the 1990 comedy Nuns on the Run. I am a big fan of Robbie Coltrane and detective shows so naturally, this series seemed like a good fit.
All in all, I enjoyed Cracker. It was unexpected, suspenseful, and eerie at times. The producers weren’t afraid to injure or kill off main characters and the lines between the good guys and the bad guys were often blurred. Most episodes begin illustrating a day in the life of the criminal. We learn all about them: their likes, their dislikes, their motives, and ultimately, what drives them to kill. There is an intimacy between the audience and the villains and at times, we get a little too close for comfort. Only when we’ve walked side by side with the villains do we get a break from their twisted reality and transition to the detectives trying to bring them to justice.
Robbie Coltrane is the star of the show and he does not disappoint. His character of Fitz is flawed and complex. He has a tumultuous relationship with his wife, he’s not very kind to his son, and he spends most of this time drinking, smoking, and gambling. Fitz is the classic anti-hero. But if there is one thing he’s good at, it is understanding the criminal mind. Frequently throughout the series, when Fitz is sitting across from a violent sociopath in an interrogation room, he will look them in the eye and say with all sincerity, “I understand you.” And in all honesty, he does. He knows with every fiber in his being why they do what they do, what makes them tick, and what ultimately motivated them to kill. It’s not enough for Fitz to convict someone; in fact, I’m not at all convinced putting criminals in jail is his main objective. What Fitz truly enjoys is the study of human behavior. He wants to help these damaged individuals understand exactly why they resorted to violence in the first place. Where did things go wrong? Once Fitz gets the criminals to open their eyes to the truth, only then do they often confess to their crimes.
Fitz is unapologetic about his behavior and methods. When his wife confronts him about his gambling addiction and begs him to quit for the sake of his family, he point-blank tells her no. He knows he can’t quit and he won’t lie to appease her. Fitz smokes, drinks, and gambles because he likes it. Plain and simple. Still, underneath that cynical, cold façade is a good man. We get glimpses of his compassion in rare moments throughout the series. They are short-lived, but we can tell Fitz cares deeply for his children and his “partner”, Jane Penhaligon. When it comes down to it, though, Fitz is a hard-living man who prides himself on his brutal honesty. Like its main character, Cracker doesn’t pull any punches. Fans of Criminal Minds, Luther, or other psychological dramas will most likely enjoy this series.
Check out all three seasons at the Gabriele Library.
This semester, Campus Ministry is proud to present to our campus a new opportunity for continued learning and growth in our Christian Faith. located on the lower level of the library just outside of the Media Classroom is a kiosk of materials from Lighthouse Catholic Media and Stewardship: A Mission of Faith. This kiosk is loaded with contemporary CDs, books, pamphlets and booklets that will inform, inspire and engage you in thought regarding issues of our day and matters of Christian Faith. Whether you are a student, member of our staff, faculty or administration, this kiosk has something that will interest you and that can be a blessing for your families and friends. Lighthouse Catholic Media offers an opportunity for you to receive downloads of dynamic presentations on the faith. I encourage you to check out this new resource on campus and make use of it. It has the potential of blessing you in countless ways.