Work continues behind the scenes on the Peaks Island Community Center and Branch Library renovation project. Architect Dick Reed and his engineers and designers have met with our renovation design committee, which includes Peaks residents, Library staff members, and colleagues from the City’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Facilities.
We have largely completed the design of the basic layout of spaces, storage, traffic flow, and rest rooms. We continue to finalize the precise set-up of the library service desk and shelving, furnishings and finishes for floors and walls, as well as details in the community room.
The new design in the library features lower-profile bookshelves to provide a lighter, more open and flexible space, while actually accommodating more books and library materials. The renovation will also provide new display space for art.
Work on heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning has progressed, along with a design for a new electrical system and lighting. Energy audit work by engineer Andrew Holbrook (funded by the Peaks Energy Action Team) has been valuable in identifying energy improvements.
The project is on track to go to bid in late fall for construction to begin early in the new year. Key to our progress is the generosity of our New Vision Campaign donors, whose pledge payments ensure that we have sufficient funds in-hand to proceed on this timeline. Thank you!
We look forward to keeping you up-to-date on the progress!
This month the Library is featuring films about animals. White God, a Hungarian film, boasts probably the largest canine cast since 101 Dalmatians, but make no mistake: This is not a family film.
Thirteen-year-old Lili (Zsofia Psotta) must move in with her father for a few months while her mother is away on business. Her dog Hagen is not welcome to stay with her, partly because her father is not a dog person, but also because the government has placed a high tax on mongrels–they have a vision of a Budapest populated by purebreds. Hagen is what Lili calls a “mixed breed,” but to the authorities, he’s a worthless mutt.
So Lili and her dog are separated, and the story is about their journey back to each other. Again, this sounds deceptively simple and heart-warming, but the film is actually a unique blend of parable, revenge fantasy, and a touch of horror. Imagine The Incredible Journey written by Hitchcock and directed by Tarantino.
While Hagen endures some harrowing experiences as a street dog, Lili struggles with adolescence and rebellion. Meanwhile, her school orchestra is rehearsing for a performance of Tannhauser. I mention this because the work underscores the theme of the redemptive power of love, but the music used to score the film is actually Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody #2.
This film, directed by Kornel Mundruczo, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014, where it won the Prize Un Certain Regard, and also the Palm Dog Award.
Indeed, it is the performances of the dogs that make this film so extraordinary. Only the lead dogs were trained–the rest of the dog cast is made up of over 200 rescue dogs (almost all of which were subsequently adopted) and Mundruczo has captured them in all their natural dogginess. There is no computer-generation used, there are no cute dog tricks; these are real dogs behaving like real dogs, and if that sounds too ordinary, I assure you that this film offers some stunning images, the like of which you have never seen before, and will not soon forget.
For a list of other recommended films about animals, click here.