Hello, I’m Zach and welcome to my blog, A Flicker in the Stacks.
Given that many people would argue that blogs have lost their relevance in our ever-evolving social media landscape, I thought it only appropriate to name this blog after two other seemingly antiquated relics: the flicker of light being blocked as frames of film run through a projector, and stacks, the delightful bit of library jargon referring to shelves of books (and movies, etc). First and foremost, I am a theater-goer. There is still no better way to experience a movie than in a dark theater, with your pocket computer asleep, and the world and your worries locked outside the auditorium. For those couple hours, the movie owns you—for better or worse. But pretty much always for better.
That being said, I was a cable baby, coming of age and falling in love with movies during the rise of basic cable, when channels were desperate to find movies to fill out their programming hours. This was also the era of home video, when Blockbuster and their weird independent competitors battled to feed your VCR. Eight of my Top Ten movies of all time first won my obsession on a 21’ TV set. So, to crib from the great film writer Pauline Kael, you could say I lost it on the small screen. And the small screen is still a fine place to explore the limitless possibilities that cinema has to offer. And that’s where your local library comes in.
On this blog, you will find a variety of information pertaining to movies at your local library. There will be reviews of both new movies and old, spotlights on different areas of the library collection pertaining to film, and whatever odd movie-related avenues I choose to explore.
The sun has mostly set on physical spaces where movie lovers can venture to discover and discuss the films they love. Streaming devoured the video store, and Amazon swallowed the DVD/Blu Ray sections of most retail outlets. But the public library remains as a vital source for movies, free for anyone with a library card. Not all of us have high speed internet at home, nor are all of us so willingly resigned to the increasingly manipulated selection of movies offered on the most popular streaming services. Many great movies remain out of print, or elude the streaming rights marketplace. The library can often be your gateway to some of these hidden gems. It may be but a flicker, but the thrill of tactile discovery survives on our feature film stacks, as does the righteous conviction of making a choice and proceeding to Check Out.
It is my hope that the content on this blog helps connect you to new and exciting movies, inspires you to seek out movies that may be out of your comfort zone, and perhaps even entertains you a bit. But most importantly, I hope this blog empowers you to get the maximum cinematic value out of your library card.