Events: anytime, any location, all ages

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The annual Searching the Psyche Through Cinema film series returns in January and February with psychological studies of films starring three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep. A discussion follows each screening.

Actress Suzanne Vale (Streep) is a recovering drug addict trying to pick up the pieces of her acting career and get on with life after her discharge from a rehab center. For insurance purposes, she must stay with a “responsible” individual such as her mother (Shirley MacLaine), a comedy star in the 1950s and ’60s whose shadow Suzanne had struggled to escape. The screenplay by Carrie Fisher is based on her semi-autobiographical, 1987 novel about her and her mother, Debbie Reynolds. This title is Rated R and is recommended for adult audiences only.

Post-screening discussion led by psychoanalyst Michael Harty and Tom Poe, associate professor of film and media arts at the University of Missouri- Kansas City.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Join Bernard Norcott-Mahany and friends for an afternoon of stories and songs featuring William Shakespeare and his plays. Recognized characters and scenes from Macbeth and The Taming of the Shrew show up in James Thurber stories, Cole Porter tunes, and other works. It’s Shakespeare with a humorous and musical twist.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Library joins the UMKC Black Studies Program and the Black Archives of Mid-America in presenting a series of screenings of four memorable films adapted from books by African American authors. Funding provided by the Bebe and Crosby Kemper Foundation, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Kansas City’s Barkley advertising agency hatched the enormously successful “Two Guys” campaign for Sonic Drive-In a little more than 12 years ago, letting a couple of improv actors comically pitch tater tots and slushy drinks from the front seat of their car. It became a pop culture phenomenon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

They are the most famous and controversial directors in the history of the CIA – Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, William Colby, and William Casey – and they shared a professional history from start to finish. All were recruited by William “Wild Bill” Donovan to the CIA’s forerunner, the Office of Strategic Services. Each would see his career end badly.

In a discussion of his new book, a follow-up to his earlier, acclaimed biography of Donovan, former TIME magazine correspondent Douglas Waller examines the four protégés who adopted Donovan’s adventurous ways in overseeing missions during and immediately after World War II.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Abraham Lincoln and William Shakespeare rose to prominence centuries and continents apart. But one of America’s greatest presidents felt a real connection to one of mankind’s greatest writers, beginning with their shared belief in the power of language. Lincoln read Shakespeare and quoted him often in conversation, finding particular resonance in Hamlet, Macbeth, and their reflections on the dangers of excessive ambition, the horrors of civil war, and the corruptions of illegitimate rule.

Friday, February 12, 2016

While the best-known cowboys of the Old West were white, it’s believed one in four were African-American. Through storytelling and song, vocalist and cultural historian Brother John Anderson helps young audience members explore their history. Appropriate for ages 5 and up.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The name – the Black Panthers – is seared into ’60s history, evoking both clenched-fist activism and leather-jacketed, Afro-coiffed cool. The radical group stood at the vanguard of the era’s movement for social change in America before its decline and eventual disintegration in the 1970s and early ’80s.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

But, soft! What light through yonder film projector breaks? Be sure to check out these Hollywood interpretations of Shakespeare’s prose each Saturday in February.

Joss Whedon puts a contemporary spin on Shakespeare’s dialogue-rich comedy about two pairs of lovers with differing views on love. Claudio and Hero can’t find a way to be together, and Benedick and Beatrice can’t find a way to avoid each other.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

In conjunction with this year's Adult Winter Reading Program theme of Shakespeare (A Winter's Tale Spin), the Westport Branch presents an afternoon with local author Vern Barnet. Lovers of all sorts turn to Shakespeare's sonnets for their depth of emotion and the richness of their ideas. But did Shakespeare try to suppress the publication of his sonnets in 1609?

Vern Barnet, former religion writer for the Kansas City Star and author of Thanks for Noticing (a collection of his own sonnets), discusses the sonnet form of poetry, how the sonnet in English is practically identified with Shakespeare's genius, and explores the meaning of Shakespeare's sonnets for us today.

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