20191018-MAG-film series

The Historical Society of Cheshire County, the Keene Public Library, and film historian Larry Benaquist have teamed up to offer a film series titled “Libraries on the Big Screen.” The film series debuts Thursday, Nov. 7, at 6:30 p.m. at the Keene Public Library.

The series celebrates the recent completion of the extensive expansion and renovation of the Keene Public Library with five films on libraries and librarians. The five films will show five very different interpretations of what the concept of a library is. The organizers solicited the input of actual librarians, and several of the films were recommended by them. The films will be shown at the Keene Public Library on Thursday evenings in November and December, and admission is free. Discussions will follow with Benaquist, a film historian.

Nov. 7: “Storm Center” (1956), starring Bette Davis, Brian Keith and Kim Hunter. A small-town librarian refuses to take a book on Communism out of circulation, with disastrous results.

Nov. 14: “Desk Set” (1957), starring Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. Hepburn’s character, Bunny Watson, was based on the real-life head of research at CBS, Agnes Law. In the film, Spencer Tracy is hired by the network to install an enormous computer to replace the researchers and automate the operation.

Nov. 21: “The Music Man” (1962), starring Shirley Jones and Robert Preston. Marian the librarian is the only person in River City who sees through the fraudulent Harold Hill. The library itself becomes the setting for this conflict between knowledge and romance, as one of the best musical numbers is set in the library itself.

Dec. 5: “Party Girl” (1995), starring Parker Posey. A directionless party girl lands a job at her local branch of the city library, finding salvation in the Dewey Decimal System.

Dec. 12: “The Public” (2018), written, directed by and starring Emilio Estevez. About to be ejected into the cold, a group of homeless men decide to refuse to leave the library, and barricade themselves inside, with political consequences.

Information: Historical Society of Cheshire County, 352-1895, dired@hsccnh.org or www.hsccnh.org; or Keene Public Library, 352-0157, gzachariah@ci.keene.nh.us or https://ci.keene.nh.us/keene-public-library.