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Staff Picks: September 2020

Staff Picks

Each Library staff member, plus one special guest from the AFTRS staff has chosen five recommendations, with a note explaining each pick.

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, most of the picks can be accessed online from your living room or via the Library's Click and Collect Service (for AFTRS staff ane student only). Click Here for more information about Click and Collect.

We have also mixed it up and have picks from all over the internet, including podcasts, games, websites, as well as traditional films and television series.


Special Guest - Cathie Walker - Information Officer

Usual Suspects. Dir: Bryan Singer

I really enjoy this film. Its clever with a great cast and is what I think of as one of the best neo-noir mystery films.

Angel Heart. Dir: Alan Parker

This dark film is what I think of as one of Mickey Rourke’s best films.

This film is a mish mash of genera surprisingly works.

Psychological horror and neo-noir made in 1987 still packs a punch.

Indochine. Dir: Production Crew: Producer, Eric Heumann; director, Regis Wargnier

I just had to put in a film from one of my favourite actors Catherine Deneuve.

This is a great Sunday afternoon film. A period drama set in Vietnam at the end of the colonial regime.

Coco Before Chanel. Dir: Anne Fontaine

This film is for anyone interested in fashion and the fashion world. 

The clothes are breathtaking.

This is a look at what I consider to be one of the 20th centuries most influential characters.


Frida. Dir: Julie Taymor

This is a film about art, revolutionary history and most of all the life and art and passion of Frida Kahlo.  

Lore (Podcast)

Aaron Mahnke’s iheart radio

This is a podcast I love to listen to while I’m pottering around the house. 

If you have an secret love for things that can’t be explained, thinks that go bump in the night. 

This podcast is for us. 

He has also make a series for Amazon but I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch it yet.  

Available wherever you get your podcasts 

Guardians of the Galaxy Series. Dir: James Gunn

Its Sunday night, not quite ready for Monday these films are the perfect pick me up.

You will find it hard not to pick your favourite superhero. 

Part of the Marvel Comics superhero series…need I say more

Raquel Caballero - User Experience Librarian

Disclosure (2020) Dir. Sam Feder

Super essential viewing for everyone (not just film students – but especially film students), this Netflix doc tells the history of Trans representation in the media and boy is it a woeful story! Prepare to be outraged, but ultimately optimistic about the future.

1619 podcast

A podcast by the New York Times about the history of slavery in the US and it’s connection to the present. Very well told and incredibly enlightening.

Available wherever you get your podcasts.

The Joan Rivers Show / Paris is Burning

The library recently acquired a Criterion copy of Paris is Burning and on the special features is the entire episode of The Joan Rivers Show (circa 1991) where she interviews the director and a few of the cast. It was SO good and funny and they even do a mock ballroom show/parade! If you’re a fan and a completist like me, you just gotta see it!

Aperture Magazine

I love this mag so much! It’s like every issue was made just for me and the most recent one (themed House & Home) really is after my own heart. Every issue is themed and some of my faves include Prison Nation and Los Angeles. The next issue is all about Nan Goldin's landmark photobook The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. Ooh yeah!

Also Available online via the archive online (contact Library staff for access).

The Gospel According To Andre (2018) Dir. Kate Novack

Andre Leon Talley. I’m not sure what he does – I know he works for Vogue, but as what? Who even cares! He should just get paid to be his fabulous self! I for one, would pay to hear him talk. He's one of the great conversationalists (a dying breed). Can he start doing speaking tours please?

Frazer Bull-Clark - Collection Development Librarian

She’s Gotta Have It (dir: Spike Lee, 1986)

Spike Lee’s directorial debut marked the arrival of a bold new voice in independent film. While it’s a little rough around the edges, this still feels so fresh and vibrant.

The film follows the young Brooklynite Nola Darling and her relationships with a trio of sutors.

A funny, playful celebration of youthful independence and life in a big city.

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (dir: Apichatpong Weerasethankul, 2010)

In my opinion, this is one of the great films of the last decade.

Explores themes of loss and reincarnation in such a unique, imaginative way. Pure cinema.


The Beach (dir: Warwick Thornton, 2020)

One of the most interesting things I’ve watched year. This follows the Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton as he spends time alone on a remote shack in Western Australia.

Not at all a typical television show, this is more of a slow tv experiment/art project divided into six parts.

A meditative, personal work, beautifully shot by Thornton’s son Dylan River.

Your Sister’s Sister (dir: Lynne Shelton, 2011)

Earlier this year the American filmmaker Lynn Shelton sadly passed away at the age of fifty-four.

A beloved figure in the independent film world, she leaves behind a legacy of great work in film and television.

Your Sister’s Sister is a low budget gem, using improvisation amongst its small cast to create a humorous, intimate character study.

Candis Diaz - Curriculum Liaison Librarian (Wed - Fri)

Jessica Anscombe - Curriculum Liaison Library (Mon & Thur)


Seriously – cowboy drama, surrounding a powerful dynasty living on a breathtaking ranch, that you need to watch now.  

Nothing Much Happens podcast

If you’re having trouble drifting off at night time may I suggest tuning in to Nothing Much Happens podcast.

A series of relaxing stories narrated in the most luxuriously calming tone. You will enjoy the serenity of the stories and then fall into a deep and restorative sleep.

Available wherever you get your podcasts.

Danse Macabre, by Stephen King

The horror master himself discusses the Horror genre as a whole – films, books, TV shows. Read his personal insights into the genre and how and why it works.

If you like this, I’d also recommend reading On Writing, by Stephen King where he delves into his general writing insights – a very useful read for anyone wanting to put pen to paper.

The Ghostly and the Ghosted in literature and film: Spectral identities, edited by Lisa Kroger

“This collection explores the phenomenon of social ghosts. What does it mean, for example, to be invisible, to be a ghost, particularly when that ghost is representative of a person or group living on the margins of society?”

Explore the idea of ghosts in literature beyond the usual tales and go deeper into the meanings of depictions.

Jessica, directed by Peter Andrikidis, 2003.

I’m feeling sentimental for the Australian bush lately.

Jessica is the epic story of a young girl living on a farm around Narrandera, NSW, and how she must cope with the pitfalls of love, grief and deception.

Hayley Brown - Library Supervisor

Jumanji : welcome to the jungle (2017). Dir: Jake Kasdan

Check out this fun family adventure as four high school teens get sucked into a video game.

Jack Black's performance as a teen girl is outstanding.

Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Dir: Peter Jackson

I must watch for any fantasy fan.

Become immersed in the world of hobbits, hidden kings, wizards and rings of power.

The Extended editions obviously.


Grand Tour

For everyone that used to Love Top Gear, you need to check out The Grand Tour an Amazon Prime.

Jeremy, Richard and James are up to their old antics and tricks.

Be sure to watch the Seamen, Colombia and Survival of the Fattest Special episodes.

Law & order : criminal Intent.

While away the weekend with a binge-watch of the cop show classic Law and Order: Criminal Intent.

While I love all the Law and Order series, Criminal intent was always my favorite.

The Office (US edition)

The Office is one of my favorite television comedies.

While the first few seasons are not fantastic, it really comes into its own from season 3 and 4.

Be sure to catch-up with this hilarious comedy if you missed it, or revisit and experience all the laughs again. 

Laura Daaboul - Resource Access Librarian

Aladdin (1992) Dir. Ron Clements

My absolute favourite movie as a child and the best Disney soundtrack of all time.

Matilda (1996) Dir. Danny DeVito

One of my favourite childhood books and movie. I still think of Bruce every time I eat cake.

Mrs Doubtfire (1993) Dir. Chris Columbus

At one point this movie was on almost daily in my house. I’ve always dreamed of having Robin Williams as my English nanny.

Space Jam (1996) Dir. Joe Pytka

This movie is peak 90s for me. Michael Jordan helps the Looney Tunes in a basketball game against outer space creatures. This movie is absolutely my jam.

Jurassic Park (1993) Dir. Steven Spielberg

This movie absolutely terrified me as a kid but I could not stop watching it. Still great.