Skip to Main Content

Staff Picks: March 2021

Staff Picks

Each Library staff member has chosen four recommendations, with a note explaining each pick.

The picks can be accessed both online from your living room or via the Library (for AFTRS staff and students only).

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.

Raquel Caballero - User Experience Librarian

Pretend it’s a City Dir: Martin Scorsese (2021)

Please Scorsese, can we have some MORE?

Can’t Get You Out Of My Head: An Emotional History of the Modern World Dir. Adam Curtis (2021)

The brilliant new 6-part series from the director of Hyper Normalization is terrifying.

Using strange footage and interwoven stories of largely forgotten cultural and political shifts in our modern history (not to mention a flawless soundtrack), Curtis confirms what many of us already suspected: that we’ve all been living in a bad dream that will never end.

I’m glad I watched it but I was also glad when it was over so I could return to my carefully cultivated bubble.

The Up series Dir. Michael Apted (1964 – 2019)

This series had been on my radar for years but when director Michael Apted passed recently, I felt the only way to honor him properly was to consume his life’s work.

The series began in 1964 following the lives of a group of 7 year-old British kids (7 Up). Every 7 years until 2019, Apted revisited these kids to see where they were now, and ask pretty much the same questions they’d been asked when they were 7.

The series is fascinating but also depressing at times. Although I go into every episode with so much hope, I end up coming away with the feeling that most people’s lives play out in the most predictable ways possible.

Off the menu: The last days of Chasen’s (1997) Dir. Shari Springer Berman

Look, I was pretty stoned when I watched this, but that just enabled me to see right through this thing!

At first you think it’s going to be a celebration of this very famous old Hollywood restaurant/celeb hangout as it approaches closure.

But quickly it becomes this cringe-worthy portrait of the diehard employees (some who’d worked there for decades), their dysfunctional relationships, their (painfully obvious) addiction to their celebrity clientele, not to mention the Kitchen Nightmares-esque restaurant itself.

Dear god, can someone please just watch this so we can unpack it all?

Frazer Bull-Clark - Collection Development Librarian

Shampoo (1975) Dir: Hal Ashby

A brilliant satire, made in the mid-70s but set in the late 60s.

The entire cast is amazing and Warren Beatty is perfect as George, the dim-witted Beverly Hills hairdresser who zooms around town on his motorbike, struggling to juggle his chaotic business ventures and relationships.

Humming along in the background is the 1968 US election that resulted in Richard Nixon as president, but, the film posits: do any of these people care?

Starstruck (1982) Dir: Gillian Armstrong

An infectious new wave extravaganza directed by *AFTRS Alumni* Gillian Armstrong. One of the great Sydney films.


Happy Together (1997) Dir: Wong Kar-wai

Wong Kar-Wai, in collaboration with his long-time cinematographer Christopher Doyle and actors Tony Leung and Leslie Cheung, crafts a unique love story that is both funny and heartbreaking.


Candis Diaz - Curriculum Liaison Librarian (Wed - Fri)

Making a Murderer (2015 - 2018) Dir: Laura Ricciardi

Steven Avery seeks justice after been incarcerated for nearly 2 decades for a crime he did not commit.

Follow his amazing story as he files a lawsuit against the Manitowoc County. This is just the beginning….

Snowpiercer (2020 - ) Dir: Josh Friedman

Snowpiercer is home to the last of humanity, this post - apocalyptic train perpetually rides through the frozen wasteland that now is the world.

The world hasn’t changed, this sci-fi drama is packed full of love affairs, political rivalries and social injustice.

Scarface (1983) Dir: Brian De Palma

Tony Montana and I killed your father! Scarface speaks for itself.

Tony Montana a Cuban refugee makes the most of the opportunities the capitalist USA provides. Witness the rise and fall.

The Book of Eli (2010) Dir: Joel Silver

Eli finds his way through a post-apocalyptic world to deliver a precious book that will save humanity.

*Spoiler* there are cannibals, and it is so uncomfortable, if you’re a gamer it’s a bit like watching Fall Out 3.

Jessica Anscombe - Curriculum Liaison Library (Mon & Thur)

The King of Staten Island (2020) Dir: Judd Apatow

This was so funny. And endearing. A twenty something guy, who has a dream of being a tattooist, is still living at home and stuck in a rut after the death of his dad years before.

Dead Like Me (2003) Creator: Bryan Fuller

A young girl is killed suddenly and in the afterlife is tasked with joining a group of reapers.

There are only two seasons but the characters and different reaping scenarios are fun.  

Stand By Me (1986) Dir: Rob Reiner

This is one of those movies that has stayed with me.

Since I saw it years and years ago it has frequently come up in conversations and memories.

An amazing cast has captured the nostalgia of a group of young friends perfectly when they embark on a adventure of a lifetime to try and locate the body of a missing boy.

Supernatural - Season 15 (2019-2020) Creator: Eric Kripke

So apparently after an epic 15 year saga that has seen these two monster hunting brothers literally go to hell and back this is meant to be the final season.

This season sees the brothers, yet again, having to fight to the death and save the world from destruction.

Hayley Brown - Library Supervisor

Deadpool (2016) Dir: Tim Miller

The ultimate anti-hero and the role made for Ryan Reynolds.

A fun, graphic and romantic (yes it’s a romance) superhero movie.

Over 18’s only!

Rogue One : A Star Wars Story (2016) Dir: Gareth Edwards

I am a huge Star Wars fan, but Rogue One is something a little different and a little special from the saga films.

Definitely not your typical star wars film, definitely worth a watch!


Travelers (2016 - 2018) Creator: Brad Wright

Calling all Sci-fi fans, is changing the past really possible?

This series followers a group of Travelers from the future who try to fix the past for a better future.

Totally worth the binge watch with an interesting ending to the series.

That’s right the series is COMPLETE!

The Huntsman : Winter’s War (2016) Dir: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan

Bad Scottish accents CHECK

World lore changes from the first movie CHECK

A fun, fantasy fairy tale re-telling none the less.

Laura Daaboul - Resource Access Librarian

American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace (2018) Creators: Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski, Tom Rob Smith

The Assassination of Gianni Versace delivers a powerful and sad insight into the life and events that led to a man killing 5 people, including Gianni Versace.

Unbelievable (2019) Creator: Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman

It’s a tough subject to cover, but Unbelievable is a gripping crime drama that focuses heavily on the impact and complexities that sexual assault has on the victims lives.

The Sinner (2017) Creator: Derek Simmonds

The Sinner immediately grabs your attention by showing you who did it and how.

The rest of the series is then spent piecing together why they did it.

Why Women Kill (2019) Creator: Marc Cherry

Extremely light-hearted compared to my other picks, Why Women Kill shows us 3 couples facing marital issues, who all happened to live in the same house in 3 different decades.