Skip to Main Content

Staff Picks: April 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

Apropos of Nothing By Woody Allen

Read this in a week and loved it – especially his childhood stories of growing up in Brooklyn (watch Radio Days).

Another highlight was finally reading his side of the story re. Mia Farrow, the child molestation allegations and his affair and decades-long marriage to Soon Yi.

If you’re a fan, give it a read. If you’re not, nothing Allen says or does will probably ever change your mind.

Oh well!

Allen V. Farrow Dir. Kirby Dick & Amy Ziering (2021)

Yes, I’m still a Woody Allen fan (and not ashamed to say so) and I’m also a completist.

So although I knew (because Woody wasn’t involved) that it was going to be biased toward Mia, I still had to watch this anti-Allen propaganda – just to get the complete picture.

Now I’ve seen it, I only feel more disgusted by the whole sorry family saga and every single creepy participant.

And I’m also even more obsessed by it all!

Red Scare podcast: Manhattan Molestation Mystery

I listened to this hilarious ep unpacking the Allen V Farrow smear campaign and I thought FINALLY!

Some smart ladies being open and honest in their analysis of this sick story!

It’s an hour and half long but it could’ve gone for 3 hours.

I sat and listened with no distractions (like how I imagine people did in the days of radio plays) and almost got up and gave a standing ovation as the credits rolled.

Available on Patreon.

By the way, Woody Allen is Innocent Dir. Rick Worley (2020)

At the time of writing, I’m still yet to see this. But tonight’s the night and I’m hoping this will be the final nail in the coffin and I can finally put this all to rest and move to a new celebrity scandal, but I just don’t know.

I honestly don’t think we’ll ever know the real truth about what happened.

Maybe there needs to be a televised family DMT therapy session so we can all get some closure?

Frazer Bull-Clark - Collection Development Librarian

Sanshō Dayū (Sansho the Bailiff) dir: Kenji Mizoguchi (1954)

Devastating and life-affirming. This might be one of the best films I have ever seen.

Wanda dir: Barbara Loden (1970)

Barbara Loden’s portrait of a woman alone and adrift is both bleak and stirring.

A low-budget triumph.


Waiting for Guffman dir: Christopher Guest (1996)

One of my favourite comedies.

Incredibly funny, with a wonderful sense of affection for its characters.

Every time I watch this I cry with laughter.

Freeman dir: Laurence Billiet, (2020)

A really well made documentary that focuses on Cathy Freeman’s legendary 400 metre race at the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney.

This manages to pull off that rare feat of being extremely tense, even though you already know the outcome.

How anyone can achieve something that physically and mentally demanding, with that level of expectation and millions of people watching is beyond me.

Candis Diaz - Curriculum Liaison Librarian (Wed - Fri)

A Handmaids Tale (2017 - present) dir: Bruce Miller

The third instalment of Margret Atwood’s chilling series will have you revisiting the dystopian world of Gilead.

The world is suffering a crisis where fertility rates are at an all - time low, women are forced into servitude as concubines, and their children are fostered off to those who can afford the luxury of raising children.

Homeland (2011 - 2020) dir: Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon

Typical CIA series, America always saving the day. This time with a neurotic nympho heading the chase to protect National Security, it is a wild ride, if you like playing the game of Who did it?

Godzilla (2014) dir: Garth Edwards

In the spirit of the recent film, go back and watch this classic remake.

Because what's better than a giant lizard stomping around!

When I watch this film, I like to think about the insurance costs of all the damage?

And would they pay?

Like ‘Giant Monster Damage’ policy.... makes Tony Starks damage seem minor.

Neon genesis evangelion (1999) dir: Anno, Hideaki.

Old but good!

The penguin drinking a beer is what makes this epic series about giant robots fighting giant angels! 

Jessica Anscombe - Curriculum Liaison Library (Mon & Thur)

Now and Then (1995) Dir: Lesli Linka Glatter

“Thomas Wolfe once said you can't go home again. Well, that's great for old Tom.

But he wasn't a chick who made a pact with her friends when she was twelve to get together whenever any one of them needed each other.”

The opening lines of this movie hooked me then and I still love them now.

This is the perfect coming-of-age meets best friends for life, girl-pact drama. Love it.

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) Director: Joe Johnston

A scientist accidentally shrinks his teenage children and neighbours down to the size of ants.

The kids then embark on a hilarious mission to alert their dad of his mishap..

Jumanji (1995) Dir: Joe Johnston

A magical board game traps one of its players, Alan, inside the game in the 60s.

Decades later, Alan escapes when the game falls into the hands of two more unsuspecting kids.

The three must continue to play the treacherous game, fighting off beasts and hazards, and battle to the finish.

Hayley Brown - Library Supervisor

Into the Woods (2014) Dir: Rob Marshall

An interesting take on the retelling of fairy tales.

The music is fun and easy to sing along too.

BEWARE: It does not end the way you think it will!

Anastasia (1997) Dir: Don Bluth, Gary Goldman

While she may not be an 'official' Disney princess, Anastasio is as good as any of them.

The soundtrack to this film is simply AMAZING!

A must watch for any princess fan!

Walk the Line (2005) Dir: James Mangold

Another stellar performance by Joaquin Phoenix with the tunes of the simply phenomenal Johnny Cash.

A must for any music fan!

The Phantom of the Opera (2004) Dir: Joel Schumacher

I am a huge fan of the stage show and while the film has some interesting casting choices it still makes you feel like you are watching something truly brilliant.

A must for the Gerard Butler fan, who knew he could sing?

Laura Daaboul - Resource Access Librarian

Face/Off Dir: John Woo (1997)

John Travolta steals Nicholas Cage’s face, so then Nicholas Cage steals John Travolta’s face.


Soul Dir: Peter Docter, Kemp Powers (2020)

An all-ages animation about a man who enters the world of souls on a path to rediscovering himself and his passions in life.

He also gets to swap bodies with his cat for a while.

Freaky Friday Dir: Mark Waters (2003)

A classic mother/daughter body swap made great by the flawless performance of Lindsay Lohan.