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Staff Picks: May 2024

May 2024 Staff Picks

Our Library staff have chosen four (4) recommendations, with some words explaining each pick.

They include everything from films and TV series to books, podcasts, music and beyond.

They can be accessed either online or from the Library's physical collection (for AFTRS staff and students only).

Collection Development Librarian

Theme: Recent Faves

Frazer's Picks

The Swimmer

Dir: Frank Perry (1968)

There is no other film like The Swimmer. Funny, dark, unsettling, and sad, it truly contains multitudes. At its center is an unforgettable, island-like performance by Burt Lancaster. Go into it with an open mind and you may be blown away.

Borrow on DVD

Life is Sweet

Dir: Mike Leigh (1990)

The king of character Mike Leigh delivers in spades here. This story of a working class family’s everyday life in the suburbs of North London contains the world.

Borrow on DVD

The Empty Man

Dir: David Prior (2020)

A sprawling and very creepy horror movie. The argument could be made that it doesn’t fully come together, but I liked the ambition and scope of it. In my opinion it’s worth the ride, even just for the very effective and scary opening sequence.

Borrow on DVD

Watch Online via Clickview

Watch Online via Disney+

Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy

Dir: Ryusuke Hamaguchi (2021)

A wonderful trio of stories, dealing with unexpected and chance encounters. The last one ‘Once Again’ takes place in a reality where computer viruses have meant no one is online anymore and telegrams, letters and physical media are back to being the norm. Gentle, playful and curious filmmaking.

Borrow on DVD

Watch Online via Clickview

Engagement and Outreach Librarian


Raquel's Picks

The Servant

Dir: Joseph Losey (1964)

If Dirk Bogarde is in it, you know you’re in for a treat. This man excelled at playing sicko characters and he’s at his worst (aka best) here, playing “the servant” hired by a wealthy man to keep house. Little by little the servant reverses their roles, ultimately becoming the master of the house. This isn’t a spoiler – you have to watch it to truly understand the levels of depravity humans can be led to.

Borrow the DVD

Séance on a wet afternoon

Dir: Bryan Forbes (1964)

Kim Stanley was once referred to as the female Marlon Brando. Isn’t that enough to wanna make you watch this? This film is best watched on a rainy Sunday afternoon with the blinds closed. Get cosy -- you’re gonna need all the warmth you can get cause you’re about to get very chilly!

Borrow on Blu-ray

The story of Adele H.

Dir: François Truffaut (1975)

We need to invent a new word for CRAZY to describe Adele H. This would make a great double feature with Ingrid Goes West. Two films about women who’ll stop at absolutely nothing to get close to the objects of their affections. You’ll want to invest in the Triple butter explosion popcorn!

Borrow the DVD

The 400 Blows

Dir: François Truffaut (1959)

Beautiful. So beautiful. I rewatched this again recently and again it had me in tears. It follows Antoine Doinel, a sweet but tough young rascal, neglected by his parents, fending for himself and getting into too much trouble on the streets of Paris. You won’t be able to get the theme song out of your head for days.

Borrow the DVD

Research Support Librarian


Alison's Picks

Death at a Funeral

Dir: Frank Oz (2007)

This film makes me laugh out loud right from the start. An excellent ensemble cast, Matthew McFadyen and Alan Tudyk are standouts, with some incredible slapstick humour.

Borrow on DVD

Watch Online via Clickview

Watch Online via EduTV

Get Krack!n

Dir: Kate McClennan and Kate McCartney (2017)

I often crave more of this show, but more might spoil the utter perfection of the two seasons that were made.

Borrow on DVD

Watch Online via Clickview

Watch Online via Clickview

What We Do In The Shadows

Dir: Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi (2014)

This film is a love letter to Wellington – classic Taika style, made on a shoe-string budget – it went on to inspire the eponymous FX series, as well as New Zealand spin-off Wellington Paranormal.

Borrow on DVD

Borrow on Blu-ray

Watch Online via Clickview

Watch Online via EduTV

Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

Dir: Richard Ayoade (2004)

A very, very funny 80’s television parody that has gained a cult following since it was initially relegated to a low-rating late-night TV slot in the UK.

Borrow on DVD

Watch Online via Clickview

Assistant Librarian


Victoria's Picks


By: Todd Haynes (2015)

In this beautiful 1950s setting, follow the budding relationship of Therese and Carol. It’s a classic.

Borrow the DVD

Borrow the Blu-ray

But I’m a Cheerleader

By: Jamie Babbit (2000)

A great satire. Absurd and lighthearted. Megan gets sent to a boot camp to turn her straight, it backfires.

Borrow on DVD

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

By: Céline Sciamma (2019)

An artistic masterpiece. Great cinematography, acting, storytelling, sound design, the works!

Borrow the DVD

Borrow the Blu-ray

Heavenly Creatures

By: Peter Jackson (1994)

Based on a true story, Juliet and Pauline begin an obsessive friendship that turns violent when faced with possible separation.

Borrow the DVD

Watch Online via Clickview

Information Officer

Theme: Everything is coming up Roses

Cathie's Picks

Purple Rose of Cairo

Dir: Woody Allen (1985)

The best thing about this movie is the way it toys with the very essence of reality and fantasy.

The movie delves into the conflicts involving who you want to be and who other people want you to be.

Borrow the DVD

Watch Online via EduTV

The War of the Roses

Dir: Danny De Vito (1989)

This is a comedy about a divorcing couple, both refusing to leave their house. The movie starts as a love story but as the signs indicate not all is well emerge the ugliness starts. The story is told by the divorce attorney as a warning to a perspective client.

The Prime Minister of the Han Dynasty coaxes the Emperor to wage war against two kingdoms in order to unite China. 

Borrow the DVD

Blade Runner: Black Lotus

Dir: Shinji Aramaki & Kenji Kamiyama (2010)

Black Lotus is a must-see for any Blade Runner fan. This animated addition to the Blade Runner universe takes place in the future where replicants walk among humans. A woman struggles with identity and her past. You don't need to know any Blade Runner lore in order to watch. Worth watching if you are an adult animation fan.

Watch Online via Crunchy Roll

Killers of the Flower Moon

Dir: Martin Scorsese (2023)

This movie while long at three and a half hours it masterfully weaves a narrative so intricate and captivating that every scene feels indispensable. The performances are nothing short of exceptional. 

Real love crosses paths with unspeakable betrayal.

Watch Online via Apple TV

Borrow the book in the library

Library & Information Services Manager

Theme: Sensational Sagas

Hayley's Picks