On Thursday, November 16 at 6 p.m. in the Library Community Room, a mini-concert of Vietnam War-era rock music will be performed by the extraordinary Hollywood Rhythm Kings. At 7 p.m. that same night, the Library will screen “Platoon, one of the most acclaimed of all war films. Directed by Oliver Stone and starring Johnny Depp, Charlie Sheen, William Dafoe, and Tom Berenger, the blockbuster won the 1987Academy Awards for “Best Picture” and “Best Director” for Oliver Stone, in addition to Oscars for “Best Editing” and “Best Sound Mixing.” Admission is free and the first 25 audience members will be eligible to receive a complimentary paperback copy of “The Things They Carried.”
In Vietnam, Chris (Sheen), a raw recruit, at first wonders whether he will be able to survive in jungle conditions. But he gradually adapts and begins to see that the platoon is divided into two groups, one that believes in total war and another that believes in compassion and humanity. Both struggle in the words of Chris for “the possession of my soul. Loosely autobiographical, the hell of war is made even more vivid by Oliver Stone’s own fiery recollections of his time in Vietnam. “Platoon” is one of the few major motion pictures to depict the Vietnam war directly and it’s the only one with a screenplay written by a Vietnam vet. It also features explosively dramatic portrayals and powerful cinematography that’s filled with spectacular sights and sounds. Shot in the Philippines in 54 days on a low budget, it grossed over $127 million.
NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts designed to broaden our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. During November, South Pasadena Public Library is participating in a Big Read project along with the arts organization ‘Shakespeare at Play’ of Burbank. Shakespeare At Play is a recipient of a grant to host the NEA Big Read, not only in Burbank but elsewhere around LA County, including in South Pasadena. The Library is encouraging community members to check out, read and discuss “The Things We Carried”, the scintillating Vietnam War novel that the New York Times has declared a “Book of the Century.” Many copies of the book are available for checkout in a display on the first floor of the Library.
The Library Community Room is located at 1115 El Centro Street. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served and no tickets or reservations are necessary. Special thanks to the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, the Friends of the Rialto Theatre, and 210eastsound.