Henry Miller Memorial Library

Big Sur, California
"The one thing we can never get enough of is love. And the one thing we never give enough is love."

Important news re: Sunday’s historic Big Sur Redwood auction at the Henry Miller Library!

This Sunday is our big Big Sur Redwood Auction – we’ll be auctioning off ten slabs milled from the tree that fell at the Library in December, 2012!

Even if you don’t plan on bidding on a slab, come for the historic nature of the event — and the party, as Heller Estate and the Big Sur Bakery will be on hand to add to the festivities!!

That’s this Sunday, Oct. 5th, at 1 pm, here at the Henry Miller Library. Bidding starts at 4 pm.

Check out the available slabs here.

FAQs here!

Questions?  Call us! 831-667-2574!

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Reason #2 to attend Thursday’s annual HML benefit: Wilco’s Nels Cline is performing!

Reason #2 to attend Thursday’s annual HML benefit: Wilco’s Nels Cline is performing!  He’s one of the greatest living guitarists in the world. Don’t believe us?  Check this out:



Thurs. Oct. 2nd at the Henry Miller Library: Cibo Matto, Nels Cline, poetry from Eleni Sikelianos, live painting & auction via visual artist Aaron Adamski, miso soup from Miso Horny (!) – and MORE for only $35 BUCKS.

And proceeds benefit the Library!  What’s not to love?  Click here for tickets or call us at 831-667-2574!

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coverwebWow! Philip Glass’ Days and Nights Festival lands on the cover of Good Times!! Tickets still available for “Visitors” screening tonight!

coverwebWow! Philip Glass’ Days and Nights Festival lands on the cover of Good Times!!

Don’t be surprised if a mini-stampede ensues for tonight’s screening of “Visitors” (two of the other festival events are sold out.)

Don’t miss out on what will be a mind-blowing evening under the stars here in Big Sur – an evening that also includes a Q&A with Philip and director Godfrey Reggio!

Tickets are here.

Here’s what you can expect this evening:

* A mind-blowing cinematic experience from two of the most innovative and acclaimed masters of the last century.
* A mind-blowing, surround-sound aural experience, as Monterey’s Paul Cain will bring his world-class sound system (!) down the coast for this event.
* A pre-screening Q&A with Philip and Godfrey (!!)
* All under the stars and towering redwoods, complemented by the “world’s best popcorn,” coffee, and tea.

 All of this for a mere $50 — a price that would make Big City types (we’re looking at you New York, San Fran, and yes, even Santa Cruz) howl in envy.

And here’s Philip:

“I’ve been all over the world, but Big Sur has a special quality,” explains Glass. “Mother Nature is really showing off there. When I’m playing, I feel that we’re almost embraced by the redwood trees….”

Good Times link here!

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This Thurs. Sept 25th! Screening of “Visitors” with Meet and Greet with Philip Glass and director Godfrey Reggio!

This Thurs. Sept 25th! Screening of “Visitors” with Meet and Greet with Philip Glass and director Godfrey Reggio!

Tickets here; more info below!

7:00pm
VIP Meet & Greet
Spend quality time with Philip Glass and Godfrey Reggio prior to the evening’s main event.

8:00pm
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Screening with Q&A
Philip Glass and Godfrey Reggio answer your questions and discuss the creation of their latest instant classic.

VISITORS reveals humanity’s trancelike relationship with technology, which, when commandeered by extreme emotional states, produces massive effects far beyond the human species. The film is visceral, offering the audience an experience beyond information about the moment in which we live. Comprised of only seventy-four shots, VISITORS takes viewers on a journey to the moon and back to confront them with themselves.

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The Philip Glass Days and Nights Festival featured in this week’s Monterey County Weekly!

“Next week, Sept. 25-28, Glass’ Days and Nights Festival returns to Carmel, Big Sur and Seaside for its fourth year.

Each of his namesake festivals is done in support of his dream of building a legacy performance and meeting hall in Big Sur called the Philip Glass Center for the Arts, Science, and the Environment.
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This year’s events wholly embrace each of the center’s three pillars, and throw in humor to boot……”

““These topics are so big they can’t be by themselves. We take parts of things and put them together,” Glass says.

It comes together in four days of music, poetry, film, science, environmentalism, storytelling and dance, sometimes in the same performance. Like in the films of former Christian Brothers monk Godfrey Reggio, or in the playful hijinks and sudden swells of emotion of radio host Ira Glass’ dance performance. It’s such a medley that even Philip Glass (a working, whirling dervish who travels constantly) struggles to keep it in order.

“It happens in many ways; on the stage [or] in the minds of the audience,” he says. He has help. While he’s curated the nighttime portion of the festival, the daytime programming has been given over to the chair of CSUMB’s Cinematic Arts department, Enid Baxter Ryce [full disclosure, with a touch of bragging: she’s my wife], who’s assembled a lineup of films, an animation and puppetry workshop, talks and a social event, all free to the public…..”

Check out the whole Monterey County Weekly article here!

Check out Days and Nights here.

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Reflections on the 2014 Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series Gala Finale

Earlier this month say the Grand Finale of the 9th annual Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series.

Let us set it up for you. This past year, we received over 1,000 submissions from 80 countries. The Series’ screening committee whittled down this list to 54 films, which were screened across the summer. Every Thursday night in June, July, and August, hundreds of visitors came to the Henry Miller Memorial Library to watch four of five of these films. You probably knew this.

These 54 films were subsequently sent to the Series Jury who then selected the “best of the best.” The Jury consists of composer Philip Glass, musician and artist Laurie Anderson, actress Kirsten Dunst, Oscar-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, producer/film director Michael Polish, film editor Susan Littenberg, and film producer Lawrence Inglee.

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Which bring us to the gala finale. The winners were:

3rd place: Baghdad Messi (UAE/Belgium) by Sahim Omar Kalifa.
2nd place: Helium (Denmark) by Anders Walter
1st place: Zela Trovke (Spain/Netherlands) by Asier Altuna

Baghdad Messi was about a one-legged boy, his love of soccer, and living in the warzone that is Baghdad.

Helium was about (another) boy, this one terminally ill, and how a wise and sagacious janitor eased his transition into the next world with a fantastical depiction of a land called Helium.

Zela Trovke was a documentary capturing a Slavic gypsy/chamber troupe performing a fierce folk tale whereby a woman murders her husband.

Now the film savant/sociologist/cultural critic in all of us would like to step back and make some sweeping generalization about how these three films captured the zeitgeist of the times and spoke to our collective unease in this, an ever-confusing and messed up world.

We will resit that urge.ZelaTrovkepromo

So let us first talk about what the films had in common. All were, as one could imagine, incredibly produced. Baghdad Messi, though not a documentary, had a hyper-realistic vibe, while the camera work in Zela Trovke, especially during the musical performance scenes, was stunning.

Helium can be analyzed separately; it certainly had a more cinematic and,  dare we say, an almost Spielbergian quality in terms of its embrace of childhood, innocence, fantasy, and the idea of escape. The special effects weren’t tacky and the actor who portrayed the janitor was pitch-perfect, straddling the line between his befuddled-professor and, essentially, an end-of-life counselor personas.

Perhaps its no surprise that Helium won an Oscar and was also voted the Audience Winner of the night.

Helium_web_1Bottom line here? All three films addressed death, each in a unique way: the gritty, urban hellscape of Iraq; the surrealist whimsy in Helium (which, in a way, made it the saddest movie EVER); and the macabre folk menace of Zela Trovke.

It would be foolish, once again, to draw anything more from these selections, because last we checked, movies have addressed the topic of death prior to 2014.

See you next year!

 

 

 

 

 

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Orwell and Miller: That’s what friends are for (until they aren’t friends anymore.)

As you may know, there was no greater champion of Miller’s work – early on – than George Orwell. The two even became friends yet sadly drifted apart.
Literature. Personalities. pic: circa 1940's. British author George Orwell, (1903-1950) among his many books were "Ninteen Eighty Four" and Animal Farm".
Here’s a great piece on the complex relationship of two very different – yet eerily similar – men of ideas…

“Both men were dropouts from mainstream backgrounds. After Eton and five years with the Indian Imperial Police in Burma, Orwell had submerged himself in the underclass, had shared the lives of the poor and then surfaced to write Down and Out in London and Paris.

But his actions were a means to inspire change, not, like Miller’s, an end in themselves, private forays into degradation and anarchy. The profoundly unpolitical Miller had no desire to change anything….Henry Miller, 1962

Whole thing here!

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The Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series Announces the Winners of its 2014 Summer Series

The Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series Announces the Winners of its 2014 Summer Series

Jury selects “Zela Trovke” by Asier Altuna First Place Winner; 2014 Audience Award goes to “Helium” by Anders Walter
SEPTEMBER 14, 2014 (BIG SUR, CALIFORNIA) – The Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series announces the winners of its 2014 summer series, as selected by its 7-person jury.  Zela Trovke (Spain/Netherlands) by Asier Altuna came in first place, followed by Helium (Denmark) by Anders Walter in second place. Third place went to Baghdad Messi (UAE/Belgium) by Sahim Omar Kalifa. The 2014 Audience Award went to Helium by Anders Walter.
The Big Sur International Short Film Screen Series Jury consists of composer Philip Glass, musician and artist Laurie Anderson, actress Kirsten Dunst, Oscar-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, producer/film director Michael Polish, film editor Susan Littenberg, and film producer Lawrence Inglee.
Recognized as one of the most exciting and innovative short film series in the world, the Big Sur International Short Film Screening Series’ 2014 installment — its ninth since its inception in 2005 — was its most successful to date, receiving over 1,000 submissions from over 80 countries. The Screening Series has no submission fees or restrictions on content or genre.
The Series’ screening committee whittled down the 1,000-plus submissions to 54 films, which were screened across the summer. Every Thursday night in June, July, and August, hundreds of visitors came to the Henry Miller Memorial Library — a 501 (c) non profit art center and the Series’ “parent” organization — to watch four of five of these films. A selection of ‘finalists’ were subsequently sent to the Series Jury who then selected the “best of the best.”

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“It seems like we say it every year, but we were particularly blown away by the breadth, diversity, and consistent quality of this year’s selections,” said Series Director Magnus Toren. “You never really know what to expect. One program can include a surrealist comedy from Mexico followed by a heart-warming animated film from Norway followed by a searing documentary from Somalia. These were powerful films that spoke to the core elements of our humanity, films that transcended language and culture.”

“I’d like to thank every filmmaker who made a submission as well as our ever-thoughtful Jury for taking the time to view the extensive list of finalists. Next year will mark the Series’ 10th anniversary and we’re already excited for what should be a landmark year.”
The Series is now accepting submissions for its 2015 installment. To submit and for more information regarding the series, as well as previous selections and winners, visit bigsurfilm.org.
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