A new film that is showing in limited release just now is "American Animals". It is based on a true story of four college students who attempted to steal valuable books from the library of Transylvania University in Kentucky in 2004. What books could be so valuable? It might give you a hint if I tell you that I discovered this movie info from visiting the Audubon Society website.
(Note- just looked it up and the film is being shown at one theatre in Metro Atlanta, the Regal Tara on Cheshire Bridge Road.)
"Birds of America" by John James Audubon... while on their freshman tour orientation at Transylvania University, they were informed by the librarian that this book in the rare books room at the library was worth millions. (A book so large that we are actually speaking of several folios of the book.) When they learned that this one sole librarian was the only security for these books, they decided to try to steal them.
This film is an attempt to get at the truth of this crime and the reasons behind it. Should I tell you what happens? Did they get away with it? No, I will let you either look it up yourself or wait for the film. I will tell you this- at the time of the crime, the men had no feeling whatsoever for birds, the books themselves were valuable and that was all that they knew. Since that time (and having served seven years in prison) one of them fell in love with birds and after his release from prison is now an artist specializing in paintings of birds. (Anybody remember the film "The Birdman of Alcatraz"? That one is also based on a true story of the inmate Robert Stroud who became an expert on birds.)
The director of "American Animals" is British, his name is Bart Layton. It looks as if he has made quite a few documentaries. So, I am thinking that his style of film making is one that likes to stick closer to the truth. (One of my very favorite directors is also British, Michael Apted. He is the one who did "Coal Miner's Daughter"! This is one of my Dad's favorite movies! Mine too.)
Having looked a bit further, I found an interview with the librarian from the university library who was a victim in this crime and she has very positive things to say about this film. It is my hope that no one will see this film and think that crime would in any way make someone "special"! Perhaps as an American living through very troubling times, I am just a bit sensitive on violent criminal activities.
But hey, what do I know? I have not seen it yet! If I do, I will come back and edit this post! Besides, it is rated "R" and I must admit to you that I rarely like "R" rated movies. Sometimes I have watched them when they have been edited for TV and I find that what has been cut out was simply not needed and did not add or enhance the story in any way.
(In my humble but correct opinion, as a writer in our local newspaper likes to say!)
Richard and I sat outside this morning and had our coffee listening to the birds. We heard one behind our house on a very high tree and in the early morning light, the bird looked to be bright yellow.
Richard ran inside and grabbed the camera and with his ever so steady hand took a picture of it. To our surprise, it was a Brown Thrasher! The yellow light upon it really tricked us. (The front of the Brown Thrasher is white with brown streaks.)
If you observe birds and enjoy them, you will understand the pleasure of this. If you have yet to discover the thrill of the outside world, then get out there and explore this miracle of our planet!
Brown Thrasher (Photo by Richard- at 64x zoom and from about 150 feet away!)
This bird is the state bird of Georgia. Singing a song from atop a tree, like the mockingbird, the Brown Thrasher mimics the songs of other birds but typically, each phrase will be sung TWICE. (If you hear the same song THREE times, then you are hearing the mockingbird!)
By the way, the students dressed themselves as old men and if you look at the video above, don't you think that one of them looks as if he is Brad Pitt trying to disguise himself? Is that funny to you or is it just me?