30 April, 2014

The Stepford Wives

«Wednesday Movie Club»
Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine offered screening of the comedy-drama film The Stepford Wives (2004) with Nicole Kidman, Bette Midler, Matthew Broderick starring.
Plot: What does it take to become a Stepford wife, a woman perfect beyond belief? Ask the Stepford husbands, who've created this high-tech terrifying little town, in a very modern comedy-thriller.

All About Eve

Today the Dnipropetrovsk «Wednesday Movie Club» offered screening of the classical movie All About Eve (1950) with Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders starring.

All About Eve is a 1950 American drama film written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck. It was based on the 1946 short story "The Wisdom of Eve" by Mary Orr, although screen credit was not given for it.

The film stars Bette Davis as Margo Channing, a highly regarded but aging Broadway star. Anne Baxter plays Eve Harrington, an ambitious young fan who insinuates herself into Channing's life, ultimately threatening Channing's career and her personal relationships. George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Hugh Marlowe, Barbara Bates, Gary Merrill, and Thelma Ritter also appear, and the film provided one of Marilyn Monroe's earliest important roles.

Praised by critics at the time of its release, All About Eve was nominated for 14 Academy Awards (a feat unmatched until the 1997 film Titanic) and won six, including Best Picture. As of 2014, All About Eve is still the only film in Oscar history to receive four female acting nominations (Davis and Baxter as Best Actress, Holm and Ritter as Best Supporting Actress). All About Eve was selected in 1990 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry and was among the first 50 films to be registered. All About Eve appeared at #16 on AFI's 1998 list of the 100 best American films.

26 April, 2014

National Library Week 2014

National Library Week 2014: Lives Change @ Your Library
Today’s session of the Gabfest club (at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine)  was dedicated to the topic “National Library week in the USA”. Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. During this week Americans celebrate the contributions of the nation's libraries and librarians and promote library use and support. All types of libraries - school, public, academic and special - participate. In 2014 the Library Week has the theme "Lives change @ your library®." To illustrate the theme we watched the video created by the Gates Foundation. The club members learned many new facts about the lifestyles in different states and importance of libraries for communities. The club members were asked to tell their own stories about life changes that happened in the library.
During the National Library Week one day is dedicated to recognize the contributions of our nation's bookmobiles. A bookmobile is designed for use as a library. It is designed to hold books on shelves in such a way that when the vehicle is parked they can be accessed by readers. Mobile libraries are often used to provide library services to villages and city suburbs that have no library buildings. They can also service groups or individuals who have difficulty accessing libraries. Bookmobile might also carry large print books, audiobooks and computer equipment, etc.
We have watched several funny videos about American libraries which gave an insight into the American library culture.
The session was funny and enjoyable both for the newcomers and regular members.
Number of participants – 13 persons.

Have a look at more pictures, please

24 April, 2014

«E-Governance practices in the USA»

On April, 24 the Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk (Ukraine) was visited by a big student group from the National University for Culture and Arts (KNUKiM).The junior students major is “Document Science”. Within the framework of the “Discover USA” project the students came to learn about the foreign practices in E-Governance.
The WOA Head S. Usenko started the session with the intro about the WOA facility and the DOUNB Library. The WOA Staff member Tamara G. has prepared a lecture “E-Governance practices in the USA”. The basic elements and characteristics of the e-governance were introduced with a YouTube slide show.

The US E-Government web page was presented and illustrated with the videos about its functioning. The students were particularly impressed with the video about the production of the US passports and various Hi-Tech identity cards at the Department of State.
As a leading software provider for E-Governance solutions the NEC Company was introduced to the group. Several videos illustrated the NEC projects for the governments of Argentina, Bolivia. The Biometrical Voter List project for Bolivia impressed the group most of all in view of the forthcoming Presidential election in Ukraine.
The Ukrainian libraries are a powerful partner in the e-governance; the students were reminded about this function of the library and were invited to visit the DOUNB library on a regular basis.
Number of participants – 30 (28 students+ 2 lecturers).

23 April, 2014

Sweet Home Alabama

«Wednesday Movie Club» / «Кіноклуб по середах» –
Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine offered screening of the romantic comedy film Sweet Home Alabama (2002) with Reese Witherspoon, Patrick Dempsey, Josh Lucas starring.
Plot: A young woman with a Southern background runs away from her husband in Alabama and reinvents herself as a New York socialite.
Director: Andy Tennant
Writers: Douglas J. Eboch (story), C. Jay Cox (screenplay)
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Patrick Dempsey, Josh Lucas

19 April, 2014

Easter Parade and Easter bonnet

Today’s session of the GABFEST Club (at Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine) was dedicated to the Easter Celebration traditions.
The moderator introduced to the group a classical American musical “Easter Parade” and the I. Berlin song with the same title. The song is often considered to be one of the most popular Easter songs of all time: «In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it, you'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade».
In Western Christianity tradition an Easter Bonnet represents remains of a tradition to wear new clothes at Easter - in harmony with the renewal of the year and the promise of spiritual renewal and redemption. The "Easter bonnet" was fixed in popular culture by Irving Berlin, whose frame of reference was the Easter parade in New York City. This tradition was illustrated with a video of a festive walkabout down Fifth Avenue from St. Patrick's Cathedral.
In the second part of the session we tried to compare the Easter traditions in the USA and in Ukraine. A lot of artifacts were used to help the group with the challenging task- to tell in English about the Orthodox traditions. We discussed such objects as Easter baskets, willow bouquets, Easter eggs.
The most difficult and funny task was to describe several types of traditional Easter eggs: dyed eggs, drop-painted eggs, hand-painted eggs and scratched eggs. The description of other traditions was also quite a challenge. For Easter greeting instead of "hello" or its equivalent, one is to greet another person with a phrase: "Christ is Risen!". The response should be "Truly, He is Risen!" It is also customary to exchange a triple kiss on the alternating cheeks after the greeting.
The session was funny and educational. It has prepared the club members to talk about Christian traditions in Ukraine.
Number of participants – 14 persons.

17 April, 2014

Discover World

The Window on America center in Dnipropetrovsk continues to implement the library project “Cross Cultural Encounters for Ukrainian University students”.
The aim of the project is to introduce the WOA and its resources to the students majoring in
“Hospitality Management”.
On April,17, 2014 the WOA center Dnipropetrovsk was  visited by a group of the third year students of the Kyiv University for Arts and Culture (Dnipropetrovsk branch) have visited to the WOA center.
Svitlana Usenko, the head of Window on America center, presented the resources of the Center (Books, Movie Club, English speaking club Gebfest, Rosetta Stone, e-gadgets, etc.)
The group of students with major in “International Tourism Management” watched the relevant videos on topic “Logistics in the USA”.
The information was illustrated by numerous videos about the world known  American restaurants brands  - McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, TGI Friday’s . 
American inventions in the restaurant industry were introduced – an American diner, a drive-in restaurant, BBQ restaurants, etc.
Several up-scale New York restaurants from Michelin list were introduced and there service illustrated with relevant videos.
Participants number – 21 persons.

16 April, 2014

The Conversation

«Wednesday Movie Club» –
Window on America center Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine offered screening of the film The Conversation (1974) with Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Allen Garfield starring.
Plot: A paranoid, secretive surveillance expert has a crisis of conscience when he suspects that a couple he is spying on will be murdered.
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Writer: Francis Ford Coppola
The demonstration of the film was advertised in the local newspaper “Visti”(News).

Discover World

Today the WOA center Dnipropetrovsk was  visited by a group of the 7th grade students from the local school No. 23 ( with  focus on English study).
The WOA’s Head Svitlana U. briefed the group on the history of the center and  presented  its resources.
The students answered the basic questions about the national flag of the USA. The attention of the group was drawn to the book display “Children’s Book Day in the USA”. The students were impressed by the American scholastic atlases and dictionaries.

The WOA staff member Tamara G. engaged the group into the conversation about the home country of the language they study – the United Kingdom. The students demonstrated their knowledge about the London landmarks – the Big Ben, the London Bridge and red telephone booths. We examined and described various portraits of the British Queen. The most challenging task was to describe the Queen’s portrait with the symbols of the Royal power.
The auditing skills of the students were challenged by the You Tube video about the Afternoon Tea ceremony etiquette. The video did not have subtitles, but it provided most fascinating facts about the rules of behavior at a British afternoon tea.
The students and the teacher enjoyed the visit and found it very educational.
Participants number - 17 persons.