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The Library: A Powerful Memory for One Filmmaker

by on January 12, 2016

What are your childhood memories of the library? Maybe you recall story time, or getting to select books by yourself. As you got older, did you study there after school? Maybe you passed notes to a boy or girl at another table, careful not to get shushed by the librarian.

Filmmaker Jason LaMotte was so inspired by his memories of the library in his hometown of Houston, Texas that he directed a new short film, The Library. LaMotte, having filmed The Library in the United Kingdom, told The Guardian in an interview that his story “initially came from wanting to explore the relationship between memory and place.”[1]

In the film, which runs for approximately twenty minutes, thirteen-year-old Emily discovers notes that are left for her whenever she visits the local library after school. The notes lead her to love poems, causing her to wonder who is leaving them for her. We can surmise that what she ultimately finds amid the ‘codes’ (what we in the States might call the Dewey call numbers) is not what she was expecting.  By the end of the film, we have learned along with Emily who was leaving the notes for her – and who wasn’t. The viewer might also be left with a bittersweet nostalgia for their own youth and, just maybe, a reminder of the power of love.

You can find this film on LaMotte’s Vimeo channel, along with others including his award-winning short, The Terms.[2] There is also a ‘behind the scenes’ video available of the making of The Library. And if you really want to immerse yourself in UK culture, you can read up on The Library’s lead, Irish actress Missy Keating (daughter of Boyzone lead singer, Ronan Keating, and Irish model Yvonne Connolly).


LaMotte, Jason. “The Library: a new short film on the wonder of libraries – video.” The Guardian (25 October 2015). Web.

LaMotte, Jason. The Library. Video. Performed by Missy Keating, Josie Kidd, Alan Breck, Joe Eden, Robbie White. Vimeo, 2015. Web. https://vimeo.com/jasonlamotte

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