DVD library votes: From Mulan to Mean Girls

Give Yalies a $5,000 shopping spree in Blockbuster, and what would they pick? Quite a variety, apparently.

Titles like Juno, Casablanca and Amelie topped out an online Yale College Council poll asking for student input on which titles should fill a new DVD library — which the YCC hopes will be open for business by April — to be housed in Bass Library.

If successful, the new library, which will be open to all students and will feature an initial stock of 300 to 500 DVDs, will be the first project to come out of the YCC’s new Student Development Directive, a plan hatched by Treasurer Harrison Marks ’10 to put limited YCC funding for long-term impact projects in the hands of Yale undergraduates. The DVD library was first suggested at an open-house meeting of YCC representatives and interested students three weeks ago.

After YCC members vetted the idea to assess its feasibility, it competed with 18 other proposals — ranging from the high-minded, like a student center underneath Bingham Hall, to the more mundane, like an online tracking system that would inform students of washer and dryer availability in their residential colleges — in a poll hosted on YaleStation.org.

YCC members said they have been in contact with Associate University Librarian Danuta Nitecki, who has assured them that Bass would agree to host the DVD library.

Marks said students would be able to check out and return DVDs as they would any book in Bass, with a three-day rental period.

But just which movies the library would stock remained unknown until the close Saturday night of a four-day poll that drew over 1,100 responses and revealed a diverse — and sometimes amusing — range of taste in movies within Olde Blue.

The top 10 vote-getters together averaged an 88-percent “fresh” rating on the movie review Web site RottenTomatoes.com, which uses a ratio of positive published reviews to negative to determine the “freshness” — or quality — of a movie.

Among the poll’s leaders are familiar faces: Fight Club, Love Actually and Superbad. Moving down the list, the Lindsay Lohan saga of high-school popularity, “Mean Girls”, came in above 1997 Best Actor and Foreign Picture Academy Award winner “Life Is Beautiful,” which shared its 10 votes with the Coen Brothers’ quirky “The Big Lebowski.”

Margaret Mitchell’s epic story of the Civil War south and Scarlett O’Hara, “Gone With the Wind,” won as much support (nine votes) as Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson’s free-spirited romp “Wedding Crashers.”

The first animated movie to crack the poll’s upper echelons was Disney’s 1998 release, “Mulan,” which won the votes of 16 different respondents.

The Yale Film Study Center, which has a collection of over 10,000 DVDs and 6,500 VHS tapes, including current and past popular hits, is available to Yale faculty and students for a fee for course and research-related purposes.

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