ARMONK, N.Y. -- Foreign films and impressionist art will be on display at the North Castle Public Library this fall, thanks to Yonkers resident Valerie Franco.
Franco, a professor at Long Island University, will be running a film series showcasing blacklisted films and foreign films while also running an art series looking at different types of art and artists.
The blacklist refers to the time in the mid-20th-century when screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other U.S. entertainment professionals were denied employment in Hollywood because of their suspected political beliefs or associations.
"It's neat," said Franco, who gives lectures in places such as Los Angeles and London. "The library has been really supportive. We have a strong following. Everyone is welcome."
Franco's programs attract a wide and diverse audience. Franco said a recent lecture about Austrian symbolist painter Gustav Klimt was mobbed.
"Everyone is welcome," Franco said. "We just try to find a way to fit everybody. The regulars are really friendly. They see what the library is like and they come back and get involved. It's a great place to be."
At the library, everyone works together to make sure the patrons have the experience, Franco said.
Franco's lecture on Sept. 18 will be about English romantic painter John Constable. On Sept. 25, Franco will look at Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, a mid-19th century French landscape painter. Franco will also discuss the work of of impressionists and will discuss surrealists in November.
Architects, and American realist painter Edward Hopper are also on the menu.
"He has these great images of Americana," Franco said. "It's a really nice mix. We get to look these specific movements through individual artists."
Franco said she brings in artwork that interests her, and also likes showcasing art and artwork that appeal to patrons of the library.
The film series will focus on writers who were blacklisted, showcasing films like "M*A*S*H," written by once blacklisted screenwriter Ring Lardner, Jr. and "Sabrina," starring Humphrey Bogart.
"We look at how these films relate to the blacklist," Franco said.
The film series will be showcasing a diverse group of foreign films, including "Water," a Canadian drama, set in India, "Ridicule" a French drama, the Italian comedy-drama "We Have a Pope" and the Italian drama "I Am Love."
"We look at relationships and love," Franco said. "What defines people in a relationship? What defines family?"
On Sept. 27 and 28, the library will be holding its annual art gala, featuring a screening of the award-winning 2000 film "Pollock," with a discussion of the work of Jackson Pollock.
Franco said she is looking forward to what the fall brings.
"It's fantastic," Franco said. "You see how art comes alive both socially and politically. We look at history and culture, but we also do some analyzing. What makes it important, what makes it interesting? How does it define the style?"
Franco, a lifelong resident of Westchester, previously worked with UPN and FOX in pre-production and publicity, later transitioning into teaching.
"It's a great way to get the word out about styles," Franco said. "You look at the time the art was being made. It allows you to bring depth to different subjects."