Got a Library Card? You Should Be Watching Kanopy!

We’re living in precarious times. As a result, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by current events and spending time glued to the news or our social media feeds can often add to our stress and discomfort. To make matters worse, many of us are also living paycheck to paycheck and things like streaming services can become unaffordable luxuries, particularly when we can’t work or we are trying to limit our spending. Thankfully Kanopy is here to help.

Kanopy is a film streaming service free to anyone with a library card. Here’s more about the service borrowed directly from their website:

“Kanopy is a video-streaming platform dedicated to thoughtful and thought-provoking films. Founded in 2008, Kanopy was established to provide academic institutions with essential films that foster learning and conversation. In 2016, Kanopy expanded its services to public libraries and now delivers a diverse collection of 30,000+ enriching films, available to stream anytime and anywhere — from desktop to TV to tablet.

. . .

We stream thoughtful entertainment to your preferred device with no fees and no commercials by partnering with public libraries and universities. Everyone from film scholars to casual viewers will discover remarkable and enriching films on Kanopy. Log in with your library membership and enjoy our diverse catalog with new titles added every month.”

If you have a library card you can easily access thousands of movies as well as online classes on Kanopy which makes it an ideal entertainment & eduction tool if you’re currently stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic. There is a limit to the number of things you can watch depending on your library – for my location, that means I get 6 views a month – but there is currently a “Credit Free” selection of films that you watch as often as you like.

Kanopy is a great source for unusual Euro cult movies as well as horror, classic films, and documentaries. This month they’re spotlighting women directors for Women’s History Month and the work of Swedish actor Max von Sydow who recently passed away. To help you navigate their large film library I thought I’d recommend some viewing options in case you decide to peruse their current offerings.

Recommend Films by Female Directors:
The Hitchhiker (1953)
Cleo From 5 to 7 (1963)
Trouble Every Day (2001)
Wuthering Heights (2011)
We Need to Talk About Kevin (2011)
The Levelling (2017)

Recommended Max Von Sydow Films:
The Seventh Seal (1957)
The Virgin Spring (1960)
Foxtrot (1976)
Death Watch (1980)
Pelle the Conquerer (1987)
The Last Sentence (2011)

Recommended Horror Films (I couldn’t just pick 6 so I gave you 12 recs):
Black Sunday (1960)
Night Tide (1961)
Carnival of Souls (1962)
The Awful Doctor Orloff (1962)
The Secret of Dorian Gray (1970)
Night of the Devils (1972)
Ganja & Hess (1973)
Deep Red (1975)
City of the Living Dead (1980)
The Awakening (2012)
Enemy (2014)
The Witch (2016)

Recommended Eurocult Films:
Deadly Sweet (1967)
Danger: Diabolik (1968)
Farewell Friend (1968)
The Great Silence (1968)
Rider on the Rain (1970)
Live Like a Cop, Die Like a Man (1976)

Recommended Science Fiction:
The Mind Benders (1963)
Seconds (1966)
The Light at the Edge of the World (1971)
Under the Skin (2014)
Ex-Machina (2015)
High Life (2019)

Recommended Classics:
Dark Journey (1937)
Scarlet Street (1945)
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946)
The Stranger (1946)
A Place in the Sun (1951)
God’s Little Acre (1958)

Recommended British Films:
Brighton Rock (1948)
A Taste of Honey (1961)
If… (1968)
The Italian Job (1969)
The Asphyx (1973)
The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982)

Recommended Japanese Films:
Rashomon (1950)
Funeral Parade of Roses (1969)
Belladonna of Sadness (1973)
Wolf Guy (1975)
Violent Cop (1989)
Creepy (2016)

Recommended Films by Black Directors:
Body and Soul (1925)
The Story of a Three-Day Pass (1968)
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (1971)
The Harder They Come (1972)
Daughters of the Dust (1991)
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (2019)

Recommended American Indy Films:
Living in Oblivian (1995)
The Opposite of Sex (1998)
Spring Breakers (2013)
A Ghost Story (2017)
First Reformed (2017)
Good Time (2017)

Recommended Comedies:
Nothing Sacred (1937)
His Girl Friday (1940)
Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (1963)
Wonder Boys (2000)
OSS 117: Cairo Nest of Spies (2006)
What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

Recommended Documentaries:
One Bright Shining Moment (2005)
The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (2013)
All Government’s Lie (2016)
I Am Not Your Negro (2016)
The King: The Rise & Fall of Elvis Presley (2017)
American Dharma (2019)

There is some cross over films on my list that could easily fall into multiple categories but this is just a small selection of titles you can currently see on Kanopy. I hope it sparks reader’s interest and inspires some adventurous viewers to stay indoors while health officials get a better handle on the current situation we all find ourselves in.

by Kimberly Lindbergs