Announced last month here, the library now offers Kanopy as one of our streaming options! Today I will be taking a look at this new and exciting service along with a few recommendations. Kanopy is a video streaming service specifically for both university and public libraries. Unlike Netflix and Hulu that focus on popular titles, Kanopy is geared towards Independent, foreign, and foreign films as well documentaries. The service supports desktop and mobile viewing through its free application. Similar to Hoopla, users are only allowed to watch a certain number of movies per month (8). While this may be unfair to shorter titles (like the highly acclaimed animated short Coda which is only 9 minutes), the breath of options available more than makes up for it. Just learn to spend your monthly credits wisely. One notable highlight is that it carries much of the Criterion Collection, filled with such classics as Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai and Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’avventura. Here are a few films that are currently popular and show off the options available across many genre:
Independent – Loving Vincent
“In the first fully painted feature film, 2018 Oscar-nominated LOVING VINCENT tells the story of the mysterious and tragic death of the world’s most famous artist, Vincent van Gogh. Featuring the voices of Saoirse Ronan and Chris O’Dowd.
Nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 2018 Academy Awards, the Golden Globe Awards, and the BAFTA Awards.”
Horror – My Friend Dahmer
“Former Disney star Ross Lynch stars as the awkward, adolescent Jeffrey Dahmer – before he became one of America’s most infamous serial killers. Based on the acclaimed graphic novel, this is the haunting, sad, funny, true story of Dahmer in high school. Also featuring Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men) and Anne Heche (Psycho, Wag the Dog).
Official Selection at the Tribeca Film Festival. Winner of Best Picture at Austin Fantastic Fest.”
War & Action – Oldboy
“Oh Dae-su is an ordinary Seoul businessman with a wife and young daughter who, after a drunken night on the town, is locked up in a strange, private “prison” for 15 years. No one tells him why he’s there or who his jailer is but he is kept in reasonably comfortable quarters and has a T.V. to keep him company.
While watching T.V., he discovers that he has been framed for his wife’s murder, and during one of the occasions when he’s knocked out by gas, someone has drawn blood from him and left it at the scene of the crime. The imprisonment lasts for 15 years until one day, when Dae-su finds himself unexpectedly deposited on a grass-covered high-rise roof. He’s determined to discover the mysterious enemy who had him locked up for all those years. While he’s eating in a Japanese restaurant, his cell phone rings and a voice dares him to figure out why he was imprisoned…
Winner of the Grand Prize of the Jury and Nominated for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2004”
I chose to watch They Call Me Jeeg (Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot) from director Gabriele Mainetti.
“Enzo, an ex-con from the poor outskirts of Rome, puts his newfound superpowers to use furthering his career as a delinquent, a fact which makes the local crime bosses far from happy.
When he falls in love with Alessia, an unstable girl who brightens her dark world with elements from a Japanese anime, Jeeg, Enzo learns the value of helping others. But what price must he pay to become a hero?
Nominated for Best European Feature at the Fantasia Film Festival. Official Selection at Fantastic Fest.”
Released in 2016, this Italian black comedy/superhero film portrays a “man of steel” who is a far cry from Superman as he bashes, breaks, and steals his way to fortune and accidental fame on Youtube. Similar to Kick-ass, the the main character is a sorry excuse of a hero (there is one scene that may make you lose sympathy for him completely) and he doesn’t earn his mask until the last half hour of the film when he faces off against a similarly powered villain in a cliché, but appropriate final conflict. Still, the deeply flawed but enjoyable cast leads to many very entertaining scenes of suffering, personal growth, and comic ultra violence. Unless you grew up in Italy in the 70s, most references to the eponymous show will go over your head, but the contrast to the general idea of a superhero is used to great effect. If you liked Deadpool or Super, check this film out on Kanopy.