The Comforts of Kanopy

Enjoy great films wherever you are

It’s summer movie season. A great time to go out and see the latest blockbusters in the theaters.

But it’s also a great time to watch amazing films from the comfort of your own home — or the comfort of your hotel room or campsite, if you happen to be on vacation — all for free!

In early May, Schlow Centre Region Library began offering Kanopy, the popular on-demand film streaming service. Now library card holders have access to the more than 30,000 films available at Kanopy.

Some Schlow staff members offered their recommendations.

“Kanopy offers 50 titles from the Criterion Collection, and that’s pretty amazing!” says Children’s Services Librarian Katie Brennan. “My husband is a huge Criterion fan. He’s spent years amassing his own personal collection of Blu-rays, and so many of them are included here! I’d certainly recommend Bicycle Thieves and The 400 Blows to anyone who hasn’t seen them. Beautiful stories and beautiful filmmaking, and great introductions to what the Criterion Collection is all about.”

Leah Will of Patron Services recommends Liberty’s Kids for children.

“I loved this cartoon when I was a kid!” she says. “Learn about the American Revolution with both fictional and real characters, such as Benjamin Franklin. This show is an exciting historical-fiction adventure.”

Will also says she liked seeing that the popular comedy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is available.

“This movie is guaranteed to make you laugh!” she says.

Bill & Ted’s is available thanks to a deal Kanopy recently struck with Paramount Pictures, which, according to a story from, added 100 classic films from Paramount to Kanopy. Some of the titles include Sunset Boulevard, Saturday Night Fever, and Ordinary People. Kanopy founder and CEO Olivia Humphrey told that she hopes the Paramount deal is the first of many deals for her company. According to the story, Kanopy is in discussion with other Hollywood studios about opening up their classic film libraries to the educational market.

Richard Brody of The New Yorker praised Kanopy in a June 9 article writing, “Kanopy offers a cornucopia of movies free of charge to many holders of library cards.”

In the article, he recommended four films to check out:

The Arbalest. “The haunting story involves an inventor of toys who owes his fame to a deception and spoils his life living it down.

Illusions. Set in 1942, soon after the attack on Pearl Harbor, “It’s a fictitious behind-the-scenes and inside-Hollywood story of professional and personal relationships in the offices of a movie studio, where a woman named Mignon Dupree — a black woman passing as white — works as a production executive and seeks in vain to expand the range and realism of the movies that the studio makes.”

Men Go To Battle. The film is set in a part of Kentucky that didn’t join the Confederacy and remained loyal to the Union. Two brothers “live together on a hardscrabble farm and struggle to make a living as the Civil War, with its threats and obligations, presses in on them.”

• In Jackson Heights. Brody wrote that perhaps “the greatest coup yet scored by Kanopy is the acquisition of the entire catalogue of films directed by Frederick Wiseman.” In Jackson Heights documents events in the Queens neighborhood.

So if it’s a movie night, perhaps first check out and see what great films you could be watching at home or on vacation for free!


Posted 6/21/2018