A collage of film covers including Suspiria and BoyhoodSome of you might remember our blogpost and book display from last year, where we surveyed all the lovely librarians working at CityLibrary about their favourite novels from the Library’s collection.

This time, we wanted to find out what everyone’s favourite cinematographic finds on Kanopy were. The result is a vibrant playlist of a great variety of feature films, documentaries and animation that you can stream on Kanopy. If you’re using a computer, you can access the playlist here. If you’re on a mobile device, you can download the Kanopy app and find the films in app.

Here’s what Library staff said about some of their recommendations…

Cover of Inglorious BasterdsAdam, who works in the Academic Services, recommended Boyhood: “It is a real cinematic joy! Filmed over a 12-year period, it follows the main character and his family through all of the adventures of something totally relatable… growing up. The acting is superb, and it is so interesting to see the cast age as the film progresses.” Another recommendation from Adam is Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine: “While this is a deeply sad story and at times difficult to watch, I think it is important for everyone to see this documentary and to remember Matt Shepard and commemorate his untimely death as victim of homophobia.” Lastly, Adam recommended Inglorious Basterds: “Tarantino is on his usual top form with this film. Set against the backdrop of World War II, it tells a series of stories of courage, determination and has a little revenge thrown in too!”

Cover of The Young Girls of RochefortMatthew, our User Services librarian at the Law Library, suggested The Lighthouse: “Tensions rise as two men slowly descend into madness. RPatz continues his trend of taking on varied and challenging roles (trigger warning for seagull violence!)” To take your mind off the seagulls, he suggested The Young Girls of Rochefort: “This delightful French musical will leave you with a smile on your face and a spring in your step. Starring the fabulous Catherine Deneuve, with a cameo by the great Gene Kelly.” Another film that Matthew recommended was Side By Side: “In this documentary Keanu Reeves interviews some of the greatest film directors of all time, discussing their preferences for shooting on celluloid film or digital. Much more fascinating than it sounds!”

Cover of The Queen of VersaillesDita, who works in the E-access team, recommended to have a look at the documentaries by Lauren Greenfield – for example, The Queen of Versailles and The Kingmaker: “Greenfield manages to create mind-blowing, infuriating, exciting, humorous and sometimes unbelievable insights into people’s lives.” Dita also suggested Rocks in My Pockets by Latvian filmmaker Signe Baumane: “It’s an animation film for grown-ups about depression, sexuality, history etc, with lots of humour in there, too.”

Cover of Twin Peaks - Fire Walk With MeMartin, our User Services manager, highlighted some modern classics that you can find on Kanopy: “Donnie Darko is arguably the greatest film ever made about time travel (if this is indeed the point of the story!)” He also suggested Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, saying “it explains what the series fails to capture – the surreal and at times mind-baffling story behind the death of Laura Palmer”. Martin also added an older favourite – Top Hat: “Gold age of Hollywood, with Fred and Ginger at their finest.”

Jonathan, who works at the Business School Library, has been exploring the documental content on the platform and recommended Siblings of Autism: “It was very valuable to see to me as a parent. I typed ‘Autism’ into Kanopy and plan to work through all on there!”

Cover of The Great DictatorMartina from the Digital repository team set forth The Great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin: “Even though I’ve only seen it twice many, many years ago, this movie is well-impressed in my memory. The scene where he plays with the globe is funny, iconic and a bit daunting at the same time!”. She also really enjoyed Last Night in Soho: “It was fun to see London in two different time periods, with two different characters – the person I was watching the film with didn’t realise that they were played by two very different actresses, he just thought the make-up artist had done a good job!” A film that’s next on Martina’s watchlist is Umberto D.: “if it’s anything like the other films by De Sica, it’s heartbreaking and you’ll need to either have chocolate at hand or be ready to watch something else funny after it, like Roman Holiday (if you want to stay in Italy and watch a black & white movie!)”

Cover of Breakfast at Tiffany'sCuriously, Roman Holiday was also recommended by Claire, who is the Head of Library Academic Services – along with another evergreen film featuring Audrey Hepburn: Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Of the latter, Claire said: ‘it’s probably one of my favourite films of all time, it’s beautiful and also so sad.”

Emilia, who is the subject librarian for Business postgraduates, said she really enjoyed Boy, directed by Taika Waititi “way before he became famous”: “May prove to be a bit of a therapeutic experience for those growing up in a broken family. Expected: tears, but also laughs – it’s not all doom and gloom!”

Cover of RocketmanSpeaking of laughs, Tamsin, CityLibrary’s E-access coordinator, recommends Being John Malkovitch, which is one of her favourite films – “It is very, very, very funny!” Meanwhile Lucy, our Systems librarian, really enjoyed Rocketman: “I have no interest in Elton John, but this film is so much fun to watch it almost makes me like him. Taron Egerton is fantastic in the lead role, he sings all the songs too!”

We hope these snippet recommendations might have piqued your interest in a particular film or inspired to have your own explorations of the streaming platform. If there are films on Kanopy that you’ve enjoyed, please feel free to share them in a comment!

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