Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine what’s new and old in entertainment.
In November 2018, the FilmStruck streaming service discontinued its services after two years of hosting rare, classic, foreign, arthouse and independent films. In its wake, there have been many cries that current streaming options don’t offer a catalogue of these non-blockbuster films, with the fear being that as we move further into a streaming world, classic cinema will be lost to time.
Since FilmStruck’s closing, the Criterion Collection, known for its high quality and dedication to preserving important films, has launched its own streaming service, which has alleviated the concerns in part. Other streaming services, like the forthcoming service from Warner Brothers, are expected to be landing spots for certain studio’s backlogs, but even those will leave plenty of gaping holes in the history of film.
Another streaming service, though, called Kanopy spelled with a K, may just be the best solution we currently have for preserving classic and indie cinema in a streaming world and, good news: Kanopy is free for users who are members of subscribing libraries. Using their library credentials, users can gain access to Kanopy’s catalogue, which includes films from notable classic directors like Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurosawa in addition to more modern films, like those from the indie studio, A24.
Watching films, especially old classic films, can be an expensive hobby if you have to buy or rent each movie individually. Using Kanopy can serve as a big help to alleviating those costs by using your library membership to watch a few of those movies for free every month. You can contact your local library to ask if you can sign up for a free Kanopy account. If you’re looking for some newer movies to watch, I recommend Ex Machina and Lady Bird. If you want something more classic, you can check out Sunset Boulevard or To Catch a Thief, all of which are available on Kanopy.
I’m Evan Rook.