Stream Oscar-winners from the past

Movie lovers rejoice! The Seattle Public Library recently added a film streaming service called Kanopy. Kanopy offers a collection of over 30,000 films with an emphasis on classic, independent and international films but also includes award-winning documentaries, selections from The Great Courses lecture series, and a wide ranging sample of some of the finest PBS programing. The service allows Seattle Public Library cardholders access to its library and users can view up to five titles a month.

We here at ShelfTalk thought we could offer a few suggestions and highlight some of Kanopy’s most intriguing titles.

What is more movie-ish than the Oscars? Yep, the 90th Academy Awards ceremony happens on March 4th and Kanopy has a pretty great selection of Oscar related films from the past. Here are a few…

Frederico Fellini’s 8 ½ (1963) won Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film and Best Costume Design. It was also nominated for Best Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best Art Direction. The plot deals with a director (Marcello Mastroianni) engulfed in a creative block while in the midst of making a big budgeted science fiction film. The picture mixes comedy, drama and surrealism and is semi-autobiographical as Fellini explores his own personal struggles onscreen.

I Am Not Your Negro (2016) was nominated for Best Documentary. It was based on an unpublished manuscript by James Baldwin called Remember This House. The book was going be a memoir of Baldwin’s friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcom X and Medgar Evers. The film serves as both a tribute to a great talent and also offers a unique and timely visit with the Civil Rights movement. February is Black History Month which, besides the Oscar connection, gives another reason to watch I Am Not Your Negro.

The Dutch film Antonia’s Line (1995) won the award for Best Foreign Language Film. Described as a “feminist fairy tale” the movie is about a widowed mother (Antonia) and her daughter returning to a small Dutch village in the aftermath of World War II. The film travels through 50 years in Antonia’s life and mixes together magic realism, colorful small town life, musings on death, and numerous colorful characters.

The Southerner (1945) was the third of five films French filmmaker Jean Renoir made in the United States and it is probably his finest. The picture was nominated for Best Director, Best Sound and Best Original Music Score. Zachary Scott stars as a sharecropper struggling with his family to escape poverty through farming but facing opposition from nature and neighbors. An uncredited William Faulkner contributed to the screenplay.

Your Face (1987) received a nomination for Best Animated Short Film and is one of many brilliant cartoons by filmmaker Bill Plympton. It’s a simple concept as the film centers on a man singing about his lover’s face. Through the song his face contorts and mutates into different shapes, states, and compositions during the film’s brief running time.

~ Posted by Spenser H.

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