What to Watch to Feel Hygge

Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) is a Danish word that describes “coziness and contentment.” With winter beginning and the stress of COVID-19, this is the perfect time to try to foster some hygge. Here are a few films to help you attain your own coziness and contentment:

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Horrorfest on Kanopy

For those of us finding ourselves spending extra time with housemates or family, horror movie marathons are an excellent way to pass the days. If you’ve exhausted the movie options on your go-to streaming subscription service, Kanopy has an incredible selection of films that are free to access with your library card. Here are a few diverse and international scary films all released within the last 10 years that you can start watching tonight! (Important note: most of these films are only appropriate for adults; please use discretion if watching with younger family members.)

Florence Pugh makes up her mind in Midsommar

If you missed Midsommar when it came out in theaters last summer, now is a perfect time to catch up – for free! This film shows what happens when a small group of American graduate students travel to Sweden for an obscure (and chilling) midsummer festival, inverting traditional horror tropes as the entire plot unravels during the bright light of day. Continue reading “Horrorfest on Kanopy”

Cinema for the “Queerantine” from Kanopy and Hoopla

In a time when we are physically disconnected from one another, maybe even from ourselves, watching a film can be a great way to reconnect with the world. For queer folks who feel isolated, watching an LGBTQ+ film can help alleviate that sense of loneliness and reignite a connection to community. And what better time than The Queerantine to explore the cinematic options that Kanopy and Hoopla have to offer!

Kanopy offers an impressive array of LGBTQ+ films, 198 to be exact, showcasing classic queer cinema, contemporary independent favorites, and obscure gems. Hoopla offers 73 queer films that run the gambit from mainstream favorites to rare documentaries. Do yourself a favor: Take a break from staring into the void and stare at a movie instead!

Here are some suggestions:

Born in Flames Movie PosterOne of my favorite Kanopy offerings is Born in Flames, a recently restored Afrofuturist/feminist film from 1983. Directed by Lizzie Borden (not that Lizzie Borden), Born in Flames is a pseudo-documentary about a dystopian, post-revolution future (how timely?!). After a Black radical leader is killed, community organizers band together to fight racism, sexism, homophobia, and the police state, both in the streets and on pirate radio. The film examines race, class, and gender with nuance and humor (and after nearly 40 years is uncomfortably relevant). Don’t miss this essential dystopian gem, and don’t be embarrassed about singing along to the film’s title theme song. Continue reading “Cinema for the “Queerantine” from Kanopy and Hoopla”

Stay-at-Home Drive-In Movie Madness!!

After regular movie theaters have suspended operations, many couples and families have rediscovered Drive-In Movie Theaters, where social distancing is a standard feature! My sister is a drive-in movie buff, and so she and her husband love to go to the Blue Fox Drive-In up on Oak Harbor, one of five still running in our state.

Mahoning Drive-in, Leighton Pennsylvania

Sadly, now even drive-ins will need to close for a while in keeping with Washington State’s newly issued Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, but never fear: we have the solution! Kanopy, available with your Seattle Public Library card, has everything you need for a classic Drive In movie night at home  – including some wonderfully schlocky classic drive-in movie fare. First of all, learn about the history of drive-ins and their revival with a pair of documentaries:

  • At the Drive-In: Saving the Mahoning Drive-In Theater. Unable to purchase a $50,000 digital projector, a group of quirky film fanatics in rural Pennsylvania fight to keep a dying drive-in theater alive by screening only vintage 35mm film prints and working entirely for free. An award-winning underdog story.
  • Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-In Movie. A product of post World War II optimism, the drive-in movie theater emerged as the perfect blend of entertainment and car culture. In light of the recent resurgence of drive-in theaters, this informative documentary studies the factors that affected the drive-in’s dramatic rise, decline and rebirth.

Then check out Kanopy’s other offerings to create your own double feature. In amongst a wealth of classic art house films and award-winning international cinema, lurk some truly forgettable yet indelible B-movies, redolent of the heyday of drive-in cinema. Note: none of these are family films. I’m talking about movies such as…

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Continue reading “Stay-at-Home Drive-In Movie Madness!!”

Avengers Spoiler Alert: Andy Serkis is playing WHO?

Ms. Marvel, White Wolf, Mantis, Drax, Falcon, Peter Dinklage as Pip the Troll!… Just when you thought the burgeoning cast of characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe couldn’t get any more crowded, Hollywood Insider has gained access to leaked scripts for an as-yet-untitled Avengers movie due out in April 2020 that reveal a veritable avalanche of new characters, and a stunning new merger of beloved comics franchises. Continue reading “Avengers Spoiler Alert: Andy Serkis is playing WHO?”