So I have been a Kanopy viewer for a few months now, and I really like the service. It is free as long as you have a participating Library, and you get a huge range of films to choose from. Tons of stuff that you will not find on Netflix or Disney or Hulu.
I’m a huge fan of classic and silent films, and this channel is a home run, if you are such a fan. Now if you do not like classic films, or black and white films, or foreign films, this channel may not be for you. While it does offer some recent films, such as the recent Dafoe/Pattinson LIGHTHOUSE, the strength of this channel is its huge catalog of classic and world cinema films, that you otherwise would have to pay for to view.
Great classic films from FLICKER ALLEY to KINO to CRITERION to the BFI, is the draw of the KANOPY channel.
Now there are some drawbacks to the service. You get to watch 15 items per month – yay! But you only get to watch 15 items per month – Boo!
But generally I have other demands on my time in a month so while I think offering 20 or 25 titles a month is more reasonable, 15 titles viewed, I can generally stretch it out and make it work.
However, what really bugs me with KANOPY is, if you start a film but do not finish it, and come back later in the month to view it, that finishing the same film—gets counted again, as a new viewing. IT IS INFURIATING!!
It is not always consistent with this double dipping, but it does it enough to be annoying. I do not think I have had a single month of KANOPY usage that I actually got to watch 15 distinct films. The most I think I have managed is 12 or 13 films, before they cut you off telling you you have reached your 15 viewing limit. GRRRRRRRRRRR!!!
So while I like the service, there are definite bugs in it that make it infuriating.
That said, even when you get cut off after ‘reaching’ the 15 title limit, you are however able to watch a small library of their credit free films, all documentaries as far as I’ve seen.
Okay so July has just started, here are the titles I have so far tried this month:
Guy Maddin’s 1990 film ARCHANGEL. I wanted to start with his first feature TALES FROM THE GIMLI HOSPITAL, which was on KANOPY’s service last month, however it is no longer on KANOPY this month. So another note regarding KANOPY, movies can disappear anytime, so watch the ones you are most excited for first. As far as ARCHANGEL, I have tried a previous Maddin film, so I was aware he would be an acquired taste. 15 minutes into this film, and it is clear, it is not going to happen with this film. I understand being strange for strange sake, I’ve watched TETSUO and the works of Lynch, but I think above all you have to be interesting and good. And the first 15 minutes of this film do not strike me as either. I may try and finish this film later, but it won’t be this month. Don’t want to risk losing another KANOPY viewing on this film. I’m thinking I am going to give his 1992 film, CAREFUL, a try, and hopefully that works better for me than his films to-date.
L’INHUMAINE- this silent film is living up to its description. The score is fantastic, and story-line pretty riveting. With the slight exception, the titular star hardly seems the great beauty that giants of industry and kings, would be moved to throw themselves at. But that casting curiosity aside, a very good film. Wonderful set design and visuals. At its making it was a monumental undertaking and it shows. It is an art deco masterpiece in more ways than one. This one I’m going to pick up the Blu-ray for. I am that impressed by it.
CONFUSION NA WA(2013)- I just discovered this film and it is my movie of the day. See my separate review on it. It is that good!
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