So it’s March 2021, we still need to stay socially distanced, but you want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in someway, perhaps albeit quietly at home. Well I’ve got some great news for you: if you’re a fan of movie nights, we’ve got you covered with Kanopy!
Much like with Halloween, I’m here to point you toward some great cinema that’s right at your fingertips, and all included with your being here at Tufts! A quick refresher:
Kanopy is a streaming service that specifically works with libraries. It’s a great source for documentaries, but also for independent cinema, world cinema, classics (like, say, the Criterion Collection), and assorted collections you might not expect to see. I’ve reached the point where I always check Kanopy first for a movie I want to see, just in case. Since Kanopy is a subscription service for libraries, it means all library users will get to see their films – in this case, that means you!
I’ll cut to the chase: there’s an entire category of Irish Cinema on Kanopy. The films run the gamut here, too – there are short films like The Crush (about a middle schooler with a crush on his teacher), the touching Time Traveller (about a child building a homemade DeLorean time machine as an escape from his day-to-day), Second to None (an old man trying to jealousy get revenge on his very slightly older twin brother – this one’s stop animation!), or Kubrick by Candlelight (a pair of people fall for each other during the filming of Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon).
There are, of course, full length feature films here as well. If you want to give an animated film a shot, I cannot speak highly enough of The Secret of Kells. It’s a movie where the animation looks like an illuminated manuscript come to life, and is absolutely entrancing. If you’d rather something with live actors, you could give Handsome Devil a shot, about a pair of boys stuck in a boarding school room together (incidentally, a winner of a handful of awards, and also a movie that turns up under Kanopy’s LGBTQ Cinema tag as well). On a similar vein is Bortsal Boy, which was nominated for a pair of awards including Outstanding Film with the GLAAD Media Awards.
Or perhaps you’d prefer horror, since I mentioned Halloween up there? Well there are movies like A Hole in the Ground (released by A24, a studio that has a lot of films on Kanopy), or perhaps The Canal (which won an award for being scary!).
That said, if you prefer comedy, you could certainly do worse than Gold, starring Maisie Williams (Arya from Game of Thrones).
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t address those documentaries I mentioned above. One is Brand Irish, a film that approaches the question of how “Irish” became such a phenomena (example: the ubiquitous of St. Patrick’s Day, or the Irish pub). If you prefer something longer, The Great Courses series has three separate looks at Ireland, its people, and its heritage. The Celtic World focuses on the ancient Celts – who we thought they were and who we think they are now; Roots of the Irish Identity, taking a look at Ireland from the Celts up through the Middle Ages in order to give context to today; and The Irish Identity, focusing on the 20th Century and particularly the Irish Renaissance. Those last three are entire series, so maybe brew some tea up and settle in.
No matter how you choose to spend your week this week, we at Hirsh hope you’re staying safe and healthy, and are having as great a time as you can right now. Here’s to the weather warming up and staying there soon!
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