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Six must-see films to watch with your NetBadge login

Kanopy, provided through the University Library, contains a diverse collection of films ready to be streamed by students

<p>Every student at the University should seek to take advantage of the University’s library resources, including the opportunity to immerse themselves in these standout films.</p>

Every student at the University should seek to take advantage of the University’s library resources, including the opportunity to immerse themselves in these standout films.

University students have access to an abundance of databases through the University Library — many of which are vastly underutilized. One such database is Kanopy, a streaming service featuring a wide variety of films from all across both the globe and decades of cinematic history. Students can create an account with their NetBadge login and stream the films in the database for free. For those having trouble navigating the overwhelming options in Kanopy’s collection, here are six must-watch films.

“La Haine”

Kanopy contains a gold mine for those seeking some of the most famous French films — from classics such as Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless,” to recent critically acclaimed films, such as Céline Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady On Fire.” However, “La Haine,” a 1995 thriller written and directed by Mathieu Kassovitz, stands out among the French films available. 

Kassovitz’s film is one of the most notable due to its timelessly relevant themes of class and race in France. It tells a story of marginalization and police brutality, following three friends over the course of a day as they roam the streets in the suburbs of Paris. The film’s gripping screenplay and stunning black-and-white cinematography, as well as its raw brutality, make it an unforgettable watch. Like many famous French films, “La Haine” is emotionally impactfulful, demonstrating the power of independent filmmaking.

“The Worst Person in the World”

Newer independent films are also housed on Kanopy for students to watch, such as the 2021 film “The Worst Person in the World,” from Norwegian director Joachim Trier. 

Renate Reinsve shines in the lead role as a woman approaching her 30s navigating tough life decisions about her future while trying to find her place in the world. She juggles romantic relationships, switches her career multiple times and grapples with uncertainty and anxiety about her personal life. The film truly captures the feeling of being lost in life as it follows the well-developed main character as she navigates both massive moments of crisis and subtle moments of frustration.

With its  beautiful, thoughtful and hilarious Academy Award-nominated screenplay, “The Worst Person in the World” combines laughter and heartbreak to comfort those who can relate to feeling like they’ve lost their way. 

“Chungking Express”

Wong Kar-wai’s 1994 breakout film “Chungking Express” is a fascinating romantic comedy-drama that explores complicated relationships in the city of Hong Kong. The film contains two sequential stories, each about a different police officer and their romantic endeavors. 

While the first police officer, after being dumped by his girlfriend, tries to forge an unlikely intimate connection with a woman who sells drugs, the second police officer, also heartbroken by a recent breakup, discovers a new love interest at one of his regular food spots. The film’s tone strikes an excellent balance between the sadness of faded memories of the past and the hopefulness of the possibilities of the future. Wong’s visual style is also distinct and captivating, adding to the sense of love, yearning and melancholy embedded in the two stories. 

With a compelling story about love and loss, as well as a great soundtrack, “Chungking Express” is a creative exploration of past and future love.

“Tokyo Story”

Among the many prominent figures of Japanese cinema, one revered filmmaker is Yasujirō Ozu — his 1953 film “Tokyo Story” is about a trip to Tokyo made by an elderly couple to visit their adult children, who, upon arriving, realize most of their children seem uninterested in seeing them. The couple is forced to grapple with their children’s selfishness and acknowledge that they have changed.

Ozu most effectively emphasizes tense familial dynamics with his signature low camera angles and minimal camera movement. Because Ozu lingers on the faces of his characters for so long, audiences can appreciate even the smallest hints of poignancy, down to a brief flicker of sadness on a character’s face. This quiet and heartbreaking film forces the viewer to rethink human relationships and emotions.


One of the most popular works of international cinema in recent years is Bong Joon-ho’s 2019 film “Parasite,” which became the first foreign-language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. A film about class and wealth, “Parasite” follows the impoverished Kim family attempting to swindle the wealthy Park family by occupying all of the jobs offered within the Park home, from chauffeur to art therapist. However, as the Kims’ presence in the house grows, their positions become harder to maintain. In the final scene, the Kims’ actions reveal to have vast social ramifications unknown to the viewer until the very end. 

The film mesmerizes with its blending of genres, mixing elements of black comedy, social commentary and crime drama. Further, the movie’s plot — which is full of unexpected twists and striking visuals — masterfully symbolizes social and economic distinctions, such as the stark difference in elevation between the poor family’s underground home and the wealthy family’s expensive house on top of a hill. For viewers looking to dive into Korean cinema, this thriller is a must-watch. 


Before creating mammoth films such as “Oppenheimer,” “The Dark Knight” and “Inception,” Christopher Nolan mesmerized audiences with his 2000 film entitled “Memento.” The film follows a man with anterograde amnesia — a type of memory loss that prevents the formation of new memories — seeking revenge for his wife’s death. In order to carry out his vengeance with his condition, he writes notes for himself and gets tattoos to make up for his memory loss. 

“Memento” tells its story nonlinearly, with two storylines being told in opposite directions and converging at the end, demonstrating Nolan’s talent for bending time even in his early works. The chronological storyline shows the main character trying to figure out who killed his wife, while the reverse chronological storyline shows the events that led to the main character killing his wife’s killer. The film’s finale — when the two storylines finally converge — is shocking and masterfully executed. Watching “Memento” makes it clear that Nolan was always destined to become the giant in the film world that he is now. Movie lovers looking for a film with an engaging structure and thrilling plot will be more than satisfied with this pick. 

These picks are just a handful of the diverse array of films University students can watch with their NetBadge login. Every student at the University should seek to take advantage of the University’s library resources, including the opportunity to immerse themselves in these standout films. Films from different continents, documentaries about a wide range of topics and lesser-known independent films are all streaming on Kanopy, waiting for students to click “play.”


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