Authored by lorraine wochna
The OHIO Libraries has come a long way in purchasing film. Do you remember back in its day, when VHS was the hot media to view? In fact, we still own about 3000 titles on VHS that are, thankfully, being replaced via streaming access or with more current versions of DVDs, roughly 9,000 DVD titles, which is quite a bit of film to sift through.
So, where do you begin? What are the gems? I’ve created web pages with lots of film information and links, but these are some of my favorites.
Searching The Criterion Collection is a great starting point if you want to watch the best of classic and contemporary film. Criterion brings the best of cinema to the widest audience by covering all decades, all genres and all countries. With over 900 films in the collection, the Libraries is committed to purchasing all the titles from this growing collection— it’s a great way into the world of cinema.
Criterion worked their magic on the 1960 film “L’avventura,” by director Michelangelo Antonioni. Special features include 4K digital restoration, an audio commentary by film historian Gene Youngblood, and an analysis of the film by Olivier Assayas. A gripping narrative on its own terms, this classic film is an international sensation about “modern ennui and spiritual isolation.” Check out a short film introduction here.
“The Before Trilogy,” by director Richard Linklater, is a three-part romantic tale: “Before Sunrise (1995),” “Before Sunset (2004),” and “Before Midnight (2013),” that follows a relationship through the course of almost two decades. The films are beautifully restored with 2K digital transfers that include commentaries with Linklater and actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke.
But maybe you are looking for a lighter fare, like Walt Disney films? Just search Disney DVD (as a title) and you will discover a fun selection of titles like: “Brave,” and “The Lion King 2,” or search “animated films” to get even more diversity of selection.
I highly recommend the animated films of Hayao Miyazaki, especially these favorites: “Spirited Away,” “Howl’s Moving Castle,” and “Princess Mononoke.” Miyazaki has been working in manga and animation for years, and his unique style is always a visual delight.
I’ve also been working on collecting titles screened at the Athens International Film and Video Festival (AIFVF) since 2002. It’s not always possible to get all the titles, many short films and competition films can be a bit more complicated to purchase, but I try to purchase all the festival’s top favorites.
Lastly, OHIO classroom film usage has risen dramatically, especially with access to available streaming collections. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime may be high-use platforms, but the Libraries subscribes to other platforms that offer a plethora of titles and genres. So be sure to visit these streaming collections during those hot summer days: Kanopy Streaming, Digital Campus or VAST: Academic Video Online.
All photography by John Michael Simpson/Ohio University Libraries