This new weekly blog series, published each Friday evening, will feature five films from streaming services which you can access for free using your library card. The five selections this week are comedies, because laughter may not always be the best medicine but it can certainly distract you from the fact that you're running out of toilet paper!
Comedy is subjective. You can appreciate a good drama even if it doesn't make you cry or cheer, but a comedy has to make you laugh to work for you. I'm not promising that these five movies will make you laugh, but I can promise that they make me laugh and that they are, most importantly, free for you to watch with your library card.
What We Do in the Shadows is a mockumentary directed by Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi following four New Zealand vampires attempting, with varied levels of success, to adapt to the modern world. This ensemble comedy sends up vampire movie tropes and talking head slice of life documentaries in equal measure. Great for fans of Taika Waititi's more recent work (Thor: Ragnarok, Jojo Rabbit), monster B-movies, and cringe comedies with well hidden soft hearts. Available to stream on richlandlibrary.Kanopy.com
Kind Hearts and Coronets is a 1949 dark comedy featuring Alec Guinness as eight different members of an aristocratic family, all victims of a killer played by Dennis Price. Finding himself coincidentally far down the line of descent to inherit a dukedom, a draper's assistant decides to climb the social ladder with the assistance of poison, bombs, and well-timed archery. If you only know Guinness as Obi-Wan Kenobi, you'll enjoy discovering the delightful comedies he made decades earlier. Available to stream on richlandlibrary.Kanopy.com
Clue sounds like an unlikely cult classic - movies based on board games tend to be awful, but this one has Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, and many other delightful comic actors all in a big old house and given an opportunity to have a clearly delightful time with a comic mystery plot. The original studio release included a gimmick wherein audiences randomly saw one of three endings; now you can see all possible endings but a title card labels the last as "what really happened'. Available to stream on richlandlibrary.Kanopy.com
Sherlock, Jr. is a 1924 silent film masterpiece starring Buster Keaton as an amateur detective. Even viewers who don't usually watch silent films should give this one a try; it's incredibly charming and the practical special effects are still eyepopping even today. When you aren't laughing you'll be wondering "how did they do that?!" Available to stream on richlandlibrary.Kanopy.com
Sita Sings the Blues is a quirky animated breakup story written, directed, produced and animated by Nina Paley. It combines episodes from the Sanskrit epic poem the Ramayana with autobiographical scenes of the author's painful breakup and commentary from wisecracking shadow puppets. Oh, and there are powerful blues musical interludes. The overall effect is charming and heartbreaking in equal measure. It's hard to describe - just go watch it! Available to stream on richlandlibrary.Kanopy.com