January 25, 2023

How to Watch Movies Using the Library

Author: Rachel Lawyer, Library Instruction Assistant | rachel.lawyer@usu.edu

People watching a movie

Tired of getting kicked out of your roommate's Netflix account every time they change the password? Good news! You can stream movies with your student login through US Libraries!

Alexander Street Academic Video Online (AVON) provides access to tens of thousands of streaming video titles of both the educational and entertaining variety. Here are some collection highlights and my personal recommendations of movies you can watch now for free!

Sony Pictures Classic Collection

The Sony Pictures Classic collection is the gem of Alexander Street. It includes so many great gateway movies to cinema that exists outside the megaplex. Below you will find some movie recommendations from this collection. Please look up content ratings and warnings before watching; some films below are rated R (marked *) and may contain graphic material.

“Writer and director Marjane Satrapi draws a poignant story about a young girl in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, when people's hopes were dashed as fundamentalists took power.” -AVON

paprika movie cover

“Prepare to enter the realm of fantasy and imagination -- where reality and dreams collide in a kaleidoscopic mindscape of sheer visual genius. The magical tale centers on a revolutionary machine that allows scientists to enter and record a subject's dream. After being stolen, a fearless detective and brilliant therapist join forces to recover the device -- before it falls into the hands of a "dream terrorist" in this gripping anime thriller from acclaimed director Satoshi Kon.” -AVON

This 1999 German techno-thriller about a woman who has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks is as exciting and fast-paced as its title suggests with its eye-candy visuals and heart-pumping soundtrack.

This Hungarian film about a Jewish-Hungarian concentration camp prisoner with a mission won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The cinematography is raw and intense, focusing solely on the perspective of the main character.

Only Lovers Left Alive cover

Directed by Jim Jarmusch and starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston, this vampire love story movie is for all you goths out there with good taste in music.

Before Dune was directed by David Lynch and Denis Villeneuve, it famously was to be adapted by Alejandro Jodorowsky who collaborated with artists such as Salvador Dali, HR Giger, and Moebius to create a psychedelic Dune experience soundtracked by Pink Floyd. This is the documentary about the film that never was.

“It takes a village to make a movie, but when that village is Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin and not Hollywood, CA, the results are at times bizarre, comical, and very American. With the help of his mother, his 82-year-old uncle, and local cast of hilarious and lovable characters, filmmaker Mark Borchardt fights his way through internal and external roadblocks to achieve his goal-to make his movie, his way.” -AVON

This documentary about the migration of birds is some of the craziest filmmaking you will ever see. Marvel at thought of what it must have taken to get this footage of all kinds of birds from all seven continents over the period of several years. Folks of all ages will enjoy the moving and mesmerizing images of this film.

SLC Punk! movie cover

And last but not least, a movie that at the very least is amusing for its representation of Utahn culture, SLC Punk! starring Matthew Lillard (who you might recognize from Scooby Doo) is about two punks named Stevo and Heroin Bob who are the only dedicated punks in 1980s Salt Lake City.

National Theatre Collection via AVON

You don’t have to travel to London to enjoy some of the best theatre in the world from the National Theatre- you can watch recorded live performances through the National Theatre Collection.

My Recommendations:

Directed by Danny Boyle and starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller (they took turns each playing the monster and Dr. Frankenstein and you can watch both!)

An adaptation of Alice in Wonderland that integrates digital technology into the world of Wonderland with marvelous effect.

The Royal Shakespeare Company Collection

For more theatre content, checkout the Royal Shakespeare Company collection where you can watch recorded performances from the world’s top Shakespearean talent.

PBS Collection

PBS logo

The PBS channel has more than 1200 streaming videos in its collection. Perhaps you want to check out Ken Burns’ acclaimed documentary series or watch episodes of NOVA or Masterpiece Theatre?

My Recommendations: