'Treasure trove' of free films available through Ottawa library's streaming service

Ottawa Morning film reviewer Tom McSorley urges Ottawa Public Library users to take advantage of the free access they have to some of the world's best films.

Ottawa Morning film reviewer Tom McSorley gives Kanopy a big thumbs up

Ottawa Public Library cardholders can stream movies for free, including films from the Criterion Collection.

CBC Radio's Ottawa Morning film reviewer Tom McSorley is urging library users in the capital to take advantage of the free access they have to some of the world's best films.

Ottawa Public Library cardholders can stream dozens of contemporary and classic films online — including those that are part of the prestigious Criterion Collection — through a service called Kanopy.

"It features, arguably, the greatest assortment of international art cinema under one roof, " McSorley told Ottawa Morning host Hallie Cotnam.

"As a film geek ... I applaud the library for setting it up."

Film reviewer Tom McSorley says the Ottawa Public Library's movie streaming service Kanopy is a trove of cinematic treasures. (Idil Mussa/CBC)

Some of the of hundreds of titles offered on the streaming service include:

  • Gillo Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers
  • Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal
  • David Lynch's Eraserhead
  • Pedro Almodovar's Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!
  • Federico Fellini's 8½

The Ottawa Public Library's website also offers a host of other free resources online, including Curio, which gives people access to thousands of video and audio streams from the CBC and Radio-Canada, and Hoopla, another film streaming service that boasts more than 200,000 films.

Cardholders will have to register online for most of these services, using a valid library card number. McSorley said it'll be worth the time. 

"You can stream free music as well, so it really is a treasure trove, " he said.