Our library’s collection of DVD’s is hugely popular with our patrons, offering thousands upon thousands of titles that are checked out again and again. The option to checkout and view movies free of charge is another tremendous value we offer (Well, so long as you return them on time!). L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library has a proud history of being the very first place in Eau Claire where you could check out VHS movies when “video store rentals” were still quite a new concept. Now with streaming options like YouTube, Hulu, and Netflix, there are even more ways to view films online. I’ve always enjoyed watching movies, and being a fan of the Film Noir genre led me to discover the website Open Culture and its promise of “60 Free Film Noir Movies.” They had me at free.
Open Culture was founded in 2006 as a website that “brings together high-quality cultural & educational media for the worldwide lifelong learning community“. In addition to providing access to over 700 movies, the site offers 550 audiobooks, 1,100 online courses, 300 language learning courses, over 1000 MOOC’s, 200 textbooks, and 700 eBooks. Their basic mission is to cultivate and curate these collections of content and ensure their users have free access 24/7. Actually, their mission is very similar to that of the public library: to collect, curate, and provide access to materials free of charge to the public. Offering remote access to these materials online is also an increasing focus for libraries. Organizations like Open Culture provide us an inspiring example.
Open Culture has their movies organized into collections like Comedy & Drama; Film Noir; Horror & Hitchcock; Westerns; Silent Films; Documentaries, and Animation. They also have special collections of Oscar Winning Movies, films by Andrei Tarkovsky and Charlie Chaplin films. Closer inspection of their offerings reveals that these aren’t solely public domain films from decades ago. There are a variety of interesting recent short films, animations, and documentaries. I was pleased to see Richard Linklater’s Gen-X comedy Slacker, which I’ve been meaning to re-watch.
So enjoy these FREE Open Culture movies and let us know what you discover. You’re also encouraged to use the MORE Online Catalog’s New DVDs MORE Quick List to see what’s been recently added to our collection of DVD’s. We’re always happy to help you search for a film you’ve been hoping to screen too. Just let us know what you’d like to watch next!