Your Ticket to an At-Home Film Festival with hoopla and IndieFlix!

If you’re a culture vulture and/or film buff, you may be mourning the cancellation of film festivals around the country (like SXSW), the uncertain fate of Cannes, and the suspension of viewing opportunities like the MFA’s Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Film Program. For the latter, if you have a little extra cash, feel free to visit the new Virtual Screening Room for the museum’s hand-picked rentals. If you’d like to enjoy your own lockdown watch party for free through APL, read on!

This month, hoopla has introduced its “Art House” initiative to promote the sort of film fare that festivals and festival goers thrive upon. You’ll be spoilt for choice with 380 curated titles in four categories: Modern Indies, Documentaries, Global Cinema, and Classics. Have a helping of heartening, music-filled dramedy with Hearts Beat Loud. Escape to the frozen wild with the award-winning Antarctica: A Year on Ice (talk about effective social distancing!). For a pilgrimage through a more populated realm, have a look at the cinematically lovely Arabian Nights, a glimpse of Portugal during another recent global crisis (the Great Recession) that has been touted as “a colorful, surreal, and politically potent palimpsest of a film.”* Or savor a classic favorite like The Red Balloon. Your ticket to Cinema Paradiso? You guessed it–your Marblehead library card!

While you’re in the mood for culturally-informed cinema, you might well want to check out another of our streaming sources for top-notch, out-of-the-ordinary viewing: RBDigital’s IndieFlix! Use your library card to open an account, check out a 7-day pass, binge, and repeat. (If you’ve never logged on before, please see the blog’s FAQs page.)

Put on your best film-critic face, pull up a couch, and let the Quarantine Film Fest begin!

*Quoted material from hoopladigital.

Comment below with what films you are watching!

Stream Video Lectures for Free with The Great Courses!

So…you’ve caught up with all your chores, binged on Netflix, baked too many cookies, and played endless board games but are still–well, bored? Maybe it’s time to challenge the little gray cells with some adult education courses from a renowned company: The Great Courses! In case you haven’t heard, hundreds of video lectures by professors eminent in their fields, some from Ivy League universities, are available to stream through the Abbot Public Library for free. If you were to buy the DVD versions of these courses, you would be paying up to $50 for just one course! There are a multitude of diverse lectures to choose from; you can browse them here.

From cooking tutorials via the Culinary Institute of America, to expert discussion of how stress can work for you, to the history of India, to dog training tips, to music appreciation—there are offerings for everyone. Tune out the news for a while and tune in to Great Courses–who knows where your curiosity might lead you?

Great Courses videos are available via one of our streaming services, RBDigital. If you’ve never logged on before, please visit our FAQ page for instructions. You can stream on your laptop, desktop, most mobile devices, and even on your TV (instructions for streaming to your Smart TV are also in our FAQs). Here’s to new voyages of discovery!

Comfort Food TV

Are you craving a little cinematic culinary comfort? Longing to savour a sumptuous series? The Abbot Public Library has curated a select menu of foodie-approved film and television fare just for our patrons! If you’re in the mood for a side of romance with an at-home dinner date, you may just try Ang Lee’s Eat, Drink, Man, Woman or Chocolat (this one starring Juliette Binoche, Johnny Depp, and Judi Dench). Or perhaps you’d like to escape our troubled present and time-travel to a Victorian dining room with Christopher Kimball in Fannie’s Last Supper, a recreation of one of Fannie Farmer’s decadent 12-course meals. We invite you to sample all of these films and more from our library-curated film collection on hoopla2020 APL Comfort Food Cinema

For some tasty kitchen-sink drama, you might also try Acorn TV’s series Delicious or Pie in the Sky; to sample menus from great British country houses of the past, take a look at Lords and Ladles. Just open your RBDigital app and search for the titles!

If your tastes run to food-filled adventure, then tune in to another of the library’s special hoopla collections: 2020 APL Comfort Food TV. Here, you can sink your teeth into some food/travel documentaries like Paul & Nick’s Big American Food Trip or No Passport Required. If tea is, well, your cup of tea, travel round the world to learn all about it with Victoria Wood’s Nice Cup of Tea on Acorn TV (again, search the title in your RBDigital app). Or get in the kitchen and get your hands messy with the pros of America’s Test Kitchen and Cook’s Country–further selections to be found in the hoopla 2020 APL Comfort Food TV collection. Your culinary quest awaits!

If you’re eager to tickle your tastebuds with these offerings (and much more) but have not yet signed up for hoopla or Acorn TV, please take a look at our FAQ page to get started. Bon appetit!