How to Get Away with Free Movies

Netflix subscriptions go up every month, HBO is so randomly expensive, and movie theatre tickets are now $15?!? If you’re a student on a budget, or simply want to use the library’s resources for some free movie watching, this is the place to learn more.

Unsplash//@freestocks

Streaming Services

There are so many audio-visual resources available to you through the the McGill Library collection. You can learn all about them on this subject guide.

This includes access to seven different platforms filled with awesome content for you to take a little break from your academic reading. If you’re having trouble with accessing them, or want to learn more, check out the McGill Films 101 blog post which goes into the specifics of each platform and how it can be accessed.

You can also check out the Health and Wellness guide for some staff favourite Youtube channels and podcasts. While not technically free movies, they are resources for you to stream free entertainment while you’re on your lunch break or relaxing before bed!

DVDs

Do you remember redbox?! If want a similar experience and you’re a little more old-school, we have 15,000 DVD is our collection for you! There are some big blockbuster names like The Martian, Joker, or even The Terminator for you to choose from and find your next movie night pick.

There’s also some awesome Blu-ray picks, which bring you the best quality and sometimes bonus content! A few of our picks are Moonrise Kingdom, Bladerunner 2049, and the 50th anniversary of the 1961 version of the West Side Story!

If none of these picks are up your alley, you can always go into the advanced search button of the catalogue, choose keywords and type in a few, and then select DVD as the format in the bottom drop-down menu. For “romance” “comedy”, 163 results popped up, a mixed of old and new!

Hope this has been a helpful guide through the ways you find free movies in whichever format you prefer! There are so many options when looking for ways to destress; take advantage of the free library resources you have access to! Happy watching 🙂

If you have any questions feel free to email hssl.library@mcgill.ca.

Books that Make you Fall in Love… At First Sight

Judging Some Books By Their Covers

We are all familiar with the idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover”. It is a phrase used far and wide to discourage people from valuing someone’s appearance over their personality, but can it also be applied to books? Of course you can judge a book by its cover, that is precisely what the covers of books are for. Judging the book. 

Although book covers, like first impressions, may not tell you all there is to know about the contents within, they give you a fair idea of what to expect, and on a usual day, we all want something expectable, familiar, and predictable to make us feel content. No surprises needed. 

The beauty of judging a book by its cover though, is that not all of us look at the same things and find them beautiful, our sense of aesthetics is different and so are the books we pick.

Come with us then, as we take a dive into McGill Overdrive’s New eBook additions and take a look at the handpicked books we find aesthetically pleasing. It’s time we give the illustrators, writers, and publishers the praise that they are due.   

The Overstory by Richard Powers (2018) 

The Overstay Cover Art

The cover of this Pulitzer Prize winning novel describes the story within perfectly, with its surrealistic depiction of the woods.

Description: The Overstory is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of—and paean to—the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, this novel unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables that range from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. There is a world alongside ours—fast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.

Music Therapy in Adoption and Trauma by Joy Gravestock (2021) 

This one may seem a bit surprising, rarely do theoretical non-fiction books have covers that draw us in. But we cannot deny that this one, with its swimming shades of warm colours and an almost musical sense, deserves a spot on our list. 

Description: The book discusses music therapy as a valuable method of support and treatment for those dealing with trauma within the adoption community. Music Therapy in Adoption and Trauma offers a timely and much-needed perspective for music and creative arts therapists, as well as families themselves.
Addressing topics such as contemporary adoption processes, potential resulting trauma, attachment and adoption breakdown, the book looks at why music therapy specifically can help. Throughout, it centres the value of lived experience in increasing understanding of trauma and effective support…

Build Your House Around My Body by Violet Kupersmith (2021) 

This one with its simple and elegant design makes you curious from the very first glimpse. We’re all lovers of collages but this one is especially intriguing!

Description: Build Your House Around My Body takes us from colonial mansions to ramshackle zoos, from sweaty nightclubs to the jostling seats of motorbikes, from ex-pat flats to sizzling back-alley street carts. Spanning more than fifty years of Vietnamese history and barreling toward an unforgettable conclusion, this is a time-traveling, heart-pounding, border-crossing fever dream of a novel that will haunt you long after the last page.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon (2021) 

No one could tell us that they wouldn’t click on this book the second they saw it, browsing be damned! This beautiful cover re-imagines the legend of St. George and the Dragon to match the mood of Shannon’s epic fantasy. 

Description: A world divided. A queendom without an heir. An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door. Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic…

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan (2021) 

What better way to launch your debut novel than with a most gorgeous artwork? Another book from the epic fantasy genre, this cover brings to life Lynn Tan’s true inspiration for her work in a colourful manner: Chinese myths and legends. 

Description: Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the feared Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother for stealing his elixir of immortality. But when Xingyin’s magic flares and her existence is discovered, she is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind.

Alone, powerless, and afraid, she makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. Disguising her identity, she seizes an opportunity to learn alongside the emperor’s son, mastering archery and magic, even as passion flames between her and the prince.



World Poetry Day 2022: The Poetry of Healing

Poem by Emily Dickinson on top left and orange bird on hand in bottom right corner.

Celebrated every year on the 21st of March, World Poetry Day was adopted by UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 1999 as a celebration of linguistic and cultural diversity. As an ode to this beautiful art form, McGill’s Department of English launched its Poetry Reading Series for 2022: Fluid Vessels. Showcasing the work of remarkable voices from the British Isles, India, Nigeria, Australia, Jamaica, the U.S., and Canada, this series allows poetry lovers to interact with the artists who are running for The Montreal International Poetry Prize.

In November of 2017, McGill’s Social Equity and Diversity Education Office (SEDE) and the Sustainable Projects Fund (SPF) held a workshop on Poetry as a Tool for Healing and Joy, with Ontario-born poet and spoken word artist Brandon Wint.

This year, we urge you to bring back these echoes from the past, to celebrate poetry not only as a source of individual and cultural expression and diversity but as a tool for comfort and healing. That the past few years have been difficult for all is an understatement, but that they have entwined the global community together through common  threads of vulnerability is a plain truth. 

Poetry has placed itself front and centre as both our armour and our ointment during the past years. In 2020, We Are the Dream, an HBO documentary about Oakland’s youngest oratorical poets, took home an Emmy. Brandon Leake, a Stockton spoken-word poet, won NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” And poet laureates from California to New York have found a new calling, posting verses to comfort families grappling with pandemic fears and fighting against racial injustice (Jessica Yadegaran, The Mercury News). 

Image credit: kanopy

Contrary to The Love Poem by Carol Ann Duffy, we believe that everything has not been said by everyone, we have not run out of words. As the hardships of the time change the climate of our surroundings, people, as always, and with a strikingly sincere ability have found novel ways to express love and hope. We have found new ways to heal, and we have made sure to tell the world that it takes more than turbulent times and lockdowns to break us.

Then why read poetry, if one were to ask, we would have a plain but determined answer to give you. Because we need to heal, because there is a part of us that is looking to connect to a world beyond ours, to find comfort in the rustle of pages and answers in the middle of lines. Because all of us have gone through something together, and though it has only brought us closer, and stronger than ever. We deserve to heal. 

Immerse yourself within the world of poetry by diving into some of the many pages of verse that exist within the McGill Library.