If it’s not online, it’s probably in the Media Commons room at Robarts. A second home to many U of T Cinema Studies students, the Media Commons is always there, whether you need a film for class or just a movie to watch with friends. For those not as well-versed in its expansive collection, here are some of the best — and most obscure — films that the Media Commons has to offer.

Le Million
Rene Claire

This 1931 French silent comedy features a young man named Michel who, overwhelmed by the happiness of winning a one million-dollar lottery prize, later discovers that his lucky ticket is in his jacket, which now belongs to an elderly thief.

As Michel chases his ticket the audience gets a chance to fully witness the dynamism and humour typical of silent films.

A prominent scene is Michel’s tender moment with his girlfriend Beatrice, as they sit on stage of a grand theatre admiring the decorations, music, and one another.

Le Million was an important film in the French Impressionist movement, which focused on aesthetic and spiritual beauties. This uplifting comedy will allow you to view silent films from a different perspective and perhaps rediscover the genre as a whole.

The Animal Project
Ingrid Veninger

Apart from offering almost innumerable genres, the Media Commons film collection carries films from over one hundred countries. Released in 2013, The Animal Project is a Canadian film which focuses on the unorthodox and extravagant methods that the young protagonist, Leo, employs with his acting students.

The film’s naturalistic tone allows one to empathize with the characters and their journeys to self-discovery. The film has a rather slow pace and does not feature many musical scores — yet The Animal Project exemplifies the full potential of Canadian cinema as the audience watches the young characters make the most out of their seemingly ordinary lives.

Fed Up
Stephanie Soechtig

The filmmakers released this 2014 documentary and labeled it, “The film the Food Industry doesn’t want you to see.” Although the movie might seem too critical as it warns the audience about the ultimate dangers caused by sugar, corn syrup, processed and fast food, it raises important questions that every contemporary North American should think about: What do we eat? Is it healthy? Is our lifestyle affecting our diet?

The central goal of the documentary is to convince the audience that we have the right to know what is in our food and what products are healthier than others.

Hopefully, Fed Up will inspire you to check out the Media Commons’ documentary collection, whose vast selection of knowledgeable films are useful in both academic and daily life.

Lost and Found Box of Human Sensation
Martin Walner

This disturbing yet thrilling independently made animation can be found online as part of the Media Commons’ electronic base. The short film’s aesthetics are similar to the dark images of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” music video.

Lost and Found follows the melancholic young man who fails to recover from the grief of his father’s death. We see a creepy mad scientist observing the young man, a repetition of the man’s counterproductive routine, and of course, several graveyard images. This short film invites the audience to appreciate the stylistic creativity of independent productions.

Kill your Darlings
Jon Krokidas

If you are not in the mood for silent films, black and white animated shorts, or controversial documentaries, you can always check the Media Commons for films which were screened in theatres.

Kill Your Darlings captured audience attention with its close look at the intimate and professional life of poet Allen Ginsberg. Ginsberg’s adventures at Columbia University are sure to satisfy those who enjoy creative biographical narratives and coming-of-age dramas.