With cinemas closed across the world and long lockdown-days to be filled, audiences have turned to streaming services more than ever. Practically every person in the world has a Netflix subscription by now, and with Disney+ and Amazon Prime on the rise, we receive an overload of content every single day. But it is becoming harder and harder to pick and filter all this content, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like they spent more time scrolling through the endless categories of shows and films than actually watching anything. But then in the midst of it all, is a breath of fresh air: Mubi.
Mubi is a streaming service like no other, and can actually be better described as a home cinema. It provides a curated selection of contemporary and old films, with a new one added every day. The films are available for 30 days, adding a sense of urgency that is very helpful for those who can’t ever seem to decide what to watch. With films from all over the world, from Korea to Brazil, there is something for everyone. And for the true die-hard film lovers, they even rerelease and restore incredibly old films as well. From a Japanese 1940s comedy to an avant-garde short film from the 1920s, there are many gems amongst the more well-known selections.
With the brand-new addition of their own library, in which some films are available to watch after the 30-day period has ended, Mubi is venturing more into the conventional streaming service territory. Yet, its unique categories such as ‘Film Festival Spotlight’ and ‘Women With Movie Cameras’, makes it stand out from all the others. And if you weren’t convinced yet, see below REELculture’s picks of the best films currently on the service.
The Rider – dir. Chloé Zhao
The Rider is Zhao’s critically acclaimed second feature about rodeo star Brady who is recovering from a head injury while trying to balance a complicated family life. A beautiful, modern Western that is a must-watch. Zhao’s third film Nomadland, premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival and is predicted to make her the first Asian woman to be nominated for an Academy Award.
Wuthering Heights – dir. Andrea Arnold
Andrea Arnold, best know for directing Fish Tank and American Honey, comes with an adaptation of the classic novel. While the book has been adapted to the big screen many times before, Arnold’s version is unlike any other. Applying her stripped-down, raw filmmaking to the world-famous story allows for an unforgettable film.
Under the Silver Lake – dir. David Robert Mitchell
Andrew Garfield stars in Mitchell’s unconventional thriller that centres around Sam who is on a quest to find his neighbour Sarah after she suddenly disappears. Nominated for a Palme D’Or, the films blends comedy, noir and mystery effortlessly and takes you on a wild ride across Los Angeles.
Tomboy – dir. Céline Sciamma
While most might now Sciamma from last year’s stunning Portrait of a Lady on Fire, her second film, Tomboy is also a must-watch. It follows 10-year old Laure who, after moving to a new area, adopts the name Michael and starts presenting as a boy to her new friends. A beautiful exploration of gender identity, coming-of-age and love, Sciamma once again proves that she is one of the best contemporary filmmakers out there.
While this is only a small glimpse of what is currently on offer at Mubi (there is a Pedro Almodovar and Isabelle Huppert season on as well amongst many, many others), the above films are must-watch for any film lover and if you have seen them all already, Mubi’s collection is definitely the right one for you.