Mubi Streams the Films You Won’t Find Elsewhere
Like many people I know, I cut the cord and canceled my satellite service about four years ago. And, as long as my wi-fi is working, I almost never miss it.
Since then, I have streamed nearly everything. I subscribe to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu — so I never want for something to watch. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Too often, I feel a little overwhelmed by all of the choices at my fingertips.
But I recently discovered an awesome solution to that admittedly first-world problem. It’s called Mubi. And while adding a fourth subscription video service may seem counterintuitive, Mubi is an entirely different animal.
Here’s how Mubi works. Every day, a new film is added to the highly curated collection, and it remains on the site for exactly 30 days. So, at any given time, there are exactly 30 films to choose from. Mubi’s curators scour film festivals all around the world to find films they feel are worthy of an audience, but the site also frequently features classic films by acclaimed directors.
These are not the types of films you are likely to see at your local multiplex. For instance, this week the site launched a “four-city tour of city symphonies: documentaries dedicated to the personalities and energies of unique urban centers.” City symphonies are a relatively obscure form of avant garde documentaries that emerged in the 1920s. Mubi is kicking off this series with German filmmaker Walter Ruttmann’s “Berlin: Symphony of a Great City.”
These themes are a common occurrence on Mubi. Right now, some of the current themes are “Canada’s Next Generation,” “Francois Ozon: Loving Provocation,” “After the New Wave” and “Direct from Locarno.”
There are also plenty of contemporary films — just not the kind you’re likely to find in theaters or on other streaming platforms. For instance, this week Narimane Mari’s 2017 film “Le Fort Des Fous” and the Chinese director Lou Ye’s 2003 film “Purple Butterfly” were featured.
For those who like diving a little deeper, Mubi’s “Notebook” section features news, interviews with filmmakers and criticism. Subscribing to Mubi is like having access to a revolving Criterion Collection.
But don’t take my word for it…
The New York Times recently said that “the diversity and the quality of the selections are exhilarating,” while The Independent described Mubi as “Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time.”
I wouldn’t recommend using Mubi to replace any of your current video subscriptions — unless you are truly an art house film junkie. But, at $8.99 a month, it certainly is a nice way to supplement your streaming service, especially in those moments when you’re feeling particularly higher-minded. It’s a great way to discover some really great films that you’d likely never hear about otherwise.
If you’d like to try it out, head over to Mubi.com. I believe that they offer a seven-day free trial when you sign up, but a simple internet search might turn up longer trial periods. Wink, wink.
— Originally Published in the Las Cruces Sun-News, 08/09/18