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MUBI

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  • #2


    Have been waiting to have a nice afternoon free to watch Vitalina Varela, having been disappointed at not getting to see it in the cinema. Thankfully, a smaller screen does little to dull some of the most stunning imagery I've seen in quite some time. A triumph of composition - the darkness and the light contrasting and clashing in ways that often resemblance more than anything else Renaissance painting. Breathtaking cinematography in each and every frame.

    If you haven't seen a Pedro Costa film before, this is as good an introduction as any as it's a little bit more accessible and straightforward. Be prepared: it's still extremely meditative, slow-paced and devoid of traditional narrative momentum. But do try and give it a chance: meet its not insignificant demands, and there's a starkly beautiful, quietly moving study of human disappointment and resilience in the face of unresolved conflict and trauma. It's heavily based on the real-life experiences of the eponymous actress (with Costa regular Ventura playing a key role as a frail priest who has long battled his own sense of disappointment), adding that extra layer of unspoken power to proceedings.


  • #2


    Have been waiting to have a nice afternoon free to watch Vitalina Varela, having been disappointed at not getting to see it in the cinema. Thankfully, a smaller screen does little to dull some of the most stunning imagery I've seen in quite some time. A triumph of composition - the darkness and the light contrasting and clashing in ways that often resemblance more than anything else Renaissance painting. Breathtaking cinematography in each and every frame.
    .

    I began watching this, and though it is certainly very painterly, it is a hard watch.

    The themes are tough, and after the umpteenth sixty second shot of a dark room where nothing is happening, I moved on to the next film on the list. Maybe I should have stuck with it, but there is too much on MUBI to explore and too little time - I just didn't have the patience for Pedro Costa.


  • #2


    Just to note the Library should now be available on the app as well - certainly is on iOS :)

    It doesnt appear to be on the Android app or Samsung app, but maybe its imminent then! Thanks!


  • #2


    This week's MUBI reviews...

    Hoop Dreams – 1994
    One of the most famous documentaries of all time, it follows two black teenagers as they pursue their dreams of basketball fame and fortune in Chicago in the nineties. About much more than basketball, it is especially relevant now with the Black Lives Matter movement – one of the kids, Arthur, has a father addicted to crack and gets held up at gunpoint in his ‘hood. We see the pressure both kids are under, with family, coaches and teachers all expecting huge things from them.
    It works because you root for them, want them to succeed, to overcome their difficulties.
      


    Mia Madre – Moretti – 2015
    Never really engaged me, this film. There are constant dream sequences and flashbacks, and they break up the flow, take you out of the narrative. It is also very meta, a film partly about film-making, which is not as interesting as the director thinks it is.

    John Tuturro turns up, playing an American actor (more meta) and is one of the few shafts of light in a kind of pedestrian work that often descends into strange melodrama, and is only briefly moving near the end.
    

    Krabi 2562 - Rivers/Suwichakornpong - 2019
    Some beautiful images, interesting use of sound, effectively makes you feel as if you are there, in coastal Thailand. Is it a documentary, a fake-doc, is it fiction, or somewhere in between? It is certainly experimental; if you have to leave for 5 minutes and forget to pause the film, don’t worry, you haven’t missed anything. More like an art film you might see in a gallery, playing on a loop, than a movie as such. There is a half-hearted attempt at some kind of structure, but it never really comes together. Not a film to choose if you are looking for characters and a storyline.
    

    Love – Gaspar Noé – 2015
    Famous for real sex scenes (and there are a lot of them). There is intensity here, and passion, but the central character, Murphy, an American in Paris, is a complete tool, a tantrum-throwing, arrogant, pretentious tool, and so it is hard to have any sympathy for him as his life unravels. It gets a bit repetitive, and goes on too long, but the style and the eroticism of the film give it something powerful.
     


  • #2


    Films on MUBI at the mo....

    La Dolce Vita – Fellini – 1960

    Fabulous start to this film, with a long shot of a helicopter flying over Rome carrying a statue of Jesus. It continues in this stylish, glamourous way, centring on Marcello, a gossip journalist in Rome, mixing with celebs, working with the paparazzi (this film gives the origin of the word, even in Italian), living what seems to be an incredibly romantic life.

    The story turns sour near the end, with a tragedy of such horror that it is difficult to fit it into the rest of the narrative, which is reminiscent of the Great Gatsby in its decadence. Marcello loses his way, world weary, stuck in a milieu that he no longer feels is his. The film ends on a down beat, with a surreal party and an air of melancholy.

    No. 6 on Time Out’s 100 Greatest movies, it was a pleasure to finally get to see this; wild, romantic, grand, fun, passionate, ultimately quite sad.
      



    Duck soup – Marx Brothers - 1930

    There are moments of surreal comic genius here, and you can see the influence on later comedy outfits like the Pythons, and especially Vic and Bob, but a lot of this is just annoying and silly. It hasn’t really aged well. All of the characters other than the Marx Brothers are more like props than people, just fall-guys for Groucho’s constant, stream of consciousness monologue, and this gets old quickly. Curious and bizarre, and quite irritating.
    


    Woman at War – Erlingsson - 2018

    Similar in theme to Night Moves, on MUBI last month, this focuses on an eco-warrior – this time in Iceland – who is sabotaging the country’s electricity grid.
    We don’t really get into the ideas at stake here very deeply, there is some discussion about the narcissism of various forms of idealism but mainly this is about the conflict between Halla’s single-minded pursuit of her goal, and her desire to be a mother with a little about the power and value of family.

    Some stunning shots of Icelandic scenery, there is also a little running joke about a Latin American tourist who keeps turning up. It is also punctuated by curious musical interludes which at first seem random, but which actually become part of the narrative. Intriguing, inventive, satisfying.
     


    Una – Andrews – 2018

    A film about child abuse, but not really heavy or depressing, which is an achievement in itself. An intense story, drawing on flashbacks that add to the whole rather than overwhelming it, it is an uncomfortable, contradictory watch at times as a young woman confronts her abuser. The performances are excellent; Rooney Mara especially as the eponymous Una. Holds the viewer’s attention.
    


  • #2


    Today's offering, at least in the Uk, is Almodóvar's Pain & Glory, and therefore highly deserving of your time. I'm definitely looking forward to rewatching this.


  • #2


    Fysh wrote: »
    Today's offering, at least in the Uk, is Almodóvar's Pain & Glory, and therefore highly deserving of your time. I'm definitely looking forward to rewatching this.

    One of the best Almodovar films, for me the best since Talk to Her (Hable con ella). I could really relate to the character of Antonio Banderas. Highly recommended.


  • #2


    Fysh wrote: »
    Today's offering, at least in the Uk, is Almodóvar's Pain & Glory, and therefore highly deserving of your time. I'm definitely looking forward to rewatching this.

    Funny, I am usually a fan of Almodovar - All About my mother and Volver are works of genius - but I saw Pain and Glory when it came out last year and found it very tedious.

    Big disappointment for me, though it did get great reviews.


  • #2


    Speaking of great films; David Lynch's weird slice of genius, Mullholland Drive, has just come on to MUBI today - can't wait to watch that again, haven't seen it since it came out.

    It messes with your head, but in a good way :).


  • #2


    Lilting – Hong Khaou – 2016
    A film about communication, - or the lack of it - grief and family. A pretty simple tale which moves slowly and gently on, drawing you in to its wake. No great twists or changes, no great revelations, but effective and engaging in what it is trying to do. Kind of peters out near the end.
    

    Naseem - Mirza - 1992
    A lot of rumours and hints of trouble between Muslims and Hindus in India in this film, but strangely we see almost none of it - the conflict is like a backdrop to this simple story of family and nostalgia, focusing on 15 year old Naseem and her bedridden grandfather, who tells stories of his youth. Feels like a lot of build up and no pay off, though an enjoyable enough journey.
    

    Virus Tropical – Caicedo – 2017
    Very cool, smart, fast moving animated film based on a graphic novel. A coming of age story set between Ecuador and Colombia, the film is really good on the differences between Latin American countries; Cali suddenly seems much more modern and hip after Quito for Paola, the central character. Fun and funny, with a lot of feminine energy.
    


    Eden – Hansen – 2014
    If you’re not into nineties Garage and House, then this may be a struggle. The film just drifts through twenty years in the life of a Paris DJ as he gains success and then loses it, hooking up with a succession of girls on the way. The protagonist is not sympathetic and really the story doesn’t even try to create any depth to any of the characters. Aimless pseudo-coming of age story that just wanders to a conclusion.
    


  • #2
  • #2


    Is there no app for smart TVs for this service, seems crazy you have to cast or hdmi your laptop to view on TV or am I missing something?


  • #2


    I can get the app on my Samsung smart TV. Wasn't pre-installed but could install from app store. Also have it on Amazon Fire stick.

    Full list here https://mubi.com/devices


  • #2


    I really enjoyed the Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975. There's a ton of amazing footage and interviews while also an added perspective of the Swedish crew trying to understand the African-American struggle in the US. Slightly depressing though since the same problems have hardly changed from fifty years ago to now.

    Also loved the recurring song by The Roots, it's stuck in my head all day..


  • #2


    Irish Aris wrote: »
    One of the best Almodovar films, for me the best since Talk to Her (Hable con ella). I could really relate to the character of Antonio Banderas. Highly recommended.

    pain and glory is a good film , finished it last night but it didn't catch me and pull me in like talk to her, but that to me is up there with the best films so high praise.


  • #2


    so on mubi (i said netflix origionally, ha) germany the few that are on now that i enjoyed are Heli (second time watching it, brutal but really good),
    isreali film , the day after i'm gone, a family drama (well worth the watch).
    Just finishing up the Romanian film , the treasure , slow moving but still a good film
    i assume these films are available on ie/uk mubi


  • #2


    so on mubi (i said netflix origionally, ha) germany the few that are on now that i enjoyed are Heli (second time watching it, brutal but really good),
    isreali film , the day after i'm gone, a family drama (well worth the watch).
    Just finishing up the Romanian film , the treasure , slow moving but still a good film
    i assume these films are available on ie/uk mubi

    The day after I'm gone is on Irish MUBI but the other two are not. Not sure why they have different films for different countries.... Maybe they give us more English language films?


  • #2


    I’d be 99% confident differences are down to rights issues. You even get fairly significant differences between the UK and Ireland, which is only really explainable by that. Many European countries have completely different rights-holders so no surprise there’d be significant differences across countries, outside Mubi’s own releases.

    Honestly, it often works out to Ireland’s benefit - from what I’ve seen the UK gets more mainstream or well-known films that are available everywhere, whereas Ireland often gets smaller or more unknown films instead. That’s a good thing IMO :)


  • #2


    I’d be 99% confident differences are down to rights issues. You even get fairly significant differences between the UK and Ireland, which is only really explainable by that. Many European countries have completely different rights-holders so no surprise there’d be significant differences across countries, outside Mubi’s own releases.

    Honestly, it often works out to Ireland’s benefit - from what I’ve seen the UK gets more mainstream or well-known films that are available everywhere, whereas Ireland often gets smaller or more unknown films instead. That’s a good thing IMO :)

    In the past I have noticed that myself, but over the last few months the UK & Ireland have had the exact same catalogue.
    Fairly sure the last difference was back on St Patricks day when Irish mubi had the Irish film "Silence" which wasn't available in the UK.


  • #2


    I have the Mubi App on a Mecool Android TV Box and on my phone.

    There is just a list of 30 movies on both Apps but neither app has a search bar, library or watchlist yet their website has a large library, a search bar and you can create watchlists.

    Can you only watch the 30 films listed? If so what is the point of their website? There is a serious lack of functionality and settings options in the apps.


  • #2


    30 films is the whole selling point of Mubi - one film added a day, one taken away. It’s highly curated, so it’s probably the only major streaming service with any sort of actual quality control (which isn’t the same as saying everyone will like every film they put out, because that’s impossible).

    They have, however, just recently added a library section which has a more substantial selection of films outside the core rotating selection. It may not be available on every app yet, but is on the iOS and web ones for now at least.


  • #2


    30 films is the whole selling point of Mubi - one film added a day, one taken away. It’s highly curated, so it’s probably the only major streaming service with any sort of actual quality control (which isn’t the same as saying everyone will like every film they put out, because that’s impossible).

    They have, however, just recently added a library section which has a more substantial selection of films outside the core rotating selection. It may not be available on every app yet, but is on the iOS and web ones for now at least.

    Thanks, can you play Movies from the Library?


  • #2


    Thanks, can you play Movies from the Library?

    you can . Hoping for an mubi android update soon so i can play them on my android box and phone


  • #2


    you can . Hoping for an mubi android update soon so i can play them on my android box and phone

    Can a movie be casted from the website to chromecast if using the chrome browser on your phone?


  • #2


    Just in case anyone doesn't know, if you subscribe to Scribd for their free month they have an offers section which gives MUBI free for a year.


  • #2


    JeffKenna wrote: »
    Just in case anyone doesn't know, if you subscribe to Scribd for their free month they have an offers section which gives MUBI free for a year.

    Haven't heard of Scribd for a long time. Used to use it years ago. Thanks for the tip, I'll check it out later.


  • #2


    Also, if anyone with Three.. on the 3 plus app back in March I signed up for the €1 for three months promo, I let it expire and then got the notification again today.. it allowed me to sign up for another three months for €1


  • #2


    30 films is the whole selling point of Mubi - one film added a day, one taken away. It’s highly curated, so it’s probably the only major streaming service with any sort of actual quality control (which isn’t the same as saying everyone will like every film they put out, because that’s impossible).

    They have, however, just recently added a library section which has a more substantial selection of films outside the core rotating selection. It may not be available on every app yet, but is on the iOS and web ones for now at least.


    It's not on the Samsung TV app yet anyway, started watching Toni Erdmann on my laptop and wanted to switch to TV but it's a non-runner, 1st world problems I know but surprised how limited the TV app is.


  • #2


    The new Herzog film Family Romance LLC is free for everyone today - subscriber or not.

    Heads up that last time this happened with Ema the film was available to subscribers for a month in the end - not sure if that's the case this time, but assume it will be. Non-subscribers definitely get in on the action today though :p


  • #2


    Some MUBI films on at the mo.....


    Redoubtable - Hazanavicius - 2017
    About Jean Luc Godard and his young wife, Anne, in 1968 in Paris. Godard is horrible; self-righteous, humourless, obsessed with Communist revolution, controlling, self-pitying. The film itself is entertaining, with surprising bursts of humour and jokes at its own expense. Also a fascinating insight into revolutionary 1968 and the woke posturing of its time.
    

    Prince Avalanche – Green – 2013
    “Yesterday was Sunday so no parties and no chance of getting puss because everyone was at church.” This sums up Lance, one of the duo of road workers in rural Texas in 1988, working there after massive forest fires. His boss is Paul Rudd, playing Paul Rudd. There are almost no other significant characters, so the weight of the story falls on these two semi-losers; it is a gently enjoyable narrative, with a seemingly pointless supernatural digression near the end. Moments of hilarity but mainly quietly amusing.
    

    The day after I am gone - Eldar - 2016
    Yoram, the central character (looking like a stoic, Jewish Elvis Costello), is like a block of wood; utterly inexpressive despite the tragedy in his life. The film is similar; it explains very little, gives very little context to its events, it is not even clear exactly who some of the characters are or what their relationship is. There is a real blankness to everything. It only rises out of its torpor on one or two occasions.
    

    Mulholland Drive – Lynch - 2001
    “It’s been a very strange day".
    Must be great to be David Lynch; you start telling a story, get a bit bored by it and decide to turn everything on its head, swap around identities and actors, throw in some random weirdness, and you are called a genius.
    The first half of this film is building into something fascinating, and then it just disintegrates a bit as everything changes. Fascinating, surreal, nightmarish, a little less than it could have been.
    

    Aprile – Nanni Moretti – 1998
    Another film by Nanni Moretti about a film director (this time called Nanni Moretti). This kind of meta film making is a lot less interesting than the director thinks, and smacks of a lack of imagination. The film suffers from not really knowing what it is; documentary, fiction, docu-drama, meditation on politics and Italy? Aimless, pointless and unfocused.
    I think this will be my last Moretti film.


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