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  • #2


    Nova Lituania - Kaupinis - 2019
    Melancholy, impassive people, lots of smoking, a sense of fatalism and impending doom for a small country surrounded by much bigger ones. Add to this the fact that it is in black and white, and it makes it a dour watch. There are hints of humour but mostly it is a trudge through a fateful period of Lithuanian history at an important time – might be useful to visit Wikipedia before watching. There should be drama here but there is little.
    


    To the ends of the Earth – Kurosawa – 2019
    Probably the only film ever made about a Japanese TV crew in Uzbekistan. The idea has some potential but it never really goes anywhere – Yoko, the central character, just stumbles from mishap to mishap, while putting up with all kinds of indignities in her job as TV travel presenter. A strange mix, mostly tedious, some drama near the end that saves it a little. No idea why it turns into a musical at times.
    

    Party - Nihilani - 1984
    So much here – loads of characters, lots of themes explored: pretentiousness of the Bombay cultural class; double standards for women in Indian society; tradition v modernity; class and caste issues; the purpose of art. All of this is under the shadow of absent Amrit, a revolutionary poet working with underprivileged rural people. Lots of talking, exploration of ideas. Basically like being at a Bombay party full of intellectuals.
    

    White Material – Denis – 2014
    The vision of Africa here is one of danger, chaos and brutality, which really just feeds into the cliched view of the continent and adds nothing to our perspective. Hard to be very sympathetic to any of the main characters, so the story doesn’t engage. There is no enlightenment here, only harshness, stubbornness and mindless violence. Very nihilistic.
    

    Images – Altman – 1972
    Lynchian weirdness and identity swapping that doesn’t really lead to or mean anything – it just feels like a slow disintegration in Catherine’s sanity, and that’s not very interesting. What the film seems to be saying is that this is all hysteria brought on by not being able to have a baby.
    


  • #2


    was going to ask you to put in your recommendations Figson instead of making me read throught each film. Just before i started writing, i looked at the boxes which my brain had as paragragh dividers. some have 2 boxes one has 4 .... aha


  • #2


    was going to ask you to put in your recommendations Figson instead of making me read throught each film. Just before i started writing, i looked at the boxes which my brain had as paragragh dividers. some have 2 boxes one has 4 .... aha

    Yeah, I tried to put stars in. I import the reviews from a Word doc where you can do that, but Boards doesn't recognize the symbol so it just comes out as these anonymous boxes...... :(


  • #2


    was going to ask you to put in your recommendations Figson instead of making me read throught each film. Just before i started writing, i looked at the boxes which my brain had as paragragh dividers. some have 2 boxes one has 4 .... aha

    Anyway, I wouldn't take my ratings as gospel - there are a lot of films on MUBI that other reviewers seem to like or love (you can leave reviews on the site itself) that leave me cold.

    Fellini's 8 1/2 is an example of that: I hated it, and a lot of reviewers were talking about it being the greatest film ever made.. :)


  • #2


    https://mubi.com/films/zero-motivation , decent enough film if it's available in Ireland


  • #2


    https://mubi.com/films/zero-motivation , decent enough film if it's available in Ireland

    Don't think it is....


  • #2


    Two days, one night – Dardenne Brothers – 2014
    Great idea, though with some flaws. The format leads to this steady, building drama, where Sandra visits her co-workers one by one to try convince them to vote for her. There is some repetition in this, and her husband’s insistence on pushing and pushing her gets annoying, but the ending is satisfying, in its own way. A very human film, exploring the conflict between solidarity and self-interest.
    

    A short film about love – Kieslowski – 1988
    We finally learn near the end that one of the main characters in this film is called Maria Magdalena – an unsubtle bible reference that shows who she is supposed to represent. Her motivation isn’t really clear, as she seems to fall for her hapless stalker, and this part doesn’t convince at all. In fact, the film gets less convincing as it goes on.
    

    EXT Night - Abdalla - 2018
    Two sides to life in Cairo; westernised, liberated, English speaking young people, drinking, selling sex and taking drugs, and you feel like you are in a European city, and then there is a slap in a restaurant, and a police station and hints of a police state and a woman being arrested for carrying a condom. Add to that the difference in social classes and there is a huge amount going on here. Rich, human and full of Cairo, full of life.
    

    A short film about killing – Kieslowski – 1988
    You would think that eighties Communist Poland was dark and gloomy enough without having to add a darkening filter to the camera, but that’s what Kieslowski does here, in what seems like overkill. There doesn’t really seem to be any electric light and there is almost no colour but black, grey and white. The effect is eerie, intense, oppressive, for a film that is already powerful and dark. Would have been nice to know more about Jacek’s motivation.
    


  • #2


    La fille inconnue (the unknown girl) – Dardenne brothers – 2016
    Dr Gavin does some sleuthing. This is pretty grim stuff; realism in an anonymous European suburb – the story centres around the death of a young woman and all the people caught up in this. The doctor (Adele Haenel) smiles, sometime around the middle, and you realize that that was pretty much the only smile you see in the whole film. Touches on important issues, but is a little too heavy and the social commentary is not very subtle.
    

    The Dance of reality – Jodorowsky – 2013
    Wild, crazy stuff. The scenes with the amputees are totally off the wall, there is a bizarre tickling test, a very special type of golden shower, lots of death and thoughts of death, real and imagined tyrants, torture, hilarity, clowns. It drags at times, but then bursts into life again with something outrageous or bizarre. Unique.
    

    Evolution – Hadzihalilovic – 2015
    A deeply strange film. A place where there is only mothers and sons, the sons fed on gruel, the mothers involved in some kind of cult of the sea. Eerie, and just gets stranger as it goes on, yet the film never bothers to explain anything. It just throws this bizarreness at the viewer without making any effort to clarify. A weirdly malevolent view of femininity from a female director.
    

    The wind that shakes the barley – Loach – 2008
    As an Irish person watching this, it is devastating – and that is a testament to the realism and power of the film. The film is over simplistic at times; the British are pure villains, and the rebels are portrayed as heroes. The view of socialism is also unsubtle and preachy, despite some attempts at balance. Despite this, the film retains an impact that is hard to forget.
    


  • #2


    your criticisms of the wind that shakes the barely is what took the enjoyment out of the film for me. Had the potential to be a very good film but yes, preachy and oversimplistic. I just couldn't get past that. Must look at your other film recommendations , thanks. I'm jumping around between netflix and prime as well. Life in the first world is hard


  • #2


    A family tour - Xing - 2018
    A lot here about Taiwan, Hong Kong and China and the repression of free speech in the ‘mainland’. There area echoes of the Cultural Revolution and people writing confessions of wrongdoing, just for not following the party line. That in itself is interesting, but this film doesn’t really exploit the theme well, is at times far, far too slow and static and maybe a lot of the meaning gets lost in translation.
    

    Tale of Cinema – Sang-Soo – 2005
    Another story about filmmaking on MUBI; seems to be a bit of a preoccupation. This one has the germ of an intriguing idea, with the overlap between fiction and fact. That’s the most interesting thing about the film, as it doesn’t really exploit the possibilities well, and kind of wanders down some blind alleys. A good idea, not very well executed.
    

    Festen - Vinterberg - 1998
    Worst family ever, but a great film. A very intense view of a family celebration that takes an unexpected turn. Black humour, horrible people, quiet heroism, all based on Dogme principals filmed with handheld cameras and apparently no artificial lighting. Hard to watch at times, incredibly sad, impactful. Extraordinary.
    


  • #2


    https://mubi.com/films/overseas-2019 . A tough, often sad but very good documentary on domestic workers from the philippines


  • #2


    A family tour was tedious and I did not finish sadly.


    I watched Beanpole (5/5) and Bacurau (3/5) this week.

    To lazy to write a meaty review.:p

    Somewhat annoying that the American version of Mubi is so much better than the Irish version, the American version has the excellent Once Upon A Time In Anatolia which Irish doesn't. :mad:


  • #2


    Rjd2 wrote: »
    A family tour was tedious and I did not finish sadly.


    I watched Beanpole (5/5) and Bacurau (3/5) this week.

    To lazy to write a meaty review.:p

    Somewhat annoying that the American version of Mubi is so much better than the Irish version, the American version has the excellent Once Upon A Time In Anatolia which Irish doesn't. :mad:

    Agree, A Family Tour was slow and a struggle.

    I saw Bacurau a few months back on Irish MUBI: that is one wild, crazy, fcuked up, brilliant film.

    I would find it difficult to say that one MUBI is better or worse than another - the films are all so different that it is hard to assess the overall quality of a selection. Just recently I have seen some really excellent movies on Irish MUBI - Festen, Kind Hearts and Coronets, Rocco and his brothers, The Wind that shakes the Barley, The Dance of Reality - the best for a long time.

    And then you get a week where there is nothing but mediocrity....


  • #2


    Kind hearts and Coronets - Hamer - 1949
    Cutting, a lot of very black humour, a kind of stiff upper lip Britishness that is so intense you can almost touch it. Brutally satirises snobbishness and the aristocracy while giving us some priceless characters – Louis is cold and complex – he is a murderer yet is reluctant to shoot birds or use physical violence – and his relationship with Cibella has layer after layer. Joan Greenwood as Cibella matches him in callousness. Great, dark fun.
    


    The Wayward girl – Carlmar – 1959
    “I’ve never met a girl with so much yes in her”. Liv Ullman as the femme fatale Gerd, a wild young woman with daddy issues. Issues like teenage sex and single mothers are treated in a very modern, Scandinavian way – impossible to imagine in American movies of the nineteen fifties. There is an energy to the story that carries it, though it doesn’t always work.
    

    Farewell Amor - Msangi - 2020
    The religious theme is laid on a bit thick, but the story itself is powerful – the classic American immigrant story, a conflict between the old life and the new. There is a bit of a Footloose vibe here, though in New York and with black people. A little predictable, sentimental and cliched at times. Also no idea why two Angolans are speaking English with each other. Starts out well, runs out of steam.
    

    Rocco and his brothers - Visconti - 1960
    What starts out as an energetic, entertaining film slowly descends into very dark territory. The whole Rocco – Nadia – Simone triangle is hugely fcuked up. Simone is in the tradition of brutish characters in Italian films like Zampano from La Strada. Hard to find a sympathetic character – Rocco himself has this martyr complex that is difficult to take. Only Ciro emerges with some credit. A dark, powerful family epic.
    


  • #2


    The woman who ran – Hong Sang-Soo - 2020
    Random people keep showing up, we never really learn who they are, they have random conversations and then we move on to the next set of randomness. The film seems to go out of its way not to explain anything, or to have any kind of direction, which just makes it tedious. Full of random, sudden close ups. The title is cryptic and not obviously related to the film. Almost completely pointless.




    Fantastic Planet - Laloux - 1973
    Obvious influences range from Monty Python to Dali. The massive aliens are called Draags and they meditate a lot – a 1970s’ reference to hippies maybe? The visuals, the pace, the imagination are all superb, a fast moving zip through the story of the tiny human Oms and their Draag masters who just want to eradicate them. The ending is a bit rushed, but it is still a crazily entertaining, sometimes brutal gem.
    

    The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie – Buñuel – 1972
    A very strange mixture of farce, thriller, ghost story, satire and weird randomness involving the military that doesn´t really seem to fit in the general story of six members of the bourgeoisie engaged in drug running, adultery and other misdemeanours. The digressions become annoying and distracting. There is a bishop who is also a gardener and other surrealism. Too many dream sequences, weak satire.
    

    The Straight Story – David Lynch – 1999
    “What’s the number for 911?”
    David Lynch’s love letter to the American mid-west, and to human decency. A straight story in more ways than one; the central character is Alvin Straight, who chooses a unique way to travel to see his brother. And for David Lynch, this is about as straight a story as it gets – no dream sequences, no surrealism, no identity swapping. Strange to think that a lot of those decent people in this film would now be Trump voters.
    


  • #2


    Fantastic Planet is a great film, I can't remember if I have seen it previously in Mubi or somewhere else.

    And The Straight Story - the least Lynch-esque film that Lynch has made, still a very good film.


  • #2


    Loved The Woman Who Ran - I'm a bit of a Hong Sang-soo fanboy to put it mildly, and love how his films are deceptively simple but contain all these strange, fascinating layers that you can pick away at. I mean I think they operate well as just brilliantly acted conversation pieces too, but there's always to me something more going on. In this one it's a meditation on where different paths in life can take people - women reckoning with the choices they've made. And what these short encounters tell us about their lives more generally - hints, big and small, about what's happening beyond these short, casual conversations. Also great to see Hong further shifting the perspectives of his films - it centres the characters who'd often be on the sidelines in some of his earlier work. I get why many (maybe even most) viewers wouldn't warm to his work, but for me almost all his films are warm, comforting, fascinating and thought-provoking. Mubi getting his work out there has been a delight over the past few years, after years of just scattered festival screenings and expensive DVD imports!

    Some other good films added recently. About Endlessness isn't the best Roy Andersson film, but it is nonetheless as strange, funny and oddly moving as you'd expect from the most idiosyncratic and particular of the modern auteurs. And The Long Goodbye is a masterpiece of smart, cynical 70s cinema - one of Altman's best too (although my heart will always belong to Nashville first and foremost!)


  • #2


    Loved The Woman Who Ran - I'm a bit of a Hong Sang-soo fanboy to put it mildly, and love how his films are deceptively simple but contain all these strange, fascinating layers that you can pick away at. I mean I think they operate well as just brilliantly acted conversation pieces too, but there's always to me something more going on. In this one it's a meditation on where different paths in life can take people - women reckoning with the choices they've made. And what these short encounters tell us about their lives more generally - hints, big and small, about what's happening beyond these short, casual conversations. Also great to see Hong further shifting the perspectives of his films - it centres the characters who'd often be on the sidelines in some of his earlier work. I get why many (maybe even most) viewers wouldn't warm to his work, but for me almost all his films are warm, comforting, fascinating and thought-provoking. Mubi getting his work out there has been a delight over the past few years, after years of just scattered festival screenings and expensive DVD imports!

    Some other good films added recently. About Endlessness isn't the best Roy Andersson film, but it is nonetheless as strange, funny and oddly moving as you'd expect from the most idiosyncratic and particular of the modern auteurs. And The Long Goodbye is a masterpiece of smart, cynical 70s cinema - one of Altman's best too (although my heart will always belong to Nashville first and foremost!)

    Second film of Hong Sang-soo that I have seen, and he is not doing it for me at all. Feels like his work divides opinions.

    Haven't seen either of the other two yet, but am looking forward to the Altman film; the Raymond Chandler book is great.


  • #2


    The big feast - Ferreri - 1973
    A celebration of food and sex, though they are both ultimately associated with death. The characters eat so much that it is easy, just watching, to begin to feel a little nauseous. The film goes on a little too long for such a slight story, and gets repetitive. Fun, at times, and then bizarre. There may be a point here about our desire to consume until it kills us, but the satire is not very strong.
    


    Gone girl – Fincher – 2014
    The power of story. A compelling narrative, well told. Ben Affleck is a bit wooden but the rest of the cast make up for it in this pulp fiction style mystery that lets you have the real story in dribs and drabs. After the #Metoo movement, not sure that
    this movie about a woman faking sexual assault
    could be made now, but the two hours and forty minutes go by fast as you are drawn into its crazy, twisted world.
    

    All the Vermeers in New York – Jost – 1990
    Very 80s story about actresses, trust fund kids and brokers in NY. The longueurs at times are irritating, the two minute tracking shots with jazz in the background kind of grate, but it is often charming and subtle too. A bit like a student project, acting not always convincing. Gently amusing but slight.
    

    It’s only the end of the world – Dolan – 2016
    Antoine is the problem here; he is hateful and deranged – tellemente désagréable – and we have to listen to him a lot. And why exactly did Louis avoid his family for 12 years? We are never really told – maybe because of his brother? All of this conflict is stressful to watch, and tedious. The ending is hysterical and there is no catharsis, no revelation. An unpleasant, frustrating experience.


  • #2


    The Long Goodbye – Altman – 1973
    Philip Marlowe, one of the great smart-asses of modern popular culture. The whole film reeks of the 1970s; special brownies, big afros, wide lapels, sideburns like bushes - though the original novel was set in the fifties. Elliot Gould is a perfect Marlowe, never without a cigarette in his mouth; put upon, smart but a bit lazy, world-weary. Beats the **** out of Bogart. Weird, brief cameo from Swartzenegger. Wonderful from start to finish.
    

    Metropolitan – Stillman – 1990
    The characters here are utterly absurd, young, 20 year old New Yorkers who act, speak and dress like middle aged people from the 1850s. They are priggish, snobbish, conceited, clueless, massively pretentious, and targets of some gentle satire. That said, this is also a lot of fun. Long live the UHB!
    

    August 32 on Earth – Villeneuve – 1998
    The Utah adventure is almost completely stupid and pointless, why do they end up there? It feels like they are making the story up as they go along. There is a slight hint at sci-fi, but even that is not committed to. Some nice shots of the desert, but in general an aimless, meandering story that largely fails.
    

    All is forgiven – Hansen Love - 2007
    More questions than answers at the end, which is a pity as the film has its charms. A story of loss and redemption, the complexity of relationships, the shadow of the past.
    


  • #2


    fisgon wrote: »
    The Long Goodbye – Altman – 1973
    Philip Marlowe, one of the great smart-asses of modern popular culture. The whole film reeks of the 1970s; special brownies, big afros, wide lapels, sideburns like bushes - though the original novel was set in the fifties. Elliot Gould is a perfect Marlowe, never without a cigarette in his mouth; put upon, smart but a bit lazy, world-weary. Beats the **** out of Bogart. Weird, brief cameo from Swartzenegger. Wonderful from start to finish.
    I love that movie. The tone is perfect. Gould is perfect. I've only seen a handful of Altman (including MASH, which Gould is also great in), but TLG is my favourite. It's almost as close to The Big Lebowski as to the old Bogie noirs, though witty rather than overtly comedic.

    It was made years before Schwarzenegger really got into acting, so cameo is the right word. I don't think he has any dialogue.


  • #2


    May have been discussed here previously, what do people think of the change of format? I sort of preferred the simplicity of the 30 films with a time limit so you are motivated to watch a film asap.

    Watched Hunger for the first time. A tough, tough watch.


  • #2


    WicklaBlaa wrote: »
    May have been discussed here previously, what do people think of the change of format? I sort of preferred the simplicity of the 30 films with a time limit so you are motivated to watch a film asap.

    Watched Hunger for the first time. A tough, tough watch.

    Is there not still a time limit?

    Maybe I am being stupid here; i just thought they changed the layout of the home screen, but that the system is still the same....


  • #2


    fisgon wrote: »
    Is there not still a time limit?

    Maybe I am being stupid here; i just thought they changed the layout of the home screen, but that the system is still the same....

    I think the poster might be referring to the library? I haven't checked lately, but couple of months ago I was able to see a film that I missed in the 30 day period and it was still available in the library.


  • #2


    Irish Aris wrote: »
    I think the poster might be referring to the library? I haven't checked lately, but couple of months ago I was able to see a film that I missed in the 30 day period and it was still available in the library.

    Yes the library seems to include most of the back catalogue of films. There are way more films available to watch so harder to choose.

    I think I preferred when it was just 30 films.


  • #2


    WicklaBlaa wrote: »
    Yes the library seems to include most of the back catalogue of films. There are way more films available to watch so harder to choose.

    I think I preferred when it was just 30 films.

    Yes, that's a good point. Personally, I have used the library only once, as I don't have enough time to explore more than the main catalogue. I would usually go through the 30 films, and there are enough films for me to watch.


  • #2


    I mean, they still have the 30 day system. They’re just giving more bang for your buck with the bigger collection (and I’ve been watching Mubi long enough to remember when they did have more than just a 30 day cycle!). There’s some great and rare films in the library so would only consider it a good thing :)


  • #2


    i've been doggy trained on the 30 day system so i've yet to stray into the library. i'm sure it's something that makes a lot of sense to offer to users while also promoting films for 30 days.


  • #2


    Yeah it probably is a positive development.

    When I go onto MUBI now the 30-day cycle is just not so obvious. They seem to be promoting the library as much.

    I'm sure I will get used to it!


  • #2


    I've had a few series to watch so slowed down on Mubi but enjoyed Harmonium a lot. Essentially the Japanese version Of The Gift.:o

    Anyone watch Beginning?

    Also slightly annoyed that the Irish version very lacking compared to the American/Canadian version .


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