MUBI is the curated Netflix for lovers of cult films and classics from around the world
The highly selective platform offers no more than 30 films at a time.
Released in 2007, MUBI has kept a relatively low profile when compared to most well-known available streaming services. Making its focus cult films and classics, as well as new independents from regions around the world, this platform also features additional content such as Notebook – its own film magazine.
One major difference from the streaming services we have been writing about on Duart is the fact that the films suggested to you are not chosen by algorithms, but by human film programmers. Behind MUBI's daily offer stands a team of people who curate the repertoire by choosing one film a day to present. This title stays available for 30 days, which means that at any time you can choose between the same number of films and make your choice by reading reviews available for every one of them.
While the benefits provided by, primarily, Netflix make us feel like children in a candy shop with an unlimited budget, this opportunity of neverending choices can feel tiring. MUBI may be offering fewer options and catering to a niche market, but using it can feel like being at a film festival, where you put your trust into the hands of the selectors or like going to your local cinema. This need for a legal way of watching a certain type of content that is not easily found online was recognized by MUBI's founder, Turskish born entrepreneur Efe Çakarel, who came to the ide while on a business trip to Japan.
“It was started because of a personal need. I was sitting in a cafe in Tokyo in 2007 and I wanted to watch a movie online. Japan has the fastest broadband speed in the world with 53 megabits per second. It’s very advanced... But yet there was not a single platform that allowed me to watch a movie while sitting in that cafe.”
One person who recognized the platform's possibilities for the promotion of less visible films is director Martin Scorsese. He partnered with MUBI through his foundation to make restored and preserved films from certain regions of the world more accessible to a wider audience. A similar collaboration was achieved in 2018 with Creative Europe, providing promotion and visibility to European films.
Today, films featured on the platform include the Japanese Journey to the Shore, by Kyoshi Kurosawa; Bruce Lee and the Outlaw, UK film directed by Joost Vanderburg, a Soviet Union film from 1972, The Dawns Here Are Quiet, by Stanislav Rostotsky and Argentinian The Daughters of Fire, by Albertina Carri. And if you believe that this is the source for your future favourite content, now seems to be the right time to try it. In the wake of the current circumstances, as the streaming service is offering a three-month membership for $1.