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The Unusual Subjects

MUBI Khas

Have you ever wondered about the diverse reaches (and implications) of dust? Wanted to know the history of a Coney Island roller coaster? What about what it’s like to work on a globe-trotting cargo trip? Or what it takes to compose some of the world’s most adventurous electronic music? Welcome to The Unusual Subjects, a series of eclectic documentaries plunging into topics few venture to explore.

Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?

Michel Gondry Perancis, 2013

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13 hari
The Unusual Subjects

Michel Gondry puts his inventive spin on documentary in which thinker Noam Chomsky offers his wondrous intelligence on life and political existence. Partly articulated with lively animation which dialogues with the dialogue, this is a true delight of cinema as an expansive conversation.

Among Wolves

Shawn Convey Bosnia dan Herzegovina, 2016

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The Unusual Subjects

In this delicate documentary from Bosnia, survivors of the war sort through the pieces of their collective trauma by answering their sense of neglect with a quest to protect a herd of wild horses. Among Wolves indelibly expresses the healing connection between human and beast amid the ashes of war.

Pressing On: The Letterpress Film

Erin Beckloff, Andrew P. Quinn Amerika Syarikat, 2016

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The Unusual Subjects

Seni ceparas dan keindahannya digambarkan secara tepat di dalam dokumentari yang menyeronokkan ini. Mengandungi temubual yang menarik antara pakar yang berpengalaman dalam seni yang makin menghilang ini dengan anak muda yang berani dan ingin meneruskan kemahiran ini yang tidak dapat digantikan.

Project Nim

James Marsh United Kingdom, 2011

Winner of the Best World Cinema Documentary award at Sundance, Project Nim affectionately and humorously captures the story of the chimpanzee Nim. Mostly composed of interviews and home movies, the portrait of this experiment, both scientific and social, is as endearing as it is devastating.

The Creeping Garden

Tim Grabham, Jasper Sharp United Kingdom, 2014

The scientific anomaly of slime mold is at the center of this doc which continually spirals outwards, encompassing the topics of art, the universe, and even cinema history. Whether you’re interested in the mystery organism or not, there’s much to discover in this unexpected, philosophical journey.

Two Years at Sea

Ben Rivers United Kingdom, 2011

This gorgeous documentary from UK artist Ben Rivers (whose short film Trees Down Here we showed last autumn) is the tranquil yet fascinated study of a life of unique solitude. Using 16mm black and white film, Rivers captures the palpable feel of isolation from the modern world. Transfixing.

Counting

Jem Cohen Amerika Syarikat, 2015

One of American cinema’s foremost travelers—not only to places, but between traditional kinds of movies—Jem Cohen’s films excitedly hum as essential transmissions we need to see and hear. Perhaps none of his work is as electric in this way as Counting, an intoxicating mix travelogue and essay film.

Giuseppe Makes a Movie

Adam Rifkin Amerika Syarikat, 2014

Focusing on the titular DIY auteur and his no-budget production in Ventura, California, Giueseppe Makes a Movie is an ecstatic plunge into ingenuity pairing with genius. The passion and community here is what the movies are all about—portraits of filmmaking don’t get any more inspiring than this.

Wild Plants

Nicolas Humbert Switzerland, 2016

Gardening is refreshingly reinterpreted as a punk, anti-establishment movement in this lively globe-trotting documentary. Doubling also as a series of inter-connected portraitures, Wild Plants offers a unique look into the humblest of sub-cultures often underestimated through diverse perspectives.

The Lebanese Rocket Society

Joana Hadjithomas, Khalil Joreige Perancis, 2012

Subtitled “The Strange Tale of the Lebanese Space Race,” this surprising, stranger-than-fiction documentary from Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige gives an overlooked true story its due. Inspiring, against-all-odds, and finely assembled from film archives and newsreels.

In the Game

Maria Finitzo Amerika Syarikat, 2015

From the team of producers behind the legendary documentary Hoop Dreams, Maria Finitzo’s wise, patient film similarly commits its vision to a team of high school athletes and their communal quest for a greater education through soccer. A small yet intimate gesture of humanism of immeasurable worth.

Unseen: The Lives of Looking

Dryden Goodwin United Kingdom, 2015

Artist Dryden Goodwin chases an inspiring and thoroughly challenging impetus with but his first foray into cinema: an exploration of four varying ways of seeing the world. The material and the immaterial of our lives, societies, and cultures are parsed through exacting voices and incisive images.

Vampir

Pere Portabella Sepanyol, 1971

Innovative Spanish director Pere Portabella’s “documentary” is one of the most unique and experimental horror films ever made—a horror film about the making of a horror film! In its sneaky, clandestine production, it also stands out as a key work pushing Spanish cinema against the Franco regime.

Fish Tail

Joaquim Pinto, Nuno Leonel Portugal, 2015

The filmmaking duo behind the acclaimed What Now, Remind Me?, followed up that success with this gorgeous and calming anthropological portrait of a fishing village at war with encroaching industry. Fish Tail is study in a people’s perseverance and has a rare, tangible connection with its subjects.

F*ck for Forest

Michał Marczak Poland, 2012

We continue our Unusual Subjects series with perhaps the most uncanny subject matter of the selection: Fuck For Forest, for which the title effectively doubles as a synopsis. We’ll say no more. Winner of the Best Documentary at the Warsaw International Film Festival.

Portrait of a Garden

Rosie Stapel Belanda, 2015

A truly undiscovered subject is chased in this enveloping documentary which at first glance concerns the life of a single garden, then expands outwards in subject matter towards generational gaps, friendship, and time itself. A lovely and generous look into a world ripe for discovery.

Zipper: Coney Island's Last Wild Ride

Amy Nicholson Amerika Syarikat, 2012

Next in our documentary series The Unusual Subjects, a Coney Island roller coaster! The Zipper takes on a symbolic role in this ground-level portrait of a changing neighborhood, as the iconic and once-glorious Brooklyn amusement park tries to finds its place in a gentrifying and changing New York.

15 Corners of the World

Zuzanna Solakiewicz Poland, 2014

With archive and contemporary footage, this documentary profile of Eugeniusz Rudnik, a composer at the very beginnings of electronic music, is a unique synaesthetic attempt to allow its viewer to see its subject’s revolutionary sounds. Winner of the Critics’ Week Prize at the Locarno Festival.

Dust

Hartmut Bitomsky Jerman, 2007

Ever wondered about the diverse facets of dust? Or the history of a Coney Island roller coaster? What about what it’s like to work on a global cargo trip? We’re starting The Unusual Subjects, a new doc series with surprising topics—beginning with a wry film essay on one of the tiniest of topics.

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