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Film of the day

THE PIROGUE

Moussa Touré France, 2011

Senegalese director Moussa Touré’s third feature is a survival drama that captures—with visceral, heart-stopping force—a treacherous journey across the Atlantic. Rich with the intimate specifics of West African life, The Pirogue humanizes the people behind the crisis, tracing a journey of hope.

The Unusual Subjects
Specials
The Unusual Subjects

THE VOICE OF THE MOON

Federico Fellini Italy, 1990

How else could Federico Fellini bid farewell to cinema but with a baroque, dreamlike, and nostalgic fable? Here’s a welcome restoration of this Ermanno Cavazzoni adaptation with Roberto Benigni, for which Fellini created an Italian town from scratch—a poetic vision amongst a disenchanting modernity.

KEEP THE LIGHTS ON

Ira Sachs United States, 2012

Premiering at Sundance, this indie is a sensitive look at the lifecycle of an imperfect match. Director Ira Sachs based the script on his own personal relationship, but transcends the personal aspects of his experience to form a universal and resonant look at the bonds formed through a partnership.

MALINA

Werner Schroeter Germany, 1991

Rediscovered

MUBI is thrilled to unveil the restoration of this criminally overlooked adaptation of Ingeborg Bachmann’s novel. A startling depiction of female consciousness with a jaw-dropping Isabelle Huppert, Werner Schroeter’s hallucinatory love triangle overflows with subconscious frenzy and fervid passions.

GHOST STRATA

Ben Rivers United Kingdom, 2019

Ben Rivers: As Time
Goes By

What if film’s most precious function were to capture the passing of time: those meaningful but unnoticed fragments of existence and geological layers of history? Filmed in sumptuous 16mm and structured in twelve chapters, Ben Rivers’ globetrotting film diary reflects on what “now” might be.

BEAUTIFUL NEW BAY AREA PROJECT

Kiyoshi Kurosawa Japan, 2013

The Uncanny Universe of
Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Kiyoshi Kurosawa is a deft practitioner of almost any genre, including martial arts! His action film is typically but compellingly strange, intertwined with the industrial development of the Japanese waterfront. The fights, when they come, have a sense of realism that is as unusual as it is bracing.

COCK AND BULL

Cao Baoping China, 2016

Crime isn’t only the realm of masterminds—just as entertaining are the botched plans of aspirational crooks. This series focuses on comic criminal antics from mainland China, starting with Cock and Bull, a series of interwoven tales that exquisitely blends dark humor and genre thrills.

LEGEND OF THE MOUNTAIN

King Hu Taiwan, 1979

The career of King Hu, best-known for Come Drink with Me, Dragon Inn and Touch of Zen, is full of innovation and wonder beyond these wuxia classics. This marvelous fable, shot on location in South Korea and seamlessly blending philosophy and action, has been newly restored to its original length.

BLACK VENUS

Abdellatif Kechiche France, 2010

Based on the shocking real-life story of Black performer Sarah Baartman, Abdellatif Kechiche (Blue is the Warmest Color) marshals a blistering critique of racism, misogyny, and the colonial gaze that turns us into complicit voyeurs. Featuring a truly remarkable debut performance from Yahima Torres.

NAINSUKH

Amit Dutta India, 2010

The Inimitable Image:
An Amit Dutta Retrospective

We begin our focus on Indian experimental filmmaker Amit Dutta with a film often regarded as a critical juncture in his artistic practice. An ingenious depiction of the art and life of the 18th century eponymous Pahari painter, this meditative work unfurls like a multi-layered miniature painting.

BLUE BOY

Manuel Abramovich Argentina, 2019

Brief Encounters

By watching sex workers listen to their own experiences while staring at us, Blue Boy creates a provocative triangle of power relations between camera, subject, and spectator. Manuel Abramovich plunges us into the complexities of sex trade with an inventive, superbly effective storytelling device.

NOT WANTED

Ida Lupino, Elmer Clifton United States, 1949

Ida Lupino’s first film as a director is this taboo-busting, compassionate melodrama about an unwed and unwanted pregnancy. A woman’s perspective and her intimate subjectivity refreshingly lie at the center of this drama, which highlights the era’s ludicrous, conflicting attitudes to sex and love.

OM DAR-B-DAR

Kamal Swaroop India, 1988

Indian new wave filmmaker Kamal Swaroop’s debut feature is a postmodern portrait of day-to-day life in the town of Ajmer. Told through idiosyncratic imagery, unusual dialogues, and irreverence, this film is a cult-classic of Indian experimental cinema.

CREEPY

Kiyoshi Kurosawa Japan, 2016

Kiyoshi Kurosawa taps into his skill with policier and horror films for this thriller cleverly blending domestic vulnerability and unsolved crime. Throw credibility out the window and embrace the film’s tingling sense of unease and the uncanny as the story twists and turns.

DIVINE INTERVENTION

Elia Suleiman France, 2002

Palestinian director Elia Suleiman brings darkly deadpan humor, surreal poetics, static long-shots, and Keaton-esque slapstick to explore the absurdity of life under occupation. With shades of Tati, Kaurismäki and Andersson, this masterful tragicomedy won both the Jury and FIPRESCI awards at Cannes.

TWO PLAINS & A FANCY

Whitney Horn, Lev Kalman United States, 2018

Shot on handheld 16mm film, this surreal western set in 1893 Colorado is equal parts bewildering, funny, and stunning. Directing duo Lev Kalman and Whitney Horn combine philosophical ruminations with expansive geological sights, resulting in a lo-fi road trip comedy that is beyond classification.

AGE OF UPRISING: THE LEGEND OF MICHAEL KOHLHAAS

Arnaud des Pallières France, 2013

Performers We Love

For us, a movie star is someone who we’ll watch in any movie—and if Mads Mikkelsen is in it, we’re there. Whether playing a Bond villain, a boozing school teacher (his newest film, Another Round), or embodying vengeful outrage in this historical drama, his brooding intensity is fiercely compelling.

TOKYO SONATA

Kiyoshi Kurosawa Japan, 2008

If any movie changed the perception that Kiyoshi Kurosawa only excelled at horror films, this is it: a domestic drama—the hallowed realm of Ozu—but reinvented. A prizewinner at Cannes, he scored his biggest hit yet with an unusual blend of redemptive family story, dystopian dread, and deadpan humor.

PUSHING HANDS

Ang Lee Taiwan, 1991

Taiwanese in America

Part of the “Father Knows Best” trilogy that propelled him into international stardom, Ang Lee made his debut with this witty and heartfelt drama. Tenderly considering cultural differences between the East and West, Pushing Hands became the first Taiwanese feature to be distributed in the U.S.

SIAO YU

Sylvia Chang Taiwan, 1995

Directed by Sylvia Chang, and co-written by Ang Lee, Siao Yu frames gritty ’90s Manhattan with the sensibility of the New Taiwanese Cinema. Daniel J. Travanti and newcomer René Liu deliver powerhouse performances in this humble and extraordinarily beautiful story of immigrant life in America.

SOUTH TERMINAL

Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche France, 2019

The latest film by Algerian-French auteur Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche is an engrossing drama tinged with a thriller’s suspense. Echoing Casablanca’s hero fighting to keep wartime neutrality and Transit’s clever use of an unnamed locale, Ameur-Zaïmeche vividly tells a timeless story of paramount urgency.

SONGS MY BROTHERS TAUGHT ME

Chloé Zhao United States, 2015

Director Chloé Zhao won the Golden Lion at Venice and the People’s Choice Award at TIFF for her latest film, Nomadland. Zhao’s first feature is a similarly beautiful and melancholic portrait of life on the fringes of American exploitation, impressively brought to life by its non-professional actors.

YOUTH

Feng Xiaogang China, 2017

This rose-tinted but fascinating period film from I Am Not Madame Bovary director Feng Xiaogang immerses us in the artistic side of the People’s Liberation Army. Beyond dramatizing the challenges of the vocation, the film asks how the lives of young artists intersect with government ideology.

SLACK BAY

Bruno Dumont France, 2016

No one’s enjoying Bruno Dumont’s foray into comedy more than us. The former king of the New French Extremity has taken to slapstick like a duck to water in this darkly twisted, hysterically funny whodunnit that also works as a class satire. Plus Juliette Binoche like you’ve never seen her before!

DOPPELGANGER

Kiyoshi Kurosawa Japan, 2003

A decidedly playful master of many genres, Kiyoshi Kurosawa collaborated again with the great actor Kôji Yakusho (Cure) in a lightly comic version of a very scary idea: one day, a man sees his exact double. Existentially terrifying, perhaps, but also… potentially advantageous? A darkly sly gem.

END OF SUMMER

Jóhann Jóhannsson Denmark, 2014

The film debut of composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (Sicario) gives us a vision of Antarctica as we’ve never experienced it before. His wonderful score, which complements his arresting Super 8 footage, creates a haunting soundscape that transports us to a different world that exists at the edges of ours.

BUDDIES

Arthur J. Bressan Jr. United States, 1985

Love & Loss &
Liberation: Two Classic Gay Films by Arthur J. Bressan, Jr.

Presented in a new 2K restoration, this overwhelming masterpiece from pioneering gay filmmaker Arthur J. Bressan Jr. was the first feature about the AIDS crisis. Set within a Manhattan hospital, two men movingly discuss life, death, and politics in an act of cinematic love and resistance.

GAY USA

Arthur J. Bressan Jr. United States, 1977

Shot at Pride events in 1977, this essential film of the gay rights movement is showcased in a new 2K restoration. Against the backdrop of Harvey Milk and Anita Bryant, director Arthur J. Bressan Jr. draws out allegiant and hostile voices, making it an optimistic, yet angry collective portrait.

A PARIS EDUCATION

Jean-Paul Civeyrac France, 2018

Moodily monochromatic and poignantly melancholic, French director Jean-Paul Civeyrac evokes the passionate ideals of youth in this portrait of film school life. Wearing the influence of the French New Wave proudly on its sleeve, the film conjures up the enchantment of Paris and the magic of cinema.

THE LOST ARCADE

Kurt Vincent United States, 2015

For many of us, nothing evokes the pure nostalgia for adolescence (or the ’80s!) more than arcade games. This intimate look at the iconic New York video game arcade Chinatown Fair captures the colorful and open-minded characters whose sheer determination makes the gaming community what it is.