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Cannes Takeover

MUBI Special

Farewell My Concubine

Chen Kaige China, 1993


Winner of the 1993 Palme d’Or—to date, the only Chinese film to be given that honor—Farewell My Concubine is an expansive vision, combining classical theater, a widescreen movie epic, and a modern look at taboo sexuality into a sumptuous triumph. Cannes closes; same time next year!

The Son's Room

Nanni Moretti Italy, 2001


As the Cannes Film Festival closes, we present a double bill of Palme d’Or winners leading up to Sunday’s awards ceremony. A Cannes mainstay, director Nanni Moretti took the top prize in 2001 for this gentle, tender story of tragedy and renewal—the 21st century arthouse at its warmest.

Bright Future

Kiyoshi Kurosawa Japan, 2003


Starting in sex and thrills straight-to-video, Kiyoshi Kurosawa worked his way out of that cine-ghetto to forge a style equal parts chilly art-house and pulp genre. Pulse may be his best known film, but this eerily lovely drama secured his first (and so far, only) slot in the Cannes competition.


Takeshi Kitano Japan, 1993


There seems little that TV entertainer, painter, actor, and seven times Cannes-selected filmmaker Takeshi Kitano can’t do. But he’s always been best known for what he does here, in his terrific breakout: deadpan yakuza films, honed to a quick blade’s edge, at once dark and tender, sad and funny.

Manuscripts Don't Burn

Mohammad Rasoulof Iran, 2013


One of the most vibrant cinema scenes of our era is in Iran, right under the nose of censors. Despite a government ban on his work—and with the crew uncredited, for safety—filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof crafted this clandestine, fiery political thriller. Winner of the Critics Prize at Cannes.

Santa sangre

Alejandro Jodorowsky Mexico, 1989


Master of cult cinema Alejandro Jodorowsky, famed for such lysergic vision quests as El Topo and The Holy Mountain, came to Cannes 1989 with something new: a psychedelic time-shifting horror story! Bloody, brilliant proof the Croisette has housed some truly dangerous visions.

Eat Your Bones

Jean-Charles Hue France, 2014


Next in our Cannes series is an ace combo, part genre film (car races, crime!) and part French art movie (immersion in a rural community!) that premiered at Directors’ Fortnight and is showing exclusively on MUBI. “Daybreak and dusk…raw textures and whirlwind urges,” we wax in the Notebook.


Jerzy Skolimowski United Kingdom, 1982


We turn to the 1980s and the Cold War in our next Cannes selection, the winner of Best Screenplay in ’82. Polanski contemporary and Polish émigré Jerzy Skolimowski skewers not only his Communist fatherland, but his adopted Western home with razor-sharp observation and ingenuity.


Olivier Assayas France, 2004


Director Olivier Assayas and superstar Maggie Cheung had a love affair in cinema, starting with the classic Irma Vep and leading to a real-life marriage that fell apart. They reunited at Cannes for this lovely tale of rebirth, which won Best Actress for Cheung and a prize for its nimble camerawork.

Dead Man

Jim Jarmusch United States, 1995


King-of-cool Jim Jarmusch showed up to Cannes ’95 with possibly his best film: a self-described “Psychedelic Western”, rebuilding the genre as a ragged, comic, uniquely American trip with help from a hip cast (Johnny Depp! Iggy Pop! Robert Mitchum!) and scored to a mystic jam by Neil Young.

Il divo

Paolo Sorrentino Italy, 2008


Well before The Great Beauty launched him to new levels of arthouse superstardom, Paolo Sorrentino scooped the Jury Prize at Cannes with this wild true story of political corruption in Italy, starring Beauty star Toni Servillo. Part biopic, part thriller, and glossed to a gorgeous, decadent sheen!

Millennium Mambo

Hou Hsiao-hsien Taiwan, 2001


Taiwan’s Hou Hsiao-hsien, last seen at Cannes winning Best Director for The Assassin, brought to the 2001 fest this hypnotic cocktail of sex and longing, binding past and future together and awash in gorgeous neon colors. A sensuous, beloved work from a true modern master.

The Lovers on the Bridge

Léos Carax France, 1991


The Cannes Film Festival unrolls its Riviera red carpet tomorrow, and we’re staging a Cannes Takeover for the next two weeks, as we play some of the best films that have shown at cinema’s most prestigious premiere event. Our opening film is Léos Carax’s grand, dazzlingly romantic ode to love.

Life is too short for bad films

Every day we hand-pick a beautiful new film and you have a whole month to watch it, so there’s always 30 perfectly curated films to discover.