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The Unusual Subjects

MUBI Special

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.

Giuseppe Makes a Movie

Adam Rifkin United States, 2014

Now Playing
20 days to watch
The Unusual Subjects

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.

Counting

Jem Cohen United States, 2015

Coming Soon
24 days
The Unusual Subjects

A personal, essayistic documentary in 15 chapters. The director composes images, sound and music with remarkable intensity, combining them into a hypnotic foray through the metropolises of our world: New York, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Istanbul, Porto and a city intended to remain unknown.

Wild Plants

Nicolas Humbert Switzerland, 2016

expired 5 days ago
The Unusual Subjects

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 France, 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 United States, 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 Spain, 1970

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.

Fuck 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 Netherlands, 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 United States, 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 Germany, 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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