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14 best movies to stream on Mubi that true cinephiles will appreciate

Mubi has gained popularity for streaming not only new releases but also classics, art films, and cinematic masterpieces from across the world. Movies that are hard to find comfortably fill the Mubi shelves. The streaming platform can come as a refreshing alternative to the more commercial platforms like Netflix and Hotstar. A yearly subscription of Rs 3,588 offers its subscribers a new handpicked movie every day. Here are 14 cinematic gems to stream on Mubi right now.

The best movies on Mubi to add to your binge-list –

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Mubi

Fantastic Mr. Fox is a critically acclaimed comic animated film directed by Wes Anderson. It is based on the 1970 children’s novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. Mr. and Mrs. Fox live a happy life with their aberrant son Ash and visiting nephew Kristofferson. Their happy life is overturned when Mr. Fox goes to his old ways of stealing and plots the greatest chicken heist one has ever seen. His actions bring danger to his family and his community under the hands of three mean and unforgiving farmers. The story has a light and humorous tone, but at the same time it tackles questions around morality and fatherhood. Thus, the film breaks the age barrier and lets everyone enjoy it. Also, the voiceover artists include big names like George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, and Adrien Brody.

Portrait of a Lady on Fire 

Mubi

Portrait of a Lady on Fire is a French historical drama film directed by Céline Sciamma. It tells the story of Marianne who is commissioned by a countess to paint the wedding portrait of her daughter Héloïse. Initially reluctant to get the portrait done Héloïse agrees to pose for the portraits and in the process falls in love with Marianne. Starring Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel in the lead roles, the movie explores lesbian desire in 18th century France. The multi-award-winning film has been praised for its thought-provoking script and incredible acting.

The 400 Blows 

The 400 Blows happens to be François Truffaut’s directorial debut and a film that put the French New Wave on the global stage. This movie tells us the story of a 14-year-old boy named Antonie Dionel (Jean-Pierre Léaud) as he makes his way in life through aloof parents, unkind teachers and petty crimes. A complete loner on the brink of becoming a criminal, Antonie is brought back on the tracks of the good life by caring friends, a love for cinema and a hope of good life. The 400 Blows is Truffaut’s first movie in a series of films centring around Antonie. The movie won the Academy Award in 1960.

The Sacrifice 

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The Sacrifice was the final film written and directed by Andrei Tarkovsky. He died shortly after directing the film. The movie centres around a middle-aged intellectual who asks God to stop an impending nuclear war. As the war intensifies and the destruction around him becomes unbearable, he promises God to give up on everything near and dear to him if the war comes to an end. The Sacrifice tells a tale of loss and destruction and the tragic, irreparable damage which wars bring to humanity. Its strong visuals and excellent narration make this Swedish film a must-watch for any cinephile.

Ankhon Dekhi 

Image: Courtesy IMDb

Directed by Rajat Kapoor, Akhon Dekhi tells us the story of Raje Bauji (Sanjay Mishra) – a simple man living his simple life in a small house in old Delhi with his joint family. An event changes his perspective of looking at his life and he decides he will only believe in things that he sees or listens. What sounds like a rational decision soon brings a cascade of problems for him and his family. People around him think he has lost it, but as he relentlessly continues on that road, they start to think of him as a sage. Some questions which Raje Bauji asks make tremendous sense and most of them are accompanied by a humorous undertone. The film also brilliantly reflects a traditional Indian household and the activities that are abuzz in it. Though the real deal in this movie is Sanjay Mishra’s acting brilliance.

Where Is the Friend’s Home?

Mubi

Abbas Kiarostami is well-known for using child protagonists and telling stories out of simple settings. Where Is the Friend’s Home is amongst his most notable films that bring innocence, friendship, and an appreciation of everyday life. This 1987 film is the first film in Kiarostami’s Koker trilogy and it tells us a story of an 8-year old Ahmed who has mistakenly taken his friend’s homework notebook. Ahmed must return it before the next day, else his friend gets a harsh punishment. Determinedly, Ahmed sets off to find his friend’s house in the adjacent village.

Tripping with Nils Frahm

Mubi

Nils Frahm is a German composer who is known for his unconventional approach to the piano. In this Benoit Toulemonde’s documentary film, you get a ticket to several memorable performances from this legendary German artist. Tripping with Nils Frahm brings together a series of mesmerising performances of this great artist at Funkhaus Berlin, one of the German capital’s most iconic buildings. This documentary is sure to be a visual and auditory delight to all the music fans out there.

La jetée

This 28-minute long French short film is not for the faint-hearted. Directed by Chris Marker, La jetée consists of a musical score, voiceover and a series of black and white photographs that show us a completely devastated Paris after a deadly global war, and the tunnels underneath the city. In the tunnels, a man is subjected to time travel where he tries to unravel the mysteries of his own existence. In any other film, you see the still images, the music and the dialogues coming together to you. What makes La jetée so unique is that you have to do that yourself as you watch the movie. The underlying themes of time and destiny and the way with which the story is told makes this a truly special watch.

Nayak 

Mubi

Satyajit Ray needs no introduction. All his films stand as hallmarks of cinematic experience and Mubi lets you experience most of them. If we were to pick, we would go for Nayak. Here, Arindam Mukherjee (Uttam Kumar) is going by train to collect an acting award. On the train, he meets a journalist named Aditi (Sharmila Tagore) who unknowingly starts taking an interview of Arindam. He opens up to Aditi and starts talking about his past, his fears and his secrets. Nayak talks about self-reflection and the nature of the film industry in great depth. With a great cast and Ray’s outstanding direction, Nayak is a film you are unlikely to forget.

Modern Times 

Mubi

Who doesn’t love Charlie Chaplin? In this 1936 film, we see Chaplin as a wearied factory worker who gets caught in all the ills of modern industrialisation. Said to be one of Chaplin’s best films, Modern Times is a biting satire on the evils of industrialisation. The movie talks about the poor conditions people were thrown into during the period of the Great Depression. The film makes it difficult to contain a hearty laugh but at the end of it, you are likely to be pushed into deep thought. Because it combines humour and social criticism, it is a great watch for all ages.

Something Useful 

Mubi

Turkish director Pelin Esmer tells us a story of two people who have nothing in common except a shared understanding of life’s struggles. Leyla, a lawyer and a poet has decided to attend a school reunion after saying no to all the previous invitations. On the train, she meets Canan, a young nursing student who aspires of becoming an actress. Their journey is a reflection of the self and understanding the importance of living life on one’s own terms. Through the two characters, the movie explores our need for human connection and resorts to art as the ultimate escape.

Shirley 

Mubi

A young couple decides to move in with famous horror author Shirley Jackson (Elizabeth Moss) and her professor-husband. The couple moves in hoping to start a new life but they find themselves trapped in a psycho-drama that inspires Shirley’s next novel. The psychologically unsettling drama is a must-watch for Elizabeth’s outstanding performance who plays a character polar opposite to the one she plays in Mad Men. Logan Lerman and Odessa Young are also a part of the ensemble. Shirley is an adaptation of the 2014 novel of the same name by Susan Scarf Merrell.

Metropolitan 

This Whit Stillman directed 1990 coming-of-age film centres around a middle-class Princeton student who befriends a bunch of wealthy socialites in New York’s Upper East Side. Despite his relatively humble background, Tom (Edward Clements) is accepted into the group of upper-class teens who spend much of their time talking about life, philosophy, attachments, and romances. As time passes, Tom falls in love with Audrey (Carolyn Farina) while still unsure of his feelings for his ex.  Metropolitan provides an amusing insight into the lives of the New York elite and it is appreciated for its authentic observation of human psychology. The film was nominated for the Academy Award and has won The Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature.

Macquinaria Panamericana 

In a factory in Mexico, employees are gearing up for their weekend when something terrible happens; their beloved boss is found dead. In a state of fear, they hide his body and lock themselves in. Chaos ensues the place as the company goes bankrupt, the elderly workforce is left with no new employment prospects and the people working are drawn to the fringes of their sanity. This comedy-drama is an interesting insight into the capitalistic forces and the struggle that goes into overpowering them. The film’s dark humour and political undertones make it an interesting watch.

Image: Courtesy MUBI

Pradyumna Kalagi

An automotive enthusiast who believes that there is no better way to see the world than through the driver’s seat. Also loves reading books, playing with dogs and eating cheesecake.