Not getting your arthouse fix from Netflix? Wish there were more indie films on Amazon Prime Video? Every week, we round up the new releases on MUBI, the subscription VOD service that hand-picks new and old classics from around the world.
This week, MUBI kick-starts a new year with First Films First, a look back at new starts from old directors.
Here’s what’s new and coming soon to MUBI:
This week on MUBI
First Films First: Easy Rider – New Year’s Day
MUBI’s directorial debut season begins with Dennis Hopper’s counterculture classic, Easy Rider. Following two friends heading cross-country in search of their “American Dream”, this is one of the most iconic slices of Americana ever to hit the cinema screen.
First Films First: Mysterious Object at Noon – 2nd January
In this semi-documentary, Apichatpong Weerasethakul provides an original portrayal of his fellow citizens. Battling food vendors, a boxer addicted to TV, a pious policewoman and a loveless rubber-tree tapper each contribute to a serial narrative.
First Films First: The Life of Jesus – 3rd January
Bruno Dumont’s directorial debut takes place in a provincial town in the north of France, where a twenty-year-old named Freddy lives. Racial tensions arise when he sees his girlfriend talking to the new guy in town, an Arab.
First Films First: Red Road – 4th January
Jackie is a CCTV operator. One day a man appears on her monitor, a man she thought she would never see again, a man she never wanted to see again. Now she has no choice: she is compelled to confront him. Andrea Arnold’s debut kick-started a career that continues to impress with every new film.
First Films First: A Generation – 5th January
Stach is a wayward teen living in squalor on the outskirts of Nazi-occupied Warsaw in Andrzej Wajda’s directorial debut. Guided by an avuncular Communist organizer, he is introduced to the underground resistance—and to the beautiful Dorota. Soon he is engaged in dangerous efforts to fight oppression and indignity.
First Films First: Shotgun Stories – 6th January
Jeff Nichols is one of the most interesting US filmmakers working today. His first film, Shotgun Stories, tracks a feud that erupts between two sets of half brothers following the death of their father. Set against the cotton fields and back roads of Southeast Arkansas, these brothers discover the lengths to which each will go to protect their family.
First Films First: I Killed My Mother – 7th January
Hubert Minel dislikes his mother. For his 16 years, with contempt, he only sees her ugly sweaters and kitschy décor. Confused by their love-hate relationship, he moves through the rites of passage of adolescence. The only thing more striking than Xavier Dolan’s debut was how young he was when he made it.
Other new releases on MUBI
Son of Joseph
Summer in Paris. 15-year-old Vincent refuses to join in with his schoolmates torturing rats or selling sperm on the Internet. He lives with his single mother Marie and finally wants to find out who his father is. His investigations lead him to a famous, obnoxious publisher. Read our review – and our interview with director Eugene Green.
A young boy’s fascination with the images at the Cinema Paradiso turns into a deep love for filmmaking 30 years later. His ambition is encouraged by the theatre’s projectionist, Alfredo, in Giuseppe Tornatore’s moving masterpiece, a tribute to romance as well as a love letter to the big screen.
Our Man in Havana
MUBI celebrates the centennial of Carol Reed with this 1959 classic. A dream team of Graham Greene’s script, Alec Guinness, Maureen O’Hara and Noel Coward’s acting and Carol Reed’s director, this is Cold Way spy film is simply sublime.
MUBI’s Carol Reed season continues with this Oscar-winning adaptation of Lionel Bart’s musical, based on Charles Dickens’ iconic tale.
This coming-of-age story about a teenager on the Isle of Man, whose life at a family-run bed and breakfast is disrupted by the arrival of an exuberant young woman is a likeable drama, but a fantastic showcase for British stars Felicity Jones and Jessica Brown Findlay.
His Girl Friday
Howard Hawks’ classic follows Walter Burns, a conniving newspaper publisher desperate to woo back his paper’s star reporter, who also happens to be his estranged wife. She’s threatening to quit and settle down with a new beau, but, as Walter knows, she has a weakness: she can’t resist a juicy scoop. An irresistible piece of romantic comedy starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell.
The Big Easy
Nothing says Christmas like a crime thriller. Enter Jim McBride’s 1986 film, which follows Remy McSwain, New Orleans homicide lieutenant, who finds himself investigating the city’s gangs while dealing with the beautiful attorney in the DA’s anti-corruption task force.
The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!
The late Leslie Nielsen at his finest.
Martin Ritt’s Oscar-winning western stars a never-better Paul Newman as Hud Bannon, a young man who tarnishes everything and everyone he touches.
King of Devil’s Island
Stellan Skarsgard is formidable in this bleak drama about the true story of a rebellion in a boys’ home on a Norwegian island in the early 20th century – a string of events that are kick-started by the arrival of new inmate Erling, who is not cowed by the firm discipline of housefather Brathen. Read our full review.
Films About Films: Room 237
Rodney Ascher’s documentary, Room 237, fuses fact and fiction to tell the story of ardent fans, scholars, and conspiracy theorists who are convinced they’ve decoded the secret messages of The Shining. Read our full review.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
JLG/JLG – Self-Portrait in December
Available until end of: 1st January
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Available until end of: 2nd January
Hard to Be a God
Available until end of: 3rd January
Available until end of: 4th January
Available until end of: 5th January
Available until end of: 6th January
King of Devil’s Island
Available until end of: 7th January
Available until end of: 8th January
Available until end of: 9th January
Available until end of: 10th January