Five must-see films to stream on MUBI Library

Emily Garbutt May 28, 2020
Five must-see films to stream on MUBI Library

Streaming site MUBI launched its Library last week. The site specialises in collections of independent and international cinema. MUBI functions on a 30-day rotation – every film is available for 30 days before it’s replaced by another.

However, MUBI has now opened access to its archives for all subscribers so there are hundreds of films at your fingertips.

Not sure where to start? Here are our top picks of what to watch first.

Portrait Of A Lady On Fire (2019)

Still showing in cinemas when lock-down hit, Céline Sciamma’s fourth feature arrived on the small screen riding a wave of five-star reviews and numerous award nominations.

Portrait Of A Lady On Fire is a film that lives up to its hype. It’s a poignant, understated love story set in the 18th century against the breathtaking coastal scenery of Brittany. 

Persepolis (2007)

Based on the autobiographical graphic novel of the same name, Persepolis follows Marji as she grows up against the political turbulence of 1970s Tehran.

As an outspoken teenager, her parents fear for her safety and send her to Vienna, where Marji has to navigate adolescence in a foreign country. The animation is mesmerising – it’s a beautiful adaptation.

Meshes Of The Afternoon (1943)

The word gets thrown around a lot but Maya Deren’s short films are iconic. A queen of the 20th-century avant-garde, Meshes Of The Afternoon is her debut film. Deren also plays the film’s central role.

The film is surreal, dreamlike and disturbing, with a nightmarish cyclical narrative. Deren’s work was ground breaking and she paved the way for a generation of experimental film-makers.

The Host (2006)

A sci-fi extravaganza from Bong Joon-ho (director of 2019’s multi-Oscar-winning Parasite), The Host is part monster movie, part dark comedy, part political commentary and part family drama.

It’s quintessentially Bong, with absorbing action scenes and a cast of colourful characters we can’t help but root for.

Mustang (2015)

The story of five young orphaned sisters living in rural Turkey, Mustang is director Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s debut feature.

After being spotted playing with male classmates on the beach, the girls’ uncle takes them out of school and bans them from leaving their home. Both stifling and liberating, this is a story of sisterhood and rebellion.

MUBI is £9.99 per month, or free for anyone with a valid university email address. You can also get a free 30-day trial if you’re a new user. Happy streaming.

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Emily is an NCTJ qualified journalist specialising in the arts and pop culture.