What is MUBI?

by Martin Hafer

I am a movie nut and there are very few people who watch as many films as I do. Because of this, I have had a problem….I am running out of films on Netflix to watch. The other problem is that Netflix emphasizes the most recent films and their selection of classic movies is definitely not one of their strong points. Now I am not complaining and I do understand why Netflix generally emphasizes the newest films…that’s what the typical viewer usually wants. But what about folks like me….folks who want a selection of different films that you won’t often find on Netflix or Hulu? Well, one option is MUBI. What is MUBI? Well, it’s a very different sort of movie service…very different and it might just be something you’d like to consider using yourself. I wanted to know more about MUBI and spent some time discussing this service with Daniel Kasman, the Director of Content for MUBI here in the States.

MUBI has been around for almost a decade but most folks probably haven’t heard of it…but more should. It’s not run at all like a traditional service, however. There are no DVDs…it’s all online. There also is no lengthy library of films to look through and add to your queue. Instead, it’s like you have a movie expert or member of a film festival board waiting to make suggestions to you about excellent pictures you probably have never heard about or might not find with other services. Each day, the service adds a film and this particular film stays available for 30 days. In effect, there is a continually cycling list of films that last for a limited time.

Will this take the place of your Netflix or Hulu account? Probably not…especially if you like to binge. But look at it this way…for $5.99 a month (US), about the price of a fancy cup of coffee at Starbucks, you can see a lot of neat films you won’t otherwise find. Plus…the first month is free. There are classic Hollywood films, foreign films, indie films and more…all waiting to be discovered for just a few cents a day. Not a bad idea at all. The only reservations I have is that to see this service, your choices are a bit limited if you want to see these films on your own television. For example, if you have a PS3 or PS4, you can watch the films on your TV. The same is true with many Samsung TVs and Blu-ray players. Or, you could watch the films on your iPad, Amazon Fire, Chromecast, Apple TV or home computer (PCs and Macs). For a full list of the compatible devices, explanations for how to sign up and connect to the services and a list of current films, see their website at www.mubi.com