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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

What to stream: Embark on guided tour of world cinema with Mubi

By Katie Walsh Tribune News Service

The streaming era has been a boon for cinephiles. Suddenly, thousands upon thousands of movies, from old favorites to obscure titles, are available with the click of the remote (and a monthly subscription fee). But for some audiences, that’s led to a choice paralysis, locked in a never-ending scroll.

That’s where Mubi comes in – the streaming service for discerning cinephiles with a taste for daring global cinema.

Mubi, which is also a publisher of criticism and commentary (see: Mubi Notebook) and film distributor, fashions itself as a catch-all destination for film lovers, with an emphasis on curation.

On Mubi, it’s not just about having access to everything, it’s about having access to the right things: the interesting indie gems and international art house sensations.

There’s a feeling of trust that every film is of high quality – and perhaps something you would have never seen before – and an emphasis on collection and curation makes their database of films easy to navigate and discover new-to-you titles. It’s like a curated international film festival, with monthly refreshes in programming.

During June, the guest curator is filmmaker Isabel Sandoval (“Lingua Franca”), who has put together a collection of her favorite films from the Mubi vault, including Peter Strickland’s “The Duke of Burgundy,” Lee Chang-dong’s “Burning,” and “Clouds of Sils Maria” by Olivier Assayas. June also features a collection of films highlighting Queer Spaces on Film for Pride Month, and a collection of four films from Japanese auteur Hirokazu Koreeda, whose most recent film “Monster,” will premiere on Mubi June 7.

Mubi will also feature a retrospective of the Ross brothers’ filmography, a New Orleans-based filmmaking duo who, for the past 15 years, have been delivering hand-crafted, lyrically expressed films about America that toy with the limits of fiction and nonfiction. Their most recent film, produced and distributed by Mubi, is the heartfelt and windswept “Gasoline Rainbow,” which premieres on the service Friday. Their first proper narrative feature, the Ross brothers used their documentary roots to create a wild road trip film, following five teenagers as they travel 500 miles to the Oregon Coast. It’s the kind of youth movie that is both timeless and perfectly preserves a moment in time – that specific age when freedom beckons before the responsibilities of life crash in. It’s a beautifully triumphant movie, and unlike anything else you’ll ever see.

Mubi will also feature their doc-fiction hybrid, “Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets,” a look at the antics of a group of bar patrons, real people interacting in a staged scenario, as if it’s the last night of the bar. Also be sure to check out “Western,” about life in a Texas border town, “Tchoupitoulas,” following a group of kids in New Orleans, and their debut film “45365” about their hometown in Ohio. Their 2016 doc “Contemporary Color” is a concert film made in collaboration with David Byrne.

And while you’re perusing Mubi, here are a few other highlights to check out: Work Hard, Play Hard, a collection of early films by “Anatomy of a Fall” writer-director Justine Triet; Chaos Theory, a retrospective of films by Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Silva, from his riotous “Rotting in the Sun,” to the whimsical and moving “Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus.” Some other can’t-miss recent Mubi-distributed films on the service are: “How to Have Sex,” a harrowing look at British holiday party culture; “Decision to Leave,” a ravishing romantic noir by Korean master filmmaker Park Chan-wook; “Passages,” the exploration of a chaotic love triangle by Ira Sachs; “The Five Devils,” a mysterious exploration of trauma and memory starring Adèle Exarchopoulous; and “Fallen Leaves,” the winsome Finnish romance by international art house icon Aki Kaurismäki.

There are truly so many gems on Mubi, so leave the scroll behind, and start watching, letting them be your guide through the riches of world cinema.