The Film Posters of Mihajlo Arsovski

On a recent visit to Zagreb in Croatia, I was stopped in my tracks by this poster, above, in the Museum of Contemporary Art. It is a design for the First Science Fiction Fair held in 1972 in the museum’s previous incarnation as the Gallery of Contemporary Art. The poster’s artist, Mihajlo Arsovski, had been designing exhibition posters for the Gallery for more than a decade and this poster was awarded the Gold Medal at the International Poster Exhibition in Varese,…

Ten Minutes, but a Few Meters Longer: Mia Hansen-Løve's Memories in Locations

Legend has it that the art of memory was born from death—when the ceiling of a Thessalian nobleman’s dining hall collapsed and killed all but Simonides of Ceos. He was able to identify his fellow guests, smooshed beyond recognition, by remembering their seat at the table, thus associating each person with a locality. The pre-Socratic poet soon began to experiment with localizing abstract ideas to objects in an imaginary house, which he could pick up one by one—each a symbol of…

Out of the Inkwell: Animating Anxious Bodies

When T.S. Eliot famously asked “Do I dare to eat a peach?” in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, he was alluding to social and bodily anxiety, and the sticky traps that can ensnare the unsuspecting. Eliot’s J. Alfred finds a reason to be anxious about even the most mundane objects or situations—though eating in public (especially syrupy fruits) is a common anxiety. And while a peach should be an innocuous, enjoyable object, in practice a ripe peach can spontaneously…

Movie Poster of the Week: The Top Ten Favorite Posters of Maks Bereski, aka Plakiat

The artist known as Plakiat, real name Maks Bereski, is one of a couple of incredibly talented poster designers currently spearheading a revival in the art of the Polish movie poster. The heyday of the Polish poster was from the early 1950s through the late 1980s, but the demise of Communism and the opening of borders brought about the end of a movement that used metaphor and surrealism as a form of subversion. In the age of the internet, however, appreciation…

Perfect Illusion: The Cinema of Artificial Intelligence

WALL-E (2008) is just one in a growing tradition of films that depict artificial intelligence by anthropomorphizing it, an inclination that originated along with the concept. When the field was launched at a Dartmouth conference in 1956, the name was selected over alternatives like cybernetics, automata theory, and complex information processing because the notion of intelligence oriented machines toward a human metric—the conference’s organizer, John McCarthy, believed that the differences between human and machine tasks were merely “illusory.” Twenty years later,…

MUBI Talks to Oliver Sim About His Film "Hideous"

Oliver Sim is the star and co-writer of Yann Gonzalez's Hideous, now showing exclusively on MUBI in the series Brief Encounters. In this three-part queer horror movie, Sim is the main guest on a talk show that soon slides into a surreal journey of love, shame, and blood. The film also features songs from Sim’s debut album, Hideous Bastard.

The Current Debate: “Nope” and the Society of the Spectacle

Jordan Peele’s Nope is a UFO story where characters aren’t concerned with killing an alien so much as capturing it on camera. In that regard, it’s an extraterrestrial thriller that feels very much in sync with our zeitgeist, one whose chief preoccupation revolves around our struggles to process singular, horrific happenings in an age when they are so swiftly commodified into something sellable, scrollable, and endlessly watchable. 

Recent reviews

Brought to the screen before by Chabrol, the devilishly adept genre filmmaker François Ozon adapts crime novelist Ruth Rendell in this stylish erotic thriller. Starring Romain Duris, The New Girlfriend is a complex melodrama with a pulp double-plot that elegantly interrogates gender roles

Now showing here.

Revisiting the real-life events behind the cult movie The Honeymoon Killers, Mexican auteur Arturo Ripstein—who started his career as an unbilled assistant to Luis Buñuel—mixes comedy with horror in this bold, whimsical tale of sex and murder. Starring Pedro Almodóvar’s regular, Marisa Paredes!

Now showing here.

This beautiful, unsettling documentary from the adventurous maverick Michael Glawogger travels from Thailand to Bangladesh to Mexico to view how the oldest profession differs across cultures. The candid, intimate experiences of sex workers form the empathetic center of this remarkable film.

Now showing here.

Propelling Laurence Harvey to international fame, Jack Clayton’s postwar masterpiece heralds the British New Wave with its mix of high drama and social realism. Evoking the tragic tug-of-war between love and material ambitions, French siren Simone Signoret breaks hearts in her Oscar®-winning role.

Now showing here.

Abbas Kiarostami took to the neon-glazed cityscapes of Tokyo for this enigmatic and expressionist masterpiece. Shimmering digital reflections trace an ongoing fascination with the tensions between appearance and reality, while the film’s piercing humanity invokes the ghosts of Ozu and Mizoguchi.

Now showing here.

Circling gender and romance, Xavier Dolan’s prodigious third film views the complex journey of transition through the vibrant and baroque lens of melodrama. Jumping freely between different timelines, Laurence Anyways beautifully articulates the kaleidoscopic and nonlinear nature of self-discovery.

Now showing here.

Sexy and silly, Girlfriends and Girlfriends is a lively tale of lesbian couple-swapping in bright, electropop-soundtracked Barcelona. This relatable representation of messy, modern love, inspired by both the director’s friend circle and Éric Rohmer, establishes Zaida Carmona as a vital new talent.

Now showing here.

In Terence Stamp and Peter Fonda, this fish-out-of-water revenge yarn sets two icons of the British New Wave and New Hollywood on a thrilling collision course. Marked by a stylistic playfulness and wicked wit, The Limey is a slinkily assured neo-noir that stands among Steven Soderbergh’s very best.

Now showing here.