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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

Before The Virgin Suicides and Priscilla, Sofia Coppola had already transformed onscreen portrayals of girlhood and female friendship in her first directorial outing. Ultra-cool 1990s outfits, a killer soundtrack, and dreamy 16mm imagery make this audacious short an instant classic of teenage ennui.

Now showing here.

The insubordinate nature of Spring Fever detonated when, bypassing the Chinese authorities, the film premiered in Cannes competition during the five-year ban from filmmaking imposed on Lou Ye. A film that challenges social and moral taboos, alive with stirring rebelliousness and queer sensuality.

Now showing here.

An exuberant French New Wave classic, starring the unforgettable Jeanne Moreau in one of her most notorious, spellbinding performances. François Truffaut plays wildly with images—using freeze frames, jump cuts, and newsreels—to elevate cinema’s innovative potential in this paean to lost innocence.

Now showing here.

Fashioned with chic outfits and scenic locations, Roberto Rossellini’s picture-perfect holiday—starring Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders—veers off course into an existential drift. As red wine spills into jealousy and resentment, falling out of love has never looked so melancholically glamorous.

Now showing here.

The first film Roberto Rossellini made with the great Ingrid Bergman, Stromboli eschews formal artifice for a heart-rending neo-realist melodrama. A tale of spiritual acceptance pregnant with volcanic symbolism, the fishing sequence remains one of the most incredible set-pieces ever put on film.

Now showing here.

Let David Fincher’s postmodern thriller lodge itself deep under your skin. This pulpy adaptation of the popular crime novel stars Ben Affleck and a revelatory Rosamund Pike. A sinister, enthralling dissection of the dark heart of a toxic marriage that rails at our corrosive need for perfection.

Now showing here.

Before the global success of Parasite, Bong Joon Ho made his English-language debut with this high-concept vision of a world on the verge of collapse. Jump aboard with a monster ensemble including Octavia Spencer, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt & Song Kang-ho and let the clash of class hierarchies begin!

Now showing here.

Influencing filmmakers from the Wachowskis to James Cameron, Mamoru Oshii’s cyberpunk classic is one of the defining anime of its generation. A dystopian vision jeweled with glass-walled skyscrapers and automatons, whose hypnotic beauty begs the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

Now showing here.