HBO Max, Peacock, Quibi, Disney+! The wealth of streaming services new or upcoming this year is enough to keep your eyeballs glued to the screen indefinitely. But for classic and indie cinephiles stuck indoors right now, there are plenty of indie alternatives (which IndieWire covers in the weekly Streaming Wars: Indie Edition column). Along with virtual cinemas popping up left and right, and of course the stalwart Criterion Channel, there’s a new indie offering in town via Mubi.
The over-the-top distribution service has just debuted Library, which, if you remember the old days of Mubi, is very similar to the platform’s original conceit. Library is now a filmgoer’s dream warehouse filled with tons of independent and classic movies, black-and-white favorites as far back as 1922’s “Nosferatu,” and more recent fare like “Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda,” Luca Guadagnino’s lavish short film “The Staggering Girl,” starring Julianne Moore, plus “Bruce Lee and the Outlaw,” and much more. Most recent, perhaps, is “Beanpole,” Russia’s harrowing 2020 submission to the Academy Awards that centers on two women’s tangled relationship after World War II. Director Kantemir Balagov’s 2017 debut “Closeness” is also streaming.
Streaming via Library in its entirety is Steve James’ epic 1994 documentary “Hoop Dreams,” one of those doorstop movie classics for which now’s as good a time as any to start on. Also available in Library is Claire Denis’ “Trouble Every Day,” the French director’s foray into horror that combines elements of a pandemic movie with a cannibal romance, which is not often available on subscription-based streaming services. And there are also a handful of Agnès Varda movies that you won’t want to miss.
Mubi is currently offering a seven-day free trial for the service. Mubi promises double bills and retrospectives in a curated design that’s similar to The Criterion Channel, because it also includes many of your old favorites, as well as movies you maybe didn’t know existed. If you’re already a Mubi subscriber, Library is included in your package, but after the free trial, it’s just $10.99 a month, or a cool $95.88 a year. Head over to the library here.