Uncovering Italy’s Superlatives in people, places and things

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MUBI and chill, an interview with Efe Cakarel

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Caption: Efe Cakarel by Dincer Dinc

Introducing the latest endeavour in film streaming

There is nothing like cosying up to a movie. We’ve all been doing that these days, but what about going deeper? ISSIMO has collaborated with MUBI, a curated streaming service full of beautiful, interesting and incredible movies. Today we’re presenting VISIONI: A LENS ON ITALIAN CINEMA, a curated collection of films from the hallmarks of Italian cinema. We sat down with MUBI’s Founder Efe Cakarel to talk about MUBI, movies and an epic night in.  

MUBI is an online film streaming service. What’s all this about an “aha” moment in a Tokyo coffee shop?

I love cinema, and MUBI’s creation was directly inspired by this “aha” moment! While sitting in a café in Tokyo, I wanted to watch Wong Kar-Wai’s dizzyingly romantic In the Mood for Love, but was shocked to discover that I couldn’t view it online. This was 2006, but still! This experience gave the idea of a platform akin to an online cinema – a place to showcase and celebrate the great range of movies and provide access to masterpieces to audiences around the world.

MUBI’s been described as “like Netflix but without the bloat” (The Guardian, 2015). What is MUBI??!

MUBI is a curated streaming service. That sounds simple, but it isn’t! The thing that makes MUBI different, and keeps it special – is that we hand-pick every single film. We always have. (And always will.) Our team of curators love exploring the world’s cinema, finding its best bits, and sharing them.

Because our film choices are so human-driven – (no robots or algorithms) – we aren’t led by popularity or trends, or anything else. We just find the films that truly speak to us, whatever they may be, and bring them to more people. Some will be iconic films, classics and masterpieces. But many will be great movies, that you never knew existed.

A still from “In The Mood for Love” (2000) directed by Wong Kar-wai, courtesy of MUBI

Give us the details- How many films? Top ten lists? Film of the Day?

At the heart of MUBI is our Film of the Day – a new hand-picked film, that arrives at midnight, every single night. We also curate film seasons and retrospectives… exploring themes, genres or a director’s work.  We screen MUBI Releases – brand new films that you can only see here.

And we’ve just opened our LIBRARY…full of hundreds of more beautiful, interesting, incredible films. (All available to all our members, to watch anytime, anywhere.)

You once said “MUBI is not just about discovering wonderful new cinema or classic masterpieces. It’s also about discussing and sharing these discoveries, which makes us like a small coffee shop.” Can you elaborate?

We’re a real community of real film lovers. (Though there are now about ten million of us – so it’s a pretty big, small coffee shop.) Talking about great films is one of the best things about watching great films. So we like finding ways to share movie thoughts, opinions and discoveries, with each other.

Efe, what makes a film great to you?


Truth is something deep that we all know, when we see it and feel it. Even truths that we don’t understand, or that feel unbelievable at first. When cinema is true, it lives forever. A good story, probably comes next. Then beauty. (But please note – beauty isn’t always pretty.)

A still from “8 1/2” (1963) directed by Federico Fellini, courtesy of MUBI

And your favourite film of all time?

My favourite film is 8 ½.

We all agree, Italy has a history of amazing films and directors. What/who are your favourites?

Where do I start? Visconti, Antonioni, Fellini, Pasolini, Bertolucci. If I am ever stranded on an island, (that happens to have a cinema on it), give me their films, and I’ll be fine.

Finally, we’re all about cozying up on a Friday evening. Describe your Epic Night In.

I’m cooking cacio e pepe.  A bottle of Barolo is decanted. (Giacomo Conterno Monfortino, if you really mean ‘epic’). Then I watch Investigation of a Citizen above Suspicion by Elio Petri, followed by Rashômon by Akira Kurosawa. Perfect Dinner. Perfect Wine. Perfect double-bill.

A still from “Investigation of a Citizen above Suspicion” (1970) directed by Elio Petri. Courtesy of MUBI

‘With MUBI, we share our love for cinema and Italian culture by presenting some of our favourite Italian movies.’

Marie-Louise Scìo

 ISSIMO x MUBI – Visioni: A Lens on Italian Cinema

A Lens on Italian Cinema is a gift to ISSIMO subscribers, who also have access to films on MUBI.  Curated by Marie-Louise, A Lens on Italian Cinema is a selection of films from the hallmarks of Italian cinema, featuring historic masterpieces, cult classics and more, covers the must-see big names such as Antonioni, Pasolini and Fellini, with a mix of cheeky Tinto Brass and titles like L’Avventura, Germany Year Zero and The Solitude of Prime Numbers.

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About MUBI

MUBI is a curated streaming service. An ever-changing collection of hand-picked films. From new directors to award-winners. From everywhere on earth. Beautiful, interesting, incredible movies — a new one, every single day. Always chosen by us. MUBI is available to watch in 190 countries, and the films we pick are guided by local cultures and cinema. We are the world’s biggest community of film lovers, with over 10 million members around the globe. You can stream or download all our movies, anytime. On any screen or device, anywhere. And you’ll never see a single ad on MUBI. Ever. 

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