Inherent Vice and Boogie Nights director Paul Thomas Anderson has never been that concerned with convention, and when it comes to online distribution he's going his own way yet again: his upcoming film Junun will debut exclusively on a streaming service called MUBI. The film documents a trip to India that Anderson took with Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, a frequent collaborator that scored Anderson's last few films. While in India, Greenwood joined forces with musician and poet Shye Ben Tzur and Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich to create Ben Tzur's new album with a fleet of musicians from across the country.
While most of the conversation around subscription streaming services has been about big volume players like Netflix and Amazon, MUBI has gone a different route, catering to hardcore film lovers with a heavily curated selection of classic and international films. Every day MUBI introduces a new film to its catalog with a 30-day window of availability, so it's not the place to look if you want to catch up on the Fast and Furious franchise — instead, it serves as the online equivalent of an arthouse revival theater, showing specialized films that many major services may not even be concerned with. (Some of the films arriving over the past week include Bernardo Bertolucci's The Conformist and Vittorio De Sica's Marriage Italian-Style.)
An arthouse revival theater on your computer
As one might expect from the specialized focus, MUBI costs less than your average streaming service: monthly subscriptions come in at $4.99, or a year can be purchased at one go for $39.99. The service is available primarily through its iOS and Android apps (with AirPlay and Chromecast support, respectively), though MUBI has been slowly bringing itself to more dedicated living room devices, including the PlayStation 3 and 4, Samsung Smart TVs, and Amazon Fire TV. For Paul Thomas Anderson fans anxious to see his latest work, Junun will premiere on MUBI on October 9th, the day after it screens at the New York Film Festival.