MUBI: our pick of the best films coming in February, from Thelma to Jules and Jim

Jules and Jim, 1962 (S dif Productions)
Jules and Jim, 1962 (S dif Productions)

There’s no doubt that MUBI has carved out a niche spot for itself in the ever-competitive streaming marketplace. There really are few better places online to hunt down exquisite arthouse and independent films – and its collection ranges from old favourites such as Argento’s 1977 horror Suspiria, to newer releases such as Alice Diop’s Saint Omer.

In February, another selection of exciting films will be released on the site. From classic romances to celebrated fantasy films, here’s our pick of the best films coming to MUBI this month – and, even better, Evening Standard readers can get 30 days of MUBI free.

Red Desert (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1964) – February 2

Michelangelo Antonioni's first colour film tells the story of wife and mother Giuliana (Monica Vitti) who is struggling to return to normal life after a month-long stay in hospital. She's pretending to hold everything together for the sake of her family, but her mental state is deteriorating. She finds solace in her husband's boss, Corrado (Richard Harris) and the two begin an affair. Set against the backdrop of an industrial estate, the film, which won the Golden Lion at Venice in 1964, is seen as a comment on the effect of technological advancements on the human spirit.

Journey to Italy (Roberto Rossellini, 1954) – February 9

Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders star in this classic drama from Roberto Rossellini, the famed Italian director who was married to Bergman at the time. The film, which some have called one of the greatest dramas ever made, follows a married couple's disastrous holiday in Italy. The trip puts more pressure on their already strained relationship and sharp words are exchanged.

Jules and Jim (François Truffaut, 1962) – February 9

Truffaut's Jules et Jim is one of the defining films of the French New Wave and it's always worth a rewatch. After the long slog that was January, we're very grateful to MUBI for putting the romance onto its platform: despite its extremely depressing end, the story about a love triangle is full of uplifting, breezy, hilarious and tender moments.

La Antena (Esteban Sapir, 2007) – February 14

This Spanish black and white fantasy film tells the story of residents of a city in the future that have all lost their voices. Weird, strange and surreal, the film is part nightmare, part dream; uncomfortable, hypnotic, and metaphorical. It was the first film ever shown on MUBI, and is returning to the platform for its 17th birthday.

Thelma (Joachim Trier, 2017) – February 20

A Norwegian supernatural thriller from Joachim Trier – the filmmaker who went on to make The Worst Person in the World  – Thelma tells the story of a woman who discovers she has uncontrollable powers that are activated by the sexual desires she feels towards a fellow student. The film, which was Norway's Best Foreign Language Film entry for the Oscars in 2018, (though it wasn't ultimately nominated) unpacks religious repression, loneliness and guilt.

Brother (Takeshi Kitano, 2000) – February 23

Full on and brutal, Kitano's Brother is about a Yakuza gangster who is on the run in America after his own gang gets defeated by a rival group. He ends up joining his estranged brother's criminal friends in Los Angeles, and, drawing on years of experience, he slowly transforms them into a successful gang.

Director and actor Kitano is best-known in Japan for his comedic work and for hosting the game show Takeshi's Castle. Making this violent flick all the more incredible is the fact that the score was written by Joe Hisaishi, the composer known globally for his many collaborations with animator Hayao Miyazaki.