Communicating mostly digitally over the past year or so has led many to get creative with messaging dialects. From kickstarting a chat with a gif, attempting to show your true emotion with a Bitmoji or opting for the more conversational tone of a voice note over a text, we’ve each been pushed to try new ways of showing our personality while talking via screen. Yuri Suzuki’s latest creation puts all of these attempts to creative shame however, creating a new app with curated film streaming platform Mubi, called Mubi Remix.
A free-to-download messaging app, Mubi Remix reads a user’s inputted text and transforms it into a video clip by piecing together snippets from Mubi’s library of iconic films. Reminiscent of comedic remixes of TV clips from popular culture (like the works of CassetteBoy or Yuri’s own favourite, Brian Williams does Rapper's Delight), the idea first stemmed from the question of how Mubi can creatively communicate its service to the public. “Which is a very broad task,” as Yuri points out.
Developing out his own brief through several conversations with Mubi’s founder Efe Cakarel, “through the conversation I found out that Mubi is different from any other film subscription service, focused on the culture of film,” Yuri tells It’s Nice That. “I felt the brief should be something unique, not about advertisement or campaign, it should penetrate into our daily routine.” Soon after this realisation, the pandemic took hold of the world, making it very obvious where Yuri should focus his attention as “it soon became clear that communication with others became the primary topic in our daily lives,” he says.
Noticing how people were quickly becoming tired of Zoom calls, floods of emails and nudges from Slack, Yuri’s focus then became to awaken people out of the “communication fatigue” we were experiencing. “I had a real desire to bring spice back to how we communicate,” he adds, “which led to the creation of Mubi Remix.” In turn, the app is simply a “funny and novel way to send messages”, while also creatively reminding users of the curated selection of films Mubi hosts.
GalleryPentagram: Yuri Suzuki, Mubi Remix (Copyright © Pentagram, Mubi 2021)
Seamless in its ability to piece together clips from hundreds of films into whatever text one types into the app, Yuri and Mubi team worked closely with Helsinki/Lisbon-based studio Counterpoint to bring their concept to life. Made up of Samuel Diggins and Tero Parviainen, who Yuri has personally had a longterm relationship with already, the pair are known for their ability of “always achieving adventurous projects”.
Working at the “intersection of design, music and technology, with a focus on interactive, generative systems and artificial intelligence” Counterpoint created an algorithm which uses Mubi’s database of film to create a “bank of millions of word choices,” explains Yuri. “The result is simply incredible, so many possibilities and permutations for the user.” This technological aspect of the app is additionally a process Yuri has long been interested in, particularly in how to utilise databases inspired by the project Scrambled Hackz. “I would love to develop more on these approaches in the future,” adds the Pentagram partner, “such as a real time performance generation could be very interesting.”
When it comes to seeing this thinking come to life on the app, Yuri suggests playing with the phrasing of sentences to see the full capability of what the Mubi archive might create. “Actually it’s quite fun to repeat the same words,”such as Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello,” he suggests. “Each time the algorithm picks up different snippets which is very appealing to watch. I tried the ‘F’ word on the app and it’s actually quite fun!”
Now available to download, we strongly recommend you and your pals download the app to ignite conversation through the medium of iconic films. Hopefully it’s not the last collaboration we’ll see from Yuri and Mubi too as he adds, “I love Mubi as they are positioned as a cultural ambassador on independent film,” and, it seems, an endless resource of creative inspiration.
Pentagram: Yuri Suzuki, Mubi Remix (Copyright © Pentagram, Mubi 2021)
About the Author
Lucy joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In October 2016 she became a staff writer on the editorial team and in January 2019 was made It’s Nice That’s deputy editor. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about new and upcoming creative projects or editorial ideas for the site.