This week, MUBI continues its trip overseas to South America, as it dives into the vibrant, surprising and unique cinema of Argentina. A new wave of Argentine film has brought a number of impressive independent filmmakers to our screens, while production company El Pampero Cine has rebelliously pushed boundaries in production, exhibition and more. Over the next month, MUBI will revisit Argentine cinema to showcase films that redefine low-budget filmmaking and couldn’t come from anywhere else. And, of course, MUBI continues its season of old and new gems Direct from Locarno Film Festival.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription streaming service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
The Romance of Astrea and Celadon – 12th August
Eric Rohmer’s swansong is a tale of longing and cross-dressing in the 17th century, which follows a young shepherd, Céladon, who is being rebuked by his fiancée, Astrée, who suspects that he is cheating on her. Through utter desperation he throws himself into a roaring torrent river sweeps him away… Eric Rohmer’s vision of doubt, hazard and love.
To Rome With Love – 13th August
A flight back to Allen’s unstructured era of hit-and-miss comedy, To Rome with Love is like going on vacation with a favourite elderly relative, only to be shown a bunch of random Polaroids taken 30 years ago. Faded? Yes. But still colourful in places.
Castro – 14th August
MUBI’s New Argentine Cinema season continues with an Alejo Moguillasky triple-bill. This cockeyed semi-comedy’s unlikely basis is Samuel Beckett’s 1938 novel Murphy, but it preserves only the book’s central conceit: a set of characters constantly in pursuit of the title character ready to check out of the rat race and sever all ties with his past.
The Parrot and The Swan – 15th August
MUBI’s Alejo Moguillasky triple-bill continues with his 2013 comedy, which skillfully articulates the world of dance – pecifically, the shooting of a documentary about a series of ballets – with the story of a break-up and a romance.
The Gold Bug – 16th August
Feminism, Victoria Benedictsson, Leandro N. Alem, the Radical Party in Argentina, suicide, stunts, Edgar Allan Poe, the complicated relationship between low-budget films with a political aim and the film industry. MUBI’s Moguillasky triple-bill concludes with his 2014 drama, co-directed with Fia-Stina Sandlund.
City of Pirates – 17th August
Raul Ruiz’s surrealist fantasy drama features three characters – a murderous and provocative, albeit angel-faced boy, a woman who may be his mother, and a man who may be the same boy.
Brooks, Meadows and Lovely Faces – 18th August
MUBI’s latest Special Discovery is this 2016 Egyptian drama from director Yousry Nasrallah. With his sons, Refaat (a passionate cook) and Galal (a womanizer), chef Yehia manages a wedding caterer. Karima, Yehia’s niece, is promised to Refaat, but he loves Shadia, without knowing that Karima loves also someone else. Over the course of the wedding, Karima finds a way to reveal her feelings.
Other new releases on MUBI
Neill Blomkamp’s superb feature debut skips the alien invasion part to focus on the social fallout of a bunch of refugees being housed in a makeshift tent city outside Johannesburg. Sharlto Copley plays a field agent who ends up infected by a virus that begins to alter his DNA, placing him on the outside of civilisation, finding his way through the extra-terrestrial migrant community. Sci-fi, political commentary and guns that fire pigs. What’s not to like? Read our full review.
Suddenly, Last Summer
Elizabeth Taylor. Katharine Hepburn. Montgomery Clift. Joseph L. Mankiewicz brings Tennessee Williams’ scandalous play to life in this story of wealthy widow Violet Venable, whose only son dies while on vacation with his cousin, Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now, Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomised to cover up the truth.
MUBI’s Argentine season kicks off with Balnearios, a 2002 gem that marks the inauguration of El Pampero’s work. The “documentary” profiles the titular Argentine bath resorts and the idea of cities dedicated exclusively to idleness, empty along the winter months and crowded in the summer.
After Balnearios, MUBI’s Argentine season completes a double bill of Mariano Llinas’ work, with the film that saw him become a name overseas. The four-hour result entwines myriads of narratives and a celebration of storytelling, as three unconnected, voiceover-narrated tales each start off innocently enough and then veer into ever stranger, more fascinating realms – a tapestry imbued with the spirit of Robert Louis Stevenson and filtered through the sensibilities of Jorge Luis Borges and Thomas Pynchon.
Henri-Georges Clouzot’s La Verite follows Dominique Marceau, on trial for the murder of Gilbert Tellier. The counsels duel relentlessly, elaborating explanations for why the pretty, idle woman might have killed her boyfriend.
Impression of a War
MUBI’s Locarno series resumes with 2015’s Silver Leopard winner. Colombia-born, France-based director Camilo Restrepo constructs a kaleidoscopic essay charting the multiple realities inhabiting images, entwining footage of different natures to question the process by which history is constructed.
The Human Surge – 11th August
MUBI’s Locarno season draws to a close with Eduardo Williams’ The Human Surge. Shot across three continents — and divided in three parts interlinked in unexpected ways — Williams’ enigmatic feature debut takes us on a visceral, stimulating journey to explore the ominous hyper-connectivity of today’s world.
Lords of Dogtown
After the documentary profiling the seminal Zephyr Team of Californian skateboarders, MUBI inverts its board with Catherine Hardwicke’s fictionalised version of events. A classic in its own right, the electric cast is led by Heath Ledger and Emile Hirsch.
Dogtown and Z-Boys
Using a mix of film that the Zephyr skateboard team (Z-Boys) shot in the 1970s by Craig Stecyk along with contemporary interviews, the documentary tells the story of a group of teenage surfer/skateboarders and their influence on the history of skateboarding (and to a lesser extent surfing) culture.
Using only existing black-and-white footage from the time, Sergei Loznitsa (Maidan, My Joy, In The Fog) turns his exquisite, investigative eye to the failed coup of August 1991 which lead to the dissolution of the USSR.
On the streets of Saint Petersburg people gather waiting for news, improvising blockades and anxiously hoping for change, in a film which shines a light on a country in continued political upheaval.
Damsels in Distress
Whit Stillman’s comedy is an acquired taste, but for those who have already acquired it, this is a delightfully witty, whimsical affair, featuring a new dance craze and Greta Gerwig on top form. Read our review.
Masterful slapstick, political horror and bourgeois family drama combine in Bruno Dumont’s enjoyably unpredictable comedy. Read our full review
Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson are a comedy double act to die for in Ruben Fleischer’s horror comedy. Travelling across zombified America in search of safety – and a Twinkie – this is a warped, witty ride that unfolds at breakneck speed. Read our review
A monthly subscription to MUBI costs £5.99 a month, with a 30-day free trial.
Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
The Rendez-vous of Deja-Vu Available until end of: 12th August
Slack Bay Available until end of: 13th August
Zombieland Available until end of: 14th August
Sandra Available until end of: 15th August
L’Innocente Available until end of: 16th August
Mardan Available until end of: 17th August
Fanny and Alexander Available until end of: 18th August
Eldorado XXI Available until end of: 19th August
84 Charing Cross Road Available until end of: 20th August
Damsels in Distress Available until end of: 21st August
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