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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.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription streaming service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
La Sentinelle – 19th August
With Ismael’s Ghosts opening Cannes and My Golden Days on the way to UK cinemas, MUBI celebrates Arnaud Desplechin with a double-bill, beginning with 1992’s La Sentinelle. The mystery thriller follows a medical intern, who finds himself drawn into a world of international intrigue after discovering a shrunken human head in his luggage.
My Sex Life or How I got into an Argument – 20th August
Praised as “sublimely wayward” by the New York Times and dovetailing into My Golden Days, Desplechin’s dark comedy from 1996 follows Paul Dedalus, who is at a crossroads in his life. He has to make several decisions; should he complete his doctorate, does he want to become a full professor, does he really love his long-standing girlfriend, or should he re-start with one of his other lovers?
Ostende – 21st August
MUBI’s New Argentine Cinema season continues with two from Laura Citarella. A young woman wins a 4-day vacation in a hotel in Ostende, a sea resort near Buenos Aires. It is the low season, and she gets to the place alone—her boyfriend will join her a few days later, interrupting this beach-set, intriguing micro-cosmos that might be filled with stories she doesn’t know.
Dog Lady – 22nd August
MUBI’s Citarella double-bill concludes with La Mujer de Los Perros. Co-director Llinás plays an intriguing, unique character in this existentialist fable about a woman who lives with a pack of dogs on the very edge of the populated world, with minimal contact with other people. The seasons come and go. On life and survival, love and death.
Abouna – 23rd August
The lives of two brothers, who live in N’djamena, are upended when they awake one Saturday morning to find that their father has left the family in Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s 2002 drama.
Three Lives and Only One Death – 24th August
MUBI kicks off a mini-season exploring Raúl Ruiz’s dreams with Three Lives and Only One Death. Marcello Mastroianni stars as man who shares four names and four personalities (which is the real one?). This mysterious figure is the link between four different, yet strangely similar, stories involving love, lust, crime and time.
At Ellen’s Age – 25th August
Ellen (Jeanne Balibar) must come to terms with a new turn in her life. Although her job as a flight attendant keeps her circling the globe, she feels her private life has become a kind of placebo, giving her the sense of security she needs so badly.
Other new releases on MUBI
In a World…
Lake Bell’s writing and directing debut is a brilliant indie gem set in the tough world of voiceovers.
The Romance of Astrea and Celadon
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
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
Fishy Stones Available until end of: 22nd August
Umbango Available until end of: 23rd August
Murder by Contract Available until end of: 24th August
After the Rehearsal Available until end of: 25th August
Dogtown and Z-Boys Available until end of: 26th August
Lords of Dogtown Available until end of: 27th August
The Passenger Available until end of: 28th August
Paper Moon Available until end of: 29th August
Casualties of War Available until end of: 30th August
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