MUBI takes to the skatepark this weekend, as it heelflips its way through a double-bill of skateboarding features. Then, it’s off to Locarno Film Festival. Taking place in a small lakeside Swiss town every August, it’s one of the world’s premiere venues for celebrating bold, adventurous cinema. For its 70th year, MUBI presents a string of titles plucked straight from the film festival’s line-up over the last two years.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription streaming service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Lords of Dogtown – 29th July
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.
The Passenger – 30th July
An emotionally burnt out journalist (Jack Nicholson) attempts to escape his own existence by exchanging identities with a dead arms dealer. Shot on location by director Michelangelo Antonioni, the protagonist goes on a life-changing journey through Africa, Spain, Germany and England.
La León – 31st July
El Turu is captain of a ferry that links isolated communities of reed cutters in Santiago Otheguy’s drama. One of the workers, Álvaro, is a quiet gay man whose sexuality and love of books makes him an outsider. The brutish captain is set on harassing Álvaro, but El Turu’s scorn masks an inner turmoil.
Casualties of War – 1st August
During the Vietnam War, a soldier finds himself the outsider of his own squad when they unnecessarily kidnap a female villager. Brian de Palma’s 1989 war film was nominated for a Golden Globe for its score.
All The Cities of The North – 2nd August
MUBI begins its Direct from Locarno season with Dane Komljen’s 2016 drama. In the darkly wooded grounds and concrete boxes of what was once a Yugoslav resort complex, two men share an enigmatic, tender life. A stranger comes to town; things change, but how, what, and why remain ambiguous.
The Idea of a Lake – 3rd August
Milagros Mumenthaler’s Argentine film follows 35-year old Inès. A photographer, she is in an emotionally fragile phase and begins putting together a book of personal poems and photographs. Gradually, the process of bringing a book to fruition becomes a very personal and unfettered exploration of her past.
The Event – 4th August
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.
Other new releases on MUBI
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.
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.
84 Charing Cross Road
David Hugh Jones’ 1987 romance follows an American writer, who answers an advertisement from a rare-book store in London and begins a two-decade romance via correspondence with a man in the overseas department. Despite several attempts, they never manage to meet. But she finally makes it to London. The film won a BAFTA for Anne Bancroft, who leads a cast that includes Judi Dench and Anthony Hopkins.
MUBI explores South Africa’s “B Movies” through the lens of Tonie Van Der Merwe, who spearheaded the B-Scheme under apartheid, making all-black movies for black audiences. Films like Fishy Stones energetically and thriftily channeled Hollywood to give black actors their own space on the silver screen. After a well-executed jewellery store heist, two amateur thugs go on the run. The police are not too far behind and after a chase through the countryside, the thugs are apprehended – but only after they stash their loot in a clump of nearby bushes.
MUBI continues its Tonie Van Der Merwe season with Umbango, a Zulu western. When Kay Kay, a powerful, ruthless businessman sets out on a mission of revenge against two men accused of killing his brother, he strong-arms the local sheriff into forming a posse of thugs to aid in his vendetta.
After the Rehearsal
A rational, exacting, and self-controlled theatre director is staging a production of Strindberg’s Dream Play. Dozing after rehearsal, he’s woken by his lead actress, who seems out to seduce him. An intimate, revealing and personal look at the heart, mind and soul of the director.
Masterful slapstick, political horror and bourgeois family drama combine in Bruno Dumont’s enjoyably unpredictable comedy. Read our full review
El Dorado XXI
MUBI’s latest Special Discovery is from director Salome Lamas. Set in La Rinconada y Cerro Lunar in the Peruvian Andes – 5500 metres above sea level – the Portuguese director’s second feature is a striking portrait of the migrant workers inhabiting the world’s highest settlement.
Fanny and Alexander
MUBI’s Ingmar Bergman retrospective continues with this chronicle of the many ups-and-downs of the Ekdahl family at the turn-of-the-20th-century, as seen through the eyes of the eponymous sister and brother. Bergman intended it as his swan song, and it’s the director’s warmest and most autobiographical film, taking home four Oscars.
Take a trip to Italy this week with MUBI’s double-bill of Neo-Realist classics from director Luchino Visconti. He followed up The Leopard with this dark re-invention of the Electra myth brought into the shadow of the 20th century. Starring Claudia Cardinale.
MUBI’s Visconti double-bill concludes with his final movie from 1976. A return to the period dramas that re-made Visconti’s name after his early Neo-Realism, it is a sublime ode to the moral constraints and immoral excess of the upper class.
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
One man (Matsumoto!) is trapped in a room; another, a Mexican wrestler, starts his day. Only pure ingenuity could connect them together. Read our full review
From Here to Eternity
The iconic beachside kiss between Burt Lancaster & Deborah Kerr is amongst the most renowned of movie images, and yet it’s only one of many sublime moments in Fred Zinnemann’s classic.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Through a Glass Darkly Available until end of: 29th July
Heartbeats Available until end of: 30th July
To Die Like a Man Available until end of: 31st July
Les Invisibles Available until end of: 1st August
The Raspberry Reich Available until end of: 2nd August
The Republicy Available until end of: 3rd August
Persona Available until end of: 4th August
Scarred Hearts Available until end of: 5th August
Symbol Available until end of: 6th August
Scabbard Samurai Available until end of: 7th August
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