This week sees MUBI premiere its latest exclusive acquisition – Ava – but before then, there’s a typically diverse selection to handpick gems from, be it Alain Gomes’ stunning Felicite (read our full review here), the shorts by Colombia-born, France-based artist filmmaker Camilo Restrepo, or one of the best modern food documentaries.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Jiro Dreams of Sushi – 16th December
It’s rare to describe a film as “mouth-watering”, but this one definitely fits the bill! A crowd-pleasing documentary hit with a surprising depth of soulfulness, it explores food-as-art with a perfectionist at the core. It follows 85-year-old master sushi chef Jiro Ono, paying homage to the process of preparing the artisan sushi that earned Ono’s esteemed Sukiyabashi Jiro restaurant three Michelin stars.
Tokyo Godfathers – 18th December
Satoshi Kon is one of the great animators of cinema but, after only four movies, died at the too young age of 46. MUBI celebrates his work with a double-bill, beginning with this quasi-remake of John Ford’s 3 Godfathers.
Paprika – 19th December
Satoshi Kon’s final feature is a reminder of his genre and reality-bending ambition and imagination. Paprika follows a research psychologist, who begins using a revolutionary new technology to enter the dreams of her psychiatric patients in order to help them. But when a prototype is stolen, it could spell disaster.
Ava – 22nd December
A young woman finds out she is condemned to gradually lose her sight while spending her summer vacation at a beach resort. While her mother Maud has vowed to make Ava’s month of holidays an unforgettable experience, Ava decides to take a another route.
Other new releases on MUBI
Félicité, free and proud, is a singer in the evenings in a bar in Kinshasa. Her life changes when her 14-year-old son is the victim of a motorcycle accident. To save him, she begins a frantic race through the streets of an electric Kinshasa, a world of music and dreams. Winner of Berlin’s Silver Bear, Alain Gomes’ fantastic film is the latest to be snapped up exclusively by MUBI. (Read our full review.)
After launching Restrepo’s Impression of a War this summer, MUBI presents his micro-scaled musical diptych. The A-side is Cilaos, a film shot to look like a 1970s blaxploitation, and founded in the religious and cultural practices of the French island of Réunion…
… and the B-side is its spiritual sequel, which continues Restrepo’s exploration of identity and heritage. Inhabited by ghosts of a colonial past, this is a bewitching, rabid chant for justice — a film about death that premiere at this year’s Cannes Directors’ Fortnight.
Richard Kelly’s enigmatic, mind-bending fusion of teen movie, horror flick and sci-fi thriller is an instant cult classic, boasting a bold screenplay, a great performance by Jake Gyllenhaal and a man in a giant rabbit shot called Frank.
MUBI premieres a new independent gem from Gary Walkow, 1987 winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize. Adapted from his own novel, this eerie, beguiling ghost story stars Kate Lyn Sheil as a woman haunted by a Mephistophelian mystery man and newfound telepathic powers.
This Italian classic is the last of director Vittorio De Sica’s Neo-Realist films, which include Shoeshine & Bicycle Thieves, using amateur actors, real locations and direct themes of social and political reality.
Revisiting the location and themes of Abel Ferrara’s earlier film China Girl (1987), the king of New York cinema crafts a portrait of his home with this neighbourhood film about a community and its many vibrant souls at war with gentrification.
It Felt Like Love
With Beach Rats now in cinemas and on VOD, MUBI takes us back to director Eliza Hittman’s debut, It Felt Like Love. 14-year-old Lila is experiencing an ennui-filled Brooklyn summer playing third wheel to Chiara, her more experienced friend, and Chiara’s boyfriend, Patrick. Determined to have a love interest of her own, a bravado-filled Lila pursues Sammy and manipulates herself deeper into his world.
As a Man
With the superb Félicité out now, MUBI looks back at Gomis’ impressive debut. Winner of Locarno’s Silver Leopard, As A Man poses razor-sharp questions around the notion of exile, investigating what it means to be trapped between two worlds yet feel like an outsider in both.
MUBI has teamed up with Mondo to create New Art for Timeless Cinema, a series of newly imagined artwork for masterful pieces of cinema – starting with Olivier Assayas and Maggie Cheung’s meta, modern class.
Once Upon a Time in America
The final film by Sergio Leone finds the maestro audaciously and ambitiously going beyond his Spaghetti Western roots for a sprawling, multi-decade New York crime epic. Robert De Niro leads a production at once resplendent and gritty—a familiar setting given operatic majesty and force by Leone. De Niro. James Woods. Leone. What more do you need?
MUBI celebrates Jean-Luc Godard’s birthday with his dense and provocative collage-drama-essay. A colour saturated tour of the Mediterranean frames its exploration, ranging from a modern French family to European history’s myths, lies, and truths.
Curtis Hanson’s masterful neo-noir brings period Los Angeles to stylish, gripping life, with Guy Pearce and Russell Crowe on fine form as a pair of cops drawn together by murder, a mysterious woman and the city’s seedy underbelly.
Murder in Pacot
In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, a middle-aged Port-au-Prince couple come face to face with the stark contradictions of Haitian society when they are forced to rent out their villa to a foreign aid worker and his enterprising local girlfriend.
Natural Born Killers
Oliver Stone’s controversial comedy, which follows two mass murderers (Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis), remains as black as ever.
A Hard Day’s Night
It’s 1964 and four young lads from Liverpool are about to change the world. John, Paul, George, and Ringo play cheeky comic versions of themselves in a film that captured the astonishing moment when they officially became the singular, irreverent idols of their generation and changed music forever.
On Body and Soul
When a man and woman who meet at work begin to know each other, they discover that they have the same dreams at night, and they decide to make them come true. Subtly moving and brutally raw, read our full review of Ildikó Enyedi’s first feature since the 90s.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
On Body and Soul
Available until end of: 16th December
Natural Born Killers
Available until end of: 17th December
A Hard Day’s Night
Available until end of: 18th December
Available until end of: 19th December
Bill Viola: The Road to St Paul’s
Available until end of: 20th December
Knock on Any Door
Available until end of: 21st December
Available until end of: 22nd December
Wet Woman in the Wind
Available until end of: 23rd December