With Oscar nominee The Square out in UK cinemas, MUBI celebrates with a Ruben Östlund double-bill, introducing us to more of the Force Majeure director’s work, from his visual storytelling to his sagacious observation of social power dynamics.
At the same time, MUBI continues its two-month season celebrating women behind the camera, and, with You Were Never Really Here in UK cinemas, Lynne Ramsay continues to handpick her favourites from the streaming site’s catalogue.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Ruben Ostlund: Play – 17th March
In central Gothenburg, Sweden, a group of black boys, aged 12-14, robbed other children on about 70 occasions between 2006-2008. The thieves used an elaborate scheme called the ‘brother trick’, involving advanced role-play and gang rhetoric. MUBI’s Ruben Ostlund double-bill kicks off with this 2011 drama.
Lynne Ramsay Recommends: The Battle of Algiers – 18th March
Lynne Ramsay handpicks this 1966 war classic, which shows the Algerian revolution from both sides: “It’s amazing how contemporary and relevant this looks and feels. Like it was made last week, not in 1965. The style might seem familiar now, but this was the first, and way ahead of its time. It doesn’t judge and the ideas are complex. To call its style ‘reportage’ is a simplification. Not a frame of it feels inauthentic but there’s very sophisticated craft in the cinematography, editing, sound design, music, casting, and locations. The sound in particular is incredible. It’s a cinematic masterpiece.”
By the Time It Gets Dark – 19th March
The interwoven stories of several characters; a film director and her muse who was a student activist in 1970s, a waitress who keeps changing jobs, an actor, and an actress. Their lives are loosely connected by almost invisible threads.
Struggle in Italy – 20th March
Struggle in Italy reveals how and why a supposedly revolutionary Italian girl has in fact fallen prey to bourgeois ideology. A discursive reflection on her shift from political “theory” to political “practice” and, at the same time, a self-questioning of its own practice and theories.
Atlantiques – 21st March
Directed by Mati Diop (35 Rhums), Atlantiques recounts the odyssey of Senegalese friends who attempt a life-threatening boat crossing. Melancholic and mysterious, the film urgently and elegantly addresses the perils of illegal migration.
Snow Canon – 22nd March
February in the French Alps. Vanina likes to hear the chalet’s parquet floor squeaking beneath her bare feet. Vanina likes to coat herself in sunscreen cream in front of the fireplace. Vanina likes the tawny fur of her rabbit. But above all, what Vanina likes is her American babysitter, Mary Jane…
Other new releases on MUBI
Ruben Ostlund: Involuntary
It’s almost summer in Sweden and minor indiscretions and misbehaviour abound. Leffe likes to show off for his friends and play salacious pranks, especially when he’s drinking. Ruben Östlund’s 2008 comedy continues the director’s satire centered around group behaviour observation.
Lynne Ramsay Recommends: The Last Picture Show
Lynne Ramsay handpicks this 1971 drama from Peter Bogdanovich: “That feeling of burgeoning awkward teenage sexuality and being stuck in a dead end town is brilliant. Cybill Shepherd undressing on the diving board. Cloris Leachman’s sex scene with Timothy Bottoms, to the sound of the creaking bed, and her emotional explosion at the end really affected me.”
Female Filmmakers: Wasteland No. 1: Ardent, Verdant
MUBI showcases American experimental animator Jodie Mack with this structuralist short, a fluttering celluloid juxtaposition of silicon landscapes and printed flowers, organic technology and artificial nature.
Had Douglas Sirk been alive to direct a 90s comedy it likely would resemble this witty look at motherhood in America. The next great satirical melodramatist John Waters, alongside the magnificent Kathleen Turner, delivered a triumph of camp with this underrated cult classic.
A college student starts to experience extreme seizures while studying at a university in Oslo in Joachim Trier’s fantastic coming-of-age psychological thriller. She soon learns that the violent episodes are a symptom of inexplicable, and often dangerous, supernatural abilities. Disturbing, beautiful and entirely absorbing.
My Friend from the Park
Argentine director Ana Katz won the World Cinema Dramatic Screenwriting Award at Sundance in 2016 with this comedy. It follows Liz, who meets Rosa and baby Clarissa at the park. Rosa appears to be as lonely and helpless as she is, while all the other moms cheerfully celebrate the joys of motherhood. So it’s no surprise that Rosa and Clarissa soon become a growing presence in Liz’s life.
Female Filmmakers: No Man’s Land
Last summer, MUBI featured the far-flung second film by Salomé Lamas (Eldorado XXI) and are now thrilled to introduce her confrontational debut. A documentary encounter with the presence, history, and memories of an itinerant mercenary, it is an intimate experience at once absorbing and terrifying.
Godard and the Dziga Vertov Group: Wind from the East
MUBI continues its Dziga Vertov Group series with this oddball Marxist western playfully set against a pastoral backdrop and featuring Anne Wiazemsky and Gian Maria Volonté. With a propagandist voice-over and characters breaking the fourth wall, Godard and Gorin dismantle the idea of cinema as entertainment.
Lynne Ramsay Recommends: Meshes of the Afternoon
Lynne Ramsay handpicks Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid’s fantasy short from 1943: “The strange, disturbing atmosphere, the impossible time and space, the hooded figure with mirror face, the dreaming woman at the window who becomes three! I felt like I was in a house of ghosts. As a photographer, I was blown away by its imagination and inspired me to go to film school”.
On Body and Soul
Subtly moving and brutally raw, Ildikó Enyedi’s first feature since the 90s is a work of strange beauty. Read our full review of On Body and Soul, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2018 Oscars.
MUBI partners with the South London Gallery on South by South, a series of innovative African cinema. Coulibaly’s debut is a gripping tale of ambition that spirals into the crime and drug-trafficking underworld with surprising brio. An exhilarating take on Scarface in the streets of Bamako.
Scottish supermarket shelf-filler Morvern Callar (Samantha Morton) uses her boyfriend’s inheritance after his suicide to escape from her boring life. Emotionally intense road movie by the director of the prize-winning Ratcatcher.
Following the modern cult classic In Bruges, Martin McDonagh fully delivered on that film’s vast promise with Seven Psychopaths—a fiery genre cocktail of crime & dark comedy. Not to mention, a perfect cast (Christopher Walken? Check. Tom Waits? Check.) lead this Hollywood set symphony of psychosis. Read our full review
MUBI celebrates International Women’s Day with Rachel Lang’s indie film, which balances balance of comedy and tragedy to create a unisex heroine for the ages. Read our review.
The King’s Speech
Tom Hooper’s Oscar-winning drama sees Colin Firth’s learn to overcome his stammer with the help of Geoffrey Rush’s therapist. Their chemistry makes this a hugely watchable drama.
Winner of the BAFTA Award for Best Outstanding Debut, Duncan Jones’ sci-fi stars Sam Rockwell and, well, that’s essentially it, as his astronaut remains stuck in isolation on a moon base with only himself for company. A study of identity, humanity and home, this low-budget gem is a modern genre classic. Read our full review.
The Son of Joseph
With idiosyncratic formal precision and an offbeat sense of humour, Eugène Green’s The Son of Joseph is a unique take on the Nativity story. Read our review.
A slice of recent history gets Paul Greengrass’ docu-dramatist sense of immediacy in this breathtaking oceanic bound thriller. A US freighter turns into an apt microcosm for country relations in this unpredictable narrative game of strategy and resilience. Starring the always great Tom Hanks. Read our full review
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Wings of Desire
Available until end of: 17th March
Available until end of: 18th March
Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Available until end of: 19th March
Available until end of: 20th March
Available until end of: 21st March
Available until end of: 22nd March
Life as a Fatal Sexually Transmitted Disease
Available until end of: 23rd March
Available until end of: 24th March
Available until end of: 25th March