MUBI begins an exciting new partnership this weekend with none other than Nicolas Winding Refn. The Neon Demon and Drive director will be launching his own online platform in February next year, featuring restored classics and extra material, from essays to music and photography. That will kick off with the 1965 Bert Williams film The Nest of the Cuckoo Birds, a low-budget gothic horror from the Florida Everglades that vanished without a trace after a very limited release.
Before then, you’ve got an exclusive chance to see it on MUBI this month, presented to audiences for the first time in over 50 years. In fact, MUBI will be presenting 13 restored gems in partnership with NWR, with two arriving this week and one monthly from then on.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
NWR: The Nest of the Cuckoo Birds – 28th October
An undercover agent is sent to infiltrate bootleggers in the Florida Everglades, but winds up lost in the swamps and stuck in a decrepit hotel with a few of peculiar inhabitants. Bert Williams’ 1965 flick starts off as a police actioner, but quickly morphs into an unholy fairy tale of Southern Gothic melodrama and horror.
“After a very limited release, the film vanished without a trace, leaving only its ad campaign to back up that it ever existed. In the early 2000s, through a twist of fate, a print was discovered. Now, fully digitally restored, it is presented to audiences for the first time in over 50 years.” — NWR
The Driller Killer – 29th October
An artist slowly goes insane while struggling to work on his paintings and care for his female roommates, which leads him taking to the streets of New York with a power drill.
Experiment in Terror – 30th October
Kelly Sherwood is terrorised by a man with an asthmatic voice who plans to use her to steal $100,000 from the bank where she works in Blake Edwards’ 1962 thriler. He threatens to kill her teenage sister Toby, if she tells the police. However she manages to contact F.B.I. agent Ripley.
Four Flies on Grey Velvet – 31st October
This homicidal frenzy completed Dario Argento’s revered ‘Animal’ trilogy (alongside The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Cat o’ Nine Tails) that dubbed him ‘The Italian Hitchcock’.
NWR: Hot Thrills and Warm Chills – 1st November
Rita Alexander stars as the towering gang leader of a trio of hoodlum gals looking to make one last big score, run away with a mess of diamonds and live the dream in paradise. Dale Berry’s eccentric 1967 gem from Texas wildcard director Dale Berry, underscored by a relentlessly brilliant Perez Prado soundtrack.
“Since the original negative of this film is lost, this restoration was carried out digitally from the only two 35mm prints known to exist. Painstaking digital correction, hand painting and repair work was done to provide the best result, still keeping a connection to the physical ‘artefact’.” — NWR
Bobbi Jene – 2nd November
Bobbi Jene is a love story, portraying the dilemmas and inevitable consequences of ambition. It is a film about a woman’s fight for independence, a woman trying to succeed with her own art in the extremely competitive world of dance.
Dead or Alive – 3rd November
MUBI kicks off a triple-bill of Takashi Miike’s Dead or Alive films. A yakuza of Chinese descent and a Japanese cop each wage their own war against the Japanese mafia. But they are destined to meet. Their encounter will change the world.
Other new releases on MUBI
MUBI launches a retrospective of Pablo Larrain’s six films made in Chile with his little-seen debut — a twisted tale of insanity and infernal classical music.
MUBI’s Pablo Larraín retrospective continues with the director’s modern masterpiece about the Chilean referendum, starring Gael Garcia Bernal.
MUBB’s Pablo Larraín retrospective continues with his 2010 drama. Mario, 55, works in a morgue typing autopsy reports. In the midst of the 1973 military coup that left Pinochet in charge of Chile, he fantasises about his neighbour Nancy, a cabaret dancer, who mysteriously disappears. Mario begins a frantic search.
Four men and the woman who tends to their needs live in a secluded house. All former priests, they’ve been sent to this quiet exile to purge the sins of their past. Their stability is disrupted by the arrival of an emissary from the Vatican who seeks to understand the effects of their isolation.
Chile, 1948: Senator Pablo Neruda, diplomat and future Nobel Prize-winning poet, accuses the government of betraying the Communist Party and is swiftly impeached. Pursued by the police, Neruda and his artist wife are forced into hiding and an intimate game of cat and mouse begins in Pablo Larraín’s decidedly unconventional biopic.
A German Youth
At the end of the 1960s the post-war generation began to revolt against their parents. Jean-Gabriel Périot’s 2015 documentary captures a generation disillusioned by anti-communist capitalism and a state apparatus in which they believed they saw fascist tendencies.
The Beautiful Person
MUBI kicks off a a Christophe Honore double with this 2008 drama, which sees 16-year-old Junie changes high school mid-year, Following her mother’s death, and find herself in the same class as her cousin, Mathias, who introduces her to his friends, who all seem to want to date her.
Making Plans for Lena
Ever since she broke up with Nigel, Léna soldiers on through life the best she can with her two kids. But she has yet to confront the worst: her unstoppable family of do-gooders who have decided to make her happy.
Fresh from its premiere at the London Film Festival, Filipa César turns his gaze to Guinea-Bissau, where at the beginning of the 1970s the advocates of a militant cinema captured the freedom struggle and the first years of independence.
MUBI’s next pick from the BFI London Film Festival is a challenging experiment. A metaphorical take on the physical and mental isolation of the migrant, the film is inspired by director Naeem Mohaiemen’s father, who was trapped in Greece’s Ellinikon Airport without a passport in 1977. The film follows a week in the life of a man who has been living in limbo at an airport for a decade.
MUBI’s Takashi Miike retrospective continues with the conclusion to his Black Society Trilogy, which tackles intercultural relations between Japan and China. With Ley Lines, Miike pushes his buoyant style and subversive politics as far as they can go.
Though a very attractive fortysomething, Millicent (Joan Crawford) remains aloof from romance until she meets Burt Hanson (Cliff Robertson), a young man half her age. Burn finally breaks down her resistance to marriage. Millicent is confronted by Virginia (Vera Miles), who claims to be Robertson’s first wife.
Wildly prolific American indie boy Joe Swanberg—he’s directed eighteen features in just over a decade!—started to move from DIY filmmaking to low-budget professionalism with this film. A refreshing, shrewd romantic comedy about the hipster generation, in which love, friendship and beer mix too well.
MUBI continues to pay tribute to Takashi Miike’s inexhaustible ingenuity with this early gangster picture. Set in a Taiwan drowned by rain, Miike’s watershed themes of family and cultural displacement mutually drive the action to uncanny heights.
All That Jazz
Director/choreographer Bob Fosse tells his own life story as he details the sordid life of Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider), a womanizing, drug-using dancer.
Homeland (Iraq Year Zero)
For several months, director Abbas Fahdel filmed a group of Iraqis, mostly members of his family, in their expectation of the war; the start of U.S. strikes on Baghdad, the American invasion and its consequences.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
The Future Perfect
Available until end of: 28th October
Available until end of: 29th October
Available until end of: 30th October
Available until end of: 31st October
My Twentieth Century
Available until end of: 1st November
Available until end of: 2nd November
Available until end of: 3rd November
Available until end of: 4th November
Shinjuku Triad Society
Available until end of: 5th November
Available until end of: 6th November
Available until end of: 7th November