MUBI teams up this week with the prestigious International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. Now in its third year, their partnership showcases some of the best films from the 2018 festival’s International Competition, celebrating the art of the short.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Mala Noche – 7th July
Made for $25,000 on 16mm, this debut from Gus Van Sant (Elephant, Milk) is a quintessentially American classic, as well as an essential precursor of the New Queer Cinema movement. The film follows a romantic deadbeat with a wayward crush on a handsome Mexican immigrant in a world of transient workers, dead-end day-shifters, and bars or seedy apartments bathed in a profound nighttime.
Oberhausen Shorts: A Branch of a Pine is Tied Up – 9th July
This Japanese stop motion fable blends a multi-layered narrative, atmospheric richness and sociological relevance, while having the biggest of hearts.
Oberhausen Shorts: Harry Smith at the Breslin Hotel – 10th July
Renowned photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank has made his first new film in years: A time capsule of a touching and unique encounter between two iconoclastic artists in New York.
The Rise and Fall of a Small Film Company – 13th July
Godard’s episode of the TV series, Série noire (1984), is a return to the themes of Passion and Contempt; a war of words between director, producer and actress during the production of a cheap television film.
Other new releases on MUBI
Oberhausen Shorts: Creature Companion
Melika Bass’s beguiling, perhaps radical, reinterpretation of femininity in American suburban life.
Oberhausen Shorts: Carolee, Barbara and Guvnor
Lynne Sach’s portrait of three extraordinary women artists – warmly compassionate and sprightly inquisitive, the film captures personality and philosophy in equal measure.
Oberhausen Shorts: The Hymns of Muscovy
Turning Moscow upside down is no simple trick in Dimitri Venkov’s short. Its survey of Soviet architecture is monumental yet alien, a city symphony (set to the Soviet anthem) rendered concrete—yet unreal.
So Long Enthusiasm
Margarita lives with her son Axel and his older sisters Antonia, Alejandra and Alicia. Their flat is like a cosy cave where they play music, eat, sleep and argue in the warm lamplight. An intimate family cocoon.
To Rome with Love
A flight back to Woody Allen’s unstructured era of hit-and-miss comedy, To Rome with Love’s impressive cast can’t shake the feeling of being shown a bunch of random Polaroids taken 30 years ago. Faded? Yes. But still colourful in places.
The Nights of Zayandeh-Rood
MUBI & Nang’s focus on “filmmakers in transit” resumes with Iranian New Wave pioneer—now living in exile—Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Originally removed from circulation by the censors, this incisive, formally intrepid socio-political critique sees the light 25 years late, having lost none of its relevance.
Ellis and his friend Neckbone are two boys who meet Mud (Matthew McConaughey), a fugitive hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. Skeptical but intrigued by his fantastic scenarios, they agree to help him. It isn’t long until Mud’s visions come true and their small town is besieged by bounty hunters. Jeff Nichols’ 2012 film is a remarkable, understated combination of poignant coming-of-age drama, southern gothic thrills and childlike adventure.
The Legend of the Holy Drinker
A tramp, haunted by a criminal past, is offered 200 francs by a stranger with one request, that when he can afford it, he return the sum to a chapel. The derelict rejoins a world he no longer knew, finding work, sleeping in beds or dining out with women. But he gets distracted from his obligation.
MUBI premieres a new film of bold form and deep humanity. Romi, a Japanese woman living in Paris, works in a karaoke bar. At home in the suburbs, she tends to her paraplegic lover Milou. To pass the time she recounts to him a story alluding to a period they once spent together in Japan.
The Big Heat
Police Sergeant Dave Bannion (Glenn Ford) is assigned to investigate the apparent suicide of a corrupt cop, setting him on a collision course with an underworld kingpin, a cold-blooded henchman (Lee Marvin), and a gangster’s moll (Gloria Grahame) in this classic noir by Fritz Lang.
Carl needs the intervention of his beautiful wife Vicki to keep his job, so Vicki meets with Carl’s boss Owens, and Carl’s job is secure. Insanely jealous, Carl finds Vicki with Owens on board a train and kills Owens. Jeff, an off-duty train engineer, protects Vicki and they begin an affair.
One of the great cult classics, The Blob melds ’50s schlock sci-fi and teen delinquency pics even as it transcends these genres with strong performances and ingenious special effects. The result helped launch the careers of super-stud Steve McQueen and composer Burt Bacharach.
Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
Bob and Carol Saunders attend a group therapy session at a remote cabin location. There they encounter other couples who learn to become open with their feelings and sexuality. When they return home they find that their friends Ted and Alice are too repressed.
Denis Villeneuve’s dramatisation of the Montreal Massacre of 1989, where several female engineering students were murdered by an unstable misogynist.
MUBI kicks off a double-bill of Heinz Emigholz’s work. A film director confides in his interlocutor. He talks about the working process, about creative blocks, about artistic crises and expressive forces. At some point, the idea takes hold that this conversation could be turned into a film. And this is the very film we’re watching the two of them in.
MUBI concludes its Heinz Emigholz double-bill with a cinematic documentation of 29 buildings by the Uruguayan architect and shell-construction master Eladio Dieste (1917-2000). The film was shot in November 2015 in Uruguay and Spain. As prologue, three constructions by Julio Vilamajó (1894-1948).
An homage to the Gaza Strip, Ouroboros follows a man through five different landscapes, upending mass-mediated representation of trauma. A journey outside of time, marking the end as the beginning, exploring the subject of the eternal return and how we move forward when all is lost.
A Burning Hot Summer
That Summer recounts the torments of a painter whose actress wife has left him. It begins on a hot summer’s night, as a sports car crashes headlong into a tree. Philippe Garrel’s pseudo-remake of Jean-Luc Godard’s Le mépris with Monica Bellucci in the Brigitte Bardot role.
Tommy Lee Jones’ revisionist Western considers women’s plight on the frontier, with a cast including Hilary Swank, Meryl Streep and James Spader. It followw Mary Bee, who, in the 1850s mid-West, is designated by church members to take 3 women who have lost their minds to a safe haven in Iowa. On the way, she saves the life of outlaw Briggs, a claim-jumper. He helps her in her mission, through perilous encounters and the harshness of the Frontier territory.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Lek and the Dogs
Available until end of: 7th July
Trouble Every Day
Available until end of: 8th July
Available until end of: 9th July
Available until end of: 10th July
Available until end of: 11th July
The Inertia Variations
Available until end of: 12th July
The Aviator’s Wife
Available until end of: 13th July
Available until end of: 14th July
Available until end of: 15th July
Available until end of: 16th July