Takashi Miike hits the big 100 this weekend, with the premiere of Blade of the Immortal at the London Film Festival. At the same time, MUBI kicks off a new season dedicated to the cult maverick filmmaker’s epic, expansive oeuvre, including his Dead or Alive trilogy that helped make a name for the director and his go-for-broke style.
Miike’s in good company, with MUBI’s themed seasons at the peak of their retrospective powers, as it curates career highlights from both Pablo Larrain and Maurice Pialat retrospective.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Shinjuku Triad Society – 7th October
Livid after learning that his younger brother works as an attorney for the vicious Wang, Kiriya wages an all-out war against his adversary when the lawman’s sibling vanishes.
NO – 8th October
MUBI’s Pablo Larraín retrospective continues with the director’s modern masterpiece about the Chilean referendum, starring Gael Garcia Bernal.
Almost Heaven – 9th October
Ying Ling delicately washes the face of the motionless body. Using a damp cloth, she carefully cleans the hands, feet and finally the torso. The 17-year-old girl is far from home, preparing for her exams at one of China’s largest funeral parlours.
Spell Reel – 10th October
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.
General Report I – 11th October
Shot in the months after the death of Franco, Pere Portabella’s General Report is a “documentary” shot with the techniques of a fiction film—exploring the limits of film representations. The speakers are concerned with one question: How do you go from a dictatorship to a democracy?
General Report II – 12th October
Today in Spain, neoliberalist capitalism has laid waste to the middle class, unemployment is skyrocketing, the Left is a factious mess that the Right plays with ease, trust in democracy is at a new low. Pere Portabella returns in 2016 for a follow-up to his 1976 film to ask: Is it necessary to look for other forms of participatory processes?
One Floor Below – 13th October
After being the sole unfortunate witness of a domestic quarrel that ends up in a murder, Patrascu finds himself at odds with two very close neighbors: one is the bizarre murderer, the other one his very own conscience.
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.
Santiago de Chile, 1978. In the midst of Pinochet’s dictatorship, Raúl Peralta, a man in his 50s, is obsessed with impersonating John Travolta’s character in Saturday Night Fever. And his dream of being recognised is about to become a reality when the national television announces a contest.
Paris, 1967. Five university students, spend their summer vacation holed up in an apartment borrowed from a friend’s wealthy parents. They spend their time studying political texts, delivering lectures to each other, and discussing how they can apply the teachings of Mao Tse-tung to their own lives. MUBI pays tribute to the late Anne Wiazemsky with Godard’s La Chinoise, a timeless molotov cocktail of raw Maoism, pop colours and savage satire.
A selection of short stories by Tim Winton are interpreted by an expansive and talented team of 17 different Australian filmmakers. Populated by nuanced turns from the likes of Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, and Rose Byrne, this epic of emotion successfully taps into the essence of Winton’s writing.
Best known for writing Taxi Driver, Paul Schrader is in the spotlight with his new film, First Reformed. And so MUBI revisits his his second film, a combination of John Ford’s The Searchers, the sleaze of Scorsese’s masterpiece, and the combustible acting of George C. Scott.
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.
My Twentieth Century
Ildikó Enyedi’s 1989 comedy drama follows Dora and Lili, both born on the day Edison invents the light bulb, but separated in childhood. They follow different paths to meet again on the Orient Express, one a pampered courtesan, the other a feminist anarchist.
MUBI’s Maurice Pialat season continues with his look at the last 60 days of Van Gogh’s life. After leaving the asylum, he settles in the home of Doctor Gachet, an art lover and patron. Vincent keeps painting amidst the conflicts with his brother Theo, the torments of his failing mental health, and an affair with Marguerite, his host’s daughter.
La Sirga (The Towrope)
Alicia feels lost. The memory of war clings to her mind in a terrifying rumble. Thrown off her land by armed conflict, she tries to build a new life at ‘La Sirga’, a rundown boarding house on the shore of a large lagoon high up in the Andes mountain range. William Vega’s drama from 2012 was nominated for the Golden Camera at Cannes.
MUBI’s Maurice Pialat season continues with his 1985 drama, which stars Gerard Depardieu as a Parisian cop who specialises in interrogations, using intimidation to the point of sadism. His efforts to bust a Tunisian drug racket go awry, however, when he falls into an affair with a sultry, defiant liar (Sophie Marceau), who is the girl of one of the criminals.
Accomplished and unpleasant, Please Give is an engaging and clever study of wealth, charity – and a lack thereof. Read our full review
Made on the heels of his international breakout Rashomon, Kurosawa’s The Idiot stars a who’s who of Japan’s best actors, including Setsuko Hara and Toshiro Mifune.
Starring Ercan Kesal (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia), Mold is a noir-like journey into social oppressions experienced in modern Turkey. With the requisite oppressive atmosphere to match, Ali Aydın’s debut film moves with dour yet beguiling rhythms towards a nuanced critique of a troubled society.
Under the Sun of Satan
Two years after Police, Maurice Pialat reunited with Gerard Depardieu for this religious-inflected drama. Despite the encouragement of Dean Menou-Segrais, Father Donissan doubts his vocation. When the young Mouchette, who has killed her lover, turns to him, he condemns her and drives her to suicide. One evening, walking down a country road, he passes a horse dealer in whom he recognises Satan.
Based on the novel by James Franco, Palo Alto sees Franco play a soccer coach who hits on one of his young students. Gia Coppola’s film, though, opens up the ensemble drama to create an affecting, sincere portrait of youth in California. Read our full review
A plunge into one of today’s most prestigious schools of cinema: La Fémis in Paris.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
The End of the Affair
Available until end of: 7th October
The Mouth Agape
Available until end of: 8th October
Available until end of: 9th October
Available until end of: 10th October
Available until end of: 11th October
You All Are Captains
Available until end of: 12th October
Available until end of: 13th October
Peggy Sue Got Married
Available until end of: 14th October
The State I Am In
Available until end of: 15th October
The City Below
Available until end of: 16th October
Available until end of: 17th October
Available until end of: 18th October
A Nos Amours
Available until end of: 19th October