MUBI Weekly Digest | 13th June 2020
James R | On 13, Jun 2020
MUBI is in a playful mood this weekend, with Michel Hazanavicius’ knowing biopic of Godard and David Gordon Green’s profoundly silly indie Prince Avalanche, but the real gem of the week is a chance to catch Ida Lupino’s The Hitch-Hiker – perfect timing for anyone who’s been enjoying Mark Cousins’ Women Make Film.
And, of course, there’s MUBI Library to peruse. With more than 400 former releases now available to stream at any time, read our full guide to how it works here.
Meanwhile, MUBI’s daily drops of new titles continues apace. What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Redoutable – 13th June
It’s 1967: Jean-Luc Godard’s marriage to Anna Karina is over, and he is reimagining his art. Sensing cultural and political change in the air a full year before the unrest of May 1968, he embarks on a new film, La Chinoise, with a new woman, actress and student activist Anne Wiazemsky. Michel Hazanavicius takes a knowing approach to this biopic.
Prince Avalanche – 14th June
Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch are profoundly silly in this eccentric, existential buddy comedy.
Ida Lupino: The Hitch-Hiker – 15th June
Ray and Gilbert’s fishing trip takes a terrifying turn when the hitchhiker they pick up turns out to be a sociopath on the run from the law – the premise not only of a classic thriller, but one directed by the legendary Ida Lupino, making it possibly the first major film noir helmed by a woman.
The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger – 16th June
A portrait of the artist, philosopher, and writer John Berger, this documentary is the result of a project undertaken by some of Berger’s friends and collaborators, including Tilda Swinton. The four film essays, pitched as seasonal chapters, explore his life and work in the Alpine village of Quincy.
Within Our Gates – 17th June
Sylvia Landry, a teacher at a school for impoverished black children in the Deep South, takes a fundraising trip to Boston upon learning that the institution is nearly bankrupt. There she meets Dr. Vivian, who travels back south with Sylvia after falling in love with her.
The Day After I’m Gone – 18th June
Yoram Golan sees less and less of his teenage daughter. After she attempts suicide, they leave the city and head south. This 2019 drama marks a handpicked debut by MUBI from Israeli screenwriter turned director Nimrod Eldar.
Other new releases on MUBI
Ben Whishaw gives his most subtle performance to date as a young man struggling to come to terms with the death of Kai, his boyfriend. He ends up befriending Kai’s Chinese-speaking mother, Junn, who lives a mundane existence in a nearby nursing home, in Hong Khaou’s magnificent, restrained debut. Read our review
After a break up with her boyfriend of 10 years, Paula finds herself wandering the streets of Paris with no idea of what life holds for her next. At 31, with little to show for it but a kidnapped cat and a sense of adventure, she sets out to reinvent herself, and finds that this doesn’t come easy. Léonor Sérraile’s debut premiered at Cannes in 2017, winning the Caméra d’Or.
A young woman’s (Rooney Mara) confrontation with a man (Ben Mendelsohn) from her past threatens to derail his new life and her stability. Read our review
Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor
Sindbad the Sailor proclaims himself to be the greatest sailor in the world, a claim which is challenged by Popeye’s arrival to his island with Olive Oyl and J. Wellington Wimpy in tow. Sindbad, with the help of his bird Rokh, treats Popeye to a series of challenges to prove his greatness.
Paris, 1992: house music is developing at a fast pace. In the exciting nightlife, Paul is taking his first steps as a DJ of the “French touch”. With his friend Stan, he forms the DJ duo Cheers, playing electronic dance music. Later, Paul becomes depressed, and the cocaine he takes doesn’t help.
Mumbai, 1992. Naseem, a 15 year-old schoolgirl, lives with her grandfather and grows up with the stories of pre-independence communal harmony. Later, she helplessly watches the communal situation regressing with the demolition of Babri Masjid, a mosque in Ayodhya.
Surrounded by her mother and two older sisters, Paola attempts to find her place in this world. In a tour de force bursting with the tragicomedy of everyday drama, Paola develops into a self-confident young woman in spite of all the challenges facing her.
The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975
From 1967 to 1975, fuelled by curiosity and naïveté, Swedish journalists traversed the ocean to film the black power movement in America. The Black Power Mixtape mobilises a mosaic of images, music, and narration to chronicle the movement’s evolution. This eye-opening documentary was rediscovered 30 years later. Though told from an outsider perspective, this is a revelatory portrait of American systemic racism that remains of the utmost relevance today. Essential.
Captain Spaulding, famed African explorer, is welcomed at a high society party at the estate of Mrs. Rittenhouse. Chaos ensues after a valuable painting disappears and Spaulding, along with his secretary Horatio, the anarchic Signor Emanuel Ravelli, and his sidekick The Professor help search for it. This slapstick satire is the Marx brothers’ brand of comedy at its best.
La Dolce Vita
Alongside Fellini’s 100th birthday celebration, 2020 also marks the 60th anniversary of his immortal work of art. Including one of cinema’s most unforgettable scenes this pinnacle of elegance and virtuosity changed the course of film history forever.
We all know the story. Guy joins unknown band. Guy discovers his inner creative self. Unknown band becomes famous. Frank is not that story. Inspired by the persona of Frank Sidebottom, Lenny Abrahamson’s film isn’t a straight-out biopic. It isn’t a comedy either. Or a drama. Or a musical. It’s a mix of all three – and, as a result, manages that to be that rare thing: original and unpredictable. Read our full review
MS Slavic 7
A young woman discovers letters in a Harvard archive that her great-grandmother wrote to a fellow Polish poet.
Woman at War (2018)
Behind the scenes of her quiet routine, fifty-year-old Halla leads a double life as a passionate environmental activist. She declares a one-woman-war on the local aluminium industry, and is prepared to risk everything to protect the landscapes she love – until an orphan unexpectedly enters her life. If you missed this in the cinema recently, don’t miss it this time.
The first feature film to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, Haifaa Al Mansour’s remarkable debut is a fantastic, uplifting story about a girl who wants to ride a bike and wear purple trainers to school. Read our full review
Following a four year separation, Ahmad returns to Paris from Tehran, upon his French wife Marie’s request, in order to finalize their divorce procedure. During his brief stay, Ahmad discovers the conflicting nature of Marie’s relationship with her daughter Lucie. Berenice Bejo and Tahar Rahim star in Asghar Farhadi’s drama, which won Best Actress at Cannes. Read our full review
Love & Friendship
Not just the tale of a widow (Kate Beckinsale) riding out the rumours of her romantic liaisons, while trying to find a suitor for her young daughter (Morfydd Clark), Love and Friendship is also a non-stop string of witty insults and catty shots – and Beckinsale is brilliant at firing them out. Whit Stillman’s hilarious period comedy is Jane Austen as you’ve never seen her before.
Cassandro, The Exotico!
After 26 years of spinning dives and flying uppercuts on the ring, Cassandro, the star of the gender-bending cross-dressing Mexican wrestlers known as the Exoticos, is far from retiring. But with dozens of broken bones and metal pins in his body, he must now reinvent himself, a process captured in Marie Losier’s documentary. Read our review
Ema is a magnetic and impulsive dancer in a reggaeton troupe. Her toxic marriage to choreographer Gastón is beyond repair, following a decision to give up on their adopted child Polo. She sets out on a mission to get him back, not caring who she’ll need to fight, seduce or destroy to make it happen. Read our review
Charming in its simplicity, this dainty drama starring the late Irrfan Khan is a delectable treat worth savouring. Read our full review
Our Little Sister
Hirokazu Koreeda’s eye for human relationships has never been more tender than in this delicate study of parenthood, absence and inheritance. Read our review
Frederick Wiseman’s three-hour visit to the National Gallery is a portrait of a hugely complex world painted as simply as possible. Completely absorbing. Read our review
Andrew Haigh’s drama starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay is a haunting study of relationships and memory. Read our full review
Let the Sunshine In
Juliette Binoche is brilliant in this witty but episodic romantic comedy from Claire Denis. Read our full review
In Elizabeth Sankey’s Romantic Comedy, our most-loved romcoms are torn apart and scrutinised for their unrealistic pictures of male-female relationships and white, heterosexual, middle-class characters. Why does the woman always have to be saved by a man? Read our full review
Margherita is a director shooting a film with the famous American actor Barry Huggins, who is quite a character. Away from the set, Margherita tries to hold her life together while feeling powerless when facing her mother’s illness and her daughter’s adolescence. Nanni Moretti’s moving drama stems from the death of his own mother. Read our review
In the town of Krabi, a popular destination in Thailand, the local folklore and histories are promoted as attractions, while the labour force is hidden from the tourists’ eyes. A nameless character, whose identity continually changes, takes us around town to explore sites that capture Krabi now. This avant-garde offering from Anocha Suwichakornpong and Ben Rivers is a MUBI Exclusive.
Céline Sciamma: Tomboy
There is definitely something boyish about ten-year-old Laure. It’s summer and she has recently moved to a new area with her parents and her little sister, Jeanne. Laure allows her new neighbourhood acquaintances to believe that she is a boy. That’s how Laure becomes Michael. Truth or dare? Celine Sciamma’s delicate exploration of identity and gender is a sweet, funny, moving gem. Read our review
Céline Sciamma: Water Lilies
The paths of three 15-year-old girls living in a modern Paris suburb cross at the local swimming pool, where love and desire make a dramatic appearance. The dynamics of their relationships gradually begins to shift as they come to learn the true meaning of arousal and the power of sexual attraction.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
A Private Collection (1973) – rental
Available until 17th June
A Star Is Born (1937)
Available until 18th June
Charade – rental
Available until 18th June
Available until 18th June
Available until 19th June