MUBI Weekly Digest | 16th October
James R | On 16, Oct 2021
MUBI has been out in full force at the London Film Festival this week, showcasing upcoming acquisitions such as Lamb and Petite Maman, but this week it’s shining a streaming light on another festival favourite: the enigmatic Cryptozoo from Dash Shaw (High School Sinking into the Sea), which features vocal performances from Lake Bell and Michael Cera and won a Special Mention at the 2021 Berlinale Generation.
Elsewhere, it’s your last chance to stream Brazil, Battleship Potemkin and LA Confidential.
For MUBI Go subscribers, there’s a free cinema ticket available (in participating UK cinemas) for The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon? Read on for your weekly MUBI Digest.
This week on MUBI
The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq – 16th October
This ingenious docudrama – or is it simply a drama? – imagines what might have happened during Michel Houellebecq’s infamous disappearance, based on a false rumour that circulated in the French media.
The Babadook – 17th October
Jennifer Kent’s storybook horror brings a devastating sadness to the genre’s scares.
The Return of the Prodigal Son – 18th October
This raw psychological drama about an engineer unable to adjust to the world around him following his suicide attempt is at heart a scathing portrait of social alienation and moral compromise.
Lucky Chan-Sil – 19th October
With the death of her long-time director, Chan-sil, a film producer, is now unemployed. While working as a cleaning lady at an actress’ house, she meets a young man. Attracted to him, Chan-sil realizes old anxieties are about to emerge: her already gone-youth, messed-up love life, and broken career.
Endless Night – 20th October
Poignant memoirs, Bressonian acting, and jaw-dropping chiaroscuros make Eloy Enciso’s study in fascism an entrancing journey into the depths of the night.
Panic – 21st October
A technological civilisation takes three intelligent salamander creatures captive to conduct experiments on them. The experiments go awry and the salamander creatures wreak havoc in the city of humans.
Cryptozoo – 22nd October
In a world inhabited by humans and rare mythical creatures known as “Cryptids”, zookeeper Lauren brings these beings under the protection of her sanctuary—the Cryptozoo. As she tracks down a dream-eating beast, she enters into a dangerous mission to find it before it is captured by the military.
Other new releases on MUBI
The Love Witch
This 60s sexploitation homage is a unique, wry and empowering horror-comedy.
On her 11th birthday, Angeliki jumps off the balcony and dies. While the police and Social Services try to discover the reason for this apparent suicide, Angeliki’s family insist that it was an accident. What is the secret Angeliki took with her? Why does her family try to “forget” her and move on? Sweeping five awards at the Venice Film Festival, Alexandros Avranas’s 2013 drama is an under-seen gem from the Greek Weird Wave film movement.
During a summer vacation, Okju and Dongju move into their grandpa’s house. While Dongju adapts to his new home, Okju feels awkward about this new environment. Once their soon-to-be-divorced aunt also moves in, and as Okju spends time with her family, the house and her grandpa start to grow on her.
After discovering she is an illegitimate child, Suzanne is sent to a convent against her will in Guillaume Nicloux’s 2013 drama. She is comforted by the Mother Superior, but the latter dies and is replaced by a sadistic woman. Suzanne then goes to another convent where she receives the dubious affection of another Mother Superior.
During Argentina’s dictatorship (1976 -1983), several civil accomplices contributed to repression and were never taken to justice. In 2015, a report was issued with cases of proven corporate responsibility. Jonathan Perel reads excerpts from the report in front of many of these companies’ factories.
I Like Life a Lot
The drawings of this film were made by gypsy children at a school in a small town. Interviews, drawings and paintings tell us about their lives and experiences.
Burning an Illusion
A young Black woman in England becomes increasingly frustrated with her life with a lazy, demanding boyfriend. With the help of friends, she seeks something better, and begins to question her attitude to love, life, and desire for middle-class respectability and security through marriage. The groundbreaking debut from Menelik Shabazz, Burning an Illusion was the first British film to feature a Black female lead.
MUBI continues its Hal Hartley retrospective with this 2006 thriller, a 10-years-later continuation of Hartley’s Henry Fool. Fay Grim is coerced by a CIA agent to try and locate notebooks that belonged to her ex-husband. Published in them is information that could compromises the security of the U.S., causing Fay to first head to Paris to fetch them…
Clio Barnard’s remarkable debut, which paved the way for the equally excellent The Selfish Giant, is an ambitious, experimental docudrama about playwright Andrea Dunbar.
Péter Szoboszlay’s 1976 animated short is set in the allegorical space of an abandoned room. A frustrated mind feels the distorting effects of aggression and paranoia—including visions of butterflies, the Mona Lisa, and nuclear fallout.
Without a doubt the best pregnant serial killer movie you’ve ever seen, Alice Lowe’s Prevenge is a masterpiece of maternal nightmares. Read our full review
Ali Abbasi’s 2016 horror follows privileged couple Louise and Kasper, who live off the grid in a home in the woods. Unable to conceive, they arrange for their Romanian maid Elena to act as a surrogate mother and be paid for it. But as Elena becomes mysteriously sicker while pregnant, fears mount about what may be growing inside her.
Boy Meets Girl
Alex, 22, wants to become a filmmaker. His girlfriend, Florence, has just left him for his best friend Thomas. After trying to strangle him, Alex gives up and wanders around Paris, where he sees Mireille being left by her boyfriend. Later on, the two tormented souls run into each other at a party. MUBI continues its Leos Carax retrospective with this 1984 drama.
Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time
Lili Horvát’s mystery finds a neurosurgeon in fugue to a romance that she may have imagined. Read our full review
André owes money to a crime boss. In despair, he heads to a bridge over the Seine, intending to commit suicide. But there he sees a woman apparently preparing to end her life too. The two end up spending a memorable summer night in nearly deserted Paris, where she exposes herself as a true angel.
In the middle of the Aegean Sea, on a luxury yacht, six men on a fishing trip decide to play a game. During this game, things will be compared. Things will be measured. Friends will become rivals and rivals will become hungry. But when the game is over, the man who wins will be the best man.
The Guerilla Fighter
After escaping from police custody, the political activist Sumit is on the run. He receives shelter in a luxurious apartment owned by a sensitive young upper-class woman. Being in solitary confinement, Sumit starts to question his ideological path and slowly begins to protest against his own party.
Anne at 13,000ft
Anne has a seemingly stable life as a daycare worker. But after skydiving for her best friend’s bachelorette party, the ground shifts beneath her feet. The pressures of her daily life threaten to overwhelm her, and when she meets Matt, she begins to push the limits of what’s socially acceptable. Read our full review
Ibrahima is without work and has a large family to support. One day, he receives a money order from his nephew in Paris. However, when he goes to cash the cheque, he is asked for his identity card, which he does not have. Thus, an absurd foray into the corrupt world of Senegalese bureaucracy begins.
Youssef Chahine: The Land
A rural Egyptian village unsuccessfully attempts to retain access to its water. Told that they can only irrigate their land a few days a month, several of the villagers are arrested for overwatering. Although the outside threat originally seems to unite the villagers, divisions resurface.
A group of refugees adjust to life on a remote Scottish island in Ben Sharrock’s delightfully deadpan comedy-drama. Read our full review
Youssef Chahine: Cairo Station
In Cairo’s chaotic central station, Qinawi, an impoverished newspaper vendor, develops an infatuation with the free-spirited Hannuma, who dodges the authorities to peddle soft drinks to passengers. When he faces rejection, Qinawi’s obsession becomes dangerous as he falls into a state of insanity.
A woman is confronted by a stranger, who believes she’s been edited out of their story.
Dennis is a quietly handsome and bookish college student. His older brother, Bill, is a rough ladies’ man and thief. Thrown together to search for their long-lost dad, they confront their expectations of each other, themselves, and their attitudes towards women.
David Lynch: The Art of Life
Filmmaker David Lynch takes us on a journey through his formative years. From an idyllic upbringing in small-town America to the dark streets of Philadelphia, we follow Lynch as he traces the events that have helped shape his career, while gaining a greater understanding of the revered director. Read our full review
In 1936, Irèn, a quiet Jewish shop girl is employed by her rich but sterile friend Szilvia to have a baby for her with her husband Ákos, so that the resulting child inherits the vast fortune. Their plan goes well, but as relationships between them change and fascism rises, many challenges emerge.
Scenes with Beans
An extra-terrestrial arrives on a planet inhabited by beans and observes their daily lives, including a traffic accident, farming, a football match, and the launch of a spaceship.
The “perfect” life of a Polish fitness influencer comes under scrutiny in Magnus von Horn’s gripping and stylish drama.
Dona Flor and her Two Husbands
Dona Flor’s passionate yet irresponsible husband Vadinho drops dead while dancing in the streets. Seeking a stable life, the widowed Dona remarries a respectable pharmacist shortly after. However, when her new love life turns out to be less than satisfying, the ghost of her late husband returns. Made during Brazil’s military dictatorship, Bruno Barreto’s magic realist feature propelled Sônia Braga from soap star to national deity.
Downstream to Kinshasa
Over six days in June 2000, the city of Kisangani was the scene of deadly violence between the Ugandan and Rwandan armies. Victims of the war have fought for recognition and compensation since. Now, they take a long journey down the Congo River to voice their claims and seek justice in Kinshasa.
The Unbelievable Truth
Charting a new generation lost amid the tides of corporate America, Hal Hartley’s witty, unpredictable debut follows the college-bound Audrey, a young woman who is preoccupied with the threat of nuclear destruction and falls in love with a handsome and mysterious ex-con who is rumoured to have murdered the father of his high school sweetheart.
In 2018, Jean-Gabriel P?riot collaborated with 10 students in a film class at a high school in the suburbs of Paris on a project that unites cinema with politics. The students restaged scenes of strikes, resistance, and labour disputes from films made post May 1968. Our Defeats assembles the results.
Youssef Chahine: The Blazing Sun
Ahmed, a young agricultural engineer, helps the farmers produce a superior sugar cane crop. Taher Pasha, a wealthy land owner, feels threatened by his recent production prosperity. Ahmed is in love with Pasha’s daughter, but due to their fathers’ rivalry, he is compelled to hide their relationship.
In contemporary Mexico City, a lavish high society wedding is interrupted by violent rioters who take the house by siege. It soon becomes apparent that this seemingly random attack is part of a violent, nationwide uprising, as one political system collapses and a more harrowing replacement arises. Fresh from cinemas, Michel Franco’s latest is released exclusively by MUBI online.
Lav Diaz’s winner at Venice’s Orrizonti sidebar in 2020 sees three gold mine workers leave their jobs to travel home through the unforgiving wilderness of the mythical island of Hugaw. When they arrive at the end of their arduous journey, they see that a tragic event has shaken their village. As buried histories emerge, a sense of psychosis invades the scene.
Wife of a Spy
Winner of Best Director at the 2020 Venice Film Festival, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s drama is set in 1940, when the population of Japan is divided over its entry into World War II. Satoko, the wife of a fabric merchant, is devoted to her husband, but is beginning to suspect he’s up to something. Soon she allows herself to be drawn into a game in which she enigmatically conceals her intentions.
Selected for the 2020 Venice Film Festival, Li Dongmei’s debut follows 12-year-old Xiaoxian, who remembers what happened over seven days in her village in rural China during the Summer of 1992. During those seven days, she witnesses three deaths and two births, including the death of her own mother who dies giving birth to her fourth sister.
Fucking with Nobody
Hannaleena Hauru’s comedy premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2020. It follows Hanna, who teams up with her sister to create a parody Instagram romance with a young actor and raise awareness on how hungry society is for romantic narratives. Once her love story begins, however, Hanna finds herself tangled up in the unresolved past with her “you were never my boyfriend” friend Lasse.
From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the life of Monsieur Oscar, a mysterious man who journeys from one life to the next, while being chauffeured around Paris in a limousine by a loyal driver. He is, in turn, assassin, beggar, monster, family man. He seems to be playing roles—but where are the cameras?
Ex-con Kermek and his beloved Eva want to leave their crime-infested lives on the Kazakh steppes behind. He has a dream: building a movie theater in the mountains. Will Kermek’s love of Alain Delon be strong enough to keep them out of the violent clutches of the mafia?
Visit, or Memories and Confessions
The director, Manoel de Oliveira, is in the Porto house where he has lived for decades, preparing to leave due to mounting debts. He addresses the audience directly, discussing family history, cinema, and architecture, sharing home movies, and reenacting his run-in with the military dictatorship.
Only God Forgives
Ryan Gosling impresses in Nicolas Winding Refn’s indulgent piece of Bangkok gothic.
Lions Love (… and Lies)
Warhol superstar Viva floats into a ménage à trois with James and Gerome, the two creators of the rock musical Hair, as they live in a rented house in the sun-soaked Hollywood hills. They delight in one another’s bodies while musing on love, stardom, and politics.
The Strange Colour of Your Body’s Tears
A woman disappears. Her husband investigates the strange circumstances surrounding her disappearance. Has she left him? Is she dead? As he proceeds with his inquiries, his apartment becomes more of and more of an an abyss which seems to have no way out…
In a highly stylised city, a wealthy utopia exists above a bleak underworld where mistreated workers live. When privileged youth Freder discovers the grim scene below, he sets out to help the workers and befriends the rebellious teacher Maria. One of the most iconic films ever made, Fritz Lang’s dystopian sci-fi classic is as thrilling today as it was on release in 1927.
Danila returns from his army service and is unemployed. On his mother’s advice, he leaves for St Petersburg where his older brother Viktor has been making good money. However, when he finds him, Viktor turns out to be a contract killer. Soon, Danila agrees to carry out an assignment for him.
As the way to Europe remained blocked for Syrian artist Amel Alzakout, she decided to cross the Mediterranean Sea with smugglers. However, just before reaching the coast of Lesbos, the overcrowded boat she was on capsized. With a waterproof camera strapped to her wrist, Amel recorded the events.
Cecilie and Joachim, a young couple in love, are soon to be married. But all of a sudden everything is turned upside down when Joachim is paralyzed in an accident, and Cecilie falls in love with the husband of the woman who caused the accident.
When You’re Strange: A Film About the Doors
The chemistry of four artists made The Doors one of America’s most influential rock bands. With previously unseen footage shot from their formation in 1965 to Jim Morrison’s death in 1971, the film follows the band through their career, providing insight into the revolutionary impact of their music.
A film shot during the summer of 1968 in Oakland, California around the meetings organised by the Black Panthers Party to free Huey Newton, one of their leaders, and to turn his trial into a political debate. They tried and succeeded in catching America’s attention.
Lina from Lima
Lina is a Peruvian woman who works as a domestic helper for a wealthy Chilean family. She earns enough to make ends meet, and to send money back to her son in Lima. But when she prepares for her annual trip home for Christmas, she comes to the stark realization that no one is really waiting for her.
A pack of dogs run wild through the streets of Budapest in this captivating revenge parable from Kornél Mundruczó, an idiosyncratic allegory on authority, rebellion, power, and protest. Rise of the Planet of the Dogs. If your ears have already perked up, then White God is for you. Read our full review
24 Hour Party People
A vibrant portrait of the Manchester music scene during the mid-to-late 1970s, through the eyes of TV presenter Tony Wilson, founder of Factory Records, as he introduces the world to such notable musical acts as Joy Division, New Order, and The Happy Mondays.
In a Brazilian village infested with piranhas, Nanã and Mel are fast growing into adolescence as they dream of ways of protecting themselves
An amnesia pandemic is the backdrop for this poignant tragicomedy. The deadpan debut of former Yorgos Lanthimos collaborator Christos Nikou, Apples is an allegorical meditation on memory, identity and technology. Read our full review.
Majd Mastoura scored the Best Actor Silver Bear for Mohammed Ben Attia’s variation on Finding Miss Right.
Ana is confronted with body and desire at three key moments of her life. As a young girl, she brings her dead grandpa back to life. In her puberty, she discovers the power of decay and sexuality. Finally, she wrestles with loss and loneliness when she returns to her parental home, now derelict.
A chronicle of Terri Hooley’s life, a record-store owner instrumental in developing Belfast’s punk-rock scene.
When her mother falls ill, Eve is sent to live with her estranged father’s relatives, a bourgeois family living in a mansion. As a series of intergenerational back-stabbings threaten to tear the family apart, the family fails to notice that their new arrival has a sinister secret of her own. Michael Haneke’s ensemble drama is a dark, biting satire. Read our full review
Jules, an opera enthusiast, is particularly enchanted by American diva Cynthia Hawkins, who refuses to be recorded. So enamored with her, he makes an illegal tape at her concert. But when the tape is confused with one implicating a police chief with the mob, he must use all his ingenuity to survive.
The Harder They Come
In partnership with Cinema Rediscovered, MUBI presents Jamaica’s first feature film: a restored cult classic that helped make reggae music popular worldwide.
Returning to the water park of his childhood, Guillaume Brac’s graceful documentary sees the seemingly mundane recreational space as an urban oasis, a refuge from the hustle and bustle of Paris. Underneath the playfulness, however, is a commentary on immigration in France.
All Hands on Deck
A warm summer evening in Paris: Félix meets Alma by chance. They laugh, dance, and spend the night in a park. But she is about to go on a family vacation and their time together is cut short. On an impulse, Félix decides to surprise her where she is holidaying and enrols a friend in the adventure.
Aubrey Plaza is terrific as a creatively blocked filmmaker in this engaging and thought-provoking indie thriller. Read our full review
Věra, a bored housewife with a defiant son and an unappreciative husband, seeks an escape from her frustrations in an extramarital affair. Meanwhile, the headstrong gymnast Eva Bosáková trains for the 1962 World Championship in Prague. Her lack of motivation prompts her coach to put pressure on her.
Salut Les Cubains
A photo montage of Cubans filmed by Agnès Varda during her visit to Cuba in 1963, four years after Fidel Castro came to power. This black & white documentary explores their post-revolution culture and society while making use of 1500 pictures (out of 4000!) the filmmaker took while on the island.
Valeria is 17 and pregnant. She lives in Puerto Vallarta with Clara, her half sister. Valeria has not wanted her long-absent mother, April, to find out about her pregnancy, but due to the economic strain Clara decides to call their mother.
Welcome II The Terrordome
In the near future, black residents living in the Terrordome ghetto battle oppression from powerful whites. Black Rad fights for black power after his wife’s death while gangster Spike engages in an illicit affair with a white woman.
An account of the musical journey and ongoing legacy of Joy Division, the influential Manchester post-punk rock band of the late 1970s. Features interviews with the surviving band members (now known as New Order) and never-before-seen live performance footage and newly discovered audio tapes.
Diary for My Children
This deeply personal work explores Mészáros’ own experiences via Juli, a young woman returning home to Budapest from the Soviet Union where her exiled parents had died. Scarred by the wounds of the past, she’s repulsed to see the very same spectre of socialist oppression now rife in her homeland.
Hotel New York
Jackie Raynal returned to filmmaking in 1981, over a decade since Deux fois, with the autobiographical tale New York Story — later expanded into a feature as Hotel New York (1984) — which featured both her and her husband Sidney Geffen as themselves.
The Cloud in Her Room
Zhao Muzi went back to her hometown Hangzhou for spring festival. Her parents divorced years ago, her mother is dating a foreigner now while her father started a new family and had a new kid.
The Human Voice
This scathingly witty and sumptuously performed short film is a superbly stylish English-language debut for Pedro Almodóvar. Read our full review
In a dystopian world dominated by an oppressive regime, a woman, Jessica, rescues orphaned boys and gives them love and understanding, offering them an escape from their violent past. Bound by a united hope for peace and harmony, this matriarchal family fight for a better future.
Working with renowned cinematographer Hélène Louvart and chronicling three generations of women, director Laura Schroeder expertly creates an atmosphere of eerie unease in this subtly suspenseful and foreboding family drama. Starring real-life mother-daughter duo Isabelle Huppert and Lolita Chammah.
Freedom Fields follows three women and their football team over five years in post-revolution Libya. As the country descends into war, “Determination, Will, Strength” is their motto. Community is key in this intimate story of hope, struggle, joy, and sisterhood.
A Special Day
On a special day in 1938, all of Rome is attending a parade celebrating Hitler’s meeting with Mussolini. A working-class housewife, left alone to tend to household duties, meets the only person not attending the parade, a liberal radio broadcaster, and the two forge an unexpectedly close friendship.
Volleyball (Foot Film)
A volleyball is rolled into the frame and comes to rest. Two legs in sneakers, seen from the knees down, enter the frame and stand beside it. Cut to new angle, same characters and actions
The Unseen River
A confluence of two love stories: one in which a woman reunites with her former lover after 30 years; the other, where a young couple visits a monastery seeking a cure for insomnia. Between streams of past and future, the river offers an oneiric site where timelines intersect.
Unable to fly the nest due to Spain’s economic crisis, a penniless, young couple have trouble consummating their relationship while living in their parents’ homes. With no money to afford a hotel, they are forced to look to public hotspots used for sex, known by the locals as “pikaderos”.
Fire in My Belly
How do you come to feel part of a community? Over six months, Ayo Akingbade collaborated with Whitechapel Gallery’s youth collective Duchamp & Sons in London to explore ideas of place and belonging through workshops, screenings, and fieldwork in the local area.
In Claudette’s Star, Ayo Akingbade recreates and documents her subjects’ encounters with art, literature and the “canon.” A commune between young artists and artistic legacies, that looks towards the future.
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki
Bittersweet and shot through with the romance of defeat, this unconventional boxing movie is knock-out cinema. Read our full review
The Prostitutes of Lyon Speak
Approximately two hundred sex workers occupied the church of Saint-Nizier, in Lyon, in the spring of 1975. They speak of their personal stories, their relationships to society, their labour conditions, and their demands to stop police and social harassment.
One day, air conditioners in the Angolan capital Luanda start to mysteriously fall from the buildings. When security guard Matacedo is told to get his overheating boss an airco unit by end of day, he embarks on a mission that brings him into contact with the eccentric owner of an electronics store.
Two men use a landowner’s cow for their business venture in Kelly Reichardt’s superlative period drama about male friendship, capitalism and creativity. Read our full review
Alice and the Mayor
The mayor of Lyon has run out of ideas! Behind this intriguing premise lies a delightful reflection on current politics starring an exquisite Fabrice Luchini.
Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
Who else but Bruno Dumont to take us on a musical journey through the religious awakening of Joan of Arc? France, 1425. In the midst of the Hundred Years’ War, 8-year-old Jeannette cannot bear to see the suffering caused by the English. A nun tries to reason with her, but Jeannette is ready to take up arms for the liberation of the Kingdom of France. Carried by her faith, she will become an icon.
Borg vs McEnroe
This smashing sports biopic is hit home by a pair of ace performances. Read our full review.
The 10th Victim
In a futuristic world, the Big Hunt is a televised competition pitting assassins against each other. The prize for surviving 10 rounds? A million dollars. When renowned shooters Marcello and Caroline are selected for a showdown, their will to win is suddenly replaced by another kind of desire.
Maso and Miso Go Boating
The year 1975 is declared “year of the woman”. On this occasion, Bernard Pivot invited Françoise Giroud, then Secretary of State for Women, on his popular TV show. A collective of women filmmakers, Les Insoumuses, parody the misogynistic statements from the show in a provocative way.
This low-key coming-of-age drama is a gorgeous, generous showcase for two contrasting, complex women. Read our full review
Ari Folman followed the Oscar-nominated Waltz With Bashir with this striking adaptation of Stanisław “Solaris” Lem’s novella. Folman blends live-action with hallucinatory animation for a vivid, sci-fi satire – beginning with Robin Wright agreeing to be scanned by Miramount so that the film studio has the rights to her digital image.
Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project
Matt Wolf’s engaging, reverential documentary explores the story of a woman who recorded US news for over 30 years. Read our full review
Paula Beer plays a water nymph who can’t escape her fate in Christian Petzold’s beautifully made fantasy romance.
White on White
Late-19th century: Pedro arrives in Tierra del Fuego to photograph a landowner’s wedding. In capturing his future wife’s beauty, Pedro betrays the forces dominating these lands. Unable to escape, he becomes a participant in a new society being built through the genocide of the Selknam people.
Nadia, 23, decides to retire from professional swimming after the Olympic Games in order to escape a life of sacrifice. After her final race, she drifts out of control with nights of excess, but this momentary elation is unable to hide her inner struggle: defining her identity outside of sports.
An American woman (Joan Allen), trapped in a loveless marriage with a devious politician, meets a Lebanese man (Sam Neill) living in exile. They begin a passionate, carefree affair, despite a conflict between their illicit love and religious beliefs, and travel from London to Belfast, Beirut and Havana in Sally Potter’s vivid drama.
After surviving Auschwitz, a former cabaret singer, her face disfigured and reconstructed, returns to her war-ravaged town to find a husband who may or may not have betrayed her. Without recognising her, he asks her to help him claim his wife’s inheritance. She agrees, becoming her own doppelganger.
A feature-length collection of six animated short films by Lewis Klahr, combining collage animation with mid-century comic books, pop art, and magazines to explore “the pastness of the present”.
The Female Closet
Using groundbreaking research, newly discovered home movies, and archival photographs, and other visual sources, The Female Closet. is a cultural interrogation of the closeted and not-so-closeted lives of three women artists.
A highlight of 2020’s Toronto International Film Festival and SXSW, and featuring a standout lead performance from emerging actor-comedian Rachel Sennott, Emma Seligman’s bold, hilarious debut feature is a darkly playful comedy of chaos about a young bisexual woman grappling with tradition and independence over the course of one climactic day-long shiva. Read our review.
Joanna Reposi Garibaldi’s winner of the Teddy Award for Best Documentary at 2019 Berlinale depicts a pioneering figure in Latin America’s LGBTQ+ movement and a tireless fighter who continued to speak out until the very end of his life. His sharp-tongued, poetic texts and provocative performances made him one of South America’s most important contemporary artists. In dictatorial Chile under Pinochet, Lemebel expressed things that only few dared to say.
The city of Aquilea has fallen under siege by sinister forces. A group of middle-aged men, led by a somewhat older man, resolve to mount clandestine resistance to the invaders and defend their city. Meetings are held, maps are studied, strategies are proposed—but can the invasion really be overcome?
This filmed epistolary conversation between two acclaimed filmmakers blends digital and Super 8 footage, new material and family home movies, to form a reflection on family, history, motherhood, and current politics.
In 1980s East Germany, Barbara is a Berlin doctor banished to a country medical clinic for applying for an exit visa. Deeply unhappy with her reassignment and fearful of her co-workers as possible Stasi informants, Barbara stays aloof, especially from the good natured clinic head, Andre. MUBI’s Christian Petzold retrospective continues with this 2012 drama.
The debut film by Lee Isaac Chung (Minari), Munyurangabo (2007) is a powerful and tender tale of a friendship between two teenagers as they deal with the effects of the Rwandan genocide. Quiet and authentic, the film also features a poem by Poet Laureate Edouard Uwayo.
A darkly comic giallo-esque romance, torturously literalising all the dynamics of S&M, while accommodating the persistence of trauma.
An erotic drama about love and loneliness, it follows a man as he becomes obsessed with a dominatrix met via video chat, played by Uncut Gems star Julia Fox.
2 Days in Paris
Julie Delpy’s delightfully prickly romantic comedy follows Marion, a bohemian French photographer, and Jack, a neurotic American, a couple living in New York and travelling around Europe. When they make a stopover in Marion’s hometown, Paris, the romantic trip takes a crooked turn as Jack meets her offbeat family and learns about her past.
After being introduced to a charismatic man, 16-year-old Jamie becomes friends with him. As the relationship grows so do Jamie’s suspicions, until he finds his world threatened by both his loyalty for, and fear of, his newfound father figure, John Bunting: Australia’s most notorious serial killer.
Sergei Loznitsa returns to take us back to Moscow, March 1953: in the days following the death of Joseph Stalin, countless citizens flooded the Red Square to mourn their leader’s loss and witness his burial. Though the procession was captured in detail by hundreds of cameramen, their footage has remained largely unseen until now.
When naïve, 17-year-old Bennie arrives in Buenos Aires to look for his long-estranged brother Tetro, he finds a tormented soul who has abandoned his career as a writer. After Tetro rejects him, Bennie risks his brother’s wrath by secretly completing one of his plays and submitting it for a prize.
The Hummingbird Project
Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgard star in Kim Nguyen’s 2018 drama about New York cousins Vincent and Anton, who are players in the game of high-frequency stock trading, where winning is measured in milliseconds. Their dream? To build a fibre-optic cable in a straight line between Kansas and New Jersey and make millions. But nothing is straightforward for this flawed pair.
In 1930 in Moscow, USSR. the Soviet government puts a group of top rank economists and engineers on trial, accusing them of plotting a coup d’état. The charges are fabricated and the punishment, if convicted, is death. MUBI continues its look back through the work of Sergei Loznitsa with this 2018 documentary.
Petzold: The State I Am In
A couple with a criminal past have been living on the run with their 15-year-old daughter. When their money is stolen, they must return secretly from Portugal to their native Germany, a journey during which Jeanne’s teenage development coincides with the violent disintegration of the family cell. MUBI’s Christian Petzold retrospective continues with this 2000 drama.
On a hot summer day by a small lake, Mia asks Hugo, 15 years old and yet already blasé, to tell her about his love story with Chaïnes. Despite his reluctance, memories come to the surface: evenings spent at the edge of the lake trying to seduce her, or the fear felt when declaring his love.
Diary for My Father and Mother
This story follows a young student, who is orphaned as she grows to adulthood in the shadow of the 1956 Hungarian uprising.
Diary for My Lovers
Orphan Juli, 18, is determined to become a film director and starts studying filmmaking after moving to Moscow. Following Stalin’s death, she returns to Hungary to prepare her diploma film, but soon the 1956 uprising takes place, and Juli is forced to make compromises when it comes to her career.
The Two of Them
Mari has a narrow-minded man for a husband, and Juli is fleeing her passionate marriage with an uncontrollable alcoholic. Both passing through a marital crisis, the two women turn to each other for comfort, and each of them gains necessary insights into her own life in seeing the other’s struggles.
Kelly Reichardt’s second feature follows two old friends, Kurt and Mark, who reunite for a weekend camping trip in the Cascade mountain range east of Portland, Oregon. When they arrive at their final destination, a hot spring deep in the forest, they must confront the divergent paths they have taken in life.
Olivier Assayas captures the uncertainty of the digital age in a haunting drama of isolation.
A winner at Venice Film Festival, and Ukraine’s official Oscar® submission for Best International Feature Film, Atlantis is a post-apocalyptic drama with an unexpectedly sweet love story at its core and dark humor around the edges.
This unique documentary follows the daily duties of the mayor of Ramallah in the midst of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Warm and full of humour, but with a strong political stance.
An operatic vampire tale from Park Chan-wook, this grand, tragic story an equal parts astonishing, romantic, and devastating.
Film noir gets the colour treatment in Curtis Hanson’s thrilling depiction of a city of corrupt angels. Read our full review
Artist Anna Odell conducts a social experiment in which she aims to challenge gender roles in our society. In a purpose-built set, she confronts herself with the actor and masculine icon Mikael Persbrandt, and invites seven other actors to live with them and act as alter egos of herself and Mikael. Also available is Odell’s The Reunion.
In Istanbul, a day on the verge of a country-wide power surge unfolds with four characters—a mother whose son is in prison, a young woman committed to dancing, a female activist-artist, and a cunning middle man—all in a neighbourhood undergoing a process of gentrification for the “New Turkey”. Azra Deniz Okyay’s electrifying Venice prize-winner is a politically charged snapshot that reveals the rebellious rhythms of Istanbul’s ghettos with a focus on gender and social politics.
You’ll hate every second – but you won’t stop watching this horribly gripping thriller. Read our full review
Terry Gilliam’s darkly funny dystopian fantasy about a low-level bureaucrat Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) is eerily, brilliantly prescient.
IWOW: I Walk on Water
Returning to the intersection of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue in East Harlem, Khalik Allah centres his new film on his long-time friendship with Frenchie, a homeless Haitian man, while also documenting his recent life: his relationships with his former girlfriend and an inner circle of friends.
Karla arrives in Tijuana, Mexico to stay at her estranged aunt’s house a year after her father’s death. In this moment of solitude and calm, she looks up, down, inward and outward through the transpositional alchemy of text and is reminded that speaking to oneself feels like a vital human practice.
Death in the Garden
Amid a revolution in a South American mining outpost, a band of fugitives – a roguish adventurer, a local prostitute, a priest, an aging diamond miner, and his deaf-mute daughter – are forced to flee for their lives into the jungle in Luis Buñuel’s 1956 drama.
Songs My Brothers Taught Me
Beautifully photographed in the badlands of the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, Chloé Zhao’s debut is a wistful and delicately observed tale of loss and familial bonds, featuring a wonderful cast of non-professional actors.
Black Pond (2018)
A double from documentarian Jessica Sarah Rinland begins with an odyssey across a common land in the south of England, told through the hands of the members of the Natural History Society who currently occupy it. After two years of filming, the rushes were shown to the society — their memories and responses were recorded and used as the film’s narration.
Among the guests who come to the mansion of aristocratic landowner Nikolai over Christmas are a politician, a young countess, and a general with his wife. They dine and discuss topics such as progress and morality. As the debate becomes more heated, cultural differences become increasingly apparent. The Berlinale-winning latest from Cristi Puiu.
Those That, At A Distance, Resemble Another (2019)
A museum-quality replica of a historic elephant tusk is painstakingly created. The hands and tools of conservators in a number of different museums and laboratories embark on a creative process. The second of two documentaries from Jessica Sarah Rinland.
Don’t Cry, Pretty Girls!
A gang of Beat music fans attend concerts and parties after spending tedious days in the factory in Márta Mészáros’s 1970 musical drama. Juli, the fiancée of one of the gang’s boys, falls in love with a musician and travels with him for a gig. The jealous fiancé and his friends go after them and the whole affair comes close to violence.
As a heroin dealer in Copenhagen, Frank is far from the top but earns good money pushing with a friend. When he decides to up the ante, Frank goes to Milo, a drug lord—except he doesn’t have enough money for the heroin. Instead, Milo fronts him the goods upon the condition of immediate repayment. Kim Bodnia and Mads Mikkelsen star in Nicolas Winding Refn’s 1996 thriller.
With Blood on My Hands: Pusher II
Following his memorable supporting turn in the first Pusher film, Mads Mikkelsen moves centre stage for this adrenalised sequel. Tonny, just released from prison, tries to bring order to his life and gain the respect of his father, the Duke, a notorious gangster who despises his son. Trying to repay a debt held over from prison, he makes misstep after misstep. What’s more, Tonny must contribute to the upbringing of a child.
I’m the Angel of Death: Pusher III
As drug lord Milo struggles to prepare his daughter’s 25th birthday party, his business proves equally challenging when a shipment of ecstasy arrives instead of heroin. Forced to work with a new drug he knows little about, he must find a way to maintain his dominance atop the Copenhagen underworld.
Xavier Dolan’s hugely emotional drama is a stunning tale of troubled youth, motherly love and the music of Oasis.
Introverted teenager Mylia feels lost between the uncertainty in her family life, the superficial atmosphere at her new school, and her first experiences at house parties. But one day Mylia meets Jimmy. The boy from the nearby Abenaki reserve is different and he encourages her to break free.
Sonita is a talented teenage rapper and an indomitable force in spite of her conservative family. She is, however, an undocumented Afghan refugee in Iran, and her family has other plans for her. Her dream of living abroad is about to come true just as her family wants to send her back home to marry.
Gianfranco Rosi: Notturno
Shot in Iran, Kurdistan, Syria and Lebanon over the course of three turbulent years, it is an intimate and devastating depiction of the civilian populations who have no choice but to live on the frontlines. Told with compassion, grace and humanism, this is a breathtaking cinematic journey.
Gianfranco Rosi: El Sicario, Room 164
In room 164 of a grubby hotel near the Mexican-American border, a man with a black cloth over his head starts talking about the life he has lived. He provides full details on his 20 years of work for a Mexican drugs baron, shading light on how thoroughly corrupt the local authorities are.
Gianfranco Rosi: Sacro Gra
Gianfranco Rosi’s snapshot of life in Rome drifts round ring road GRA to capture lives that have come to a halt on the fringes of a society that races on.
Gianfranco Rosi: Below Sea Level
During a five year period, Gianfranco Rosi documents the world of down-on-their-luck individuals who live in a Californian desert, about 200 miles southeast of Los Angeles and 20 feet below sea level. They have turned their backs on society, and want to be left alone.
Charlie Shackleton’s essay dissecting high school movies is a smart, entertaining ode to the teen movie legacy. Read our full review
A beguiling new short film from Peter Strickland, shot on black and white Super8 and 16mm film. Originally commissioned by the London Short Film Festival to wriggle inside the ASMR phenomenon, it follows the repeated rituals of an online performer and the transfixing, hypnotising effects she has on her viewers.
Alex Ross Perry: The Color Wheel
JR, an aspiring news-anchor, forces her younger brother Colin to embark on a road trip to move her belongings out of her professor-turned-lover’s place. Traveling through New England, they uncomfortably run into old school-mates or revisit familial history from which they have long since diverged.
Berlinale: The Twentieth Century
Toronto, 1899. Mackenzie King dreams of becoming Canada’s Prime Minister. In his quest for power he faces his Mother, a war-mongering Governor-General. When the run for leadership leads to a battle between good and evil, King learns that disappointment is the only way to survive the 20th century.
Berlinale: Uppercase Print
The story of Mugur Calinescu, a Romanian teenager who wrote graffiti messages of protest against the regime of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and was subsequently apprehended, interrogated, and ultimately crushed by the secret police.
The fates of an unlucky pig farmer, a feisty home-owner defending her property, a lovestruck busboy, a disenchanted rich girl, and an American expat pursuing the Chinese Dream converge and collide as thousands of dead pigs are found floating down the Huangpu River, towards a modernizing Shanghai. Don’t miss the rare chance to catch this Sundance-winning debut from Birds of Prey director Cathy Yan. Read our full review
Stump the Guesser
He works at the fairground as “Stump the Guesser”, who can guess anything for a fee. But suddenly his tricks stop working. Then, he falls in love with his sister whom he believed to be lost. He sets out to scientifically disprove the theory of heredity and marry his beloved as soon as possible.
If It Were Love
1990s rave culture was a chance to let go of oneself. If It Were Love explores such dimension through the eyes of artist Gisèle Vienne: young dancers dissolve into a community on stage, where their bodies move in graceful slow motion. Performance and reality flow together into an artistic whole.
The Painted Bird
A young boy journeys through a Second World War landscape in Václav Marhoul’s harrowing odyssey.
About Some Meaningless Events
In Casablanca, a group of filmmakers conduct discussions with people about their expectations of, and aspirations for, the emerging Moroccan national cinema. When a disgruntled worker kills his superior accidentally, their inquest shifts focus, and they begin to probe the motives of the killing.
After playing at the Glasgow Film Festival in 2019, Sebastián Silva’s latest (currently available with Amazon Prime) gets a wider showcase. It follows Tyler, who joins a friend on a birthday weekend away with several people he doesn’t know. As soon as he gets there, it’s clear that he’s the only Black guy. Although welcomed, Tyler can’t help but feel uneasy. As the testosterone and alcohol gets out of hand, his precarious situation becomes nightmarish.
Roy Andersson’s supposed swan song is a greatest hits remix of absurd humanist melancholy.
August 32nd on Earth
Prior to making some of the biggest sci-fi blockbusters of the 21st century, Denis Villeneuve directed this French New Wave-influenced drama.
All is Forgiven
Debuting at the Quinzaine in 2007, Mia Hansen-Løve’s debut announces what we have come to appreciate in her cathartic cinema. All is Forgiven ambitiously embeds in its structure (and in this way, successfully grasps) all that is lost, gained, and transmitted through the persistent passage of time.
Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
This Boy’s Life
Available until end of: 17th October
One in a Thousand
Available until end of: 17th October
The Girl with the Hat Box
Available until end of: 24th October
Available until end of: 24th October
Available until end of: 22nd October
Available until end of: 24th October
Available until end of: 24th October
Available until end of: 23rd October
Available until end of: 24th October
Now, At Last!
Available until end of: 20th October
Available until end of: 25th October
The Childhood Life of Maxim Gorky
Available until end of: 24th October
This Boy’s Life
Available until end of: 24th October
Available until end of: 24th October
Aelita: Queen of Mars
Available until end of: 24th October
Available until end of: 24th October