MUBI Weekly Digest | 7th August 2021
James R | On 07, Aug 2021
MUBI is bringing its latest acquisition, New Order, to UK cinemas on Friday, which means a chance to catch up with Michel Franco’s April’s Daughter this week to warm up. The Mexican director sets the pace for a typically international line-up on the streaming service, from another work by Hungarian filmmaker Márta Mészáros to a chance to join Agnès Varda on a trip to Cuba in 1963, four years after Fidel Castro came to power.
For MUBI Go subscribers, there’s a free cinema ticket available (in participating UK cinemas) for Zola.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon? Read on for your weekly MUBI Digest. For our guide to the best films in MUBI Library, click here.
This week on MUBI
Welcome II The Terrordome – 7th August
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.
Joy Division – 8th August
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 – 9th August
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 – 10th August
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 – 11th August
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.
Salut Les Cubains – 12th August
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.
April’s Daughter – 13th August
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.
Other new releases on MUBI
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dumb, clever, violent and bonkers, Quentin Dupieux’s eccentric B-movie pastiche is a gory bit of oddball satire. Read our full review
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.
Chris the Swiss
In 1992, during the Yugoslav Wars, young Swiss journalist Chris is found dead under mysterious circumstances. He was wearing the uniform of an international mercenary group. Anja Kofmel was his cousin. 20 years later, she decides to investigate his story, trying to understand what really happened. Director Anja Kofmel reckons with her family history in this inventive combination of animation and documentary.
Lacking inspiration for her new novel, psychotherapist Sibyl borrows source material from the life of her newest patient Margot, a young actress wrapped up in a dramatic affair with her costar, Igor. Becoming further enmeshed in Margot’s life, Sibyl starts to blur fiction with reality.
Lav Diaz’s sci-fi takes place in Manila, 2034. Volcanic eruptions have obscured the sun and a crazed dictator rules while the military carry out summary executions. In these dark times, two female Special Forces officers are in love and cross paths with a former history teacher who is now a silently suffering call girl.
After years toiling in bit-parts, an actress finally gets her break with a leading role in a spy thriller. The part is challenging, not least because it calls for explicit sex scenes, and the director is often hard on her. But both the industry and the press think the results are sensationally good.
The Wasps Are Here
In Kalpitiya, a fishing village in Sri Lanka, a group of urban entrepreneurs are clashing with local fishermen. The city folk, headed by Victor, and their capitalistic tendencies anger the local patriarch, Anton. When Victor gets involved with a local village girl, tensions arise.
Jimmy P: Psychotherapy of a Plains Indian
At the end of WWII, Jimmy Picard, a Native American Blackfoot who fought in France, suffers from unexplainable symptoms and is admitted to a military hospital. There he starts a psychotherapy with Georges Devereux, a French anthropologist, psychoanalyst and specialist in Native American culture.
An unsolved murder at Portland’s infamous Paranoid skateboard park brings detectives to a local high school, propelling a young skater into a moral odyssey where he must not only deal with the pain and disconnect of adolescence, but also the consequences of his own actions.
Misako writes voiceovers for vision-impaired film viewers, attempting to conjure the complexity of cinematic images through description alone. While at a panel she meets Masaya—a renowned photographer—who condemns her writing as overly subjective. An unlikely relationship begins to flower. Cannes-favorite Naomi Kawase (Still the Water) employs her signature, sensitive style in this deeply-felt drama.
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.
The Son’s Room
Giovanni is a psychiatrist who enjoys a loving relationship with his wife Paola and two teenage children, Irene the eldest and Andrea the youngest, in a small Northern Italian town. While Giovanni has to leave in emergency to a patient in crisis, Andrea goes diving with friends…
Be Pretty and Shut Up!
In 1975 Delphine Seyrig recorded interviews with twenty-four actresses in France and the US, including Maria Schneider, Jane Fonda and Shirley MacLaine, about their experience across the industry. Through their words, Seyrig reveals the frustrations of working within the patriarchal studio system.
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.
The First Lebanese film to ever show at Cannes, Where To? gained worldwide recognition and ushered in a period of emancipation for Lebanese cinema. Exploring exile and emigration through the story of one family, this is an evocative journey full of ingenious visual symbolism.
Delphine & Carole
In the mid-1970s, Delphine Seyrig and Carole Roussopoulos began making videos devised as political interventions to champion the struggle of women. Delphine and Carole retraces this collaboration by mixing video images filmed by the two directors, interviews, and archival material.
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.
One in a Thousand
This coming-of-age drama set in a housing project in Argentina refreshingly defies heteronormativity and queer stereotypes. Featuring a mostly non-professional cast, One in a Thousand is intimate, sensual and authentic.
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.
Axel gets caught up into the family car business when his cousin Paul coaxes him to come to Arizona to attend their Uncle Leo’s wedding. As Axel makes the decision to try selling Cadillacs, he meets an eccentric woman and her equally quirky stepdaughter. Their lives become inextricably intertwined.
Named after an infectious canine disease, this post-apocalyptic yet tender love story set in a pet crematorium takes the “Greek Weird Wave” further with a feral reimagining of the lines between human and animal existence.
I Was at Home, But…
This winner of the Silver Bear for both Best Director and Best Leading Performance at the Berlinale is an elliptical, mysterious and entrancing drama that deals with themes of grief and motherhood.
Under the Skin
Jonathan Glazer’s atmospheric, unsettling, beautifully scored film sticks with you for an inhuman amount of time.
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.
Two 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.
Escaping her volatile ex-husband, Yella flees her hometown in former East Germany for a new life in the West. She finds a promising job with a business executive, with whom a romance soon blossoms. Just as Yella begins to realize her dreams, buried truths threaten to destroy her newfound happiness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Youth Without Youth – 15th May
Professor of linguistics Dominic Matei survives a cataclysmic event and finds his youth restored. However, his intellect attracts the attention of Nazi scientists, forcing him into exile. While on the run, he reunites with his lost love and works to complete his research on the origins of language. Francis Ford Coppola returned after a 10-year absence with this time-warped romantic mystery.
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
Two women who have spent their whole lives together must deal with the illness affecting one of them. The sick woman decides not to have treatment and they move into a cabin in the woods to wait for the day that death will come into their lives.
Redoubt unfolds as a series of hunts in the wilderness of Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, led by Diana, a modern-day sharpshooter. The characters communicate a mythological narrative through dance, letting movement replace language as they pursue each other and their prey. Presented alongside the exhibition Matthew Barney: Redoubt at Hayward Gallery, which also features sculptures and engravings.
A videotape filled with hellish content that leads to a phone call foretelling the viewer’s death in seven days, is making the rounds of a small community. A reporter watches the video and races against time to solve the mystery of the Ring.
Letter from Paris
Paris is a monstrously inhuman cityscape, in which cars, buses, crowds, and unceasing noise combine to smother any decent and delicate human activity. People and flowers attempt to survive in a city that seems ready to explode from an over-heated mixture of traffic and noise.
Born in Flames
In near-future New York, 10 years after the “social-democratic war of liberation,” diverse groups of women organize a feminist uprising as equality remains unfulfilled. Preserved by Anthology Film Archives with restoration funding from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association & The Film Foundation.
The dishonourably discharged Afghanistan veteran Thomas returns to his home village of Jerichow. Ali, a local Turkish-German businessman, owner of a snack-bar chain, hires him as a driver. That’s when Thomas meets Laura, his boss’s young and attractive wife. A classic love triangle is born.
The coronavirus pandemic forced many to stay at home, preventing people from meeting each other in real life. In the absence of any physical connection, Alice Rohrwacher’s lockdown short explores alternative forms of contact among neighbours by making use of an old 16mm camera, a zoom lens and a few meters of expired film.
One from the Heart
Following Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola revived the working methods of Hollywood’s golden age with this modernist rebirth of the musical.
Olivier Assayas captures the uncertainty of the digital age in a haunting drama of isolation.
Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno
Clouzot’s legendary unfinished film. Uncovered by film archivist Serge Bromberg, the result is a treasure trove of images from what would have been called L’enfer, starring Romy Schneider – except for the fact that it sadly never got made.
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.
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.
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
An escalating feat of jaw-dropping survival. For better and for worse, The Revenant is the greatest video game movie ever made.
Labyrinth of Cinema
The only movie theater on the Onomichi seafront is about to close its doors. Its last night of screenings will be an all-night marathon of Japanese war films. When lightning strikes the theater, three young men in the audience find themselves thrown back in time into the world inside the screen.
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.
A dark portrayal of human failings and brilliant performances mark Trey Edward Shults’ striking debut out from typical US indie fare.
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.
This Boy’s Life
All Caroline wants is to be able to settle down in one place and find a man who will treat both she and her son Toby right. She moves to Seattle and finds the seemingly respectable Dwight. However, Toby feels differently about him, as Dwight’s methods are emotionally and physically abusive.
You’ll hate every second – but you won’t stop watching this horribly gripping thriller. Read our full review
Red Moon Tide
Time seems to stand still in a village in the Galician coast. Everybody there is paralyzed although we can still hear their voices: they talk about ghosts, about witches, about monsters. Three women arrive in the village to find Rubio, a sailor that has recently disappeared in the sea.
Cruel Story of Youth
In 1960 Japan, restless university student Kyoshi seduces teenager Makoto and quickly convinces her to take part in a dark, cruel scheme, both to get easy money and to keep their boredom at bay. They begin preying on middle-aged men, who easily succumb to Makoto’s charms, only to be blackmailed.
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.
Richard Kelly’s enigmatic, mind-bending fusion of teen movie, horror flick and sci-fi thriller is an instant cult classic.
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.
A doctor’s endless search for a cure to his wife’s cancer spans centuries in Darren Aronofsky’s ambitious, divisive sci-fi, as she writes the tale of a 16th Century conquistador looking for eternal life.
Widower Shigeharu seeks advice on how to find a new wife from a colleague. Taking advantage of their position as a film company, they stage an audition. Interviewing a series of women, Shigeharu is enchanted by the quiet Asami. But soon things take a twisted turn as Asami isn’t what she seems to be in Takashi Miike’s controversial thriller.
Edit lives a wealthy life until she becomes a widow and has to face her past. Her son István blames her intention to give up her luxurious life on hysteria. He has his mother watched by Kati, his fiancée. Although Edit is too weak to change, Kati is astonished by István’s limitless brutality. MUBI’s Márta Mészáros spotlight continues with this 1969 drama.
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.
1971. A nation is divided over the Vietnam war. Thousands of young Americans lie dead on foreign soil. The spectre of combat hangs over the men of A-Company, who train for the battlefield. Each man looks at the prospect in his own way. One man’s defiance, however, stirs every member of the platoon. Colin Farrell makes his first lead performance in Joel Schumacher’s 2000 drama, inspired by co-writer Ross Klavan’s experiences in Vietnam.
Jacques Audiard: Dheepan
Jacques Audiard’s study of immigration and identity is a movingly unpredictable drama.
A lonely working-class girl has grown up in a Hungarian state orphanage. On receipt of a letter from her mother, the girl decides to embark on a trip to visit her, only to find out the woman has married and wishes to pass her daughter off as her niece.
Oleg, a young Latvian butcher, arrives in Brussels in the hope of getting a better salary in a meat factory. His experience turns short after being betrayed by a colleague. Alone in a country where he doesn’t belong, he quickly falls under the yoke of Andrzej, a Polish criminal.
High-school students Yasuko, Yôichi, Kôichi and Bill join together to liberate themselves from a corrupt adult society.
That Cold Day in the Park
Robert Altman’s suspenseful 1969 drama sees a young, wealthy spinster Frances Austen invite a mute teenager into her apartment after finding him freezing in the park next to where she lives. Despite her best efforts, their lack of communication only increases her sense of loneliness, as her possessiveness spirals into frightening new realms.
Andrew Bujalski black-and-white oddity is a hilarious, profound and eccentric tribute to social awkwardness.
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.
The Legend of the Stardust Brothers
A shady music mogul brings together two wannabe stars—punk rock rebel Kan and new-wave crooner Shingo—and transforms them into the Stardust Brothers, a girl-friendly, silver-jumpsuited, synth-pop sensation. Along with their #1 fan, who herself dreams of a music career, the duo rockets to stardom.
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: Fire at Sea
A daring and virtuosic exploration of a modern humanitarian crisis. Read our full review
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.
Three years after his iconic Blade Runner, prolific British filmmaker Ridley Scott directed this high-budget, special-effects extravaganza starring Tom Cruise – but it’s Tim Curry as the Lord of Darkness who’s really worth tuning in for.
Charlie Shackleton’s essay dissecting high school movies is a smart, entertaining ode to the teen movie legacy. Read our full review
The King of Comedy
Robert De Niro is disturbingly cheerful in Scorsese’s twisted satire of celebrity culture. 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.
The Sky Is on Fire
A hypothetical digital ruin of a virtual Miami street is the backdrop for the monologue of a Miami resident who reflects on the desire for immortality that drives our need to capture everything in an image.
Alex Ross Perry: Queen of Earth
Elisabeth Moss is incredible in this absorbing study of a toxic friendship.
Alex Ross Perry: Listen Up Philipy
Jason Schwartzman is impeccable in Alex Ross Perry’s obnoxious, awkward and highly, highly amusing comedy about a self-important writer.
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.
A Family Tour
After directing the film The Mother of One Recluse, director Yang Shu has been forced to live in exile in Hong Kong. But when her mother has to undergo a serious operation, the two women plan to meet in Taiwan where Yang will be attending a film festival with her husband and son.
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.
Hou Hsiao-Hsien: Cute Girl
Wenwen, a young woman from a well-to-do family, has been promised to a man currently studying in France. While waiting upon his return, Wenwen’s parents prepare the wedding, but Wenwen starts to have doubts. She decides to go visit her aunt in the countryside, where she falls for a land surveyor.
Hou Hsiao-Hsien: The Green, Green Grass of Home
A substitute teacher from Taipei arrives in a country village where he meets his mischievous students. There, he begins a romance with a fellow teacher, and gradually begins to enjoy his life in the countryside. But his city girlfriend comes to drag him back.
Hou Hsiao-Hsien: The Boys From Fengkuei
A trio of young men, bored of living in the middle of nowhere, move from their small island of Fengkuei to the port of Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan to look for work. There they wander aimlessly without a clear sense of purpose, and face some harsh realities about growing up.
Hou Hsiao-Hsien: Daughter of the Nile
Lin Hsiao-yang tries to keep her family together while working as a waitress at Kentucky Fried Chicken and going to night school. With no mother and her father currently working out of town, it is up to Lin Hsiao-yang to take care of her younger siblings, who are slipping into a life of crime.
David Fincher’s adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel is a thriller about masculinity and nihilism, as a depressed man (Edward Norton) suffering from insomnia meets a strange soap salesman named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and soon finds himself setting up an underground movement.
Song Without a Name
Peru, at the height of the political crisis of the 1980s. Georgina is an indigenous woman from the Andes whose newborn daughter is stolen at a fake health clinic. Her desperate search for the child leads her to the headquarters of a major newspaper, where she meets Pedro Campos, a lonely journalist.
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.
Robert De Niro. Al Pacino. Michael Mann. Three icons of cinemas combine for his seminal crime drama, which sees a determine cop and an equally ruthless criminal in a cat-and-mouse game in a nocturnal Los Angeles caught with cool intensity by Mann’s deep-focused camera. A modern classic.
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.
Whit Stillman burst onto the American cinema scene with this ferociously funny look at the “urban haute bourgeoisie” in New York.
Roy Andersson’s supposed swan song is a greatest hits remix of absurd humanist melancholy.
The Small Town
This stunning exploration of the life of a rural family marks Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s highly personal debut feature. Shot in poignant black-and-white cinematography, and starring members of his own family, The Small Town is a low-budget, minimalist ode to the slow rhythms of life in the countryside.
My Sister’s Good Fortune
With her I Was at Home, But… helmed as one of last year’s best arthouse movies, we look back at German auteur Angela Schanelec’s first leap into feature filmmaking. An unusual take on desire and its ambiguous nature, this ethereal drama is filled with powerful, skilfully-crafted observation.
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.