The MUBI Weekly Digest | 11th April 2020
James R | On 11, Apr 2020
MUBI is still offering a discount of £1 for three months, and it’s more than earning every pence this week with the arrival of Céline Sciamma’s sumptuous Portrait of a Lady on Fire, fresh from its run in cinemas. It’s joined by a Takashi Miike classic, another Joseph Losey gem, a Henri-Georges Clouzot triple-bill and a dose of Wong Kar-wai to boot.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Visitor Q – 11th April
The mother is a heroin user and sex worker, beaten by her son. The father, an ex-TV reporter, sleeps with his daughter and films his son being beaten up. Into this dysfunctional family walks ‘Q’, a complete stranger, changing their lives for the better, finding a balance in their disturbing natures.
Blue Valentine – 12th April
Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are astounding in this brutal drama about a marriage gone wrong.
Joseph Losey: Accident – 13th April
Vain and insecure Oxford don Stephen’s life is thrown into turmoil when he falls in love with one of his students, Anna. But she has also attracted the attention of William, a wealthy student, and Charley, a colleague of whose professional success and self-confidence Stephen is profoundly envious.
Henri-Georges Clouzot: Le Corbeau – 14th April
Remy Germain is a doctor in a French town who becomes the focus of a vicious smear campaign, as letters accusing him of having an affair and performing unlawful abortions are mailed to village leaders. The unknown writer, “le corbeau”, soon targets the whole town, exposing everyone’s dark secrets.
Henri-Georges Clouzot:Quay of the Goldsmiths – 15th April
Jenny Lamour sings in a music hall in postwar Paris, accompanied by her jealous husband Maurice Martineau on piano. He is blamed for murder when a lecherous movie producer who was flirting with his wife turns up dead. Enter Inspector Antoine, whose seasoned instincts lead him down a circuitous path.
Henri-Georges Clouzot: Woman in Chains – 16th April
Stanislas, the owner of an art gallery, is friend and patron to Gilbert, a creator of progressive artworks. His wife, Josée, is intrigued by Stanislas, who is also a photographer. But amongst his large collection of images, he keeps a series of photographs that reveal a disturbed character…
My Blueberry Nights – 17th April
Following a nasty breakup, Elizabeth leaves her memories behind as she chases her dreams across the country. Picking up a series of jobs to support herself along the way, the myriad of lost souls she meets help her to understand the journey as part of a greater exploration within herself.
Other new releases on MUBI
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Set in late 18th century France, painter Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is commissioned by an affluent countess to paint the wedding portrait of her sheltered but headstrong daughter Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), in the hope it will find her a wealthy husband. Romance and art entwine in this sumptuous new masterpiece from Céline Sciamma – winner of Best Screenplay at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
That Most Important Thing: Love
When an unhappy softcore actress (a would-be star who has only found work in cheap exploitation movies) becomes the obsession of a paparazzo, he proceeds to borrow money from his underworld employer to launch an experimental stage production for her—but it also stars a demented German actor.
Marianne, some thirty years after divorcing Johan, decides to visit her ex-husband at his summer home. She arrives in the middle of a family power struggle between Johan’s musician son from another marriage, whom Johan dislikes, and his cellist granddaughter, whom Johan adores.
The Grand Bizarre
A postcard from an imploded society. Bringing mundane objects to life to interpret place through materials, the film transcribes an experience of pattern, labor and alien(nation)(s).
Coffee and Cigarettes
Bill Murray, Steve Coogan, Jack White, and Iggy Pop all feature in Jim Jarmusch’s anthology of comic vignettes, which sees unlikely pairs of celebrities sit down to talk about everything from Tesla coils to jukeboxes to long-lost relatives to the dentist. The conversations are separate in time and place, but they all have two things in common: coffee and cigarettes.
With the U.S. under the threat of nuclear attack, several people’s lives converge. Movie star Boxer plans his next film with the help of porn actress Krysta and policeman Roland. Meanwhile, Marxist revolutionaries, corporations, and government agencies pursue their agendas among a paranoid populace.
Melville: Un Flic
Melville’s swansong noir follows Edouard, who spends his time chasing criminals. Nightclub owner Simon works with a small crew to execute daring heists with big payoffs. Meanwhile Cathy is torn between them. After a bank robbery in a small Riviera town goes wrong, a game of cat and mouse begins between Edouard and Simon’s gang.
The Whalebone Box
Some time ago, a whalebone box that was found washed up on a remote beach was given to writer Iain Sinclair. Once touched the box can change lives. In 2018 filmmaker Andrew Kötting, photographer Anonymous Bosch and Sinclair take the box on a reverse pilgrimage from London back to the Isle of Harris.
Danielle is a model separated from her Siamese twin, Dominique. When her neighbour, an intrepid reporter, suspects Dominique of a brutal murder, she becomes dangerously ensnared in the sisters’ insidious sibling bond, and hires the help of a private detective to seek out the truth.
Joseph Losey: Eva (1962)
Writer Tyvian Jones seems to have it all—an international best seller, an apartment in Rome, a gorgeous fiancé—but he’s bitter anyway. He meets his existential match in the mod seductress Eve. An emotional tyrant, her casual maneouvering forces Baker to confront his past and his weaknesses.
Joseph Losey: The Servant
Hugo Barrett is a servant in the Chelsea home of indolent aristocrat Tony. All seems to go well until the playboy’s girlfriend Susan takes a dislike to the efficient employee. Then Barrett persuades Tony to hire his sister Vera as a live-in maid, and matters take another turn for the worse…
Bruce Lee and the Outlaw
Director Joost Vandebrug has been working in Bucharest’s Ceaușescu-built tunnels since 2011, forming deep relationships with its inhabitants: homeless kids struggling with addiction. Maintaining an attentive eye on his surroundings, this is a remarkably compassionate look at life in the underworld.
Nona, If They Soak Me, I’ll Burn Them
After an act of vengeance on the home of her ex-lover, Nona, 66, flees to her summer house on the Chilean coast. There, forest fires are spreading, but her home is undamaged. While houses go up in flames, Nona displays different sides of her character: the grandmother, the friend, the anarchist…
From Kleber Mendonça Filho (Aquarius) and Juliano Dornelles comes a daring, intoxicating blend of neo-Western, siege thriller and political allegory—powerfully resonating with today’s Brazil. Read our our review here.
The Daughters of Fire
Two female lovers reunite after a long time. One wants to shoot a porn film, the other wants to visit her family. As they happen upon a woman during a bar fight with homophobes, they decide to hit the road, embarking on a polyamorous journey across Patagonia, picking up other women along the way.
Cocteau: Testament of Orpheus
An 18th century poet travels through time in search of divine wisdom. In a mysterious wasteland, he has a series of enigmatic encounters with symbolic phantoms with whom he muses about the nature of art and his own career. Ultimately, the poet strives to achieve his rebirth as a celestial being.
Cocteau: The Blood of a Poet
In a poet’s room, an armless statue abruptly comes to life. It invites the poet to step through a mirror and to discover another world. Strange places and characters present themselves to him. The poet tears himself away from these twisted fascinations and returns, with some difficulty, to his room.
Bergman: Autumn Sonata
After seven years of separation, an internationally famous, icy concert pianist returns home to visit her long-suffering daughter. Over the course of a day and a long, painful night that the two spend together, they finally confront the bitter discord of their relationship.
Bergman: From the Life of the Marionettes
Ingmar Bergman’s only German production is a surprising spin-off of Scenes from a Marriage that gives center stage to that film’s couple, revealing their relationship’s secrets in a more extreme filmmaking style.
Four friends and tech entrepreneurs invent a device in their garage which reduces the apparent mass of any object placed inside it. However, they soon discover that it has some highly unexpected capabilities. Ones that could enable them to do and to have seemingly anything they want…
Pharos of Chaos
Sterling Hayden, the semi-retired actor, war hero, and writer passes his days living on a barge in France. He enjoys telling anecdotes, until finally opening up about his alcoholism, loneliness, “creative impotency,” and deepest shame: publicly naming names in Hollywood during the Red Scare.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Available until end of: 11th April
Army of Shadows
Available until end of: 12th April
Available until end of: 13th April
The Image Book
Available until end of: 14th April
Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate
Available until end of: 15th April
Available until end of: 16th April
Available until end of: 17th April
Available until end of: 18th April
Le Cercle Rouge
Available until end of: 19th April