The MUBI Weekly Digest | 14th December 2019
James R | On 14, Dec 2019
MUBI continues to unwrap cinematic gems from years gone by this week, with the continuation of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colours trilogy, helpings from Ingmar Bergman and Jean Renoir – plus, jumping forward to a modern maestro, takes in the colossal achievement of Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Leviathan.
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What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Two-Lane Blacktop – 14th December
The cinematic road trip to end all road trips—Monte Hellman’s counterculture classic captures the 1970s in one hypnotic ride across the American landscape.
Three Colours: White – 15th December
Karol Karol, a Polish immigrant living in France, is a hairdresser who opts to leave Paris for his native Warsaw when his wife sues him for divorce (her reason: their marriage was never consummated) and then frames him for arson. Karol Karol, in return, plans an elaborate revenge plot.
Bergman: To Joy – 16th December
The film begins with Stig learning of the sudden death of his wife Marta. During a prolonged flashback, Stig remembers the delights and tribulations of their relationship, back to their early days in the orchestra conducted by the eminent Sönderby, a time when Stig was riddled with self-doubt.
The Wandering Soap Opera – 18th December
A series of dreamily interconnected vignettes whose characters find themselves in all types of absurd situations combining melodrama and fantasy. The antics of soap archetypes like adulterers and femme fatales are treated with irony, resulting in
Renoir: Elena and Her Men – 19th December
Pre-World War I Paris: Polish countess Elena drives men of all stations to fits of desperate love. When she elicits the fascination of a famous general, Elena finds herself at the center of political scheming, with the hearts of several men—as well as the future of France—in her hands.
Andrey Zvyagintsev: Leviathan – 20th December
In a small coastal Russian town, a man decides to fight against the corrupt local officials who impose a compulsory purchase order on his land. Kolia defiantly refuses to give up his home, and recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man’s arrival brings further misfortune for Kolya and his family.
Other new releases on MUBI
Lonely Are the Brave
Kirk Douglas is justly commended for using his fame to support unusual film productions, and this late period western is one of his boldest ventures. Blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo adapts the environmentalist novelist Edward Abbey to redefine the idea of the outsider cowboy for a new age, as a fiercely independent cowboy who obstinately resists modernization arranges to have himself locked up in jail in order to escape with an old friend who has been sentenced to the penitentiary. When the principled friend refuses to leave, the cowboy futilely attempts to escape to Mexico on horseback.
Three Colours: Blue
MUBI begins a look back at Krzysztof Kieślowski’s iconic trilogy with Blue. The wife of a famous composer survives a car accident that kills her husband and daughter. Now alone, she shakes off her old identity and explores her newfound freedom, but finds that she is unbreakably bound to other humans, including her husband’s mistress, whose existence she never suspected.
Abbas Kiarostami: Taste of Cherry
Middle-aged Mr. Badii wishes to die in a society where suicide is considered an abomination. Driving in the hills above Tehran, he searches for an accomplice who is willing to bury him after he is dead. He meets an assortment of different characters, but each have reasons to turn down the job.
Abbas Kiarostami: The Wind Will Carry Us
rreverent city engineer Behzad comes to a rural Kurdish village in Iran to keep vigil for a dying relative. While death hovers around the corner, Behzad gains perspectives on life and spirituality as he befriends the locals and experiences nature’s majesty, changing his own attitudes as a result.
Brief Encounters: GUO4
A confrontation between two swimmers in a locker room. The framing of traditionally macho scenarios in a homoerotic context takes its cues from the covert porn of Bob Mizer.
The versatile director of such disparate films as George Washington and Pinapple Express (and Silver Bear winner at Berlinale for Prince Avalanche!), David Gordon Green scored with this unsettling look at life in the American South, starring Jamie Bell.
Godard: A Woman is A Woman
Exotic dancer Angela attempts to have a child with her unwilling lover Emile. But Alfred, Emile’s best friend who is in love with Angela, is happy to be a father. Angela loves Emile and refuses Alfred’s advances, but leads Emile to believe that she is infatuated with his friend.
Adam Driver is fantastic in Jim Jarmusch’s charming drama about Paterson, a bus driver who lives in Paterson. Every day, Paterson adheres to a simple routine: he drives his bus, observing the city and overhearing fragments of conversation; he writes poetry; he walks his dog; he goes to the same bar to drink a beer; he goes home to his wife Laura. Read our full review
byNWR: House of Seven Belles
The late Andy Milligan never completed his antebellum South melodrama, and all he left behind was a single unfinished workprint. As he said, “it’s all there, except the finale I was unable to shoot.” Thus, it may be left to the viewer to complete his Civil War epic, revealed here for the first time.
This morally defiant drama was Ingmar Bergman’s fifth film, and his first box office success.
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.
On the eve of her operation, transgender woman Bree learns that she has a teenage son. She travels to New York to collect Toby who is in a juvenile detention. Worried about his reaction, she pretends to be a Christian do-gooder as they embark on a road-trip across the States.
Godard’s most iconic work follows petty thug Michel, who panics and impulsively kills a policeman while driving a stolen car. On the lam, he turns to his aspiring journalist girlfriend Patricia, hiding out in her Paris apartment. When Patricia learns that Michel is being investigated for murder, she begins to question her loyalties.
The Besson couple divorce. To protect her son from a father she accuses of violence, Miriam asks for exclusive custody, but the father says his son has been turned against him. The judge, unsure, grants a shared custody. Julien, a hostage between his parents, will do everything to prevent the worst.
Chaos reigns in Lars von Trier’s provocative, graphic, shocking study of grief and violence.
Picnic on the Grass
Etienne Alexis, a candidate for the presidency of the new Europe, is a pompous scientist promoting artificial insemination. However, while hosting a picnic, he encounters a young, modern peasant woman, Nénette, and learns that science sometimes does not have all the answers.
A portrait of transgender musician and artist Linn da Quebrada, who uses her body and performances as weapons to fight machismo, transphobia, and racism. She speaks of her growing up as a black queer in São Paulo’s favelas, and the challenges of breaking into Brazil’s heteronormative funk scene.
Jarmusch: Only Lovers Left Alive
Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) are two vampires whose love affair has lasted centuries. She’s living in Tangier; he’s in Detroit. But when Adam gets lonely and depressed, Eve makes her way across the world to snap him out of his stupor. Director Jim Jarmusch switches gears once more to tell this entrancing outing, which manages to be part stoner comedy, part horror and part examination of contemporary culture. Read our full review
Resnais: Private Fears in Public Places
Six Parisians engage in a lonely and mostly unsuccessful search for real love: Nicole and Dan are engaged to be married, but his drinking drives them apart; Thierry flirts with a religious colleague, Charlotte, who has a secret vice; Gaëlle answers numerous personal ads, but her dates never show up.
Resnais: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
Before his death, a renowned dramatist arranges to have friends who appeared in his play Eurydice summoned to his home, to participate in his funeral and to see a performance of the play by an avant-garde acting company. Surprises await them, as they also find themselves unwitting participants.
The second film from Happy as Lazzaro director Alice Rohrwacher follows an extraordinary summer for Gelsomina and her three younger sisters, in which the strict rules that hold the family together begin to break: due to the arrival of Martin, a German boy on a youth rehabilitation program, and also the community’s participation in a TV competition. A bittersweet and beautiful coming-of-ager. Read our full review
A hidden gem from Philippe Garrel’s haunting filmography, this pocket melodrama meditates on loss, filmmaking, and the obstacles of an unstable relationship. Borrowing biographical details from the French auteur’s own love story with the singer Nico, L’enfant secret is a work of intimate poetry.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Available until end of: 14th December
Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus
Available until end of: 15th December
Available until end of: 16th December
It All Started at the End
Available until end of: 17th December
My Skin, Luminous
Available until end of: 18th December
Available until end of: 19th December
Available until end of: 20th December
The Palm Beach Story
Available until end of: 21st December