The MUBI Weekly Digest | 14th March 2020
James R | On 14, Mar 2020
MUBI’s look back at Park Chan-wook’s revenge trilogy reaches its climax this week, but if vengeance isn’t your bag, there’s still the ongoing retrospective of the cool helmer Jean-Pierre Melville, another chance to catch Godard’s The Image Book and the unusual – and unusually sincere – romantic drama Secretary.
All of that paves the way for MUBI’s next exclusive release, Bacurau, heading to the streaming service at the end of the month. Want to see the Brazilian Western before then? Use MUBI Go (which offers a free cinema ticket every week to its subscribers) to see the film at participating cinemas.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Melville: Army of Shadows – 14th March
Betrayed by an informant, Philippe Gerbier finds himself trapped in a torturous Nazi prison camp. Although he escapes to rejoin the Resistance in occupied Marseille and exacts his revenge on the informant, Philippe must continue a quiet, seemingly endless battle against the Nazis.
Secretary – 15th March
E. Edward Grey, a demanding lawyer, reluctantly seduces his secretary Lee Holloway, who was recently released from a mental institution to the care of her overbearing parents. Lee is turned on by Grey’s stern demeanour, and their employer-employee relationship becomes a sexual, sadomasochistic one.
Godard: The Image Book – 16th March
Jean-Luc Godard returns with a bracing, confrontational essay film. Splicing together classic film clips and newsreel footage, often stretched, saturated and distorted almost beyond recognition, The Image Book interrogates our relationship with film, culture and global politics.
Sun in the Last Days of the Shogun – 17th March
Saheiji, a resourceful, witty free spirit, is forced to stay on at a brothel to repay his debt. At first he’s regarded as an unwelcome guest who never leaves, but soon he endears himself to the guests, hosts, servants and attending ladies—solving their disputes with his wit.
The Daughters of Fire – 19th March
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.
Vengeance Trilogy: Lady Vengeance – 20th March
After being wrongfully convicted, a woman is imprisoned for 13 years and forced to give up her daughter. While in prison she gains the respect of her cellmates and plots her revenge on the man responsible. Once released, she begins her elaborate plan of retribution, but discovers a horrifying truth.
Other new releases on MUBI
Melville: Leon Morin, Priest
The second film in MUBI’s Jean-Pierre Melville focus is this twisted, provocative tale of religion, filled with sexual tension (and repression). The widow Barny lives in Nazi-occupied France, looking after her daughter in a small village. When the Germans arrive, she decides to baptize her and chooses priest Léon Morin to do so; after spending some time with him and converting to Catholicism, she starts feeling an unrequited desire for Léon.
Melville: Le Doulous
Burglar Maurice has just finished his prison sentence. He murders Gilbert, a receiver, and steals the loot from another robbery. As Maurice prepares for another burglary, his friend Silien brings him all the necessary equipment. But Maurice doesn’t know that Silien is a police informant.
Melville: Bob Le Flambeur
From the French New Wave to Michael Mann, the influence of Jean-Pierre Melville’s cool existentialist cinema cannot be understated. Ageing safecracker and compulsive gambler Bob lives by night and sleeps by day, and thrives on his nostalgia for the prewar gangster milieu, before the infiltration of the Gestapo upset the delicate balance between cop and criminal. Bob’s going for the big stakes now: the casino vault in Deauville.
Ana is a young aspiring painter who moves to an artists’ hide-out in Madrid. After a hypnosis session, she realises that her life seems to be the continuation of the lives of other young women, all of whom died from tragic consequences at 22, and live on in the abyss of Ana’s unconscious.
The Remembered Film
Young soldiers from previous wars are seen roaming the woods aimlessly. They wear the uniforms of the Soviet troops, the Wehrmacht or the American military forces during the Vietnam war. In interviews, they share war memories they can’t possibly have experienced themselves.
In a Turkish village, five orphaned sisters are kept under strict lock and key by their aunt and uncle after an entirely innocent encounter with a group of boys. As marriages start being arranged, the sisters, driven by the same desire for freedom, rebel against the limitations imposed upon them. Directed by Deniz Gamze Erguven.
Bergman: The Rite
Three itinerant actors are accused of taking part in a performance deemed pornographic by the state’s authorities. As they are called to court, criminal interrogations and interpersonal confrontations ensue, causing them to expose their neuroses and inner psychological torments.
He is a photographer, scouting for locations. She goes with him because they’ve fallen in love. They discover the desert around the town of Twenty-nine Palms, lose themselves in nature’s splendour, make love, and hate one another, never suspecting that the danger doesn’t only lie within themselves.
A Countess from Hong Kong
Working with stars—Brando! Loren!—and in colour for the first time, Chaplin revived the soul of silent cinema & screwball comedy in this much maligned cry for modernity.
Aki has just confessed to murdering the daughter of her longtime friend, an episode that occurred while taking care of the child in the mother’s absence. Shifting the action to a rehearsal room, a series of script readings are undertaken in order to trace the backstory of the tragic incident.
Monte and his baby daughter are the last survivors of a damned and dangerous mission to deep space. The crew—death-row inmates led by a doctor with sinister motives—has vanished. As the mystery of what happened onboard the ship is unraveled, father and daughter must rely on each other to survive.
Vengeance Trilogy: Oldboy
If you like your action raw, served with live octopus and involving a hammer, Park Chan-Wook’s twisting revenge thriller hits the nail firmly on the head. So to speak.
Vengeance Trilogy: Sympathy for Mr Vengeance
Urgently in need of the money to pay for his gravely ill sister’s kidney transplant, Ryu, a punky deaf-mute factory worker, resorts to kidnapping the daughter of a wealthy industrialist—an act of desperation which leads to a series of events that spiral into a bloody cycle of violence and revenge.
Berlinale: So Pretty
This story of Tonio/Tonia and Franz, Paul and Erika unfolds within New York’s queer scene, a tale of political activism and different models for love: at once an adaptation, translation, and new reading of Ronald M. Schernikau’s 1980s novel “So schön”.
Berlinale: The Miracle of the Sargasso
In a small Greek town, two women live solitary lives. Elisabeth is an ex-policewoman forced to relocate from Athens, while Rita is the mysterious sister of a lounge singer in the local disco. When a sudden death upsets the local community, their respective paths begin drifting towards each other.
Berlinale: The Awakening of the Ants
On the surface, Isa’s life seems lovely: adorable daughters, a pleasant husband. But her surrealist imaginings suggest a revolt against the pressures placed on her. Soon she finds herself awakening to her own long-suppressed sexuality and the possibilities of a life lived on her own terms.
With the Australian outback circa 1880s serving as the backdrop, comes the story of the Burns Brother gang. Captain Stanley attempts to bring an end to violence by offering a proposition to Charlie Burns: he has nine days to kill his psychopathic brother, otherwise his younger brother will be hung.
With Little Joe in cinemas, go back to director Jessica Hausner’s 2009 drama. Christine is a lonely, almost entirely handicapped woman who goes on a life-changing journey to Lourdes, the iconic site of pilgrimage in the Pyrenees Mountains. Not that she believes in miracles—it just happens to be the only way to get out and about.
The Wild Goose Lake
In the Chinese city of Wuhan, a network of lakes provide ideal places to hide, and when transgressive mid-level crime boss Zhou needs to lay low, he looks for anonymity amidst the neon-lit hangouts. There he meets sex worker Liu, who works for Zhou’s boss and who may or may not be there to save him.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
In the Mood for Love
Available until end of: 14th March
The Staggering Girl
Available until end of: 15th March
Available until end of: 16th March
Oh, Woe Is Me
Available until end of: 17th March
Available until end of: 18th March
Available until end of: 19th March
Available until end of: 20th March
The Mystery of Picasso
Available until end of: 21st March