The MUBI Weekly Digest | 16th May 2020
MUBI is quietly assembling a must-see catalogue of modern gems this month, from Pablo Larrain’s Ema and Céline Sciamma’s Tomboy to Hirokazu Koreeda’s Our Little Sister and Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox, starring Irrfan Khan, not to mention Frederick Wiseman’s National Gallery. That work continues this week with Andrew Haigh’s 45 Years and Haifaa Al Mansour’s Wadjda, two of the most unassuming and powerful dramas of recent years.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
45 Years – 16th May
Andrew Haigh’s drama starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay is a haunting study of relationships and memory.
Passion – 17th May
There is fierce competition between Christine, the boss of a multinational advertising agency, and her talented protégée Isabelle. Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace star in Brian De Palma’s game of seduction, manipulation and humiliation.
Cassandro, The Exotico! – 18th May
After 26 years of spinning dives and flying uppercuts on the ring, Cassandro, the star of the gender-bending cross-dressing Mexican wrestlers known as the Exoticos, is far from retiring. But with dozens of broken bones and metal pins in his body, he must now reinvent himself, a process captured in Marie Losier’s documentary.
Vitalina Varela – 19th May
When her husband leaves to find work in Portugal, Vitalina is left behind in Cape Verde. Years later, she finally makes the journey to Lisbon, but arrives three days after his funeral. Alone and isolated in her late husband’s home, she is determined to persevere and confront the ghosts of the past. Released on MUBI straight after its March cinema release, Pedro Costa’s 2019 drama won Best Actress at the Locarno Film Festival.
Wadjda – 20th May
The first feature film to be shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, Haifaa Al Mansour’s remarkable debut is a fantastic, uplifting story about a girl who wants to ride a bike and wear purple trainers to school.
Take Me Somewhere Nice – 21st May
Alma is in between everything: raised in the Netherlands by Bosnian parents, no longer a girl, but not really a woman yet. She hardly knows her father, but when he is admitted to a Bosnian hospital she decides to visit him one last time. The directorial debut of Bosnian-born Dutch director Ena Sendijarević.
The Past – 22nd May
Following a four year separation, Ahmad returns to Paris from Tehran, upon his French wife Marie’s request, in order to finalize their divorce procedure. During his brief stay, Ahmad discovers the conflicting nature of Marie’s relationship with her daughter Lucie. Berenice Bejo and Tahar Rahim star in Asghar Farhadi’s drama, which won Best Actress at Cannes.
Other new releases on MUBI
Our Little Sister
Hirokazu Koreeda’s eye for human relationships has never been more tender than in this delicate study of parenthood, absence and inheritance. Read our review
Jonathan Glazer’s follow-up to Under the Skin is a short film inspired by Goya, a sinister descent into the lynch-mob mentality and the horrors of the human condition. Also available on BBC iPlayer.
Fellini: I Vitelloni
Five young men, the not-so-young sons of middle class parents, linger in a postadolescent limbo, dreaming of adventure and escape from their small coastal town. Perpetually unemployed, they whittle their lives away by spending the money of their families on drink, women, and nights at the pool hall.
Our Daily Bread
A woman walks for miles every day to get bread for her truck driver husband, and waits for him to drive past the village. While he spends time with his friends and his mistress, she is concerned about their dying relationship. One day she needs to help her sister, and is late for her husband.
Frederick Wiseman’s three-hour visit to the National Gallery is a portrait of a hugely complex world painted as simply as possible. Completely absorbing. Read our review
The Orphanage (2019)
In the late 1980s, 15-year-old street kid Qodrat is arrested for illegally reselling cinema tickets, and put in an orphanage on the outskirts of Kabul. For the first time in his life, he goes to school, takes a class trip, makes friends, and falls in love—while avoiding two older bullies.
Joseph Losey: Mr. Klein
In Occupied Paris, Mr. Klein, a dispassionate art dealer, exploits the situation of the Jews fleeing from France by buying and selling their works of art. When he learns that the Nazi authorities suspect him of being a Jew, he seeks out the identity of a shadowy double, another Mr. Klein.
Ema is a magnetic and impulsive dancer in a reggaeton troupe. Her toxic marriage to choreographer Gastón is beyond repair, following a decision to give up on their adopted child Polo. She sets out on a mission to get him back, not caring who she’ll need to fight, seduce or destroy to make it happen. Read our review.
Washed-up producer Barry ‘Dutch’ Detweiler attempts to lure the iconic but reclusive actress Fedora out of retirement in a bid to revive both their careers. But her privacy is hard won, and with good reason. When she commits suicide, Detweiler becomes suspicious and decides to investigate further. Almost 30 years after Sunset Boulevard, Billy Wilder reunited with William Holden for this spiritual sequel.
Diary of a Country Priest
A new priest arrives in the rural French village of Ambricourt to attend to his first parish. The apathetic congregation rejects him immediately. Through his diary entries, the suffering young man relays a crisis of faith that threatens to drive him away from the village and from God.
A fearless Antigone, refusing to allow the dishonored body of her murdered brother Polynices to be devoured by vultures and dogs, defies the Thebian tyrant Creon by burying him. In punishment Creon orders Oedipus’s rebellious daughter to be entombed alive, lest she sow insurrection among the people.
Charming in its simplicity, this dainty drama starring the late Irrfan Khan is a delectable treat worth savouring. Read our full review
In Elizabeth Sankey’s Romantic Comedy, our most-loved romcoms are torn apart and scrutinised for their unrealistic pictures of male-female relationships and white, heterosexual, middle-class characters. Why does the woman always have to be saved by a man? Read our full review
Let the Sunshine In
Juliette Binoche is brilliant in this witty but episodic romantic comedy from Claire Denis. Read our full review
Jean Renoir: Grand Illusion
A group of French soldiers, including an aristocrat captain and a working-class lieutenant, grapple with their class differences as they are held in a WWI German prison camp. When transferred to a high-security fortress ruled by an aristocratic German officer, the men must concoct an escape plan.
Céline Sciamma: Tomboy – 15th May
There is definitely something boyish about ten-year-old Laure. It’s summer and she has recently moved to a new area with her parents and her little sister, Jeanne. Laure allows her new neighbourhood acquaintances to believe that she is a boy. That’s how Laure becomes Michael. Truth or dare? Celine Sciamma’s delicate exploration of identity and gender is a sweet, funny, moving gem. Read our review
Céline Sciamma: Water Lilies
The paths of three 15-year-old girls living in a modern Paris suburb cross at the local swimming pool, where love and desire make a dramatic appearance. The dynamics of their relationships gradually begins to shift as they come to learn the true meaning of arousal and the power of sexual attraction.
Simple and servile, dreamy Gelsomina is purchased from her impoverished mother by brutish circus strongman Zampanò. As his assistant, she becomes an adept carnival performer, but has to loyally endure his cruelty and abuse as they travel the Italian countryside performing together.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
My Blueberry Nights
Available until end of: 16th May
Available until end of: 17th May
Available until end of: 18th May
Available until end of: 19th May
Ghost Town Anthology
Available until end of: 20th May
La Bete Humaine
Available until end of: 21st May
Available until end of: 22nd May
Available until end of: 23rd May
Available until end of: 24th May
Available until end of: 25th May