The MUBI Weekly Digest | 19th October 2019
James R | On 19, Oct 2019
The only thing better than one Guillermo del Toro film? Two Guillermo del Toro films. It’s impossible to argue with that logic, as MUBI paves the way for Halloween with a double-bill of the director’s best spooky stories. Del Toro isn’t the only impressive name on the line-up this week, with chances to revisit provocative works from Olivier Assayas, Michael Haneke, Bertrand Bonello and François Ozon.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Del Toro: The Devil’s Backbone – 19th October
Long before Pan’s Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro creeped the hell out of audiences with his gentle horror, The Devil’s Backbone. Set in a Spanish orphanage during the Civil War, it’s not long until the ghost of a missing child begins to appear to the kids. Independently produced by Pedro Almodóvar, it’s a typically grounded horror from del Toro, which focuses on the human as much as the supernatural, creating a sentimental edge that makes the scares far more powerful. Spine-tingling stuff. Read our review
Del Toro: Pan’s Labyrinth – 20th October
Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy fairytale horror is a masterpiece bursting with scares, sentiment and stunning imagination. Read our review
Carlos – 21st October
Edgar Ramirez delivers a starmaking turn in Olivier Assayas’ lengthy, impressive and engrossing biopic. Read our review
Tiresia – 22nd October
With Zombi Child now on MUBI, go back to Bertrand Bonello’s 2016 thriller, which follows Tiresia, a Brazilian transsexual who begins a life-changing transformation while being held captive by an obsessed man. Once blinded and left for dead by her admirer, she is cared for by a teenage girl. In physical limbo between genders, Tiresia discovers a gift for premonition.
M – 23rd October
Yolande Zauberman’s documentary is a bracing investigative exposé on a personal level. A deeply wrought story of one man’s heartbreaking trauma and confrontation with his past, the film also shockingly finds new victims inside a deeply private community. A painful revelation—it is hard to look away.
Benny’s Video – 24th October
Michael Haneke’s 1992 drama is a shocking, horrible piece of cinema. Benny at 14: a middle-class adolescence, absent parents most of the time, an effective void blurred in the world of video. The pictures he feeds on are overshadowing his sense of reality. Soon after, Benny loses his mind and kills a girl while filming the murder with his video camera.
Criminal Lovers – 25th October
With By the Grace of God in UK cinemas, revisit François Ozon’s 1999 thriller. One day in a French provincial town, Alice decides to convince Luc, her young, impressionable boyfriend, to kill Said, a classmate who’s a real show-off. They stage a macabre scene and do the terrible deed. After running away, they discover chaos instead of the fantasy life they imagined as outlaws.
Other new releases on MUBI
An entrancing immersion into post-war turmoil and a towering ode to female resilience — with tour-de-force performances and a jaw-dropping use of colour. Read our review.
LFF: Zombi Child
Haiti, 1962. A man is brought back from the dead only to be sent to the living hell of the sugarcane fields. In Paris, 55 years later, at the prestigious Légion d’honneur boarding school, a Haitian girl confesses an old family secret to a group of new friends—with unthinkable consequences. Read our review – or click here to read our interview with director Bertrand Bonello.
I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians
Mariana, an outspoken young artist, is attempting to an ambitious project to reconstruct the anti-Semitic 1941 Odessa Massacre. While she develops her spectacular, she is forced to confront and overcome objections from the authorities and locals hired as extras in order to see her vision through.
Che: The Argentine
The first film in this two-part Che Guevara epic tracks Che’s rise in the Cuban Revolution, from doctor to commander to revolutionary hero. After joining Fidel Castro’s rebels and journeying to Cuba in 1956, he quickly grasps the art of guerrilla warfare, ultimately toppling Batista’s dictatorship.
Following the Cuban Revolution, Che Guevara, at the peak of his fame and power, vanishes without a trace. Resurfacing in Bolivia, he sets about recruiting insurgents to help him spread the revolutionary message. But communication lines are broken, support is lacking, and the CIA closes in on him.
Across the water on the Isle of Wight four individuals experience the end of life. Illness progresses, relationships shift, and we are witness to rarely seen and intensely private moments.
The Seventh Continent
Haneke’s debut feature film is inspired by a true story of an Austrian middle class family that committed suicide. The film chronicles the last years of the family, which consists of Georg, an engineer; his wife Anna, an optician; and their young daughter, Eva.
A harrowing tale of obsession and young love in the far reaches of NYC.
Pixote: The Law of the Weakest
A visceral look at the street kids of São Paulo, with echoes of Buñuel’s Los Olvidados but with a raw authenticity of its own.
MUBI’s Straub-Huillet retrospective concludes the most recent feature by Straub (Huillet died in 2006), which composes scenes from their movies to reveal a story told across their work: that of the attempt to forge community and resistance.
Tilda Swinton and Dakota Johnson star in a new take on the 1977 original cult classic, with a mesmeric score by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke.
Dario Argento’s original is a psychedelic horror classic – a gothic nightmare told in exceptionally vivid colour, and a rich exercise in heightened style.
Shockingly effective in 1960, the brilliance of Hitchcock’s horror remains undimmed to this day.
Gus Van Sant’s remake — shot by Christopher Doyle in colour — is a brazenly experimental film made in the mainstream.
This exquisitely crafted short — made on hand-processed black-and-white 16mm — by Sofia Bohdanowicz (Maison du Bonheur) touchingly tells of the re-discovery of a forgotten female Canadian artist.
Martin Rejtman: Two Shots Fired
Rejtman’s comeback 11 years after The Magic Gloves is a fascinating and subversive exercise in comedy: its sophisticated storytelling, dark humour and deadpan beauty are just genius.
Martin Rejtman: Shakti
Federico, in his mid-20s, lives alone in Buenos Aires. The day his grandmother dies, he decides to part with his girlfriend. He fears hurting her. However, she is laid-back, feisty and not even close to feeling hurt. He begins obsessing over her unexpected reaction—but then he meets someone else.
byNWR: The Believer’s Heaven
The third and final evangelical cinema collaboration between Rev. Estus Pirkle and directors Ron and June Ormond depicts the glory of Heaven — with a clear warning for what awaits sinners.
“Since all of the original negatives of Pirkle-Ormond films were destroyed in a 2010 flood of biblical proportions, byNWR has done extensive restoration work on the existing duplicate 16mm film elements to present the best version of The Believer’s Heaven which has yet been made available.” —NWR
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
The Flower of My Secret
Available until end of: 19th October
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
Available until end of: 20th October
Thursday Till Sunday
Available until end of: 22nd October
Available until end of: 23rd October
The Magic Gloves
Available until end of: 24th October
Available until end of: 25th October
Available until end of: 26th October
The Father of My Children
Available until end of: 27th October
Goodbye First Love
Available until end of: 28th October