The MUBI Weekly Digest | 21st March 2020
James R | On 21, Mar 2020
This week, MUBI dropped its price to only £1 for three months, and it’s more than earning every pence. New Brazilian Western Bacurau was brought forward to be available now – you can read our review here, and our interview with one of its directors here. There’s also its retrospective of the cool helmer Jean-Pierre Melville, a double-bill of Jean Cocteau and one of the best time travel movies of the past decade.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Le Cercle Rouge – 21st March
The perfect crime? No, but perhaps the perfect crime movie. A skilled thief who lives in studied elegance when he’s not languishing in jail plans an elaborate jewellery-store heist with two cohorts picked up almost at random: a notorious escaped convict and an alcoholic ex-cop. With a dogged inspector on their tale, they face impossible odds.
Bergman: Autumn Sonata – 22nd March
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.
The Daughters of Fire – 23rd 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.
Cocteau: Testament of Orpheus – 24th March
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 – 25th March
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.
Pharos of Chaos – 26th March
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.
Primer – 27th March
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…
Other new releases on MUBI
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 acclaimed Neighbouring Sounds is critic-turned-filmmaker Kleber Mendonça Filho’s impressive feature debut. Subtly yet sharply commenting on urban class tensions in Brazil through the city of Recife’s ominous sounds, this is haunting cinema—evoking a state of torpor hanging in the hot, heavy air.
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
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 Shogunate
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.
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: Army of Shadows
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Vengeance Trilogy: Lady Vengeance
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.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
The Mystery of Picasso
Available until end of: 21st March
Bob Le Flambeur
Available until end of: 22nd March
Available until end of: 23rd March
Available until end of: 24th March
The Miracle of the Sargasso Sea
Available until end of: 25th March
The Awakening of the Ants
Available until end of: 26th March
Available until end of: 27th March
The Wild Goose Love
Available until end of: 28th March