The MUBI Weekly Digest | 22nd February 2020
James R | On 22, Feb 2020
MUBI heads to Berlin this week, with a selection of highlights from last year’s film festival, but to get there, it’s travelling by spaceship, as we also get a chance to stream the just-out-of-cinema sci-fi High Life from Claire Denis. An equally influential French filmmaker also gets the spotlight with the start of a new retrospective of the cool helmer Jean-Pierre Melville. And, with the excellently creepy Little Joe in cinemas, there’s a chance to revisit an earlier gem from director Jessica Hausner.
Not seen Little Joe? Use MUBI Go (which offers a free cinema ticket every week to its subscribers) to see it 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
Godard: Bob Le Flambeur – 22nd February
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.
High Life – 23rd February
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.
Berlinale: So Pretty – 24th February
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 – 25th February
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 – 26th February
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.
Lourdes – 27th February
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 – 28th February
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.
Other new releases on MUBI
The Staggering Girl
A collaboration between Luca Guadagnino and Pierpaolo Piccioli, creative director of Valentino, Julianne Moore stars in this short film that follows Francesca, who, triggered by a stranger’s secret confession, returns to her childhood home in Italy to convince her ailing mother to follow her to New York. As daughter confronts mother, ghosts of Francesca’s youth return in a whirlwind of pain, memory and fulfilment.
Godard: Oh Woe Is Me
At a Swiss lakeside resort, a book publisher investigates a mysterious tale, the story of a god-like being entering the body of a man, Simon, to experience physical love with his wife, Rachel. Did this actually happen or is Rachel just covering up her infidelity to her husband?
With one rickshaw and virtually no baggage, a man returns home from the Philippines. The Meiji era was coming to an end and things at home had changed drastically. Meeting his daughter, who is now four, for the first time, he desperately tries to recover the lost time with his family.
Roman Polanski’s comedy sees two pair of parents meet up to discuss what to do after their sons are involved in a fight – only to become increasingly childish themselves. Dark, caustic, hilarious.
In 2000 David Gordon Green burst into the U.S. indie scene with a visionary debut reminiscent of such American touchstones as Killer of Sheep and Terrence Malick. Inventive, melancholy and sensuously photographed, this is a remarkable meditation on adolescence with an award-winning ensemble cast.
Le Mystère Picasso
Clouzot and Picasso joined forces to make a new kind of art film, one that would capture the mystery of the creativity process. Using special inks that bled through a semi-transparent surface, the artist created a series of paintings that unfold chronologically, dancing into being before our eyes.
Bong Joon-ho: The Host
Bong Joon-ho’s barnstorming yet highly original monster movie follows an eccentric family’s attempts to rescue the daughter snatched by a huge amphibious creature.
Bong Joon-ho: Mother
Bong Joon-ho’s fourth feature film is a gripping study of the limits of maternal devotion. The film follows a widow (Kim Hye-ja) raising her mentally challenged son (Won Bin) in a small South Korean town, who finds her world plunged into nightmare, when a young girl is found murdered and her son the prime suspect. Betrayed by the legal system, the mother takes the law into her own hands to clear his name.
Bergman: Winter Light
Small-town pastor Tomas performs his duties mechanically before a dwindling congregation, including his stubbornly devoted lover, Märta. When he is asked to assuage a troubled parishioner’s fear of nuclear annihilation, Tomas is terrified to find that he can provide nothing but his own doubt.
When a young white couple’s car breaks down, they’re helped by an older Black man who inspires them with creative wisdom. When they discover months later that the words he spoke might not be his own, they’re horrified, fixating on his “crime” while forced to confront the originality of their lives.
Awards: On Body and Soul
When a man and woman who meet at work begin to know each other, they discover that they have the same dreams at night, and they decide to make them come true. Subtly moving and brutally raw.
Awards: Anna Karenina
In Imperial Russia, Anna, the wife of the officer Karenin, goes to Moscow to visit her brother. On the way, she meets the charming cavalry officer Vronsky to whom she is immediately attracted. But in St. Petersburg’s high society, a relationship like this could destroy a woman’s reputation. Kiera Knightley stars in Joe Wright’s arch, lavish adaptation of the Tolstoy classic.
After civil war breaks out and martial law is imposed by the military government of a South American country, American journalist Charles Horman is taken away by soldiers. His desperate wife and father are left to attempt to find out what has happened to him, with no help from embassy officials.
Pawel Pawlikowski’s impressively directed and deeply moving drama about a young novice in a 1960s Polish commune is anchored by a pair of terrific performances
Awards: Son of Saul
A harrowing masterpiece that brings to life the vivid horror of the Holocaust.
Wong Kar-Wai: In The Mood For Love
In the sleepy, proper Hong Kong of 1962, Mrs. Chan and Mr. Chow, a journalist, move into neighbouring apartments on the same day. Their encounters are formal and polite — until a discovery about their respective spouses creates an intimate bond between them…
Wong Kar-Wai: 2046
He was a writer. He thought he wrote about the future but it really was the past. In his novel, a mysterious train left for 2046 every once in a while. Everyone who went there had the same intention… to recapture their lost memories. It was said that in 2046, nothing ever changed.
A Family Submerged
Marcela’s world becomes strange after her sister dies. While she grieves, Marcela also purges her sister’s flat. When a friend of her daughter’s offers to help, she finds unexpected comfort, and their relationship deepens. During these confusing days, Marcela’s past and present become intertwined.
Godard: First Name Carmen
Carmen X, the female member of a terrorist gang, asks her uncle Jean if she can borrow his beachside house to make a film with some friends. In reality, her clan is planning on robbing a bank. During the burglary, Carmen falls in love with a security guard and will attempt to escape with him…
Emile Chenal and his wife, Françoise, lean on boxing manager Jim Fox Warner to cough up a considerable sum of money that he owes them, with both the police and the mob circling the situation. In the same hotel, Inspector Neveu looks into a murder that took place there years before.
James Stewart plays a professional photographer confined to his Greenwich Village apartment after breaking his leg. He looks in on the intimate dramas at play in his neighbours’ apartments and, eventually, he becomes convinced that a salesman murdered his nagging wife. Alfred Hitchcock’s seminal thriller is a masterclass in suspense, claustrophobia and perspective.
With Hitchcock’s Rear Window on MUBI, don’t miss the chance to catch this gritty South African remake. Randall is a low level criminal recently crippled in an illicit deal gone wrong. Randall, wheelchair-bound in his apartment in Cape Town, is heavily indebted to a loan shark. The gift of a pair of binoculars gives him an opportunity to get the money he so desperately needs, but at great risk.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Available until end of: 22nd February
Available until end of: 23rd February
Available until end of: 24th February
Available until end of: 25th February
To the Ends of the World
Available until end of: 26th February
Available until end of: 27th February
The Beast in the Jungle
Available until end of: 28th February
Available until end of: 29th February