The MUBI Weekly Digest | 25th April 2020
James R | On 25, Apr 2020
MUBI is stepping things up another notch this May, with the release of Pablo Larrain’s EMA and new video essay documentary Romantic Comedy. It’s building to the former this week with masterful work from Alejandro González Iñárritu and Akira Kurosawa, while EMA itself will premiere on Friday 1st May – a special preview event when it will be free for 24 hours.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Biutiful – 25th April
Uxbal (Javier Bardem), a single father of two children who possesses a paranormal gift, finds his life in chaos when he is diagnosed with terminal cancer. He attempts to escape from the dangerous and seedy underworld of Barcelona he is involved in, and to set things right for his children. Before Birdman, Alejandro González Iñárritu delivered this heartrending drama of inner-city grit mixed with supernatural elements.
Kurosawa/Marker: Ran – 26th April
“It’s how the world is made. Men prefer sorrow over joy. Suffering over peace.” A study of mankind’s ability to wage war with itself, Kurosawa’s epic adaptation of King Lear takes Shakespeare’s family drama and blows it up to an almost impossibly big scale. At its heart, the simple foolishness of one dad’s inability to see the impending chaos around him. Three arrows bundled together cannot be broken, he teaches them – but, as one son proves, they can. All it takes is a bit of brute force. This is ambitious, audacious and breathtaking cinema.
Kurosawa/Marker: A.K. – 27th April
Chris Marker’s documentary records the French filmmaker’s several days on location with Akira Kurosawa during the production of Ran. The result is a work of art on the making of a work of art–an ode to Kurosawa in which it is principally the details that attract Marker’s attention.
Joseph Losey: Mr. Klein – 28th April
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.
La Strada – 29th April
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.
A Russian Youth – 30th April
A teenage soldier in World War I—a simple village boy with a naive youthful dream of fame and medals—throws himself into the unknown and goes blind in the first battle, thus taking on a new job: intercepting enemy planes by listening to the air through huge metal funnels.
Water Lilies – 1st May
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.
EMA (Preview) – 1st May
Pablo Larrain’s latest, starring Gael Garcia Bernal, is an exploration of sex, power and chaos in modern-day Chile, following an impulsive dancer in a reggaeton troupe. Available on MUBI from 2nd May, it’s first available for free for one day only in a special preview that includes a Q&A with its star.
Other new releases on MUBI
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Set in late 18th century France, painter Marianne (Noémie Merlant) is commissioned by an affluent countess to paint the wedding portrait of her sheltered but headstrong daughter Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), in the hope it will find her a wealthy husband. Romance and art entwine in this sumptuous new masterpiece from Céline Sciamma – winner of Best Screenplay at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
That Most Important Thing: Love
When an unhappy softcore actress (a would-be star who has only found work in cheap exploitation movies) becomes the obsession of a paparazzo, he proceeds to borrow money from his underworld employer to launch an experimental stage production for her—but it also stars a demented German actor.
Marianne, some thirty years after divorcing Johan, decides to visit her ex-husband at his summer home. She arrives in the middle of a family power struggle between Johan’s musician son from another marriage, whom Johan dislikes, and his cellist granddaughter, whom Johan adores.
The Grand Bizarre
A postcard from an imploded society. Bringing mundane objects to life to interpret place through materials, the film transcribes an experience of pattern, labor and alien(nation)(s).
Following L’Avventura & La Notte, Antonioni concludes his ‘incommunicability’ trilogy with this tale of a young woman, Vittoria, who has just put an end to a love story with an older man. After meeting Piero, a stock market trader, the two start seeing each other and wander through the deserted, modernist suburbs of Rome. Their affair, however, will soon reveals itself to be a doomed one.
Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning star in Kelly Reichardt’s taut political thriller about radical environmentalists planning to commit an act of eco-terrorism. Events unfold slowly under Reichardt’s watchful eye, with a riveting drip-feed of tension leading to a major attack of guilt.
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.
Jean Renoir: Le Bete Humaine
On board a train bound for the port city of Le Havre, railroad stationmaster Roubard murders a man who seduced his young wife Severine. Engineer Jacques Lantier also begins a passionate affair with Severine, who takes little time in suggesting that Jacques should get rid of her controlling husband.
This remake of Anne Fontaine’s Nathalie follows Catherine, a successful doctor, who suspects her husband David, a handsome music professor, is cheating on her. To lay her suspicions and fears to rest, she hires an irresistible young woman, Chloe, to test David’s fidelity. But unforeseen events will start putting the family in danger. Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried bring simmering tension to Atom Egoyan’s stylish tale of desire.
The mother is a heroin user and sex worker, beaten by her son. The father, an ex-TV reporter, sleeps with his daughter and films his son being beaten up. Into this dysfunctional family walks ‘Q’, a complete stranger, changing their lives for the better, finding a balance in their disturbing natures.
Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are astounding in this brutal drama about a marriage gone wrong.
Henri-Georges Clouzot: Le Corbeau
Remy Germain is a doctor in a French town who becomes the focus of a vicious smear campaign, as letters accusing him of having an affair and performing unlawful abortions are mailed to village leaders. The unknown writer, “le corbeau”, soon targets the whole town, exposing everyone’s dark secrets.
Henri-Georges Clouzot:Quay of the Goldsmiths
Jenny Lamour sings in a music hall in postwar Paris, accompanied by her jealous husband Maurice Martineau on piano. He is blamed for murder when a lecherous movie producer who was flirting with his wife turns up dead. Enter Inspector Antoine, whose seasoned instincts lead him down a circuitous path.
Henri-Georges Clouzot: Woman in Chains
Stanislas, the owner of an art gallery, is friend and patron to Gilbert, a creator of progressive artworks. His wife, Josée, is intrigued by Stanislas, who is also a photographer. But amongst his large collection of images, he keeps a series of photographs that reveal a disturbed character…
My Blueberry Nights
Following a nasty breakup, Elizabeth leaves her memories behind as she chases her dreams across the country. Picking up a series of jobs to support herself along the way, the myriad of lost souls she meets help her to understand the journey as part of a greater exploration within herself.
Coffee and Cigarettes
Bill Murray, Steve Coogan, Jack White, and Iggy Pop all feature in Jim Jarmusch’s anthology of comic vignettes, which sees unlikely pairs of celebrities sit down to talk about everything from Tesla coils to jukeboxes to long-lost relatives to the dentist. The conversations are separate in time and place, but they all have two things in common: coffee and cigarettes.
With the U.S. under the threat of nuclear attack, several people’s lives converge. Movie star Boxer plans his next film with the help of porn actress Krysta and policeman Roland. Meanwhile, Marxist revolutionaries, corporations, and government agencies pursue their agendas among a paranoid populace.
Joseph Losey: Accident
Vain and insecure Oxford don Stephen’s life is thrown into turmoil when he falls in love with one of his students, Anna. But she has also attracted the attention of William, a wealthy student, and Charley, a colleague of whose professional success and self-confidence Stephen is profoundly envious.
Joseph Losey: The Go-Between
Ghost Town Anthology
In a small remote town, a 21-year-old man dies in what seems like a car accident. From then on, amid the winter snow, a disturbing temper slowly sinks on the local inhabitants. While the victim’s family is immersed in grief and time loses all meaning, strange figures start emerging from the fog.
Joseph Losey: The Servant
Hugo Barrett is a servant in the Chelsea home of indolent aristocrat Tony. All seems to go well until the playboy’s girlfriend Susan takes a dislike to the efficient employee. Then Barrett persuades Tony to hire his sister Vera as a live-in maid, and matters take another turn for the worse…
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Available until end of: 25th April
Available until end of: 26th April
Available until end of: 27th April
Available until end of: 28th April
Bruce Lee and the Outlaw
Available until end of: 29th April
From the Life of the Marionettes
Available until end of: 30th April
Nona, If They Soak Me, I’ll Burn Them
Available until end of: 1st May
The Whalebone Box
Available until end of: 2nd May