The MUBI Weekly Digest | 29th February 2020
James R | On 29, Feb 2020
MUBI continues its retrospective of the cool helmer Jean-Pierre Melville this week, served up with a slice of Ingmar Bergman on the side. And, with Bong Joon-ho’s double-bill still available to stream, they’re joined by another South Koean corker from Park Chan-wook – and, if you’re still in need of a dose of brutal cinema, there’s John Hillcoat’s violently gripping modern Western, starring Guy Pearce and Ray Winstone.
Looking to see a film on the big screen? Use MUBI Go (which offers a free cinema ticket every week to its subscribers) to see Céline Sciamma’s stunning Portrait of a Lady on Fire 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
Melville: Leon Morin, Priest – 29th February
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.
Bergman: The Silence – 2nd March
Sisters Anna and Ester are traveling with Anna’s son when they are forced by Ester’s poor health to stay in a hotel in a strange country seemingly on the verge of war. Anna shuns the attentions of Ester and goes out to pick up a man. Ester is left to cope with the pain of her desire and her illness.
Chaotic Ana – 3rd March
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 Proposition – 4th March
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.
The Remembered Film – 5th March
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.
Sympathy for Mr Vengeance – 6th March
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.
Other new releases on MUBI
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
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
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
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.
Melville: Bob Le Flambeur
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.
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
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.
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: 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.
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.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Available until end of: 29th February
Available until end of: 1st March
Available until end of: 2nd March
First Name: Carmen
Available until end of: 3rd March
Available until end of: 4th March
On Body and Soul
Available until end of: 5th March
A Family Submerged
Available until end of: 6th March
Available until end of: 7th March
Available until end of: 8th March