The MUBI Weekly Digest | 29th June 2019
James R | On 29, Jun 2019
MUBI prepares for a new month by looking back, not only at Claire Denis’ career but also the work of Juliette Binoche, not to mention its ongoing Straub + Huillet celebration. Then, it’s leaping forwards to the modern day with 2018’s Knife + Heart from Yann Gonzalez, which will hit cinemas and MUBI on the same day.
But first, there’s the enticing prospect of two modern classics from Peter Strickland, to accompany the release of In Fabric in cinemas. Want to see In Fabric on the big screen? Use MUBI Go (which offers a free cinema ticket every week to its subscribers), to see it at participating theatres.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Peter Strickland: The Duke of Burgundy – 29th June
The Duke of Burgundy’s melancholic masochism makes for seductively good cinema.
Claire Denis: Bastards – 30th June
After White Material, Claire Denis turned her sensuous storytelling to the black heart of contemporary film noir. We close our focus on the French master with this fascinating, sinister thriller starring Vincent Lindon and Chiara Mastroianni, and featuring an indelible score by Tindersticks.
Straub + Huillet: Fortini/Cani – 2nd July
Our Straub-Huillet retrospective leaps into the 20th century to meet Franco Fortini and, through his writing, encounter Italian fascism, resistance, and the thread of violence extending beyond World War II. Along with his words, the verdant landscape is revealed as a site of struggle and death.
Pride: Knife + Heart – 4th July
Paris, 1979. Anne is a gay porn producer, damaged by alcoholism and a recent break-up with her editor Loïs. When one of the stars of Anne’s latest productions is murdered, the shoot is thrown into turmoil. However, she pushes ahead with the film, not knowing the murderer will strike again.
Other new releases on MUBI
Peter Strickland: Berberian Sound Studio
“I’ve never worked on a horror movie before,” mumbles Toby Jones’ timid sound engineer, who goes to Italy to produce effects for a 1970s horror film. In between the chopping of cabbages and squishing of carrots, the tiny Brit loses himself completely. This is a brilliant demonstration of how sound can warp our fragile little minds, and the best on-screen use of a vegetable since 2002’s Mrs Caldicot’s Cabbage War. Foley crap, it’s awesome.
Claire Denis: White Material
The collaboration between Isabelle Huppert & Claire Denis the world had been dreaming of, arrived with this powerful story about the death throes of white colonialism. Denis—who grew up in French Africa—returns to her roots with this sublime, poetic yet nightmarish exploration of racial conflict.
A generation-defining, endlessly quotable teen movie — and a big influence for Booksmart — Ghost World stars Thora Birch & Scarlett Johansson hilariously nailing the dynamic of a proudly misfit sisterhood. A cult indie classic about American loners, and an inspiration to sarcastic girls everywhere!
Pride: The Fish Child
Fusing magical realist flourishes with a steamy runaway thriller, Argentinian auteur Lucía Puenzo answered all of the promise in her debut XXY with this tale of young love on the lam. A tender treatment of sexual discovery, class, and female liberation woven into an uncanny yet intimate journey.
Oberhausen: Elvis: Strung Out
20th century pop culture wouldn’t be the same without Elvis Presley’s mutton chops and white jumpsuits. This short film—a roaring prize-winner at this year’s Oberhausen—deconstructs the myth of The King through a vibrant montage where wicked pelvis moves and audience lust collide in a feverish trip.
Oberhausen: Elvis: Imbued Life
Our next highlight from the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen is this gorgeous Croatian animation. Cleverly weaving together motifs of taxidermy, memory preservation, and the magic of celluloid, it is a gently surreal and sweetly wistful stop-motion animation with a tour-de-force climax.
Juliette Binoche: Damage
MUBI’s retrospective of Juliette Binoche begins with Louis Malle’s ardent erotic thriller, where the high-voltage forbidden passion between Irons & Binoche almost sets the screen on fire.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
A writing assignment lands a journalist and his sidekick on a business trip in Las Vegas. Before long, a suitcase of mind-bending pharmaceuticals and nonstop neon has them forgetting the business part of their trip. Based on Hunter S. Thompson’s legendary tale.
Prankster Winfried doesn’t see much of his estranged, high-powered consultant daughter Ines, who lives in Bucharest. One day, he decides to surprise her with a visit, but this brings tension as Ines is working on an important project. To enter her corporate life, Winfried creates a fictional alias.
Straub + Huillet: Moses and Aaron
Moses and Aaron transforms Schoenberg’s opera on the familiar Biblical tale into a borderline-surreal cinematic opera of seemingly endless possibility. In expressive tones, the pair debate God’s true message and intent for His creations, a conflict that leads their followers towards chaos and sin.
Pride: Deep in Vogue
This revitalising act of resistance offers an insightful look at Manchester’s fascinating Voguing community, an invigorating paean to the power of minorities, and a timely reminder about the beauty of difference.
MUBI Luminaries: A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mysterye
After hosting the first-ever global retrospective of Lav Diaz, we’re thrilled to continue giving rare access to this essential Filipino storyteller with the online premiere of his prize-winning historical saga. Immerse yourself in this epic journey through the chaos of the Philippine Revolution.
Pride: A Single Man
It’s hard not be completely enraptured by some films. Detailing a single day in the single life of Professor George Falconer (a magnificently restrained Colin Firth), A Single Man sees the Brit dealing with the loss of long-term partner Jim (Matthew Goode) in a car accident. Tom Ford’s direction lingers on his costume design – the dark glasses, the brown suits – but the screen erupts with a radioactive intensity during moments of genuine connection. A closet homosexual during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Colin’s day is drained of colour, then it flares into bright, posterised life, all blue contact lenses and orange skin. The result occasionally looks like an advert, but the transient gloss makes you feel every glorious, aching second.
The great Martin Scorsese made his artistic arrival with his third feature, and by our counts, his first masterpiece: Mean Streets is a fiery and emotionally charged New York story articulated through the beginning of Scorsese’s baroque style. Starring Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro & Amy Robinson.
With the beguiling 16mm Mercuriales, Virgil Vernier emerged fully formed as one of the most original & distinctive new aesthetes in French cinema. A disorienting debut feature that elevates the most everyday and banal situations of contemporary life to the metaphysical, otherworldly, and ethereal.
MUBI Undiscovered: In Praise of Nothing
Nothing might not have a promising name, but it’s an enterprising character. Tired of being misunderstood, it runs away from home and travels across eight mountain ranges and eight seas while commenting on all it sees—contemplating life, death, politics, and the meaning of life, all in simple verse. Boris Mitić’s self-described “whistleblowing documentary parody” pursues the personification of “nothing,” exploring what can be captured when nothing is happening.
Claire Denis: Beau Travail
Loosely based on Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, and set against Djibouti’s sun-drenched desert and coast, Beau travail focuses on a French Foreign Legion outpost, run under the strict discipline of sergeant Galoup. The arrival of new recruit Sentain awakens a burning jealousy within Galoup.
We’re thrilled to have Thai filmmaker and social media celebrity Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit back on MUBI! Focusing on the last day in the lives of six unrelated characters, the film takes a luminous approach to the inevitability of death, becoming an ode to those things that make life worth living.
byNWR: Bad Hair
Junior is a boy with “bad hair”. He wants to have it straightened for his yearbook picture, which triggers a wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother. The more Junior tries to look sharp and make his mother love him, the more he’s rejected, until he’s face to face with a painful decision.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
While We’re Young
Available until end of: 29th June
Orgy of the Dead
Available until end of: 29th June
Available until end of: 1st July
Available until end of: 2nd July
Nenette and Boni
Available until end of: 3rd July
The Front Page
Available until end of: 4th July
Available until end of: 5th July
Available until end of: 6th July