The MUBI Weekly Digest | 2nd May 2020
Staff Reporter | On 02, May 2020Reading time: 8 mins
Things are heating up on MUBI this week, with the debut of Pablo Larrain’s EMA and new video essay documentary Romantic Comedy.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Ema – 2nd May
Ema is a magnetic and impulsive dancer in a reggaeton troupe. Her toxic marriage to choreographer Gastón is beyond repair, following a decision to give up on their adopted child Polo. She sets out on a mission to get him back, not caring who she’ll need to fight, seduce or destroy to make it happen. Read our review.
Fedora – 3rd May
Washed-up producer Barry ‘Dutch’ Detweiler attempts to lure the iconic but reclusive actress Fedora out of retirement in a bid to revive both their careers. But her privacy is hard won, and with good reason. When she commits suicide, Detweiler becomes suspicious and decides to investigate further. Almost 30 years after Sunset Boulevard, Billy Wilder reunited with William Holden for this spiritual sequel.
Diary of a Country Priest – 4th May
A new priest arrives in the rural French village of Ambricourt to attend to his first parish. The apathetic congregation rejects him immediately. Through his diary entries, the suffering young man relays a crisis of faith that threatens to drive him away from the village and from God.
Straub-Huillet: Antigone – 5th May
A fearless Antigone, refusing to allow the dishonored body of her murdered brother Polynices to be devoured by vultures and dogs, defies the Thebian tyrant Creon by burying him. In punishment Creon orders Oedipus’s rebellious daughter to be entombed alive, lest she sow insurrection among the people.
Romantic Comedy – 7th May
In Elizabeth Sankey’s Romantic Comedy, our most-loved romcoms are torn apart and scrutinised for their unrealistic pictures of male-female relationships and white, heterosexual, middle-class characters. Why does the woman always have to be saved by a man?
Let the Sunshine In – 8th May
Juliette Binoche is brilliant in this witty but episodic romantic comedy from Claire Denis.
Other new releases on MUBI
Céline Sciamma: 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.
Céline Sciamma: Water Lilies
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.
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.
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
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.
“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. Read our review
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: Mr. Klein
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.
A monthly subscription to MUBI costs £9.99 a month, with a 30-day free trial. A monthly subscription including MUBI GO costs £14.99 a month.
Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
The Whalebone Box
Available until end of: 2nd May
Coffee and Cigarettes
Available until end of: 3rd May
Available until end of: 4th May
Available until end of: 5th May
Available until end of: 6th May
The Grand Bizarre
Available until end of: 7th May
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Available until end of: 8th May
Available until end of: 9th May
Available until end of: 10th May
Available until end of: 11th May
Available until end of: 12th May