The MUBI Weekly Digest | 4th April 2020
Ivan Radford | On 04, Apr 2020
MUBI is still offering a discount of £1 for three months, and it’s more than earning every pence this week. Its retrospective of the cool helmer Jean-Pierre Melville draws to a close with his elegant noir swansong, but there’s a Takashi Miike classic to fill the void, plus a retrospective of Joseph Losey – and, to top it off, the latest Andrew Kotting film.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Coffee and Cigarettes – 4th April
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.
Southland Tales – 5th April
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: The Servant – 6th April
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…
That Most Important Thing: Love – 7th April
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.
Bergman: Saraband – 8th April
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 – 9th April
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).
Other new releases on MUBI
The Whalebone Box
Some time ago, a whalebone box that was found washed up on a remote beach was given to writer Iain Sinclair. Once touched the box can change lives. In 2018 filmmaker Andrew Kötting, photographer Anonymous Bosch and Sinclair take the box on a reverse pilgrimage from London back to the Isle of Harris.
Melville: Un Flic
Melville’s swansong noir follows Edouard, who spends his time chasing criminals. Nightclub owner Simon works with a small crew to execute daring heists with big payoffs. Meanwhile Cathy is torn between them. After a bank robbery in a small Riviera town goes wrong, a game of cat and mouse begins between Edouard and Simon’s gang.
Danielle is a model separated from her Siamese twin, Dominique. When her neighbour, an intrepid reporter, suspects Dominique of a brutal murder, she becomes dangerously ensnared in the sisters’ insidious sibling bond, and hires the help of a private detective to seek out the truth.
Joseph Losey: Eva (1962)
Writer Tyvian Jones seems to have it all—an international best seller, an apartment in Rome, a gorgeous fiancé—but he’s bitter anyway. He meets his existential match in the mod seductress Eve. An emotional tyrant, her casual maneouvering forces Baker to confront his past and his weaknesses.
Bruce Lee and the Outlaw
Director Joost Vandebrug has been working in Bucharest’s Ceaușescu-built tunnels since 2011, forming deep relationships with its inhabitants: homeless kids struggling with addiction. Maintaining an attentive eye on his surroundings, this is a remarkably compassionate look at life in the underworld.
Nona, If They Soak Me, I’ll Burn Them
After an act of vengeance on the home of her ex-lover, Nona, 66, flees to her summer house on the Chilean coast. There, forest fires are spreading, but her home is undamaged. While houses go up in flames, Nona displays different sides of her character: the grandmother, the friend, the anarchist…
From Kleber Mendonça Filho (Aquarius) and Juliano Dornelles comes a daring, intoxicating blend of neo-Western, siege thriller and political allegory—powerfully resonating with today’s Brazil. Read our our review here.
The acclaimed Neighbouring Sounds is critic-turned-filmmaker Kleber Mendonça Filho’s impressive feature debut. Subtly yet sharply commenting on urban class tensions in Brazil through the city of Recife’s ominous sounds, this is haunting cinema—evoking a state of torpor hanging in the hot, heavy air.
E. Edward Grey, a demanding lawyer, reluctantly seduces his secretary Lee Holloway, who was recently released from a mental institution to the care of her overbearing parents. Lee is turned on by Grey’s stern demeanour, and their employer-employee relationship becomes a sexual, sadomasochistic one.
Godard: The Image Book
Jean-Luc Godard returns with a bracing, confrontational essay film. Splicing together classic film clips and newsreel footage, often stretched, saturated and distorted almost beyond recognition, The Image Book interrogates our relationship with film, culture and global politics.
Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate
Saheiji, a resourceful, witty free spirit, is forced to stay on at a brothel to repay his debt. At first he’s regarded as an unwelcome guest who never leaves, but soon he endears himself to the guests, hosts, servants and attending ladies—solving their disputes with his wit.
Melville:Le Cercle Rouge
The perfect crime? No, but perhaps the perfect crime movie. A skilled thief who lives in studied elegance when he’s not languishing in jail plans an elaborate jewellery-store heist with two cohorts picked up almost at random: a notorious escaped convict and an alcoholic ex-cop. With a dogged inspector on their tale, they face impossible odds.
The Daughters of Fire
Two female lovers reunite after a long time. One wants to shoot a porn film, the other wants to visit her family. As they happen upon a woman during a bar fight with homophobes, they decide to hit the road, embarking on a polyamorous journey across Patagonia, picking up other women along the way.
Cocteau: Testament of Orpheus
An 18th century poet travels through time in search of divine wisdom. In a mysterious wasteland, he has a series of enigmatic encounters with symbolic phantoms with whom he muses about the nature of art and his own career. Ultimately, the poet strives to achieve his rebirth as a celestial being.
Cocteau: The Blood of a Poet
In a poet’s room, an armless statue abruptly comes to life. It invites the poet to step through a mirror and to discover another world. Strange places and characters present themselves to him. The poet tears himself away from these twisted fascinations and returns, with some difficulty, to his room.
Bergman: Autumn Sonata
After seven years of separation, an internationally famous, icy concert pianist returns home to visit her long-suffering daughter. Over the course of a day and a long, painful night that the two spend together, they finally confront the bitter discord of their relationship.
Bergman: From the Life of the Marionettes
Ingmar Bergman’s only German production is a surprising spin-off of Scenes from a Marriage that gives center stage to that film’s couple, revealing their relationship’s secrets in a more extreme filmmaking style.
Four friends and tech entrepreneurs invent a device in their garage which reduces the apparent mass of any object placed inside it. However, they soon discover that it has some highly unexpected capabilities. Ones that could enable them to do and to have seemingly anything they want…
Pharos of Chaos
Sterling Hayden, the semi-retired actor, war hero, and writer passes his days living on a barge in France. He enjoys telling anecdotes, until finally opening up about his alcoholism, loneliness, “creative impotency,” and deepest shame: publicly naming names in Hollywood during the Red Scare.
Vengeance Trilogy: Lady Vengeance
After being wrongfully convicted, a woman is imprisoned for 13 years and forced to give up her daughter. While in prison she gains the respect of her cellmates and plots her revenge on the man responsible. Once released, she begins her elaborate plan of retribution, but discovers a horrifying truth.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Sympathy for Mr Vengeance
Available until end of: 4th April
Available until end of: 5th April
Available until end of: 6th April
Available until end of: 7th April
Available until end of: 8th April
A Countess from Hong Kong
Available until end of: 9th April
Available until end of: 10th April
Available until end of: 11th April
Army of Shadows
Available until end of: 12th April