The MUBI Weekly Digest | 7th December 2019
Staff Reporter | On 07, Dec 2019Reading time: 9 mins
It may not be Christmas yet, but MUBI is unwrapping all sorts of treats this week, with a veritable hamper-load of big cinema names, including Abbas Kiarostami, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Martin Scorsese and, the star on the tree, the new short film from In Fabric director Peter Strickland.
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What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Lonely Are the Brave – 7th December
Kirk Douglas is justly commended for using his fame to support unusual film productions, and this late period western is one of his boldest ventures. Blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo adapts the environmentalist novelist Edward Abbey to redefine the idea of the outsider cowboy for a new age, as a fiercely independent cowboy who obstinately resists modernization arranges to have himself locked up in jail in order to escape with an old friend who has been sentenced to the penitentiary. When the principled friend refuses to leave, the cowboy futilely attempts to escape to Mexico on horseback.
Three Colours: Blue – 8th December
MUBI begins a look back at Krzysztof Kieślowski’s iconic trilogy with Blue. The wife of a famous composer survives a car accident that kills her husband and daughter. Now alone, she shakes off her old identity and explores her newfound freedom, but finds that she is unbreakably bound to other humans, including her husband’s mistress, whose existence she never suspected.
Abbas Kiarostami: Taste of Cherry – 9th December
Middle-aged Mr. Badii wishes to die in a society where suicide is considered an abomination. Driving in the hills above Tehran, he searches for an accomplice who is willing to bury him after he is dead. He meets an assortment of different characters, but each have reasons to turn down the job.
Abbas Kiarostami: The Wind Will Carry Us – 10th December
rreverent city engineer Behzad comes to a rural Kurdish village in Iran to keep vigil for a dying relative. While death hovers around the corner, Behzad gains perspectives on life and spirituality as he befriends the locals and experiences nature’s majesty, changing his own attitudes as a result.
Brief Encounters: GUO4 – 11th December
A confrontation between two swimmers in a locker room. The framing of traditionally macho scenarios in a homoerotic context takes its cues from the covert porn of Bob Mizer.
A Letter to Elia – 12th December
Directed by Martin Scorsese and Kent Jones, this documentary pays tribute to the late, legendary Hollywood auteur, Elia Kazan.
Godard: A Woman is A Woman – 13th December
Exotic dancer Angela attempts to have a child with her unwilling lover Emile. But Alfred, Emile’s best friend who is in love with Angela, is happy to be a father. Angela loves Emile and refuses Alfred’s advances, but leads Emile to believe that she is infatuated with his friend.
Other new releases on MUBI
Adam Driver is fantastic in Jim Jarmusch’s charming drama about Paterson, a bus driver who lives in Paterson. Every day, Paterson adheres to a simple routine: he drives his bus, observing the city and overhearing fragments of conversation; he writes poetry; he walks his dog; he goes to the same bar to drink a beer; he goes home to his wife Laura. Read our full review
byNWR: House of Seven Belles
The late Andy Milligan never completed his antebellum South melodrama, and all he left behind was a single unfinished workprint. As he said, “it’s all there, except the finale I was unable to shoot.” Thus, it may be left to the viewer to complete his Civil War epic, revealed here for the first time.
This morally defiant drama was Ingmar Bergman’s fifth film, and his first box office success.
In a dystopian world dominated by an oppressive regime, a woman, Jessica, rescues orphaned boys and gives them love and understanding, offering them an escape from their violent past. Bound by a united hope for peace and harmony, this matriarchal family fight for a better future.
On the eve of her operation, transgender woman Bree learns that she has a teenage son. She travels to New York to collect Toby who is in a juvenile detention. Worried about his reaction, she pretends to be a Christian do-gooder as they embark on a road-trip across the States.
Godard’s most iconic work follows petty thug Michel, who panics and impulsively kills a policeman while driving a stolen car. On the lam, he turns to his aspiring journalist girlfriend Patricia, hiding out in her Paris apartment. When Patricia learns that Michel is being investigated for murder, she begins to question her loyalties.
The Besson couple divorce. To protect her son from a father she accuses of violence, Miriam asks for exclusive custody, but the father says his son has been turned against him. The judge, unsure, grants a shared custody. Julien, a hostage between his parents, will do everything to prevent the worst.
Chaos reigns in Lars von Trier’s provocative, graphic, shocking study of grief and violence.
Picnic on the Grass
Etienne Alexis, a candidate for the presidency of the new Europe, is a pompous scientist promoting artificial insemination. However, while hosting a picnic, he encounters a young, modern peasant woman, Nénette, and learns that science sometimes does not have all the answers.
A portrait of transgender musician and artist Linn da Quebrada, who uses her body and performances as weapons to fight machismo, transphobia, and racism. She speaks of her growing up as a black queer in São Paulo’s favelas, and the challenges of breaking into Brazil’s heteronormative funk scene.
Jarmusch: Only Lovers Left Alive
Adam (Tom Hiddleston) and Eve (Tilda Swinton) are two vampires whose love affair has lasted centuries. She’s living in Tangier; he’s in Detroit. But when Adam gets lonely and depressed, Eve makes her way across the world to snap him out of his stupor. Director Jim Jarmusch switches gears once more to tell this entrancing outing, which manages to be part stoner comedy, part horror and part examination of contemporary culture. Read our full review
Resnais: Private Fears in Public Places
Six Parisians engage in a lonely and mostly unsuccessful search for real love: Nicole and Dan are engaged to be married, but his drinking drives them apart; Thierry flirts with a religious colleague, Charlotte, who has a secret vice; Gaëlle answers numerous personal ads, but her dates never show up.
Resnais: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet
Before his death, a renowned dramatist arranges to have friends who appeared in his play Eurydice summoned to his home, to participate in his funeral and to see a performance of the play by an avant-garde acting company. Surprises await them, as they also find themselves unwitting participants.
The Palm Beach Story
Claudette Colbert intends to leave her husband, Joel McCrea, a struggling New York architect, and move to Palm Beach in a matter-of-fact search for a wealthy husband—to help fund the work of her true love, McCrea. Not willing to give her up, McCrea follows in hot pursuit.
Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus
While on a trip in Chile with friends, insensitive American Jamie (Michael Cera) drunkenly invites an eccentric woman to join them and experience the hallucinogenic San Pedro cactus. The woman’s free nature clashes with Jamie’s self-absorbed personality as they head to the desert for a disturbing, psychedelic trip. This Sebastián Silva joint is a low-budget gem, sweet and stoned in equal measure.
Georges, who hosts a TV literary review, receives anonymous packages containing videos of himself with his family, shot secretly from the street, and alarming, obscure drawings. There’s no commentary, no threats, but the message is clear: You’re being watched. Slowly, dark revelations come to light.
Ospina: It All Started at the End
“Grupo de Cali” (also known as “Caliwood”), a group of friends in love with cinema, who in the midst of the partying and historical chaos between 1971 and 1991, managed to produce a body of work now considered a fundamental part of Colombia’s film history.
My Skin, Luminous
Having lost the pigment in his skin, Matias, an infirmed orphan at a Michoacán primary school, has been quarantined from his classmates. Meanwhile, the presence and words of novelist Mario Bellatin offer the prospect of healing to his ailing body.
The second film from Happy as Lazzaro director Alice Rohrwacher follows an extraordinary summer for Gelsomina and her three younger sisters, in which the strict rules that hold the family together begin to break: due to the arrival of Martin, a German boy on a youth rehabilitation program, and also the community’s participation in a TV competition. A bittersweet and beautiful coming-of-ager. Read our full review
Bergman: The Devil’s Wanton (or Prison)
A film director is approached by his old math teacher with a great movie idea: the Devil declares that the Earth is hell. The director is skeptical, but subsequent events in the life of a writer friend and his young sex worker lover make him reconsider the math teacher’s idea.
Miles, a successful divorce lawyer, feels something is missing from his lifestyle despite his wealth and status. When he uses his skills to ensure that gold-digger Marylin gets nothing in her divorce from his client, she vows revenge, leading to their mutual one-upmanship and increasing attraction.
A hidden gem from Philippe Garrel’s haunting filmography, this pocket melodrama meditates on loss, filmmaking, and the obstacles of an unstable relationship. Borrowing biographical details from the French auteur’s own love story with the singer Nico, L’enfant secret is a work of intimate poetry.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
A Dog Called Money
Available until end of: 8th December
Water Drops on Burning Rocks
Available until end of: 8th December
The Piano Teacher
Available until end of: 9th December
A Paper Tiger
Available until end of: 10th December
Available until end of: 11th December
Last Year at Marienbad
Available until end of: 12th December
Available until end of: 13th December
Available until end of: 14th December