The MUBI Weekly Digest | 7th September 2019
Staff Reporter | On 07, Sep 2019Reading time: 7 mins
After releasing it in UK cinemas, MUBI this week brings us an overlooked collaboration between Gus Van Sant and Joaquin Phoenix – the biopic of Portland comic book artist John Callahan. It’s joined by another underrated treat, the stop-motion animated gem My Life as a Courgette. They kick off a week that includes another entry in MUBI’s Straub-Huillet and Almodovar retrospectives.
Want to see something on the big screen? Use MUBI Go (which offers a free cinema ticket every week to its subscribers), to see Argentine thriller Rojo 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
Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far on Foot – 7th September
Joaquin Phoenix stars in Gus Van Sant’s thoroughly charming and hopeful comedy-drama celebrating the life of cartoonist John Callahan. “Read our full review
My Life as a Courgette – 8th September
This delicately heartwarming study of loss, family and friendship is a tiny stop-motion masterpiece. “Read our full review
No Data Plan – 9th September
Living in the United States illegally for over 20 years, Miko Revereza takes the Amtrak train from Los Angeles to New York in this critical moment of hostility against migrants in the country he has come to know as home. The journey seems daring, perhaps reckless, yet urgent and necessary.
Straub-Huillet: The Death of Empedokles – 10th September
An enemy of the priestly state, the philosopher Empedocles is cast into darkness, suffering the torments of loneliness and doubt, but finds renewed strength, even immortality, through the will of the people.
Spoor – 11th September
Janina, a crusader for animal rights, lives in a mountain village on the Polish-Czech border. One day her beloved dogs disappear. Shortly afterwards she discovers her neighbour’s corpse and, next to it, deer tracks. More men die in a similarly mysterious way. All of them were passionate hunters.
Rapado – 12th September
After the theft of his motorcycle, Lucio bums aimlessly around Buenos Aires drifting from one arcade and record store to the next, indulging in short chats with friends and, more often, setting out onto the streets alone.
Almodovar: Kika – 13th September
Kika, a young cosmetologist, is called to the mansion of Nicolas, an American writer to make-up the corpse of his stepson, Ramon. Ramon, who is not dead, is revived by Kika’s attentions and she then moves in with him. They might live happily ever after but first they have to deal with some things…
Other new releases on MUBI
Joanna Hogg: Exhibition
A penetrating, impossibly elegant exploration not only of a marriage among artists but also of how your home shapes your life.
Joanna Hogg: Archipelago
Co-starring Tom Hiddleston, Archipelago sees how a family vacation pushes the limits of relationships and the spaces that define and confine them.
Iranian cinema tends to be associated to the poetic realism of Abbas Kiarostami, but MUBI uncovers a different side with this priceless dark comedy by maverick auteur Mani Haghighi. An intrepid, mordant, deliriously absurd look at a film industry marked by both censorship and narcissism.
Brutal action and brilliant performances make for a compelling gangster flick with above-average knitwear.
Music on MUBI: Junun
Paul Thomas Anderson joined Jonny Greenwood and Israeli musician, composer and poet Shye Ben Tzur on a trip to Rajasthan, where they were hosted by the Maharaja of Jodhpur. In the 15th-century Mehrangarh Fort, Greenwood and the musicians of the Rajasthan Express worked on Ben Tzur’s album. Read our review
Music on MUBI: Searching for Sugar Man
Though he faded into obscurity in the U.S., an early ’70s musician known as Rodriguez became a huge hit in South Africa and was widely rumoured to have died. Two obsessed fans set out to learn the man’s true fate. Read our review
Music on MUBI: Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life
Serge Gainsbourg’s life, from the young Lucien Ginsburg in 1940s occupied Paris, to the poet, composer and world-famous singer. The film spans his whole artistic career, and explores the evolution and recognition of his music and its avant-garde status, that made him a true icon of French culture. Read our review
Music on MUBI: The Needle
Enigmatic drifter Moro returns to his Asiatic hometown to attempt to get his ex-girlfriend off heroine. The couple escape to the Aral sea but find that the sea has all but disappeared. There Dina seems cured, but back in town everything starts anew, and the mafia are waiting for them.
Juliette Binoche: Elles
Anne, a mother of two and an investigative journalist for Elle magazine, is writing an article about university student prostitution. Her meetings with two fiercely independent young women are profound and unsettling, moving her to question her most intimate convictions about money, family and sex.
Juliette Binoche: Slack Bayt
Masterful slapstick, political horror and bourgeois family drama combine in Bruno Dumont’s enjoyably unpredictable comedy that sees Juliette Binoche as you haven’t seen her before. Read our review
With Leto available exclusively on MUBI UK, here’s a chance to catch director Kirill Serebrennikov’s 2016 drama, which follows teenager Veniamin, who studies the Bible obsessively and comes to believe that the world is nearing its end. His studies lead him on a path to religious fanaticism, drawing him into conflict with his mother, his classmates and his biology teacher Elena, who will alone challenge him on his own ground.
A Bigger Splash
Few films capture the madness of a breakup like this ground-breaking, semi-fictionalised account of Hockney’s harrowing creative process.
Almodovar: Dark Habits
Following her lover’s fatal overdose, Yolanda, a bolero singer and drug addict, seeks refuge in the Convent of Humble Redeemers, dedicated to the rescue of women with a past in drugs, prostitution, and murder. No redemption is in sight however as the convent turns out to house many vices and sins.
Almodovar: What Have I Done to Deserve This?
Overworked cleaning lady Gloria takes various jobs to make ends meet. Her unforgiving life is filled with eccentric characters: an abusive taxi driver husband, a drug-dealer teenage son, an unappreciative mother-in-law, and a prostitute neighbour who pays Gloria to sit in with exhibitionist clients.
Almodovar: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
Dumped by her partner, soap actress Pepa needs to track him down to deliver an important message. But her life is soon invaded by a series of distractions: Pepa’s friend Candela might have got involved in a terrorist plot, while Iván’s son, who is flat-hunting, ends up visiting Pepa’s apartment. Almodovar is at his award-winning peak with the deftly choreographed mix of farcical comedy and love letter to cinema in a post-dictatorship world.
Almodovar: Law of Desire
Pablo loves Juan but Juan is lukewarm about the relationship. Antonio becomes obsessed with Pablo after one evening intended to be a mere one-night stand. Paralleling this dangerous love triangle is the story of Pablo’s sister Tina, a transgender woman about whom Pablo is writing a play. All these lives collide in Pedro Almodovar’s 1987 outing,
There are two worlds in this house – the life of a mother and her daughter, and that of two women. As the two worlds start to merge, confusion develops. What will happen when they connect to each other?
A freewheeling snapshot of youthful rebellion in the underground scene of 1980s Leningrad, Leto is the feel-good movie we needed this summer. Set to a soundtrack of classics from David Bowie to The Sex Pistols, and filmed in stunning black-and-white, this is a rock’n’roll musical like no other.
byNWR: Ears, Eyes and Throats: Restored Classic and Lost Punk Films 1976-1981
This collection of short films represents a hint of the tectonic shift in the underground film world in connection with the punk rock “movement.” Restored from original negatives, it showcases the reasonably well-known alongside the extremely rare, from music shorts to impressionistic documentary.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
The Devil and Daniel Johnston
Available until end of: 8th September
Camille Claudel 1915
Available until end of: 9th September
End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones
Available until end of: 10th September
Dead Horse Nebula
Available until end of: 11th September
Dutch Angle: Chas Gerretsen and Apocalypse Now
Available until end of: 12th September
Available until end of: 13th September
Available until end of: 14th September