The MUBI Weekly Digest | 9th May 2020
James R | On 09, May 2020
After dropping Pablo Larrain’s EMA and new video essay documentary Romantic Comedy, you’d think MUBI would rest on its laurels, but it’s another packed week, with work from Hirokazu Koreeda, Jonathan Glazer, Federico Fellini and Frederick Wiseman on the cards, plus another early offering from Céline Sciamma – speaking of which, don’t miss your chance this weekend to catch Portrait of a Lady on Fire.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Our Little Sister – 9th May
Hirokazu Koreeda’s eye for human relationships has never been more tender than in this delicate study of parenthood, absence and inheritance.
The Fall – 10th May
Jonathan Glazer’s follow-up to Under the Skin is a short film inspired by Goya, a sinister descent into the lynch-mob mentality and the horrors of the human condition. Also available on BBC iPlayer.
Fellini: I Vitelloni – 11th May
Five young men, the not-so-young sons of middle class parents, linger in a postadolescent limbo, dreaming of adventure and escape from their small coastal town. Perpetually unemployed, they whittle their lives away by spending the money of their families on drink, women, and nights at the pool hall.
Our Daily Bread – 12th May
A woman walks for miles every day to get bread for her truck driver husband, and waits for him to drive past the village. While he spends time with his friends and his mistress, she is concerned about their dying relationship. One day she needs to help her sister, and is late for her husband.
National Gallery – 13th May
Frederick Wiseman’s three-hour visit to the National Gallery is a portrait of a hugely complex world painted as simply as possible. Completely absorbing.
The Orphanage (2019) – 14th May
In the late 1980s, 15-year-old street kid Qodrat is arrested for illegally reselling cinema tickets, and put in an orphanage on the outskirts of Kabul. For the first time in his life, he goes to school, takes a class trip, makes friends, and falls in love—while avoiding two older bullies.
Céline Sciamma: Tomboy – 15th May
There is definitely something boyish about ten-year-old Laure. It’s summer and she has recently moved to a new area with her parents and her little sister, Jeanne. Laure allows her new neighbourhood acquaintances to believe that she is a boy. That’s how Laure becomes Michael. Truth or dare? Celine Sciamma’s delicate exploration of identity and gender is a sweet, funny, moving gem.
Other new releases on MUBI
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.
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
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.
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.
Charming in its simplicity, this dainty drama starring the late Irrfan Khan is a delectable treat worth savouring. Read our full review
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? Read our full review
Let the Sunshine In
Juliette Binoche is brilliant in this witty but episodic romantic comedy from Claire Denis. Read our full review
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. Read our full review
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.
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.
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.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Available until end of: 9th May
Available until end of: 10th May
Available until end of: 11th May
Available until end of: 12th May
Available until end of: 13th May
Quai Des Orfevres
Available until end of: 14th May
Woman in Chains
Available until end of: 15th May
My Blueberry Nights
Available until end of: 16th May
Available until end of: 17th May
Available until end of: 18th May
Available until end of: 19th May