The Weekly MUBI Digest | 12th May 2018
James R | On 12, May 2018
MUBI is heading to Cannes once again this year, with the world’s biggest film festival taking over the subscription service to offer a collection of Croisette favourites. Every year, the creme de la creme of the movie industry flock to the French Riviera for a fortnight of premieres, boozing and schmoozing, and MUBI has been increasingly at the centre of it, joining rivals such as Amazon and Netflix in trying to snap up the best titles from the festival’s line-up.
Last year, MUBI premiered The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki and Bruno Dumont’s Slack Bay (Ma Loute), which it acquired in 2016. This fortnight sees both return to its streaming library, alongside classics old and new. All that and a film starring a young Dennis Hopper and a mermaid? What more could you want?
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Cannes Classics: Lost River – 12th May
Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut follows Billy, a single mother of two, who is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld in a vanishing city, while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town. Both Billy and Bones must dive deep into the mystery if their family is to survive. Read our full review/
Cannes Classics: The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki – 13th May
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki is a portrait of real life Finnish boxer Olli Maki, which won the Un Certain Regard prize at Cannes 2016. That should give you a hint that this isn’t your usual boxing movie – and not just because it’s in Finnish and black-and-white. Jarkko Lahti is fantastic as the fighter, his face channeling both optimism and failure, while director Juho Kuosman shoots in monochrome 16mm, giving everything the feel of a newsreel. Laugh-out-loud funny and shot through with the romance of defeat, this is truly knock-out stuff. Read our full review.
Douglas Sirk: A Time to Love and a Time to Die – 14th May
Based on a novel by Erich Maria Remarque after the success of All Quiet on the Western Front‘s film adaptation, Sirk’s penultimate Hollywood picture follows a German soldier on furlough who finds fleeting love amid the rubble-strewn remains of his hometown. A haunting, existential romance.
Cannes Classics: The Bridges of Sarajevo – 15th May
Exclusive to MUBI’s Cannes Takeover is this ambitious, talent-stacked omnibus exploration of Sarajevo. With diverse contributors including Godard, MUBI retrospective subject Angela Schanelec, and Romanian New Wave luminary Cristi Puiu, its diversity stands testament to the fierce history of the city.
Cannes Classics: Refugiado – 16th May
Matias and his mother Laura, find themselves forced to hurriedly abandon the house they live in to escape another outburst of violence from Fabian. Matias is 8 and Laura is newly pregnant. Thus they begin a wandering journey in search of a place they can feel safe and protected.
Cannes Classics: Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles – 17th May
Whether seen as an exacting character portrait or one of cinema’s most hypnotic and complete depictions of space and time, Jeanne Dielman is an astonishing, compelling movie experiment, one that has been analyzed and argued over for decades.
Cannes Classics: The Ballad of Narayama – 18th May
Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival, Shohei Imamura explores the role of tradition and legacy across generations in an impoverished 19-century mountain village in this pastoral drama evoking the dark side of folklore.
Other new releases on MUBI
Cannes Classics: Slack Bay
Northern France, 1910. The bourgeois Van Peteghem family return to their towering mansion above ‘Slack Bay’ every summer. An unlikely romance blossoms between the mischievous Bille Van Peteghem and local mussel-gatherer, ‘Ma Loute’. Meanwhile, a series of mysterious disappearances are taking place. Read our full review.
Cannes Classics: The Other Side
Disarmed veterans, taciturn adolescents or drug addicts live in an invisible territory at the margins of society, at the border between anarchy and illegality, trying to respond to a threat: of being forgotten by political institutions and having their rights as citizens trampled.
Cannes Classics: The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Thingsy
An adaptation of one of the most controversial books of our time, Asia Argento’s sophomore feature realizes JT Leroy’s account of her troubled childhood. Whether its inspiring text is to be taken as truth or performance art—Argento’s star-studded film is a gamut of pure emotion & raucous sincerity.
Cannes Classics: Beyond My Grandfather Allende
“Salvador Allende, the first democratic-socialist president elected was also my grandfather. Thirty-five years after Pincohet’s coup, I return to Chile searching for Chicho- his family nickname – wishing to leave behind his iconic image and bring back images and memories of him and our family.”
Touch of Evil
Orson Welles’ 1958 classic isn’t just a technical masterpiece, but a dark slice of thrilling noir to boot, featuring an explosive opening scene (shot in one take) that is worth watching for alone.
Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen and Julia Robert are painfully raw in this spiky drama about the intertwining, romantic entanglements of two unhappy couples, based on Patrick Marber’s 1997 stage play of the same name. Accomplished, classy, caustic viewing.
May 68: Half a Life
Combining home movies, archival footage, and interviews, Goupil recounts his youth in the years leading up to May 1968, and the decade following it, climaxing with the suicide of his friend Michel Recanati. A blend of bildungsroman and political essay, the film witnesses the youthful romantics of revolt and the grief attached to age and disillusionment.
May 68: In the Intense Now
No Intenso Agora blends a cornucopia of archive materials documenting the uprisings of 1968 as they unfolded across four different countries. Narrated in first person by the director, the amateur footage includes scenes that a tourist—Salles’ mother—filmed in China during the Cultural Revolution.
byNWR: Night Tide
MUBI’s partnership with byNWR continues with Curtis Harrington’s 1961 fantasy horror, starring a young Dennis Hopper as sailor on shore leave, who becomes fascinated by a woman posing as a mermaid in an oceanfront carnival. As their relationship blossoms, Johnny realises that Mora is more than a sideshow illusionist.
byNWR: Shanty Tramp
MUBI continues its partnership with Nicolas Winding Refn’s new streaming platform, dedicated to reviving old curious and forgotten genre flicks. In this case, it’s Jose Prieto’s 1967 Shanty Tramp, which sees a small-town Southern prostitute have to decide between her lust for a black man and her meal-ticket, the sleazy revival-tent preacher who’s just rolled into town.
“A worldwide search was conducted to collect the best extant 35mm materials of this cult classic. The prints were so severely damaged that it required months of chemical treatment to make the film pliable and flat enough to work with, in order to create this outstanding new reconstruction.” —NWR
Divorce American Style: The Squid and the Whale
This awkwardly hilarious and astutely painful study of a family going through a divorce was Noah Baumbach’s breakthrough film, boasting a cast that includes Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Anna Paquin and a young Jesse Eisenberg. Made all too aware of each character’s faults, hazy middle-ground is all that awaits our sympathies and Baumbach nudges us around in the emotional mist with masterful precision. Read our full review
Divorce American Style: Husbands and Wives
Is love seizing a chance to be single? Or is it tolerating a partner’s flaws? Earnest monologues to the camera unravel the emotional mess of human relationships in Woody Allen’s faux-documentary, starring Judy Davis and Liam Neeson. Read our review
Divorce American Style: The Awful Truth
Stanley Cavell calls films like this masterpiece a comedy of remarriage, a new story forged at the height of the screwballs where a couple falls apart and we watch as they flirt, fight and fall in love all over again. Cary Grant and Irene Dunne star.
Remembering Miloš Forman: Audition
This mix of documentary and fiction offers a humorous look at different kinds of competitions and the motivations of their talented (and less-talented) participants. Set to a wonderful, diverse soundtrack of Czech music, Forman’s first major work is both light and passionate in tone.
Remembering Miloš Forman: Loves of A Blonde
From the first pangs of romance to its inevitable disappointments, Loves of a Blonde immediately became a classic of the Czech New Wave and earned Miloš Forman the first of his Academy Award nominations.
Fresh from its recent cinema release, and based on her award-winning photographic series on Iranians in exile Border, renowned artist Mitra Trabizian’s first film perceptively captures the displacement of life in the diaspora. A minimalist nocturnal thriller with a laconic yet remarkable turn by Shahab Hosseini (A Separation, The Salesman).
Douglas Sirk: The Tarnished Angels
In this spectacular adaptation of Faulkner’s Pylon, Roger Shumann is a disillusioned WWI ace seeking out a living as a barnstorming pilot/parachutist during the early 30s. New Orleans newspaperman Burke Devlin meets Shumann at a two-bit carnival and becomes fascinated with his fall from grace.
Douglas Sirk: Written on the Wind
Lust and impotence, booze, oil money and family scions—and above all, desire for approval, for love. Douglas Sirk’s resplendent melodrama, too often taken as camp, is as serious as cinema gets. Only, Sirk heightens it all: colors bursting, neuroses tormenting, libidos raging—excess barely contained.
Douglas Sirk: There’s Always Tomorrow
Melodrama is once again subterfuge in Douglas Sirk’s forbidden romance wherein true love is practically outlawed by suburban American life. Starring screen legend Barbara Stanwyck.
Douglas Sirk: All That Heaven Allows
A melodrama so suffused with emotion, so ripe with sincerity and irony, so bountiful in color and design that it was remade beautifully not only by Fassbinder but also by Todd Haynes. Yet nothing compares to the original: a sublime experience effortlessly blending sweeping story and social critique.
Angela Schanelec: The Dreamed Path
Theres and Kenneth are young, when they first meet in their summer holidays in Greece. They fall in love with each other but can’t prevent the forthcoming separation. Thirty years later, in another country – another couple. Ariane leaves her husband David, because she doesn’t love him anymore.
Angela Schanelec: Afternoon
MUBI’s series devoted to Angela Schanelec continues with this sun-drenched snapshot of a subtly distraught summer holiday shared between lakeside neighbours. The film generously lets us piece together relationships, family drama and love’s hurt through oblique observation and heart-felt restraint.
Angela Schanelec: Orly
Airports are places of transit and fortuitous synchronicity. In Orly, Angela Schanelec’s camera delicately infiltrates the geometric architecture of the building and, with the right distance from her characters, captures the elusiveness of happenstance to achieve unsuspected emotional resonance.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Absence of Malice
Available until end of: 12th May
Available until end of: 13th May
Available until end of: 14th May
All That Heaven Allows
Available until end of: 15th May
Available until end of: 16th May
Available until end of: 17th May
Available until end of: 18th May
The Nothing Factory
Available until end of: 19th May