The Weekly MUBI Digest | 21st July 2018
James R | On 21, Jul 2018
MUBI celebrates the career of Ang Lee with a trilogy of the Taiwanese director’s work – from Lust, Caution, winner of the Golden Lion, to two of his beloved, gentle comedies from the 1990s. Some of Ang Lee’s favourite themes – passionate love, family troubles or carnal and culinary pleasures – are all explored with the director’s graceful mastery. The triple-bill arrives alongside MUBI’s ongoing showcase of some of the new cinema coming out of Canada, as well as a look back at some classics from David Cronenberg.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Ang Lee Triple: Lust, Caution
Ang Lee adapts revered Chinese writer Eileen Chang’s novel into a powerful thriller-drama of desire and commitment in the tormented China of the 1940s, under Japanese occupation. A young woman finds herself swept up in a radical plot to assassinate a ruthless intelligence agent.
Ang Lee Triple: The Wedding Banquet – 22nd July
Gay couple Wai-Tung and Simon are happily living in New York. However, Wai-Tung’s nagging parents want to see their son marry and have children. The couple have a plan: Wai-Tung will marry Wei-Wei, an acquaintance in need of a green card–but his parents arrive to visit and things get out of hand.
Ang Lee Triple: Eat Drink Man Woman – 23rd July
A senior chef lives with his three grown daughters in Taiwan. When the middle one finds her future plans affected by unexpected events, it impacts the life of the other household members. Ang Lee’s family fable is the best movie ever made about how food can connect generations.
New Canadian Cinema: How Heavy This Summer – 24th July
A married father of two nearing middle age, Erwin is not quite an outcast, but as his life slowly begins to unravel we begin to understand just how far outside the social order he truly is.
New Canadian Cinema: Still Night, Still Light – 25th July
In Québec, Mexico and Asia, three woken dreamers answer to the pressing call from the images and melodies that inhabit them, by day and by night. Haunted by an absence, a departure, or an urging need to go towards the other, Éliane, Romes and his father Pablo choose to act before it’s too late.
Videodrome – 27th July
In a bid to boost ratings, a programmer for a trashy cable channel broadcasts a hyper-violent torture show called Videodrome. Whilst trying to uncover its origins, he goes on a hallucinatory journey into a shadow world of conspiracy, sadomasochism and bodily transformation.
Other new releases on MUBI
Rust and Bone
Marion Cotillard delivers a powerful performance in this anti-Free Willy drama that’s nasty and depressing – but strangely, wonderfully uplifting. Read our full review
Erase and Forget
Bo Gritz is one of America’s highest decorated Vietnam veterans and the real life inspiration behind Rambo. Filmed over 10 years using impressive visual material, Andrea Luka Zimmerman’s portrait of Bo embodies contemporary American society in all its dizzying complexity and contradictions.
Lars von Trier controversially returned to Cannes with The House that Jack Built this year, inspiring MUBI to revive the provocateur’s early triumph. Winner of three festival prizes at the event, it’s a feverish film noir, an unhinged thriller, and a visually mind-blowing odyssey into a nightmare of our past.
Minnie and Moskowitz
Led by Gena Rowlands and Seymour Cassel, American director John Cassavetes’ underrated romantic comedy is by turns charming and irascible.
With First Reformed out now, MUBI revisits Paul Schrader’s sleazy thriller penned by Bret Easton Ellis and starring Lindsay Lohan. It follows Christian, an LA trust-fund kid with casual ties to Hollywood, who learns of a secret affair between Tara and the lead of his film project, Ryan. He spirals out of control, and his cruel mind games escalate into an act of bloody violence. Read our full review
The insecurities and pent-up emotions of an immigrant in the USA give way to political ruminations and critical commentaries on the colonisation of the mind by the American Dream in Miko Revereza’s short. A montage of home movies from the title’s years presents an anatomy of family ties and a reliving of one’s own identity.
MUBI premieres a new film of bold form and deep humanity. Romi, a Japanese woman living in Paris, works in a karaoke bar. At home in the suburbs, she tends to her paraplegic lover Milou. To pass the time she recounts to him a story alluding to a period they once spent together in Japan.
From versatile British director Stephen Frears (Dirty Pretty Things, The Queen) comes this comedy unexpectedly based on a graphic novel (!) inspired by Thomas Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd (!!), wherein a small community is turned upside down by a new (old) arrival. With Gemma Arterton.
Ruined Heart: Another Lovestory Between a Criminal & a Whore
MUBI pays tribute to one of its favourite Filipino New Wave filmmakers, Khavn, with a double bill – beginning with a sincere mosaic of what feels like every emotion the filmmaker has encountered.
Alipato: The Very Brief Life of an Ember
The double bill continues with Kvahn further pushing the boundaries of cinema with Alipato – a spirited, futuristic vision of Manila, steeped in a apocalyptic, psychedelic chaos.
Oberhausen Shorts: Creature Companion
Melika Bass’s beguiling, perhaps radical, reinterpretation of femininity in American suburban life.
Oberhausen Shorts: Carolee, Barbara and Guvnor
Lynne Sach’s portrait of three extraordinary women artists – warmly compassionate and sprightly inquisitive, the film captures personality and philosophy in equal measure.
Oberhausen Shorts: The Hymns of Muscovy
Turning Moscow upside down is no simple trick in Dimitri Venkov’s short. Its survey of Soviet architecture is monumental yet alien, a city symphony (set to the Soviet anthem) rendered concrete—yet unreal.
Oberhausen Shorts: A Branch of a Pine is Tied Up
This Japanese stop motion fable blends a multi-layered narrative, atmospheric richness and sociological relevance, while having the biggest of hearts.
Oberhausen Shorts: Harry Smith at the Breslin Hotel
Renowned photographer and filmmaker Robert Frank has made his first new film in years: A time capsule of a touching and unique encounter between two iconoclastic artists in New York.
So Long Enthusiasm
Margarita lives with her son Axel and his older sisters Antonia, Alejandra and Alicia. Their flat is like a cosy cave where they play music, eat, sleep and argue in the warm lamplight. An intimate family cocoon.
Made for $25,000 on 16mm, this debut from Gus Van Sant (Elephant, Milk) is a quintessentially American classic, as well as an essential precursor of the New Queer Cinema movement. The film follows a romantic deadbeat with a wayward crush on a handsome Mexican immigrant in a world of transient workers, dead-end day-shifters, and bars or seedy apartments bathed in a profound nighttime.
The Rise and Fall of a Small Film Company
Godard’s episode of the TV series, Série noire (1984), is a return to the themes of Passion and Contempt; a war of words between director, producer and actress during the production of a cheap television film.
Ellis and his friend Neckbone are two boys who meet Mud (Matthew McConaughey), a fugitive hiding out on an island in the Mississippi. Skeptical but intrigued by his fantastic scenarios, they agree to help him. It isn’t long until Mud’s visions come true and their small town is besieged by bounty hunters. Jeff Nichols’ 2012 film is a remarkable, understated combination of poignant coming-of-age drama, southern gothic thrills and childlike adventure.
The Nights of Zayandeh-Rood
MUBI & Nang’s focus on “filmmakers in transit” resumes with Iranian New Wave pioneer—now living in exile—Mohsen Makhmalbaf. Originally removed from circulation by the censors, this incisive, formally intrepid socio-political critique sees the light 25 years late, having lost none of its relevance.
New Canadian Cinema: Werewolf
Blaise and Nessa are outcast methadone users in their small Canadian town. Each day they push a rusty lawnmower door-to-door begging to cut grass. Nessa plots an escape, while Blaise lingers closer to collapse. Tethered to one another, their getaway dreams are kept on a suffocatingly short leash.
A monthly subscription to MUBI costs £7.99 a month, with a 30-day free trial.
Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
A Burning Hot Summer
Available until end of: 21st July
Available until end of: 22nd July
Available until end of: 23rd July
The Legend of the Holy Drinker
Available until end of: 24th July
Available until end of: 25th July
The Big Heat
Available until end of: 26th July
Available until end of: 27th July
Bob & Ted & Carol & Alice
Available until end of: 28th July
To Rome with Love
Available until end of: 29th July