The Weekly MUBI Digest | 21st October
James R | On 21, Oct 2017
MUBI took us to the London Film Festival this month, with the exclusive online release of Spell Reel, following its big screen premiere. As well as looking forward, MUBI continues to look back, both at Takashi Miike’s work – ahead of his 100th film, Blade of the Immortal – and the career of Pablo Larrain. Throw in some Joan Crawford and you’ve got your week’s viewing sorted.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Ley Lines – 21st October
MUBI’s Takashi Miike retrospective continues with the conclusion to his Black Society Trilogy, which tackles intercultural relations between Japan and China. With Ley Lines, Miike pushes his buoyant style and subversive politics as far as they can go.
Autumn Leaves – 22nd October
Though a very attractive fortysomething, Millicent (Joan Crawford) remains aloof from romance until she meets Burt Hanson (Cliff Robertson), a young man half her age. Burn finally breaks down her resistance to marriage. Millicent is confronted by Virginia (Vera Miles), who claims to be Robertson’s first wife.
Neruda – 23rd October
Chile, 1948: Senator Pablo Neruda, diplomat and future Nobel Prize-winning poet, accuses the government of betraying the Communist Party and is swiftly impeached. Pursued by the police, Neruda and his artist wife are forced into hiding and an intimate game of cat and mouse begins in Pablo Larraín’s decidedly unconventional biopic.
Tripoli Cancelled – 24th October
MUBI’s next pick from the BFI London Film Festival is a challenging experiment. A metaphorical take on the physical and mental isolation of the migrant, the film is inspired by director Naeem Mohaiemen’s father, who was trapped in Greece’s Ellinikon Airport without a passport in 1977. The film follows a week in the life of a man who has been living in limbo at an airport for a decade.
The Beautiful Person – 25th October
MUBI kicks off a a Christophe Honore double with this 2008 drama, which sees 16-year-old Junie changes high school mid-year, Following her mother’s death, and find herself in the same class as her cousin, Mathias, who introduces her to his friends, who all seem to want to date her.
Making Plans for Lena – 26th October
Ever since she broke up with Nigel, Léna soldiers on through life the best she can with her two kids. But she has yet to confront the worst: her unstoppable family of do-gooders who have decided to make her happy.
A German Youth – 27th October
At the end of the 1960s the post-war generation began to revolt against their parents. Jean-Gabriel Périot’s 2015 documentary captures a generation disillusioned by anti-communist capitalism and a state apparatus in which they believed they saw fascist tendencies.
Other new releases on MUBI
Four men and the woman who tends to their needs live in a secluded house. All former priests, they’ve been sent to this quiet exile to purge the sins of their past. Their stability is disrupted by the arrival of an emissary from the Vatican who seeks to understand the effects of their isolation.
Wildly prolific American indie boy Joe Swanberg—he’s directed eighteen features in just over a decade!—started to move from DIY filmmaking to low-budget professionalism with this film. A refreshing, shrewd romantic comedy about the hipster generation, in which love, friendship and beer mix too well.
MUBI continues to pay tribute to Takashi Miike’s inexhaustible ingenuity with this early gangster picture. Set in a Taiwan drowned by rain, Miike’s watershed themes of family and cultural displacement mutually drive the action to uncanny heights.
All That Jazz
Director/choreographer Bob Fosse tells his own life story as he details the sordid life of Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider), a womanizing, drug-using dancer.
Homeland (Iraq Year Zero)
For several months, director Abbas Fahdel filmed a group of Iraqis, mostly members of his family, in their expectation of the war; the start of U.S. strikes on Baghdad, the American invasion and its consequences.
In the Pacific Northwest during the 1950’s, two young sisters whose mother has abandoned them wind up living with their Aunt Sylvie, whose views of the world and its conventions don’t quite live up the most people’s expectations.
Bai Yide is a young man living alone. He works at a bookstore and derives sexual pleasure by stealing and wearing women’s underwear. One day, he receives a DVD in which his activities have been recorded and he becomes anxious.
Fresh from its premiere at the London Film Festival, Filipa César turns his gaze to Guinea-Bissau, where at the beginning of the 1970s the advocates of a militant cinema captured the freedom struggle and the first years of independence.
Shinjuku Triad Society
MUBI’s Takashi Miike retrospect kicks off with Shinjuku Triad Society. Livid after learning that his younger brother works as an attorney for the vicious Wang, Kiriya wages an all-out war against his adversary when the lawman’s sibling vanishes.
MUBI launches a retrospective of Pablo Larrain’s six films made in Chile with his little-seen debut — a twisted tale of insanity and infernal classical music.
Santiago de Chile, 1978. In the midst of Pinochet’s dictatorship, Raúl Peralta, a man in his 50s, is obsessed with impersonating John Travolta’s character in Saturday Night Fever. And his dream of being recognised is about to become a reality when the national television announces a contest.
MUBI’s Pablo Larraín retrospective continues with the director’s modern masterpiece about the Chilean referendum, starring Gael Garcia Bernal.
MUBB’s Pablo Larraín retrospective continues with his 2010 drama. Mario, 55, works in a morgue typing autopsy reports. In the midst of the 1973 military coup that left Pinochet in charge of Chile, he fantasises about his neighbour Nancy, a cabaret dancer, who mysteriously disappears. Mario begins a frantic search.
Shot in the months after the death of Franco, Pere Portabella’s General Report is a “documentary” shot with the techniques of a fiction film—exploring the limits of film representations. The speakers are concerned with one question: How do you go from a dictatorship to a democracy?
General Report II
Today in Spain, neoliberalist capitalism has laid waste to the middle class, unemployment is skyrocketing, the Left is a factious mess that the Right plays with ease, trust in democracy is at a new low. Pere Portabella returns in 2016 for a follow-up to his 1976 film to ask: Is it necessary to look for other forms of participatory processes?
Paris, 1967. Five university students, spend their summer vacation holed up in an apartment borrowed from a friend’s wealthy parents. They spend their time studying political texts, delivering lectures to each other, and discussing how they can apply the teachings of Mao Tse-tung to their own lives. MUBI pays tribute to the late Anne Wiazemsky with Godard’s La Chinoise, a timeless molotov cocktail of raw Maoism, pop colours and savage satire.
My Twentieth Century
Ildikó Enyedi’s 1989 comedy drama follows Dora and Lili, both born on the day Edison invents the light bulb, but separated in childhood. They follow different paths to meet again on the Orient Express, one a pampered courtesan, the other a feminist anarchist.
Accomplished and unpleasant, Please Give is an engaging and clever study of wealth, charity – and a lack thereof. Read our full review
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
You Were Never Lovelier
Available until end of: 21st October
Available until end of: 22nd October
Available until end of: 23rd October
Available until end of: 24th October
Available until end of: 25th October
Available until end of: 26th October
Under the Sun of Satan
Available until end of: 27th October
The Future Perfect
Available until end of: 28th October
Available until end of: 29th October
Available until end of: 30th October