The Weekly MUBI Digest | 23rd March 2019
James R | On 23, Mar 2019
MUBI begins a look back at the subversive comedy of Todd Solondz this week. The director’s not afraid of exposing the perversities (and the tenderness) of the American suburbs in his own dark satirical style, which makes for an ideal follow-on to the streaming service’s series of Los Angeles-themed movies, including David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive and David Robert Mitchell’s Under the Silver Lake, released in cinemas and online last week. All that and an ongoing retrospective of Luis Buñuel? There’s little reason to leave the house – but you can also use MUBI Go (which offers a free cinema ticket every week to its subscribers), to see The White Crow at participating cinemas.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Bad Lieutenant – 23rd March
Master of transgression Abel Ferrara scored a cult hit with this gritty, New York, Catholic-guilt crime saga, which stars an unforgettable Harvey Keitel at a manic, unhinged peak. His Lieutenant is a corrupt, exploitative and drug-addicted cop steeped in gambling debt. The mob gives him an ultimatum: pay off his debt or get killed. When he learns that a hefty reward is being offered to whoever catches a pair of thugs who raped a nun, he jumps at the opportunity.
Luis Buñuel: The Milky Way – 26th March
On a pilgrimage of sorts, two tramps take a journey through time and space on their way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Jesus, the Holy Virgin, the Marquis de Sade, Death and bishops, nuns, priests, prostitutes, vagabonds, and 20th Century bourgeoisie debate all matter of Christian paradoxes.
Todd Solondz: Palindromes – 28th March
A fable of innocence: thirteen-year-old Aviva Victor wants to be a mom. Her sensible parents thwart her, but, undeterred, she runs away…
Todd Solondz: Life During Wartime – 29th March
A decade on from the squeamishly unforgettable Happiness, divisive filmmaker Todd Solondz returns to the lives of the same neurotic, sexually perverted and crushingly lonely characters (all played by different actors) in modern day Miami.
Other new releases on MUBI
MUBI Exclusive: Under the Silver Lake
When aimless slacker Sam wakes up one morning to find his beautiful neighbour Sarah has vanished without a trace, he embarks on a quest across the city to find her. A delirious neo-noir mystery about the murkiest depths of scandal and conspiracy in the Hollywood Hills. Andrew Garfield stars in the new film from David “It Follows” Robert Mitchell. Read our full review
Robert Siodmak: Phantom Lady
It’s time for things to get shadowy, cynical, and dangerous: This week our double feature is a pair of sinister noirs by one of the genre’s best, German ex-pat Robert Siodmak. A dark, gleaming gem of a picture, you won’t soon forget Ella Raines’s femme nor Elisha Cook Jr.’s manic jazz freak-out.
Robert Siodmak: The Killers
Second in our double bill on film noir extraordinaire Robert Siodmak is American landmark thriller The Killers, starring the alluring Ava Gardner and Burt Lancaster in his first ever role! Based on a short story by Ernest Hemingway this is a feat in suspense building through flashback storytelling.
Chico & Rita
The colours of Cuba are something out of this world. That’s what made Fernando Trueba team up with designer Mariscal to tell the story of its golden years through animation. A melancholic and visually ravishing homage to the profound magic of the island, and one of its masters, pianist Bebo Valdés.
With Now Apocalypse currently airing on STARZPLAY, don’t miss the chance to go back to see New Queer Cinema pioneer Gregg Araki at his peak with this incendiary coming-of-age drama, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Los Angeles: Mulholland Drive
Aspiring actress Betty (Naomi Watts) arrives in LA and befriends an amnesiac woman (Laura Harring) and tries to help her recover her memory. David Lynch’s masterpiece blurs Hollywood fantasies and noir dreams into one intoxicating nightmare.
Los Angeles: Los Angeles Plays Itself
Of the cities in the world, few are depicted in and mythologized more in film and TV than the city of Los Angeles. One of the great films about films, Thom Andersen gradually builds his thesis about how Hollywood has represented, and misrepresented, its hometown, carefully weaving together footage from films made in or about the city.
Los Angeles: Detour
Shot in only six days, Detour is one of the great noir classics of the 40s, whose fingerprints are all over Under The Silver Lake. As he hitchhikes his way from New York to Los Angeles, a down-on-his-luck nightclub pianist finds himself with a dead body on his hands and nowhere to run—a waking nightmare that goes from bad to worse when he picks up the snarling, monstrously conniving drifter Vera, a vicious femme fatale.
Los Angeles: Drive
What do you do?” asks Carey Mulligan, sitting nervously in the kitchen. Ryan Gosling stands still. He says nothing. Then, after a few seconds, he smiles slowly. “I drive,” he says. That’s pretty much all there is to Drive, which follows the transformation of his loner from car mechanic into Man with No Name. It’s a self-aware mix tape of Taxi Driver, a Western, and classic 60s European thrillers, but Drive has a pace all of its own.
Los Angeles: They Live
MUBI begins a new series looking at Los Angeles in cinema with John Carpenter’s seminal dystopia. A streetwise drifter discovers a pair of sunglasses which allow him to see subliminal messages hidden behind every billboard, newspaper, and TV commercial in America, as well as the true faces of the masked aliens walking among us, intent to dominate our world in secret.
Luis Buñuel: Diary of a Chambermaid
MUBI’s Luis Buñuel retrospective kicks off with this wicked adaptation of the Octave Mirbeau novel. Jeanne Moreau is Celestine, a beautiful Parisian domestic who, upon arrival at her new job at an estate in provincial 1930s France, entrenches herself in sexual hypocrisy and scandal with her philandering employer (Michel Piccoli).
Luis Buñuel: Belle de Jour
Frigid, beautiful young housewife Séverine cannot reconcile her kinky, sadomasochistic imagination with her everyday life alongside dutiful husband Pierre. She starts an afternoon job in a local, high-class brothel under the name Belle de Jour while her husband is away at work. Luis Buñuel’s dark comedy about desire is one of his biggest successes.
The Missing Picture
MUBI partners with the London Human Rights Watch Film Festival to jointly present this Oscar nominated doc by Cambodian master Rithy Panh, which revisits history through the lens of media creation, delivering a powerful, utterly moving meditation on memory and resistance.
“Isn’t life disappointing?” This adage from Ozu’s Tokyo Story echoes through Microhabitat, a tender comedy of disenchantment told in a delightfully vignetted story. Jeon Go-woon’s debut film is a wise meditation on livelihood and the beauty of freedoms both vast and small amidst an unforgiving city.
Sally Potter: Orlando
This adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s classic novel is the tale of the young aristocrat Orlando, who begins an epic quest for love and freedom in the court of Elizabeth I as a man, and completes the search 400 years later as a woman, shaking off their biological and cultural destiny along the way.
Sally Potter: Ginger and Rosa
Elle Fanning and Alice Englert deliver starmaking turns in Sally Potter’s coming-of-age drama. It’s 1962. Britain is in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis. And that fear mixes with a growing self-awareness that sends young Ginger (Fanning), whose best friend (Englert) becomes the object of her father’s affections, into a tailspin of swiftly fleeting innocence.
Nina and Wojtek are a couple in a stagnant marriage, desperate to conceive a child. When they randomly meet Magda, Wojtek believes they may have found a suitable surrogate mother. However, the fiercely independent Magda awakens a repressed desire in Nina, causing events to spiral out of control.
The Portrait of a Lady
Nicole Kidman stars in Jane Campion’s stunning update of Henry James’ novel. In late 19th century Europe, resolute young American Isabel Archer rejects a proposal from her English cousin, and falls prey to the schemes of two expatriates, an independent and worldly woman, and a dilettante artist with little means but enough cunning to woo Isabel.
Kazuhiroo Soda: Inland Sea
Forsaken by the era of modernization of post-war Japan, Ushimado is rapidly aging and declining. Its rich, ancient culture and the tightknit community are also on the verge of disappearing. This documentary poetically depicts the twilight days of a village and its people by the dreamlike Inland Sea.
Kazuhiroo Soda: Peace
Peace is a film composed by a master observer—harmonizing an intimate portrait of an elderly couple with an erudite meditation on the nature and the function of peace in modern life.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
A Foreign Affair
Available until end of: 23rd March
Available until end of: 24th March
Available until end of: 25th March
Available until end of: 26th March
Available until end of: 27th March
Notebook on Cities and Clothes
Available until end of: 28th March
Available until end of: 29th March
The Maidens of Fetish Street
Available until end of: 30th March
Available until end of: 31st March