The Weekly MUBI Digest | 23rd September
James R | On 23, Sep 2017
MUBI kicks off one of its best retrospectives yet this weekend, with a look back at the work of Chilean director Pablo Larrain. The filmmaker was snapped up by Hollywood to make the Oscar-nominated biopic Jackie, but has been no stranger to questions of politics, history and identity. Over the coming weeks, MUBI delves into his Chilean films, from his debut, Fuga, to the superb No and the unique Neruda.
Pablo’s in good company, as MUBI also continues its Maurice Pialat retrospective – a love letter to a filmmaker who didn’t want to be loved – and is still streaming its transcendental new Western, Mimosas, after its cinema release. (You can read our interview with Mimosas director Oliver Laxe here – and catch up with his debut below too.)
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Police – 23rd September
MUBI’s Maurice Pialat season continues with his 1985 drama, which stars Gerard Depardieu as a Parisian cop who specialises in interrogations, using intimidation to the point of sadism. His efforts to bust a Tunisian drug racket go awry, however, when he falls into an affair with a sultry, defiant liar (Sophie Marceau), who is the girl of one of the criminals.
Please Give – 24th September
Accomplished and unpleasant, Please Give is an engaging and clever study of wealth, charity – and a lack thereof. Read our full review
Tony Manero – 25th September
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.
Under the Sun of Satan – 28th September
Two years after Police, Maurice Pialat reunited with Gerard Depardieu for this religious-inflected drama. Despite the encouragement of Dean Menou-Segrais, Father Donissan doubts his vocation. When the young Mouchette, who has killed her lover, turns to him, he condemns her and drives her to suicide. One evening, walking down a country road, he passes a horse dealer in whom he recognises Satan.
The Future Perfect – 29th September
It’s not very often that a film is smart and modest at the same time. German-born, Argentina-based Nele Wohlatz has made an impossibly humble comedy, unassumingly clever and irresistibly warm, so empathetic in capturing what being a foreigner feels like, that will restore your hope in humanity.
Other new releases on MUBI
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.
A Nos Amours
In a revelatory film debut, the dynamic, fresh-faced Sandrine Bonnaire plays Suzanne, a fifteen-year-old Parisian who embarks on a sexual rampage in an effort to separate herself from her overbearing, beloved father. À nos amours is one of Maurice Pialat’s greatest achievements, continuing MUBI’s retrospective season.
A young junior hockey player’s life is shattered by an in-game act of violence. In an instant his life is abruptly turned upside down; torn from the fraternity of the team and the coinciding position of prominence, he is cast as a pariah and ostracised from the community.
You Were Never Lovelier
Fred Astaire is paired with the luminous Rita Hayworth, an actress best-known as a noir femme fatale, but is, in fact, a trained (and very beautiful) dancer. The rest may be pure poppycock, but who cares, with Fred and Rita doing “Shorty George”?
A Month in Thailand
Standing defiantly apart from the political ambitions of the Romanian New Wave, this pleasantly surprising story of a young man’s romantic follies – though invested in themes of love and relationships – remains at turns as emotionally unpredictable in sensibility as other gems of the New Wave.
The Great Wall
The US-Mexico wall might grab all the attention, but aren’t we surrounded by them? MUBI hosts the online premiere of this documentary that looks at the migration crisis in the eye by surfacing the resonance of Kafka’s universe in today’s Europe.
The State I Am In
MUBI begins its Berlin School double-bill with Christian Petzold’s razor-sharp debut, co-written with Harun Farocki and marking the director’s move from TV to the big screen. A couple with a criminal past have been living on the run with their 15-year-old daughter. When their money is stolen, they must return secretly from Portugal to their native Germany, a journey during which Jeanne’s teenage development coincides with the violent disintegration of the family cell.
The City Below
MUBI completes a Berlin School double-bill with Christoph Hochhäusler’s 2010 German drama, which follows a man and a woman at an art exhibition, who share a fleeting moment of attraction that neither can act upon. Days later, a chance second meeting leads to an innocent coffee and the two strangers – both married – toy with their unexplainable fascination with each other.
MUBI exclusively presents Mimosas simultaneously with cinemas. Laxe’s latest film finds the director entering genre territory and pushing its boundaries. A spiritual western, a desert odyssey and a daring invitation to jump into the unknown. Read our interview with Oliver Laxe.
The Mouth Agape
MUBI’s Maurice Pialat retrospective continues with his third film, where he dissects human selfishness and vulnerability with a surgeon’s precision. Monique is dying. Around her gather her unfaithful husband, her son, who is like his father, and her daughter-in-law. We observe them playing with life as she dies.
Based on the novel by James Franco, Palo Alto sees Franco play a soccer coach who hits on one of his young students. Gia Coppola’s film, though, opens up the ensemble drama to create an affecting, sincere portrait of youth in California. Read our full review
A plunge into one of today’s most prestigious schools of cinema: La Fémis in Paris.
The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers
Oliver Laxe’s debut is described by MUBI as a “beguiling collaboration with Ben Rivers —half behind-the-scenes of Laxe’s Mimosas, half delirious journey into the abyss of creation”.
We Won’t Grow Old Together
MUBI begins its close-up on Maurice Pialat’s work and a celebration of his uncompromising vision with this portrait of an on-again, off-again affair: Jean (Jean Yanne) and Catherine (Marlène Jobert) are a couple whose every move charts an advancement deeper into an internal war zone. Theirs is the classic and the tragic case of an emotional abuse centred around a perplexing, but powerful, interdependency.
This visually stunning feature debut perfectly captures the misty waterways and solitary lives of a Northern Argentinean community. Armed with sumptuous black-and-white photography and an affectionate and sensual sensibility, Santiago Otheguy’s film is a key work from the New Argentine Cinema.
Stockholm My Love
Fresh from its theatrical release, MUBI presents the first foray into fiction of Mark Cousins, who teams up with cinematographer Christopher Doyle and singer Neneh Cherry for a city symphony that delves into grief and trauma. Read our full review.
MUBI & ICA join forces to release Jorge Thielen Armand’s vibrant and vital film, which captures the lives of real people in Venezuela’s current social and political climate. The movie follows José, a young father who discovers that the dilapidated mansion he occupies is soon to be demolished. Desperate to save his family from homelessness, José begins a search for a cursed treasure that has long said to be buried in the house.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Available until end of: 23rd September
Available until end of: 24th September
Available until end of: 25th September
Available until end of: 26th September
Moana with Sound
Available until end of: 27th September
Love Torn in a Dream
Available until end of: 28th September
Available until end of: 29th September
Available until end of: 30th September