The Weekly MUBI Digest | 28th April 2018
James R | On 28, Apr 2018
MUBI pays tribute to legendary Czech New Wave pioneer and two-time academy award winner Miloš Forman, who passed away earlier this month, with all-new digital restorations of two of his trailblazing pre-Hollywood works.
And, continuing its spirit of looking to the past, to commemorate the 50 years anniversary of the May 68 events, MUBI brings a double-bill of two films that either reflect on the sorrowful effects and consequences of the relative failure of the movement, or witness the sheer subversiveness and revolutionary ideals of the era – including online global premiere of new restoration of Romain Goupil’s Mourir à 30 ans.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Divorce American Style: The Squid and the Whale – 27th April
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 – 28th April
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 – 29th April
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.
Douglas Sirk: There’s Always Tomorrow – 30th April
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.
byNWR: Night Tide – 1st May
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.
May 68: Mourir à 30 ans – 2nd May
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: Sympathy for the Devil – 3rd May
A collage of The Rolling Stones rehearsing Sympathy for the Devil in the studio as they composed material for their forthcoming Beggar’s Banquet album, Black Power revolutionaries and a TV interview with one Eve Democracy about the relationship between culture and revolution.
Angela Schanelec: The Dreamed Path – 4th May
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.
Other new releases on MUBI
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.
This Is the End
What if the apocalypse was actually one of those drunken house parties you went to as a teenager? What if it was populated by pretentious, narcissistic, obnoxious individuals you would normally avoid, but you got drunk and your friend who is driving you home wants to stay at the party so you’re stuck there? That’s This Is the End, a knowing, self-aware comedy about celebrities playing themselves. It’s fun, but not quite the LOL-pocalypse that was prophesied. Read our full review
Los Angeles, circa 1920s, a little immigrant girl in a hospital recovering from a fall, strikes up a friendship with a bedridden man. He captivates her with a whimsical story that removes her far from the hospital doldrums into the exotic landscapes of her imagination. Tarsem Singh’s 2006 fantasy is visually jaw-dropping.
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.
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).
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
Based on a novella by Stephen King, Frank Darabont’s horror flick actually manages to be darker than the original book. What is hiding within the mist when a group of people are trapped inside a small-town supermarket? That’s only the start of it.
The Nothing Factory
When management begins to sell off equipment at a factory that makes elevator parts, the workers become nervous about their job security. As they weigh their options, including a strike and a tongue-in-cheek suggestion at an armed response, the workers are forced to continue showing up at work.
Pollack in the 80s: Absence of Malice
Sydney Pollack has directed some of the most gripping political films of his era, and thus we open his double bill with this incisive inquiry into the power of the free press. Irresistibly unpredictable storytelling weaves a web of intrigue around two true originals: Sally Field & Paul Newman.
Pollack in the 80s: Tootsie
Known for his difficult temperament, down-on-his-luck actor Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) finds work on a trashy daytime soap opera by disguising himself as a woman by the name of Dorothy Michaels.
Gastón Solnicki: Kékszakállú
Its title may be impossible to remember, but its images are impossible to forget. Gastón Solnicki’s third feature boasts a magnetic, drifting beauty as it navigates privilege in an exquisite choreography of bodies and spaces that feels at once meticulously orchestrated and remarkably alive.
Gastón Solnicki: Papirosen
An inquiry into the pervasive memory of World War II and its many effects on Jewish identity, Papirosen finds the uniquely talented Gastón Solnicki avoiding the usual faults of self-portraits. The result is a graceful consideraion of post-war Jewish identity and the collective memory of a family.
Douglas Sirk: Magnificent Obsession
Reckless playboy Bob Merrick (Rock Hudson) crashes his speedboat, requiring emergency attention from the town’s only resuscitator while Dr. Phillips dies waiting for the life-saving device. Merrick then tries to right his wrongs with the doctor’s widow, Helen—falling in love with her in the process.
Douglas Sirk: All I Desire
In 1900, Naomi Murdoch deserted her small-town family to go on the stage. Some ten years later, daughter Lily invites Naomi back to see her in the Riverdale high school play.
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: Marseille
Marseille describes an interlude in the life of young Berlin photographer Sophie. Wanting a change, Sophie does an apartment swap, so she can go photograph the city of Marseille, and most of all get away from Berlin.
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
Available until end of: 28th April
Available until end of: 29th April
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As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty
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As You Are
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Cafe de Flore
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