The Weekly MUBI Digest | 30th March 2019
James R | On 30, Mar 2019
MUBI bids farewell to the pioneering, prolific and delightful Agnès Varda this week. Nine years after MUBI curated the first streaming retrospective of her work, MUBI presents a weekend devoted to the French New Wave auteur, who passed away at 90.
MUBI also continues its look back at the subversive comedy of Todd Solondz and its 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 Jafar Panahi’s Cannes Screenplay prize winner 3 Faces 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
Agnès Varda: Le Bonheur – 30th March
Francois faces a dilemma when he finds himself falling in love with an attractive postal worker. He is married to the good-natured, beautiful Thérèse, who raises their children at home. What follows is a detailed study of adult fidelity and happiness, with major repercussions for all those involved.
Agnès Varda: Vagabond – 31st March
A stark portrayal of the defiant young drifter Mona. Found frozen at the beginning of the film, her story is stitched together through flashbacks told by those who she encountered before her death, producing a splintered portrait of an enigmatic woman.
Luis Buñuel: Tristana – 2nd April
One of the director’s landmark films, adapted from Benito Pérez Galdós’ novel and starring Catherine Deneuve. An idiosyncratic assault on bourgeois moralism, set in the conservative Spain of the 1930s, it follows the eponymous young woman, whose mother dies, leading her to be entrusted to the guardianship of the well-respected libertine aristocrat Don Lope, who seduces the woman, setting her on a path to bitterness and manipulation.
MUBI Debuts: Drift – 3rd April
Two women spend a weekend in the North Sea. One of them will soon return home, whereas the other one will try to come a step closer to the ocean. The film then sets off with the traveler on her journey by bicycle, car, on foot and by boat, through fantastic landscapes and on endless bodies of water. German director Helena Wittman’s feature debut first premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2017.
Other new releases on MUBI
Todd Solondz: Palindromes
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
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.
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.
A wealthy and emotionally remote investment banker receives a strange birthday present from his slacker younger brother: a voucher for a game that promises to change his life. However, things soon take a dangerous turn. With no one left to trust and his money gone, he must find answers for himself.
A cinematic original opening a window to a nation in turmoil, Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos scored an unexpected Oscar nom for his hyper-offbeat Dogtooth. His follow-up, Alps, has to be seen to be believed: an exquisite widescreen comedic vision of the world’s most unusual trauma therapy group, including a nurse, a gym coach, a gymnast and a paramedic.
MUBI Shorts: I Hope I’m Loud When I’m Dead
MUBI’s spotlight for outstanding new shorts shines on two-time Rotterdam Tiger Award winner Beatrice Gibson. Reframing our current political moment in intimate terms, Gibson’s urgent snapshot of social calamities doubles as a document of practical resistance. Pauline Oliveros’ music and the words of poets CAConrad and Eileen Myles imbue images of street riots and refugee migration with graceful complexity.
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.
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
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.
MUBI Exclusive: Microhabitat
“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.
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: 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.
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.
Luis Buñuel: The Milky Way
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.
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.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
The Maidens of Fetish Street
Available until end of: 30th March
Available until end of: 31st March
Ginger and Rosa
Available until end of: 1st April
Available until end of: 2nd April
Available until end of: 3rd April
Available until end of: 4th April
Available until end of: 5th April
The Portrait of a Lady
Available until end of: 6th April
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Available until end of: 9th April
Diary of a Chambermaid
Available until end of: 10th April