The Weekly MUBI Digest | 3rd November 2018
James R | On 03, Nov 2018
MUBI begins a new retrospective this week for punk poet and musician F.J. Ossang, whose shorts and features – produced since the early 1980s – pull vividly from silent cinema, German Expressionism and American noir. And, with Mike Leigh’s Peterloo now in cinemas, MUBI looks back at two of the British master’s indelible efforts, counteracting the epic scale of the Amazon-backed drama with two intimate ensemble pieces. And, if you’re keen to see the director’s latest on the big screen too, use MUBI GO (which offers a free cinema ticket every week to its subscribers) to see it 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
Mike Leigh Double: Vera Drake – 3rd November
In 1950s London, Vera Drake goes on her way, bustling cheerily around, cleaning for the upper classes, looking after her family and friends and helping young women to end unwanted pregnancies. Her lifestyle is modest but happy until the police begin to close in.
Mike Leigh Double: Another Year – 4th November
Over the course of four seasons, Another Year explores the life of a sublimely happy older married couple, Tom and Gerri, and their various friends and family members, who struggle to find the happiness that Tom and Gerri have cultivated.
Guru Dutt: Pyaasa – 5th November
MUBI kicks off a trio of restorations of three films by the director of Indian classic cinema with 1057’s The Thirsty One. Vijay writes unpopular poems about the destitute and poor. Ridiculed by his brothers and scorned by publishers, Vijay finds encouragement in a woman, Gulabo, who helps him to try and get his poems published.
F.J. Ossange: 9 Fingers – 9th November
Magloire is smoking in an abandoned train station when the police show up to check IDs. He starts running until he meets a dying man from whom he inherits a fortune. Magloire is now pursued by a gang. He becomes their hostage, but accomplice too, as he doesn’t have anything to lose. (Pictured above.)
Other new releases on MUBI
MUBI Exclusive: Touch Me Not
Billed as the most controversial Berlinale Golden Bear in history, Adina Pintilie’s fearless investigation of intimacy and sexuality persuasively invites the spectator to participate in its exploratory narrative. A treatise on bodies and our perception of the Other that won’t leave you indifferent. Read our full review
Johnny Mad Dog
Immersing one deep into the inner world of a group of child soldiers in an unspecified African region, Johnny Mad Dog trades a sociological focus for a visceral, experiential approach. With style to spare, this is an undeniably powerful cinematic reckoning with human crises and global politics.
An aspiring teen pop singer lands in L.A. to try make it big, and is swallowed up by the evils of showbiz in this low-budget musical from underground filmmaker Ray Dennis Steckler, restored by Nicolas Winding Refn’s byNWR initiative and streaming platform.
“A gorgeous new restoration from the original negative, this film had long been plagued by ghastly sound and multi-generation video copies. It can now be seen in its original carefully-shot B&W detail—L.A. architecture buffs will be thrilled by the rare views of the Sunset Strip in its heyday.” —NWR
Halloween Horrors: Village of the Damned
John Carpenter reinterprets a classic of genre in this 1995 remake. An American village is visited by some unknown life form which leaves the women of the village pregnant. Nine months later, the babies are born, and they all look normal, but it doesn’t take the “parents” long to realise that the kids are not human or humane.
Halloween Horrors: We Are What We Are
This loose reinterpretation of Mexican horror film Somos lo que hay reset to upstate New York focuses on a demented patriarch and his family to tell a tale of evil of immeasurable proportions. Overwhelming dread guides this slow churn of gothic horror and familial bonds to an unforgettable finale.
Halloween Horrors: The Babadook
Jennifer Kent’s film astutely unites the wry, modern storybook incarnation with the genre’s disturbing past. The result is one of the horror movies of recent years.
Halloween Horrors: It Follows
Imagine someone walking towards you. Not very scary, is it? Wait until you see It Follows. David Robert Mitchell’s horror thriller follows Jay (Maika Monroe), who finds herself on a date gone terrifyingly wrong, when she wakes up post-sex strapped to a chair and is told that something is going to try and kill her. Why? We don’t know. Who? We don’t know that either. What we do know is that this entity will continue following her until it catches her and shuffles her off her mortal coil. It’s clever. It’s unconventional. And it’s very, very creepy. Read our full review
Halloween Horrors: The Curse of Frankenstein
Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing unite for this Hammer Studios interpretation of the Promethean tale of reanimation. Refocusing towards the moral failings of Frankenstein’s experiment, Curse immerses one fully in the existential failure and dread of Mary Shelley’s masterwork.
Halloween Horrors: Season of the Witch (1972)
Best known for ushering in the modern idea of zombies, the late George A. Romero applied an incisive level of social commentary in his underrated—even forgotten—non-undead films. Thus, the stellar Season of the Witch takes aim at the nuclear family and invokes witchcraft as an attractive answer.
MUBI Exclusive: The Apparition
After the success of Marguerite, Xavier Giannoli returns in top form for a gripping religious thriller meets Vatican exposé that sinuously delves into the mystery of faith. Vincent Lindon—in glorious Bogart mode—gives a miraculous performance as a man of reason confronting the elusiveness of truth. Read our full review
Episode of the Sea
A document of a contemporary North Sea fishery and the fishermen’s struggle with a changed public perception, fluctuating regulations, and excessive global competition, while parallels are drawn between fishing and filmmaking.
Without a hint of romanticism or sentimentality, Matteo Garrone brings together a large ensemble of characters to build a broad panorama of the cause and effects of criminal life in Naples.
The Wolf House
With echoes of animation giants Jan Švankmajer and the Quay Brothers, this gothic Chilean oddity is as nightmarish as cinema gets. Sinuously connecting Nazism and Pinochet, La Casa Lobo subverts the logic of fairy tales and the idea of home, to deliver a phantasmagoric allegory of terrifying beauty.
London Film Festival: Theatre of War
Multi-disciplinary artist Lola Arias’ first documentary is a striking experiment: an exploration of war trauma that reflects on the possibilities of artifice to activate memory and revisit History through storytelling.
London Film Festival: The Glorious Acceptance of Nicolas Chauvin
This original short by maverick American artist Benjamin Crotty, gorgeously shot by Sean Price Williams (Good Time, Listen Up Philip), is clever, silly, political, hilarious and bizarre.
London Film Festival: Yours in Sisterhood
More than looking for one definition of feminism, Irene Lusztig’s deceptively simple, wonderfully polyhedral doc embraces all feminisms. Building a bridge between the 70s and today’s world, this modern take on the epistolary genre is an affecting celebration of womanhood and the act of listening.
London Film Festival: Trees Down Here
To close MUBI’s LFF series, and direct from their visionary Experimenta sidebar, is a new work by UK artist Ben Rivers. Shot on 16mm and co-produced by MUBI, it playfully captures the delicate balance not just between past design and new innovation, but also between human creation and that of nature.
Kevin Everson: Spicebush
MUBI concludes its close-up on Everson’s distinctive work with his feature debut. Melding different registers and types of footage, an episodic, expansive view on black America emerges breathing with poetic and political pulse. A mysterious little girl is a leitmotiv, the chorus of this composition.
Kevin Everson: Ears, Nose and Throat
During an extensive, ear, nose and throat examination, Shadeena Brooks recounts a horrible event she eye-witnessed on a street in Mansfield, Ohio.
Kevin Everson: Three Quarters
Under the interrupted gaze of cinema, Kevin Jerome Everson offers us two magic tricks in this minimal tribute to the craft of street magic. An aptly mysterious object, Three Quarters at once expands Everson’s project of expressing dextrous skills while also abstracting them in further enigma.
A monthly subscription to MUBI costs £7.99 a month, with a 30-day free trial.
Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Have a Nice Day
Available until end of: 3rd November
We Own the Night
Available until end of: 4th November
Available until end of: 5th November
In the City of Sylvia
Available until end of: 6th November
Crimes of Passion
Available until end of: 7th November
Available until end of: 8th November
Available until end of: 9th November
Available until end of: 10th November
Available until end of: 11th November