The Weekly MUBI Digest | 6th April 2019
James R | On 06, Apr 2019
MUBI is at its versatile best this week, as On the Road kicks off a road trip around world cinema. From dark US comedy, courtesy of Todd Solondz, to Iranian cinema and poetry, MUBI’s journey across the globe also looks back at Luis Buñuel’s greatest satirical comedy, makes room for an insightful double-bill exploring Irish history and identity, and shines a spotlight on one of Poland’s most exciting new filmmakers.
And, if you’ve enjoyed The Beat My Heart Skipped (currently on MUBI), you can also use MUBI Go (which offers a free cinema ticket every week to its subscribers), to see Jacques Audiard’s latest, The Sisters Brothers, 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
On the Road – 6th April
Director Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries) brings Jack Kerouac’s definitive Beat novel to the big screen. Kristen Stewart, Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund star in the tale of aspiring writer Sal Paradise, who meets Dean Moriarty, a charming ex-con married to the liberated and seductive Marylou. Sal and Dean bond instantly, and the three take to the road. Travelling across the country, they encounter a mix of people who impact their journey indelibly.
Todd Solondz: Dark Horse – 7th April
Abe, a fat, mid-30-something lives with his parents and works for his dad. Uncool and socially inept, he alternates between politeness and rage. Abe invents a reciprocal romance with the beautiful, overmedicated depressive Miranda. In his self-delusion, he proposes marriage. Shockingly, she accepts.
Fifi Howls from Happiness – 8th April
Bahman Mohassess was a celebrated artist at the time of the Shah in Iran. But audiences often took offence at the pronounced phalli on his sculptures and his work was regularly censored. Director Mitra Farahani discovers he is living in Rome and begins to craft a final biography, in his own words and on his terms. As Poetry in Motion, a season showcasing emerging voices in contemporary Iranian cinema through Persian poetry, kicks off at the Barbican, MUBI joins in with this portrait of an artist dubbed by some as the “Persian Picasso”.
Luis Buñuel: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie – 9th April
Six guests, endless possibilities! Luis Buñuel’s Oscar-winning classic is a fiendishly witty comedy bouncing through reality, dreams, faith, sex, and revolution with the lightest, cheekiest touch.
The Irish Connection: The Image You Missed – 10th April
After travelling around festivals worldwide in 2018, Donal Foreman’s documentary essay film sees the director go in search of his estranged father’s life through his footage of the Northern Irish conflict. Foreman draws on three decades of unique, never-before-seen archive, deftly weaving together a history of the Troubles in Northern Ireland with his own search for the dad he barely knew, Irish-American political filmmaker Arthur MacCaig.
The Irish Connection: The Patriot Game – 11th April
Arthur MacCaig’s 1978 partisan and radical documentary, tells the story of the Northern Irish conflict, covering Ireland’s history from British colonisation to the territory’s division in 1922. It then details the events of the decade beginning in 1968, witnessing street riots, police violence and firebomb attacks, while analysing the rebellion.
MUBI Auteurs: Fugue
MUBI pays tribute to the distinct voice of emerging director Agnieszka Smoczynska with this 2018 drama about Alicja, who suffers from memory loss and has rebuilt her own free spirited way of life. Two years later, she returns to her former family to assume (against her will) her role as wife, mother and daughter.
Other new releases on MUBI
Agnès Varda: Le Bonheur
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
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.
byNWR: She-Man: A Story of Fixation
“Evidence indicates that She-Man’s currently missing, original negative elements do survive, but more rocks have to be turned to find them. This high-definition version, remastered from the best 35mm print source, was digitally cleaned up, while keeping the fairly rough look of the ‘artifact.’”–NWR
MUBI Debuts: Drift
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.
The Myth of the American Sleepover
Four years before It Follows, David Robert Mitchell broke into the American indie scene with this sweet yet unsentimental teen movie starring non-professional actors.
The Beat That My Heart Skipped
Jacques Audiard (A Prophet) delves into Paris’ criminal underworld with this cool drama about a talented pianist (Romain Duris) who is set to follow in his thuggish father’s footsteps in the sleazy and sometimes violent world of real estate, neglecting his music career following the death of his mother. Then a chance encounter leads him to believe that he can become, like her, a concert pianist.
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
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.
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.
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.
Luis Buñuel: Tristana
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.
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 Portrait of a Lady
Available until end of: 6th April
Available until end of: 7th April
Available until end of: 8th April
Available until end of: 9th April
Diary of a Chambermaid
Available until end of: 10th April
Chico & Rita
Available until end of: 11th April
Available until end of: 12th April
Under the Silver Lake
Available until end of: 13th April
Los Angeles Plays Itself
Available until end of: 14th April