The Weekly MUBI Digest | 7th April 2018
James R | On 07, Apr 2018
MUBI marks the start of a new month with a new season dedicated to legendary filmmaker Douglas Sirk. An influence on everyone from Todd Haynes to John Waters, Sirk’s films present a bold, haunting glimpse at the troubled underbelly of middle class America, and MUBI pays tribute to him with a string of subversive melodramas from the 1950s.
Sirk’s work joins an unbeatable selection of films from female directors, from honorary Oscar winner Agnès Varda and Ildikó Enyedi to Kathryn Bigelow – and a hand-picked trio of titles from Lynne Ramsay. And did we mention a chance to catch Wes Anderson’s debut film too?
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Dolls – 7th April
Takeshi Kitano is best known internationally for his hyper-masculine yakuza films, yet belying his tough exterior is a tender and even romantic soul. Dolls unleashes this disposition in a free-form experimental love story resplendent with great feeling, mystery, and of course, hard earned cynicism.
Magnificent Obsession – 9th April
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.
Angela Schanelec: Marseille – 12th April
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.
Other new releases on MUBI
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.
Directed by Women: Ishtar
Famous for ending the career of its director, Elaine May’s screwball bromance was a flop when released, but it’s time for the comedy to be reevaluated. It sars Warrenn Beatty and Dustin Hoffman astTwo terrible lounge singers get booked to play a gig in a Moroccan hotel but somehow become pawns in an international power play between the CIA, the Emir of Ishtar, and the rebels trying to overthrow his regime.
Wes Anderson’s 1996 debut, co-written with Owen Wilson, follows three best friends, who stage a robbery of a bookstore. Silly, warm and whimsy? That’s Wes, alright.
As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Glimpses of Beauty
Is there a more prolific and passionate filmmaker than Jonas Mekas? MUBI partners with the Serpentine Galleries and the Lithuanian Institute to bring you one of the avant-garde pioneer’s landmarks, a home movie epic, a monument to intimacy—and a strong contender for most evocative film title ever.
As You Are
Winner of the Special Jury Award at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, this revives the existential purgatory that was the 90s for a complicated interrogation of youth and sexuality amidst the confused decade.
Angela Schanelec: Passing Summer
MUBI begins a retrospective of under-seen contemporary director Angela Schanelec with a tenderly enigmatic drama that reveals a group of friends, family and lovers dispersed yet connected as people yearning for fulfilment.
Cafe de FLore
Before Wild, Big Little Lies and Dallas Buys Club, French-Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée made this delicate 2012 gem – a tragic, euphoric, ingeniously structured love story starring Vanessa Paradis.
Directed by Women: Strange Days
Before The Hurt Locker and the realism period that followed, Kathryn Bigelow was known for darkly stylized efforts in genre, of which Strange Days stands at the fore. Uncanny political predictions, a timely original soundtrack, and perfect aesthetics altogether form a zenith of 90s American culture.
Directed by Women: Documenteur
Made during Agnès Varda’s brief stay in Los Angeles in the early 1980s, this small-scale fiction traces the alienation of a recent divorceé newly arrived in L.A. with her young son (played by Varda’s own son). This meditative portrait of urban isolation overflows with subtle visual poetry.
Directed by Women: Diary for My Children
Ildikó Enyedi is not the first outstanding female cinematic voice to come out of Hungary. We’re proud to present the pioneering, legendary Márta Mészáros with this autobiographical coming-of-age story in the Stalinist era—a superb reflection on the crossover between the personal and the historical.
Directed by Women: Battles
A rigorously shaped essayistic journey into the iconography and culture of war, Battles bravely carves an observational argument from various countries propagandistic efforts to form a worthy challenge to André Bazin’s famed thesis that there’s perhaps no such thing as an anti-war film.
Directed by Women: Caramel
Lebanese director Nadine Labaki made quite a splash with her sensual, funny debut film, winning acclaim that began with its premiere at Cannes and only gathered more force. Labaki is one to watch: a triple threat, she wrote, directed and starred in this charming ode to female friendship.
Godard and the Dziga Vertov Group: Wind from the East
MUBI continues its Dziga Vertov Group series with this oddball Marxist western playfully set against a pastoral backdrop and featuring Anne Wiazemsky and Gian Maria Volonté. With a propagandist voice-over and characters breaking the fourth wall, Godard and Gorin dismantle the idea of cinema as entertainment.
Godard and the Dziga Vertov Group: Vladimir and Rosa
MUBI concludes its Godard season with this 1970 interpretation of the Chicago Eight trial, where Judge Hoffman becomes Judge Himmler (who doodles notes on Playboy centerfolds), the defendants become a microcosms of the French Revolution, and Godard and Gorin play Lenin and Karl Rosa, respectively, discussing politics and cinema.
Directed by Mati Diop (35 Rhums), Atlantiques recounts the odyssey of Senegalese friends who attempt a life-threatening boat crossing. Melancholic and mysterious, the film urgently and elegantly addresses the perils of illegal migration.
February in the French Alps. Vanina likes to hear the chalet’s parquet floor squeaking beneath her bare feet. Vanina likes to coat herself in sunscreen cream in front of the fireplace. Vanina likes the tawny fur of her rabbit. But above all, what Vanina likes is her American babysitter, Mary Jane…
Best-known for B-movie thriller Cat People, the Technicolor Canyon Passage reminds us that Jacques Tourneur was a master of the western as well. It follows businessman Logan Stuart – Dana Andrews in one of the best performances of his career — who is torn between his love of two very different women in 1850s Oregon, and his loyalty to a greedy banker and compulsive gambler friend who goes over the line.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Meshes of the Afternoon
Available until end of: 7th April
My Friend from the Park
Available until end of: 8th April
Available until end of: 9th April
No Man’s Land
Available until end of: 10th April
The Last Picture Show
Available until end of: 11th April
Wasteland No. 1: Ardent, Verdant
Available until end of: 12th April
Available until end of: 13th April
Available until end of: 14th April
The Battle of Algiers
Available until end of: 15th April
By the Time It Gets Dark
Available until end of: 16th April
Struggle in Italy
Available until end of: 17th April