The Weekly MUBI Digest | 8th June 2019
James R | On 08, Jun 2019
MUBI’s Claire Denis and Straub + Huillet retrospectives continue this week, but June also marks the start of month-long Pride celebrations on the streaming site, beginning with Tom Ford’s masterful, moving A Single Man.
For those looking for a big screen experience, you can use MUBI Go (which offers a free cinema ticket every week to its subscribers), to see Gloria Bell at participating theatres.
What’s new, coming soon and leaving soon on the subscription service? This is your weekly MUBI Digest:
This week on MUBI
Pride: A Single Man – 8th June
It’s hard not be completely enraptured by some films. Detailing a single day in the single life of Professor George Falconer (a magnificently restrained Colin Firth), A Single Man sees the Brit dealing with the loss of long-term partner Jim (Matthew Goode) in a car accident. Tom Ford’s direction lingers on his costume design – the dark glasses, the brown suits – but the screen erupts with a radioactive intensity during moments of genuine connection. A closet homosexual during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Colin’s day is drained of colour, then it flares into bright, posterised life, all blue contact lenses and orange skin. The result occasionally looks like an advert, but the transient gloss makes you feel every glorious, aching second.
MUBI Undiscovered: In Praise of Nothing – 11th June
Nothing might not have a promising name, but it’s an enterprising character. Tired of being misunderstood, it runs away from home and travels across eight mountain ranges and eight seas while commenting on all it sees—contemplating life, death, politics, and the meaning of life, all in simple verse. Boris Mitić’s self-described “whistleblowing documentary parody” pursues the personification of “nothing,” exploring what can be captured when nothing is happening.
Claire Denis: Beau Travail – 12th June
Loosely based on Herman Melville’s Billy Budd, and set against Djibouti’s sun-drenched desert and coast, Beau travail focuses on a French Foreign Legion outpost, run under the strict discipline of sergeant Galoup. The arrival of new recruit Sentain awakens a burning jealousy within Galoup.
byNWR: Bad Hair – 14th June
Junior is a boy with “bad hair”. He wants to have it straightened for his yearbook picture, which triggers a wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother. The more Junior tries to look sharp and make his mother love him, the more he’s rejected, until he’s face to face with a painful decision.
Other new releases on MUBI
Claire Denis: Nenette and Boni
Claire Denis’ fifth feature is set in Marseille, where Boni (Grégoire Colin) gets an unexpected visit from his pregnant fifteen-year-old sister Nénette (Alice Houri). Winner of the Golden Leopard at the 1996 Locarno Film Festival.
The Front Page
Though in the shadow of His Girl Friday, Billy Wilder’s own underrated adaptation of the classic Hecht and MacArthur comedy remains a first-rate farce: a satire showcasing star performances from not just the go-to duo of Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau but as well, Carol Burnett and Susan Sarandon.
MUBI Debuts: Holiday
A perilous, violent love triangle unfolds over a Turkish Riviera vacation between a beautiful young Danish girl, her possessive drug lord boyfriend, and the free-spirited, yacht-owning Dutch traveller she flirts with.
Even in death, British reporter Joe Strombel is dedicated to completing his final piece. During a magician’s performance in London, he hands tenacious journalism student Sondra the scoop of a lifetime. All the clues, however, are leading to the aristocrat she has dangerously fallen in love with.
MUBI Auteurs: Sophia Antipolis
Sophia Antipolis is a technology park on the French Riviera, nestled between the sea, the forest and the mountains. Sophia is also the name of a missing young woman. A group of vigilantes, members of a sect and women seeking plastic surgery wander around and look for some sort of connection.
While We’re Young
An entertainingly awkward tale of growing pains, this mature comedy of manners sees Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts play a couple whose marriage has descended into stale routine – until they meet Jamie (Adam Driver) and Darby (Amanda Seyfried), a hipster couple with energy to spare. The result is an astute study of the gulf that can open up between generations.
MUBI Luminaries: The Lion Sleeps Tonight
In honour of Jean-Pierre Léaud’s 75th birthday, MUBI presents Nobuhiro Suwa’s The Lion Sleeps Tonight, an intimate tale about an actor forced to confront his past is an elegant meditation on life, love, mortality, and an inspiration for a new generation.
Lost in La Mancha
After Terry Gilliam finally finished The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, there’s never been a better time to go back to this definite cult classic – the documentary about his troubled, seemingly interminable production, and the cinematic epitome of Murphy’s Law.
byNWR: Orgy of the Dead
A pulp author and his wife are stranded in a graveyard and become slaves to the undead, in this horror fantasy written by Ed Wood.
“Restored from the pristine original 35mm negative, the film is presented in its correct 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio, unlike previous poor home video versions. The estate of the director maintained excellent materials, so we were able to use the quality source for this ultimate camp treasure.” —NWR
Cannes: Only God Forgives
Ryan Goslin and Nicolas Winding Refn teamed up again after Drive to make Only God Forgives. If the former lightly tip-toed around the discotheque of darkness, then this is an all-out Danse Macabre. A gnarly and lubricious film that lambadas its way through an assortment of big themes like honour, masculinity and Oedipal rage. With karaoke.
Cannes: The White Ribbon
Tracing the genesis of a fascist ideology as it develops and swiftly proliferates in a small community, Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or winner is a prescient parable in stark black-and-white cinematography.
Cannes: Norte, The End of History
Transplanting Dostoyevsky’s epic “Crime and Punishment” to the director’s native Philippines, Norte may be the most accessible offering from director Lav Diaz, even shooting the whole picture in colour.
Cannes: The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
A key film from the Romanian New Wave, this pitch-black and Kafkaesque contemporary comedy reveals the myriad nuances involved in the quest for human care.
Cannes: We Need to Talk About Kevin
Nine agonizing years after Morvern Callar, Lynne Ramsay returned to Cannes with another literary adaptation. Radically reimagining the nature-or-nurture novel, Ramsay—and star Tilda Swinton—transform the text into a chilling film rightfully venerated for its unforgettable visual language.
Cannes: Wild Tales
Damián Szifron’s wicked anthology of Argentine comedy shorts is dark, violent and hilarious.
Entering genre territory and remarkably pushing its boundaries, this desert odyssey from Oliver Laxe is a spiritual western and a daring invitation to jump into the unknown.
Cannes: Amores Perros
Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo Arriaga’s thriller, which sees three characters connected in Mexico City by one fateful car crash, is brutal, powerful, visceral filmmaking.
Cannes: Force Majeure
MUBI’s Cannes takeover kicks off with Ruben Ostlund’s superbly spiky comedy. It follows a Swedish family who travel to enjoy a few days of skiing. The slopes are spectacular but, during a lunch at a mountainside restaurant, an avalanche turns everything upside down. Tomas and Ebba’s marriage now hangs in the balance as Tomas struggles desperately to reclaim his role as family patriarch.
Josephine Decker: Madeline’s Madeline
Madeline has become an active member of an experimental theatre troupe. When its ambitious director pushes Madeline to weave her rich interior world and her troubled relationship with her mother into their collective art, the lines between performance and reality begin to blur.
Josephine Decker: Butter on the Latch
At a balkan folk festival deep in a California forest, Sarah reunites with her old friend Isolde for a trip of stories and sensations, as they embrace the lush natural surroundings. But when Sarah meets and decides to seduce a handsome male camper, reality and myth become hopelessly entangled.
Josephine Decker: Thou Wast Mild and Lovely
MUBI’s Josephine Decker retrospective concludes with her second feature, partly funded on Kickstarter, which follows Akin, who takes a summer job on Jeremiah’s farm and develops an attraction to Jeremiah’s daughter, Sarah. The budding relationship unveils Jeremiah’s jealousy. But Akin has secrets too, and as they begin to surface, his attempts to cover them up lead to a twisty, mesmerising finale.
Straub + Huillet: Eyes Do Not Want to Close at All Times
A faithful adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s classic tragedy Othon, set amid ruins in modern-day Rome. With the play, the film examines the process by which events enter our cultural mainstream, and the process by which their use as part of a communications system is transformed into Culture.
Straub + Huillet: History Lessons
A shot from a car coursing through Rome in 1972 opens this interpretation of Brecht’s unfinished experimental novel The Business Affairs of Mr. Julius Caesar. In a second part set in contemporary Rome, a young researcher discusses the economic and political manipulation that drove Caesar to power.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Available until end of: 8th June
A Most Violent Year
Available until end of: 9th June
Out of Sight
Available until end of: 10th June
Available until end of: 11th June
Available until end of: 12th June
The Angels’ Share
Available until end of: 13th June
Available until end of: 14th June
Available until end of: 15th June