The Weekly MUBI Digest | 9th February 2019
James R | On 09, Feb 2019
MUBI’s Berlinale takeover continues apace this week, with new films from Sergei Loznitsa and Jula Murat, while talent closer to home comes in the form of both Richard Ayoade, whose Submarine is an endearingly awkward Valentine’s Day gift, and Andrea Arnold, whose masterpiece Fish Tank won Best British Film at the BAFTAs in 2010.
For those catching up with awards season on the big screen, meanwhile, you can use MUBI Go (which offers a free cinema ticket every week to its subscribers) to see If Beale Street Could Talk 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
Wim Wenders: Paris, Texas – 9th February
Paris, Texas follows the mysterious, nearly mute drifter Travis (a magnificent Harry Dean Stanton, whose face is a landscape all its own) as he tries to reconnect with his young son, living with his brother in Los Angeles, and his missing wife.
Awards 2019: Fish Tank – 10th February
This 2009 film sees 15 year old Mia get a little too close to her mum’s boyfriend (Michael Fassbender). Shot in an apartment block with a raw immediacy, it won the Jury Prize at Cannes – announcing Andrea Arnold as one of Britain’s most exciting filmmakers. A free-wheeling, intimate drama that captures the claustrophobia of council flat living, and (like many of Arnold’s films) captures the rolling Essex landscape with the shadow and colour of a Constable painting. Superb.
Berlinale: Pendular – 11th February
A couple composed of a male sculptor and a female dancer split their empty loft with a strip of orange tape to mark their respective working space, a divide which changes the nature of their relationship. Gradually the young artists’ works bleed together and inspire one another.
Hong Sang-soo: Claire’s Camera – 12th February
Film sales assistant Man-hee is working in Cannes but is abruptly fired halfway through the festival. Now unmoored, she strikes up a friendship with Claire, a French teacher and first-time visitor to the festival. By chance, Claire also becomes friends with Man-hee’s boss and Korean filmmaker So.
Berlinale: Victory Day – 13th February
Every year, on the 9th of May, people gather in Treptower Park in Berlin. They come dressed in their best outfits or in Soviet military uniform. They carry flags, banners and posters, they sing, dance and drink. They celebrate the victory of the Soviet Union over Nazi Germany.
Submarine – 14th February
Richard Ayoade’s gently hilarious coming-of-age story is quality naval gazing cinema.
Berlinale: Brothers of the Night – 15th February
Soft boys by day, kings by night. The film follows young Bulgarian Roma who come to Vienna looking for freedom and a quick buck. They sell their bodies as if that’s all they had. What comforts them, so far from home, is the feeling of being together. But the nights are long and unpredictable.
Other new releases on MUBI
Awards 2019: Tyrannosaur
Olivia Colman deserved all the awards for her heartbreaking turn in Paddy Considine’s powerful, intense drama about domestic abuse, co-starring an excellent (and entirely loathsome) Eddie Marsan. Read our full review
Awards 2019: Children of Men
Alfonso Cuaron’s remarkable dystopian sci-fi, starring Clive Owen, only feels more relevant 12 years after it was released. Read our full review
Central Airport THF
From its storied history glorified by the Nazis and enshrined for its role in the Berlin Airlift, Berlin’s Tempelhof is probably the world’s most famous airport. Karim Aïnouz’s striking documentary explores the essential role it has today, housing refugees in its astounding, repurposed architecture.
Berlinale: Hotel Dallas
1980s Romania. The TV show Dallas becomes a huge hit and inspires a young woman to immigrate to America. Playfully mixing fiction and documentary, Hotel Dallas is a surreal parable of communism, capitalism, and the power of art.
Laura Huertas Millán: Black Sun
Like the black sun of an eclipse, Antonia is a lyrical singer of exuberant and dark beauty. Recovering from a suicide attempt in a rehabilitation institution, all her family ties are irreparably broken. But her sister remains deeply affected by what happened. May they reunite once again? MUBI kicks off a triple-bill dedicated to Laura Huertas Millán with this 2016 short documentary.
Laura Huertas Millán: La Libertad
MUBI continues its run of Laura Huertas Millán short docs, as matriarchs assemble around a backstrap loom, a pre-Hispanic technique preserved by indigenous women of Mesoamerica. Unfolding like a weaving of figures and the gestures making up this labor, the film circulates between a domestic space, an archaeological museum, and a weavers’ cooperative.
Spike Lee: Inside Man
A tough detective matches wits with a cunning bank robber, as a tense hostage crisis is unfolding. Into the volatile situation comes a woman named Madeleine, a mysterious power broker who has a hidden agenda and threatens to push the situation past the breaking point. Wall Street, America and injustice collide in Spike Lee’s gripping bank heist blockbuster.
Spike Lee: Do the Right Thing
Spike Lee’s initial masterpiece is an incendiary reckoning with American racism in the microcosmic neighbourhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, as we follow a pizza delivery boy over the course of the hottest day of the year.
MyFFF: Keep an Eye Out
MUBI begins a trio of titles from this year’s My French Film Festival with Quentin Dupieux’s absurd new comedy. Keep an Eye Out places asinine slapstick and ingenuous dialogue in the ripe confines of a police interrogation to chaotic, hilarious and cathartic effect.
MyFFF: Let the Girls Play
The true, kick-ass story of the first female football team in France, this comedy puts the macho alpha males of the late 60s back in their place, and scores with every joke.
MyFFF: Black Tide
Dany, the Arnault family’s teenage son, has disappeared. The case is assigned to François Visconti, a world-weary and disillusioned detective. He sets out to find the missing teenager while he is reluctant to take care of his own son, Denis, 16, who seems to be mixed up in drug trafficking. Erick Zonca returns with a fiercely dark and twisting thriller, led by an unforgettably volatile Vincent Cassel.
Wim Wenders: The American Friend
Jonathan Zimmerman, a picture framer who suffers from a fatal disease, crosses paths with Tom Ripley, who trafficks in forged artworks. Drawn into an underworld of shady gangsters, Zimmerman is tempted to commit murder for a sum of money that would ensure the welfare of his family after his death.
Wim Wenders: Kings of the Road
A roving film projector repairman saves the life of a depressed psychologist who has driven his car into a river, and they end up on the road together, traveling from one rural German movie theater to another. Along the way, the two men, each running from his past, bond over their shared loneliness.
With 2019 marking the 40th anniversary of Joy Division’s first album, Unknown Pleasures, go back to the band’s story with Anton Corbijn’s flawlessly composed monochrome portrait of Ian Curtis, played with intensity by Sam Riley.
byNWR: Satan in High Heels
This 1962 exploitation pic stars Meg Myles as Stacey Kane, a voluptuous burlesque dancer who robs her drug-addicted husband, then skips town and heads for the Big Apple, where she finds work at a high-end strip club.
“The film was the project of some of the main purveyors of underground S&M and fetish art of the time, including producer Leonard Burtman. Discovered in a closed film lab, the original 35mm negative underwent hours of painstaking repairs to picture & soundtrack, which had begun to deteriorate.” –NWR
Les Unwanted de Europa
MUBI handpicks some favourites from last year’s Rotterdam Film Festival, with Fabrzia Ferraro’s 2018 road movie delving into the meaning of exile by confronting human vulnerability with the immensity of landscape.
Spring, 1941. 16-year-old Toshihiko attends school in the coastal town of Karatsu, where his aunt cares for his ailing cousin. Immersed in the seaside’s nature and culture, Toshihiko soon befriends the town’s other extraordinary adolescents as they all contend with the war’s gravitational pull.
Hong Sang-soo: Right Now, Wrong Then
MUBI’s Hong Sang-soo retrospective continues with his wickedly conceptual comedy of melancholy and life choices. Two dueling narratives of varying possibilities, chance, and outcome, all of Hong’s storytelling gambits pay off in this Golden Leopard winner.
Hong Sang-Soo: On the Beach at Night Alone
Young-hee visits a friend in Hamburg to nurse a broken heart with all the enthusiasm of the romantic drifter abroad. Meanwhile, back in Gangneung and with the soju flowing, Young-hee questions the social attitudes that have punished her relationship with a married film director.
Hong Sang-soo: Yourself and Yours
Painter Youngsoo hears secondhand that his girlfriend, Minjung, has recently had (many) drinks with an unknown man. This leads to a quarrel that seems to end their relationship. The next day, he sets out in search of her, at the same time that Minjung has a series of encounters with strange men.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Available until end of: 9th February
Island of the Hungry Ghosts
Available until end of: 10th February
Charlie Wilson’s War
Available until end of: 11th February
Nobody’s Daughter Haewon
Available until end of: 12th February
Alice in the Cities
Available until end of: 13th February
Available until end of: 14th February
Available until end of: 15th February
The Blues Brothers
Available until end of: 16th February
Keep an Eye Out
Available until end of: 17th February
Let the Girls Play
Available until end of: 18th February