The MUBI Weekly Digest | 10th August 2019
Reading time: 9 mins
MUBI kicks off some of its most exciting strands of the year this week, with the start of its summer of music, which ranges from French pop icon Gainsbourg to the fantastic Searching for Sugarman. At the same time, MUBI is showcasing highlights from last year’s Locarno Film Festival, just as this year’s edition gets underway, and to top it all off, there’s a look back at the Berlinale Silver Bear winner Christopher Petzold, whose new film Transit hits cinemas this month – and next week, the month steps up a gear again with a new Pedro Almodovar retrospective.
Want to see something on the big screen? Use MUBI Go (which offers a free cinema ticket every week to its subscribers), to see Hitchcock’s restored classic Notorious 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
Juliette Binoche: Camille Claudel 1915 – 10th August
Before shocking us all with an unexpected skill for comedy, director Bruno Dumont was admired for his radically bleak explorations of human tragedy. Juliette Binoche teamed up with him for this exploration of three days in the life of troubled sculptor Camille Claudel, who was sent to a psychiatric clinic in 1913 – a stark, absorbing portrait of a tortured artist.
Music on MUBI: End of the Century: The Story of The Ramones – 11th August
Filmmaker Michael Gramaglia’s years-in-the-making biography of the legendary punk band the Ramones traces nearly all the various and sundry peaks and valleys which the seminal rockers experienced over the course of their 20-plus year career before disbanding in 1995.
Locarno: Dead Horse Nebula – 12th August
When Hay was seven years old, he found a dead horse in an open field and watched his father and other adults struggle to get rid of it. Unsure of this memory, he is nonetheless influenced by this incident and, when he cuts himself during a sacrificial rite, everything comes flashing back.
Dutch Angle: Chas Gerretsen & Apocalypse Now – 13th August
After becoming world famous for his work as a war photographer, Chas Gerretsen was asked in 1976 by Francis Ford Coppola to capture everything on the set of his new film. This short documentary tells Gerretsen’s story through a candid interview and his photographs of the set of Apocalypse Now.
Locarno: Yara – 14th August
Young Yara lives with her grandmother in a valley in northern Lebanon, where most of the inhabitants have either died or moved abroad. One day Elias, a young hiker, passes by the two women’s farm. With him, Yara will experience the joys and pains of first love.
Christian Petzold: Phoenix – 15th August
After surviving Auschwitz, a former cabaret singer, her face disfigured and reconstructed, returns to her war-ravaged hometown to find the gentile husband who may or may not have betrayed her. Without recognizing her, he enlists her to play his wife in a bizarre hall-of-shattered-mirrors story.
Other new releases on MUBI
Before Blade Runner 2049 and Arrival, Denis Villeneuve blew minds with his twisting, confusing, scary drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Read our interview with director Denis Villeneuve – and our review of the film here.
Abbas Kiarostami directors this story of a meeting between a man and a woman in a village in Southern Tuscany. He is a British author who has just finished giving a lecture at a conference. She is French and owns an art gallery. Together they tour the village and discover that nothing is quite what it seems.
Jared Leto and Diane Kruger star in this 2009 fantasy about the last mortal human on Earth, who reflects on his life and the ones he might have led.
Too Early Too Late
MUBI’s Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet retrospective continues with this 1982 documentary that investigates the changing relationship between people, the land, and society in France and Egypt. Shot during the anxious months of 1980, it follows the Camp David Accords and later the assassination of Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat.
Eastwood: High Plains Drifter
A drifter with no name wanders into a small town, where his gun-slinging abilities are in high demand. After being met with disapproval, locals soon realize he could help them fend off a band of criminals who have been terrorizing the town. He agrees to help, but does so with his own secret agenda. Clint Eastwood’s second film as director, the film is even more notable for its divisive, controversial reception.
When elderly matriarch Hélène discovers that her health is declining, she contacts her three children about contending with her art collection after her death. As the family gathers they must decide what to do with the inherited country estate and objects, while they also grapple with her mortality.
I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone
Rawang, an immigrant from Bangladesh living in awful conditions, takes pity on a Chinese man, Hsiao-kang, who is beaten up and left in the street. Rawang lovingly nurses him on a mattress he found. When he is almost healed, Hsiao-kang meets the waitress Chyi. His love for Rawang is put to the test.
Season of the Devil
Philippines, late 1970s. A military-controlled militia is oppressing a remote village, spreading terror both physical and psychological. The fearless young doctor Lorena who opened a clinic for the poor disappears without a trace. Her husband, activist poet Hugo Haniway, attempts to find her in Lav Diaz’s typically idiosyncratic 2018 musical.
Heaven Knows What
The film that led to the Safdie brothers working with Robert Pattinson on Good Time, Heaven Knows What immerses us in the restless world of Harley, heroin junkie in today’s New York. Tangled up in the melancholy romance of a destructive relationship with Ilja, she seeks solace with another addict, Mike. Based on the experiences of Arielle Holmes, who herself plays Harley.
In a near-future 1980s, a small desert town’s Santa Claus goes to the big city in search of his wayward daughter. On that simple premise hangs this delirious punk rock collage of Cold War fears, suburban encroachment, and magic mushroom sandwiches.
The Wayward Cloud
The tender missed connection of What Time Is It There?has another chance in Taipei: Hsiao-Kang, now working as an adult movie actor, meets Shiang-chyi once again. Meanwhile, the city faces a water shortage that makes the sales of watermelons skyrocket. Can a distant love conquer (or save) all?
Christian Petzold: Barbara
In 1980s East Germany, Barbara is a Berlin doctor banished to a country medical clinic for applying for an exit visa. Deeply unhappy with her reassignment and fearful of her co-workers as possible Stasi informants, Barbara stays aloof, especially from the good natured clinic head, Andre.
On the Oaxacan coast of Mexico, tales of shapeshifting, telepathy and dealings with the devil are embedded in the colonization of the Americas. Characters from the Faust legend mingle with the inhabitants, while attempting to control nature through a seemingly never-ending building project.
Juliette Binoche: Code Unknown: Incomplete Tales of Several Journeys
Michael Haneke made his debut with this study of violence in the streets of Paris. On a busy Paris boulevard, a youth scornfully tosses a crumpled paper bag into the outstretched hands of a beggar woman. This is the bond which, for an instant, links several very different characters: an actress, a war photographer, a farmer, a music teacher, and an immigrant.
The Devil & Daniel Johnston
Daniel Johnston is a manic depressive, defiantly lo-fi, cult singer/songwriter/artist, whose work has proved inspirational to fans and musicians alike. Mixing archive material and his prodigious films, drawings and music, Johnston is revealed in this portrait of madness, creative genius, and love from Author: The JT LeRoy Story director Jeff Feuerzeig.
The Wakhan Front
Afghanistan 2014. As the army withdrawal approaches, Captain Bonassieu and his squad are on a surveillance mission in a valley on the border with Pakistan. Despite their determination, control of the remote valley will fall out of their hands. One night, soldiers begin to mysteriously disappear.
In the Siberian forest, away from any civilization, a feud is brewing between two opposing families whose houses are separated by a river. In the middle of the river stands an island where the kids of the two families are meeting on their own.
MUBI Release: Border
Tina is a customs agent with a nose for trouble. She can literally smell human emotions, which is a handy talent for sniffing out suspicious border crossers. But when a mysterious male traveller’s odour confounds her, she’s faced with hugely disturbing insights about who she is and what she wants.
Doug, an aimless former student of forensic science and aficionado of Sherlock Holmes, moves back home to Portland eager to simplify his life. Just when everything seems perfectly quiet, a mystery shakes him from his slumber. But are the signs he’s reading really evidence of foul play?
MUBI Rediscovered: Adoption (1975)
Hungarian filmmaker Márta Mészáros won the Golden Bear in 1975 for this drama, becoming the first female filmmaker to win the prestigious prize. The film zeroes in on two women: Kata, older and widowed, and Anna, a downtrodden young women kept in a children’s institution by her unloving parents.
Eastwood: Play Misty for Me
A brief fling between a male disc jockey and an obsessed female fan takes a frightening, and perhaps even deadly turn when another woman enters the picture.
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Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Border Available until end of: 10th August
Buy Me a Gun Available until end of: 11th August
The Lovers on the Bridge Available until end of: 12th August
The Man Behind the Microphone Available until end of: 13th August
O Fantasma Available until end of: 14th August
From The Clouds to the Resistance Available until end of: 15th August
Jamilia Available until end of: 16th August
Inland Empire Available until end of: 17th August
Half Nelson Available until end of: 18th August