The MUBI Weekly Digest | 15th June 2019
Updated 15-06-19 | 08:01 AM | Staff Reporter
Reading time: 8 mins
MUBI continues its month-long Pride celebrations this week, which joins its Straub + Huillet retrospective to make for a wonderfully diverse line-up of films – not least of which is Lav Diaz’s latest offering, which enjoys its online premiere.
For those seeking a big screen premiere, you can use MUBI Go (which offers a free cinema ticket every week to its subscribers), to see Diego Maradona 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
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – 15th June
A writing assignment lands a journalist and his sidekick on a business trip in Las Vegas. Before long, a suitcase of mind-bending pharmaceuticals and nonstop neon has them forgetting the business part of their trip. Based on Hunter S. Thompson’s legendary tale.
Straub + Huillet: Moses and Aaron – 17th June
Moses and Aaron transforms Schoenberg’s opera on the familiar Biblical tale into a borderline-surreal cinematic opera of seemingly endless possibility. In expressive tones, the pair debate God’s true message and intent for His creations, a conflict that leads their followers towards chaos and sin.
Pride: Deep in Vogue – 18th June
This revitalising act of resistance offers an insightful look at Manchester’s fascinating Voguing community, an invigorating paean to the power of minorities, and a timely reminder about the beauty of difference.
MUBI Luminaries: A Lullaby to the Sorrowful Mystery – 21st June
After hosting the first-ever global retrospective of Lav Diaz, we’re thrilled to continue giving rare access to this essential Filipino storyteller with the online premiere of his prize-winning historical saga. Immerse yourself in this epic journey through the chaos of the Philippine Revolution.
Other new releases on MUBI
Pride: A Single Man
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.
The great Martin Scorsese made his artistic arrival with his third feature, and by our counts, his first masterpiece: Mean Streets is a fiery and emotionally charged New York story articulated through the beginning of Scorsese’s baroque style. Starring Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro & Amy Robinson.
With the beguiling 16mm Mercuriales, Virgil Vernier emerged fully formed as one of the most original & distinctive new aesthetes in French cinema. A disorienting debut feature that elevates the most everyday and banal situations of contemporary life to the metaphysical, otherworldly, and ethereal.
MUBI Undiscovered: In Praise of Nothing
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
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.
We’re thrilled to have Thai filmmaker and social media celebrity Nawapol Thamrongrattanarit back on MUBI! Focusing on the last day in the lives of six unrelated characters, the film takes a luminous approach to the inevitability of death, becoming an ode to those things that make life worth living.
byNWR: Bad Hair
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.
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
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.
A monthly subscription to MUBI costs £9.99 a month, with a 30-day free trial.
Last chance to stream: Titles leaving MUBI soon
Paranoid Park Available until end of: 15th June
Only God Forgives Available until end of: 16th June
Wild Tales Available until end of: 17th June
Norte, The End of History Available until end of: 18th June
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu Available until end of: 19th June
We Need to Talk About Kevin Available until end of: 20th June
Mimosas Available until end of: 21st June
Amores Perros Available until end of: 22nd June
The White Ribbon Available until end of: 23rd June