12-02-2011 01:38 AM - edited 12-02-2011 01:38 AM
Hello everyone and welcome to the latest MUBI content update. Below are just a few highlights of some of our latest additions. Let me know what you think.
Agrarian Utopia (Uruphong Raksasad, Thailand), pictured above
We are particularly proud to host the online premiere of this new Thai masterpiece that has been little seen outside of the festival and museum circuit. The reasons are perhaps understandable—it is a challenging film that naturally but wisely mixes fiction and documentary to record and expose the conditions in the rural Thai countryside. But its lyrical beauty and arresting vision of the triumph and difficulty of a changing agrarian landscape has everything to say with today’s political turmoil in Thailand, as well as being a universal vision of the small, localized changes modernism brings to the landscape.
Available in: World
Bad Lieutenant (Abel Ferrara, USA)
We were all surprised—though in retrospect we shouldn’t have been—that Werner Herzog’s pseudo-remake of this film starring Nicholas Cage from 2009 was a different beast all of its own. That film deserves platitudes in its own right, but until we feature it on MUBI, we are joyfully forced to recommend, as they say, the film that started it all—the most well known film by America’s most underappreciated working auteur, New York cineaste-savant-madman Abel Ferrara (King of New York, Go Go Tales). Harvey Keitel in a career-topping performance takes on all the sins of the city (New York, of course) on a quest for decrepit decadence and redemption and with Ferrara casts one of the most memorable American characters in one of the most memorable American films ever made. Watch with caution (it’s very dark and very graphic), but stick with the sick vision and you will be rewarded with pure cinema.
Available in: France, Switzerland, Belgium
Polytechnique (Denis Villeneuve, Canada)
Director Denis Villenueve is now taking the international cinema world by storm with his new feature, Incendies, which recently was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film and even more recently swept the audience prize at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Before you catch his latest, see the film that put him on the map—Polytechnique stages an event based on a true story of a violent student rampage in a Montreal university. It is a searing and powerful work, shot in sharp, architecturally focused black and white cinemascope photography that charts with mathematical precision the spaces and characters interwoven around the school before, during, and after the terrible events. It is an extraordinary vision with echoes of Michael Haneke and (clearly) Gus Van Sant’s masterpiece on a similar subject, Elephant, and declared the entry of a major new filmmaking talent that, thankfully, his new film seems to confirm.
Available in: Norway
Ploy (Pen-ek Ratanaruang, Thailand)
Another wonderful Thai film by one of the directors who set that country’s cinema on the map in the early 2000s with the hit Last Life in the Universe, Pen-ek Ratanaruang. This Pen-ek film is about the erotically charged relationship between a husband, wife, and 19-year-old girl all living in the same hotel. Imagination, dreams, and, of course, sexuality drive this dreamy film by one of Thailand’s strongest visionaries.
Available in: France
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