Here are some highlights from new additions to MUBI‘s online cinema:
King Boxer a.k.a. Five Fingers of Death (Jeong Chang-hwa, Hong Kong), pictured above
This iconic kungfu film was an international sensation under the title “Five Fingers of Death,” a popularity continuing through Tarantino using its theme music in Kill Bill. Elegant swordplay à la King Hu (A Touch of Zen) is exchanged for the masculine bone-crunching and blood letting of Chinese fisticuffs. An essential, brutally exciting film in the genre.
The Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film of 2009, Campanella’s film centers on Benjamin (Ricardo Darín ), who becomes determined to find the real culprit of an old murder that he believes wasn’t properly solved—a quest that is depicted with a style that effortlessly juggles romance, comedy, suspense and political commentary.
The classic 17th century French novel on the rules of romance and society, La princesse de Clèves, is here adapted to include…”dirt bike races, hot sex, and naked hockey players”? Leave it to visionary filmmaker Andrzej Żuławski to find the mania in such a restrained source. The terrific cast includes Sophie Marceau, Pascal Greggory, Guillaume Canet and Michel Subor.
Flat out my favorite film from 2009 is the new work be Resnais, an auteur famous for his groundbreaking high art films made at the height of the French New Waves, Hiroshima, mon amour and Last Year in Marienbad. But he’s never made a movie as madcap, melancholy and downright bizarre as this one, a borderline uncomfortable tale (from a director who loves Woody Allen and Curb Your Enthusiasm) of an aging man’s fantasy-filled infatuation with an aviatrix. Does she love him? Is he stalking her? Is all this in his mind? Resnais seamlessly weaves between the light and the dark sides of human nature, reveries of the mind and startling realities of fate.
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