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This MUBI update is stellar collection of what makes the offering great: a combination of classic cinema (a beloved Cuban masterpiece), art house movies (Antonioni’s Psycho for the art house crowd), contemporary genre films (Hong Kong gangster action!), super smart and sexy mainstream international titles and an undistributed film festival discovery. Enjoy!
Love Crime (Alain Corneau, France)
This corporate thriller stars Kristin Scott Thomas as a powerfully manipulative skyscraper boss and Ludivine Sagnier as her object of desire and torment. “The central goal of a classic whodunit is to unravel how a crime was committed. Love Crime turns that convention around—halfway through it shows exactly how a crime was committed, and then leaves the audience to figure out why it was committed in such a strange and specific way” (Paste Magazine).
Available in: Scandinavia
Land of Scarecrows (Gyeong-tae Roh, South Korea)
This selection for the Berlin International film festival the everyday life of three isolated characters who each have a dream: Jang Ji-Young, a lesbian transvestite; Loi Tan, an adopted boy from the Philippines; and Rain, ayoung Filipina who dreams of going to Korea. Their lives accidentally intertwine and face a tragic ending. Land of Scarecrows is a science fiction film about human emotions that take on surreal dimensions in dilapidated interior spaces and spread out into areas that are neither urban nor rural.
Available in: France, Belgium, Switzerland
I Am Cuba (Mikhail Kalatozov, Cuba/USSR)
This astonishing and underrated film is blessed with some of the most extraordinary camerawork in film history. Ostensibly this is Communist propaganda, celebrating the progress achieved by the Cuban Revolution and dramatizing four examples of injustice to the common man in pre-Revolutionary Cuba. Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola plucked this film from obscurity and campaigned to restore it in the early 1990s. The link that holds the film together is a spoken monologue beginning each sequence with the words ‘Soy Cuba’ (‘I am Cuba’). It’s still pushing the boundaries of pure cinema, a stirring and unforgettable experience.
Available in: United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Finland Sweden, Norway
L’avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy)
Our friends at The Criterion Collection have this to say about this Italian masterpiece from 1960: “A girl mysteriously disappears on a yachting trip. While her lover and her best friend search for her across Italy, they begin an affair. Antonioni’s penetrating study of the idle upper class offers stinging observations on spiritual isolation and the many meanings of love.”
Available in: United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Finland Sweden, Norway
Mad Detective (Johnnie To, Wai Ka-fai, Hong Kong)
One of our favorite movies here at MUBI is this gem from Hong Kong genre master To (Election, Exiled, The Mission) and his often wacky writer/producer/co-director Wai Ka-fai—his collaborator on the classic action film Fulltime Killer. 2007′s largest grossing film at the Hong Kong box office is one of the freshest and most satisfying films from that country. The traditional HK police film is turned on its head: the imaginative twist being our hero—Detective Bun (a role created for Lau Ching Wan)—who has the ability to ‘see’ people’s inner personalities or “hidden ghosts”. Breaking new ground and establishing new cinematic rules, Johnnie To’s latest giddily entertaining collaboration with Wai Ka Fai radically raises the level of storytelling in modern film.
Now available in: Germany, Austria, Switzerland
Also available in: France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Spain, Portugal, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Italy
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