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MUBI

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  • #2


    Pleased to see one of the greatest crime films of the last 20 years arrive today, A Prophet.

    Please watch if somehow you missed it.

    One of the more absurd Oscar **** ups was it and also the excellent The White Ribbon losing to the somewhat mediocre The Secret In Their Eyes in the best foreign film category.


  • #2


    Has anyone watched the documentary Notturno?

    It's a documentary about the aftermath of the wars in Iraq and Syria filmed over 3 years. It seems to be getting good reviews so I'll try to give it a watch over the weekend.

    I'll also check out A prophet. It looks very good also.

    I watched The King of Comedy last week on Mubi. One of Scorcese's movies that I hadn't previously seen, probably as relevant now as it was in 1982. You could view it as a follow on from Taxi driver in some ways. It's very interesting in any case.


  • #2


    Rjd2 wrote: »
    The Battle Of Algiers,,,shows the struggle from both sides, its over 50 years old but the theme of the battle to overcome colonial oppression still packs a punch today. It's very authentic and the Ennio Morricone soundtrack tops it all off. 5/5

    Saw this a few days ago myself, although I saw it on Amazon Prime. Didn't even know it was available on Mubi.
    But I agree with you on that rating. It's a fantastic film especially considering how long ago it was made. Reminds me a lot of the movies made about Ireland's struggle to rid itself of the British empire back in the 1910's & 20's, although the sentimentality of those films is removed from Battle of Algiers, for the better tbh.


  • #2


    I caught Russian Dolls last night, the follow-up to The Spanish Apartment. I really enjoyed it, although I did find myself wishing occasionally that we could see more of some of the rest of the group (Alessandro, Tobias and Soledad). As fisgon mentioned, Xavier reveals himself to have become more of an arsehole than in the first film, simultaneously searching for an impossible ideal of a perfect woman and descending ever further into cynicism, misogyny and womanising. He's sufficiently unsympathetic in most of this film that it might have put me off, were it not for the wonderful parallel storyline of William in this film, who has actually changed in the intervening 5 years unlike Xavier. I will say that the end of the film feels very pat and unearned, despite meta jokes in the script that sort of set it up.

    I'm looking forward to watching The Chinese Puzzle, but I will probably leave it a few days.


  • #2


    Legend – Ridley Scott – 1984
    You watch this for the visuals, which are impressive and creative. There is no great reimagining of the fantasy genre here; we have the old cliches; good v evil, light v darkness. Fun at times, not to be taken seriously.
    

    The Queen of Earth – Alex Ross Perry – 2015
    “I could murder you right now and no one would ever know.”
    Alex Ross Perry seems to specialise in assholes; people who are self-obsessed, misanthropic, quick to conflict. This film centres on two friends who seem to hate each other. Elizabeth Moss is great as a woman on the verge, descending into insanity. Could have given us more depth to the characters, but it is an atmospheric and intriguing watch.
    

    The Imperialists are still alive - Durra - 2010
    New York and a multitude of languages and cultures. It feels like being everywhere and nowhere; from minute to minute we get Arabic, French, Spanish, Chinese, English. The narrative is a bit uneven, but the moments of charm and humour are enough to carry the film. The story drifts, moves between seriousness and humour. Worth a watch for the portrait of New York and the mix of cultures.
    

    Inflatable sex dolls of the Wastelands – Yamatoya – 1967
    Starts off promisingly but goes off the rails later on. The portrayal of women is troubling; they are victims and objects, and there is a lot of casual sexual violence, which is exploitative. There seem to be two endings, and neither completely makes sense. Great title, but in the end rapey and disappointing.
    


  • #2


    I watched The Spanish Apartment about 3 weeks ago, I confess I was drawn in by a film set in Barcelona, I miss that city in these lockdowns. Found the film to be an enjoyable chaotic ride.
    Watched Russian Dolls tonight, the follow up, as I saw it's leaving soon. Really enjoyed it. It occurred to me the characters are the same age as I was then, and I could really identify with what they were going through. Aside from that I thought it was a good story well told. 8 out of 10


  • #2


    Oh, Legend of the Stardust Brothers has been added. An under viewed cult gem - an 80s nonsense musical full of bizarre ideas and set pieces. It doesn’t all work, but when it does it’s a trippy joy with some killer tunes and laughs.


  • #2


    Oh, Legend of the Stardust Brothers has been added. An under viewed cult gem - an 80s nonsense musical full of bizarre ideas and set pieces. It doesn’t all work, but when it does it’s a trippy joy with some killer tunes and laughs.

    The description didn't grab me but the mention of Hausu did, so I'll be watching this one.


  • #2


    Chinese Puzzle – Klapisch – 2013
    A return to form for the third film in the Spanish Apartment series – getting back the wit and energy that the first film had. Xavier now ends up in New York, and here continues the theme of a multinational planet populated by citizens of the world. Audrey Tatou seems not to age. A charming journey through a globalised world.
    

    Fight Club – Fincher – 1999
    “You met me at a very strange time in my life.”
    Just tremendous. Fast paced, funny, witty, brutal, smart. A commentary on modern masculinity, on violence, consumer culture, our divided selves. The end is almost perfect, fading out as the Pixies play and the buildings tumble. Tremendous.
    

    Cute Girl – Hsiao-Hsien – 1980
    An extremely patriarchal world, where fathers still decide who their daughter marries and the Cute Girl protagonist in the film is almost completely passive right through the story. A corny, cliched Taiwanese rom-com with an unbearable soundtrack and only a little charm saving it from complete silliness.
    

    A Prophet – Audiard – 2009
    The first 30 minutes are pretty brutal and bloody, though it settles down a little into a more familiar tale of prison rivalry, gangs and gangsterism. Malik is a compelling character, as we see him grow and build his own little empire from nothing. This is not a moral tale; there is no real justice or any emphasis on right or wrong – murder and violence are simply stuff that happens. Powerful and well-told.
    


  • #2


    A Cambodian Spring - 2017

    Documentary from Irish film maker Chris Kelly, filmed over 6 years, telling the story of cambodians protesting against development and trying to save their homes. It's very well made, if a little confusing at times. Well worth a watch though 4/5.

    Suspira - 1977

    Classic Italian Horror. I loved this even if the story is not the most linear. The use of music and effects is great. Weirdly it seems like some of the parts are in English and other parts dubbed into English which was a bit off putting but overall very good. 3.5/5


  • #2


    Involuntary (Sweden, 2008)
    Several disparate stories told in long static takes. All about the misbehaviour of individals and how they can get away with it by being complicit in group behaviour or simply by keeping schtumm, was my take.
    The long static shots reminded me of the magnificent Roy Andersson. About Endlessness is on Mubi, I'm sure some of you have seen his films. If anyone hasn't, I'd recommend diving into his earlier ones, About Endlessness is really the fourth part of a trilogy.


  • #2


    dead pigs https://www.imdb.com/title/tt7476810/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0 , a bit formulatic , if that's a word. Still , if you go along with this it's a decent engouh film.


  • #2


    Meshes Of The Afternoon (Maya Deren 1943)

    A 15 minute film. A dream/nightmare like surreal silent short. Pretty sure David Lynch has seen this. Some innovative stuff going on here for 1943.


  • #2


    Watched Chinese Puzzle today, and really enjoyed it - truth be told I've really liked all 3 films in the trilogy, but I did find Xavier's arseholeness in the 2nd film a bit grating since he's the protagonist. Chinese Puzzle overcomes that and even sort of addresses it, in that while he's still clearly a very self-absorbed individual he also clearly takes seriously the importance of being a present and engaged father for his children, and
    he even sees, and challenges, his own former behaviour in Isabelle when she starts her affair with the babysitter
    . 5 days left to watch it if you want to round out the trilogy, and I reckon it's well worth doing so if you liked the first film.


  • #2


    Yeah, I enjoyed the Spanish Apartment trilogy. Was nice to catch up on the characters, even though I watched them all within a month. I thought Chinese Puzzle was very good in that regard. A charming trilogy.


  • #2


    Zombi Child.
    Deadly.

    Edit: I thought this was great. Would have been a long and covoluted post to review it.


  • #2


    Fire will come (2019)

    The real star of this movie is the Galician countryside. Some stunning cinematography is on show throughout.

    As for the the cast and characters here, we never really get to know them or their backstory all that well. There's a razor-thin plotline that goes nowhere & by the end, nothing is resolved & questions have been left unanswered. Slightly disappointed by it. 2.5/5

    Leaving tonight if anyone is still interested.


  • #2


    Lionbacker wrote: »
    Fire will come (2019)

    The real star of this movie is the Galician countryside. Some stunning cinematography is on show throughout.

    As for the the cast and characters here, we never really get to know them or their backstory all that well. There's a razor-thin plotline that goes nowhere & by the end, nothing is resolved & questions have been left unanswered. Slightly disappointed by it. 2.5/5

    Leaving tonight if anyone is still interested.

    I had a similar impression; this is all about the natural world, and the humans play a distant supporting role. It had potential, but it neglects character and story.


  • #2


    Computer chess – Bujalski - 2013
    A mockumentary nerd-extravaganza. There is an interesting idea here, but it keeps going down blind alleys and taking diversions that lead nowhere. There is some exploration of AI before AI really existed (the film is set in the 80s), but it is too bitty to really work and never commits to any of its many random ideas. Two and a half.
    

    Los conductos – Restrepo – 2020
    A film that never goes anywhere. There is a germ of an interesting story here, but the film does everything it can to waste the opportunity to explore this story. The central character does stuff, wanders around, says some things. There is an attempt at philosophising, but it is mostly half hearted. Pseudo-intellectual, profoundly boring.


    El Sicario Room 164 - Rosi – 2008
    One man, one room, a pen and some paper. Nothing else, and yet this is riveting, chilling, impactful. Hard to watch and hard to stop watching. A tale of violence as a way of life, as a way of controlling people and money and a whole country. The insanity of a place where 25% of trainee cops are already working for the narcos. Simple and devastating.
    

    Stardust Brothers - Tezuka - 1985
    A mild satire on the manufactured pop of the eighties, but really the satire is pretty weak. If you are not a fan of eighties Japanese pop, then this could be a long slog. Has energy and some humour, but not enough.
    


  • #2


    Oh man, Audition is the new one showing now. One of my favourite films of all time. A masterpiece.

    Edit: If you haven't seen it, go in to it cold.

    Kiri kiri kiri


  • #2


    wasn't too gone on El Sicario Room 164 , thought it was too long and not exactly riveting. Definately shows up the country though. It got 7.1 on imdb so that and figson well outweighs me


  • #2


    Audition is one of those films that made a mark on me when I saw it. It turning up on Mubi reminds me of why I took the plunge and subscribed


  • #2


    BACURAU

    Brazilian movie, based on a community in rural Brazil, more or less cut off from the outside world. Things take some pretty bizarre turns in this one and it has the feel of a western in parts.

    It is one I really enjoyed, don't want to say too much other than it is very much worth your while. It was a big hit in Brazil and won the Jury prize in Cannes.

    4/5


  • #2


    adrian522 wrote: »
    BACURAU

    Brazilian movie, based on a community in rural Brazil, more or less cut off from the outside world. Things take some pretty bizarre turns in this one and it has the feel of a western in parts.

    It is one I really enjoyed, don't want to say too much other than it is very much worth your while. It was a big hit in Brazil and won the Jury prize in Cannes.

    4/5

    Yeah, this is a tremendous, bonkers film...... :) Definitely worth watching.


  • #2


    wasn't too gone on El Sicario Room 164 , thought it was too long and not exactly riveting. Definately shows up the country though. It got 7.1 on imdb so that and figson well outweighs me

    One thing I have learrned from the last year of watching MUBI is that there is no right answer when it comes to rating films.

    I have lost count of the number of times I have watched a highly rated film and hated it..... :) (Fellini's 8 1/2 springs to mind).


  • #2


    adrian522 wrote: »
    Has anyone watched the documentary Notturno?

    It's a documentary about the aftermath of the wars in Iraq and Syria filmed over 3 years. It seems to be getting good reviews so I'll try to give it a watch over the weekend.


    I'll also check out A prophet. It looks very good also.

    I watched The King of Comedy last week on Mubi. One of Scorcese's movies that I hadn't previously seen, probably as relevant now as it was in 1982. You could view it as a follow on from Taxi driver in some ways. It's very interesting in any case.

    I watched all 3 Gianfranco Rossi documentaries that are currently available in the Irish Mubi.
    Overall I found his style interesting. From reading articles I understand his filming falls mostly in the category of observational documentary and Notturno would be the best example where the camera just shoots and doesn't really interact with the subject.
    Rossi's subjects have a sociological aspect to them, and he seems to be interested in how people fit in their environments. If I'm honest I found the subjects of the 3 films only mildly interesting

    I watched chronologically (from oldest) starting with Below Sea Level (2008) which was the least appealing to me. The film shows everyday life in Slab City, a kind of squatter communal in Southern California. Initially I was intrigued to see how people live but none of them was particularly interesting and I got bored very quickly

    El Sicario, Room 164 (2010) was completely different as it all takes place in a hotel room. The sicario of the title describes his life of crime in Juarez. What I found interesting is the contrast between the severity of what he describes and the childlike drawings which was the only visualisation we got. I couldn't really connect with the character (maybe because I couldn't see his face) and it felt a bit longer than 85 minutes, overall though I found it good.

    Notturno (2020) was the one I liked most. Not the masterpiece that everyone is talking about, but an easy film to watch. Here there isn't any real narrative: Rossi places the camera and documents scenes of everyday life in 4 regions of Middle East affected by war. This isn't always obvious (except for a few direct references to ISIS) and I think this is actually a positive as you forget about it and just watch life passing by in front of your eyes. There is very little dialogue too and the editing feels a bit random: certain scenes/characters return a few times but I couldn't find a specific pattern. Some very beautiful cinematography and great use of the surroundings, ambience and sounds. There is also a Q&A in the end between Rossi and Alejandro Gonzales Innaritu where Rossi explains his process a little bit. I would recommend it but not as a top priority - it is removed in 3 days anyway, not sure if it is part of the library.


  • #2


    Nicolas Winding Refn's Pusher is up as of today, also Mads Mikkelsen's debut. Think they'll be putting up the other two as well. So my viewing sorted for tonight.


  • #2


    protonmike wrote: »
    Nicolas Winding Refn's Pusher is up as of today, also Mads Mikkelsen's debut. Think they'll be putting up the other two as well. So my viewing sorted for tonight.

    Watched the first 2 recently, hell of a cast a lot of "that's your man" type moments.:P

    A reminder as well that Refn was really good at one stage, rather oddly his commercial peak was Drive and then he fell of a cliff with some absolute pretentious ****e. His recent Amazon prime show was grim in its crapness.


  • #2


    A mostly 4 star MUBI week for me this week....


    Tigerland – Schumacher – 2000
    The US Army during Vietnam; a haven for psychopaths and autocrats, a place of beatings and humiliation. Behind it all is an awareness of the futility of the war itself, the pointlessness of it, embodied by Colin Farrell’s character, Bozz, who sees through the bull****. Echoes of Apocalypse Now, especially when they get to Tigerland itself. Powerful and compelling. Colin Farrell carries it impressively.
    

    The Fountain – Aronofsky – 2006
    Visually striking, an exploration of obsession and grief. Two parallel stories, one a mirror of the other gives the film a clever, imaginative beginning, but it loses its way a little as it goes on. Towards the end it gets repetitive and even pretty silly; the tree of life turns out to be a sperm-tree! Also, the monk – what was that about? Two and a half.
    

    That cold day in the park – Altman – 1969
    Another Altman film where we could be in Britain or America – there are accents from both, but no geographic markers. This adds to the sense of slight strangeness, as if we were in this netherworld where nothing is really clear or explained. Cars drive on the right and English people play lawn bowls. Then there are hints of incest, a young man who may be dumb and some hash cookies. An intriguing, dark tale of loneliness and obsession.
    

    Audition – Miike – 1999
    It all kicks off in the last 20. Up to then it is an intriguing watch with elements of thriller, romance, family drama. To me, the ending ruins it a little; not enough is explained and it goes for shock over subtlety. Still, a unique, troubling experience. If she seems too good to be true, she probably is :-)
    


  • #2


    Silvia Prieto - 1999 - Argentina

    Low budget indie of the 20 somethings going through life type. I enjoyed this, there's a droll deadpan humour to it I liked. I also like a low/no budget kind of movie, hadn't seen one in a while.

    Which brings me on to another film. I see Mubi has changed their layout, on the tv app anyway. There's a section called American Indies, which I hadn't seen before. I think it's a new addition? A movie is in there that I saw back in the 90's mists of time.

    In The Soup - 1992

    A young Steve Buscemi is Adolpho, a broke aspiring film maker in this low/no budget indie. Struggling to pay his rent, he decides to put an epic script he's working on for sale. Enter Joe, (Seymour Cassel, on brilliant form) who agrees to buy it. Jennifer Beals also stars, as Adolpho's neighbour. I'll leave the rest.
    I thought this was great. Cassel puts in a wonderful performance in this film of people on the margins.
    I assume it's the black and white version that's up there. The studio insisted on a colour version also being available. I've also seen this. The b/w version is the film maker's version and is the one to watch.


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