A new year is seen as a clean slate by many. The first month is nearly over and the focus is putting our plans into practice.  Over at premium streaming service MUBI, February will bring a new host of films and shorts. A month that might be Neo-realistic, it’s also one with gangsters and love triangles.

February will give us a season from one of the innovators of the Italian Neorealist movement, Roberto Rossellini. The Wise Guys that will take us into the violent underworld of gangsters, a collection of films with love triangles.

JOURNEY TO ITALY: A ROBERTO ROSSELLINI RETROSPECTIVE
Germany Year Zero (1948)
Roberto Rossellini first entered the public consciousness as one of the spearheading innovators of the Italian Neorealist movement. Starting with Rome, Open City (1945), his “Neorealist Trilogy” begins with an account of the Nazi occupation of Rome during WWII and the underground movement resisting it. Paisan (1946) takes Rossellini’s scope further and tells six individual stories of the allied occupation of Italy, whereas Germany Year Zero (1948) moves to a post-war Berlin and follows a young boy who traverses the ruins of the obliterated city looking for a means to survive. As he becomes involved in an insidious black market scheme to keep himself and his family alive, it becomes apparent that for Rossellini, fascism is a calamitous ideology that destroys the innocence of all it touches, regardless of nationality.

Upon meeting his to-be wife Ingrid Bergman while filming Stromboli (1950), he began a series of collaborations with her and moved into new thematic territories focused on uncovering the complicated intricacies of romance. While a real-life scandal in Italy tainted their relationship, it led to his masterful deconstruction of marriage in Journey to Italy (1954), a film following the strained marriage of a middle-class British couple who take a business holiday only to realise they have become aliens to one another.

Rome, Open City (Roberto Rossellini, 1945) – 9th February
Paisan (Roberto Rossellini, 1946) – 9th February
Germany Year Zero (Roberto Rossellini, 1948) – 9th February
Stromboli (Roberto Rossellini, 1950) – 9th February
Machine to Kill Bad People (Roberto Rossellini, 1952) – 9th February
Journey to Italy (Roberto Rossellini, 1954) – 9th February

THE WISE GUYS

Enter the underworld with The Wise Guys collection, a programme intrigued with the violent and multifaceted lives of gangsters around the world. Takeshi Kitano’s Brother (2000) follows Yamamoto (Takeshi Kitano), a Tokyo yakuza forced to exile himself in Los Angeles. Unable to remove himself from his criminal proclivities, he organises a powerful local crime syndicate who have control over the city until the local mafia decides it wants its turf back. Meanwhile, Antonia Bird’s politically-charged Face (1997) relates the story of an ageing ex-socialist turned bank robber, Ray (Robert Carlyle). After a heist goes wrong, the gang Ray is part of, including British gangster icon Ray Winstone as Dave, starts to turn on one another, and he realises he cannot reconcile the material greed of his gang mates with his own socialist beliefs.

Brother (Takeshi Kitano, 2000) – 23rd February
Face (Antonia Bird, 1997) – 23rd February
Short Sharp Shock (Fatih Akın, 1998) – Now Streaming
The Traitor (Marco Bellocchio, 2019) – Now Streaming
Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992) – Now Streaming
Fireworks (Takeshi Kitano, 1997) – Now Streaming
The Boxer from Shantung (Chang Cheh, Hsueh Li Pao, 1972) – Now Streaming

THE MORE THE MESSIER: LOVE TRIANGLES ON FILM
Jules and Jim (1962) on MUBI
From throuples to threesomes, our special collection The More the Messier: Love Triangles on Film spotlights some of cinema’s most famous three-way love affairs. This extensive collection explores different configurations of love triangles, from polyamorous relationships to explorations of sexuality, that defy, subvert and slip away from the norms of conventional romance.

Jules and Jim (François Truffaut, 1962) – 9th February
Love Songs (Christophe Honoré, 2007) – 9th February 
A Zed and Two Noughts (Peter Greenaway, 1985) – 9th February 
Rita, Sue, and Bob Too! (Alan Clarke, 1987) – 9th February 
Spring Fever (Lou Ye, 2009) – 14th February 
Passages (Ira Sachs, 2023) – Now Streaming
Adieu Philippine (Jacques Rozier, 1962) – Now Streaming

LA ANTENA
La Antena (2007)
Esteban Sapir’s surreal and dreamlike feature La antena (2007), the first film ever shown on MUBI, returns for our 17th-anniversary celebration. Drawing inspiration from early German Expressionism and paying homage to cinematic pioneers like Murnau and Vertov, Sapir’s semi-silent film acts as an enchanting allegory about media censorship, loss of individuality and corporate control.

In a futuristic city, the residents have lost their voices to both the omnipotent Mr. TV and the nameless corporation that runs the metropolis. Mr TV is working on a sinister plan with a dangerous hypnotic machine to ensure that all life will be subjected to him forever. To achieve this, he kidnaps the only one who still has The Voice—a beautiful singer. An inventor witnesses the kidnapping and flees in an attempt to thwart approaching doom.

La antena (Esteban Sapir, 2007) – 14th February 

EIGHT DEADLY SHOTSeight deadly shots (1972)
Based on real events, Mikko Niskanen’s incensed Eight Deadly Shots (1972) follows kind-hearted Pasi, a farmer played by Niskanen himself, as he struggles to provide for his wife and four children. He supplements his income with odd-jobs, including a black market moonshine gig in the woods, until a run-in with the authorities results in a tragic shootout and four dead policemen.

Originally a four episode, five-hour miniseries, the condensed film spends the rest of its running time uncovering in flashback the poverty and conditions that led a man like Pasi to such a drastic and violent fit of despair.

Eight Deadly Shots (Mikko Niskanen, 1972) – 1st February

RED DESERT
red desert (1964)
After his Trilogy of Alienation (1960-1962) with Monica Vitti, Michael Antonioni works with her once again on the psychologically extravagant Red Desert (1964), another film concerned with humanities maladaptation to modern urban living, but now with an intense focus on the psychology of its protagonist, Giuliana (Monica Vitti).

Using industrial landscape to shoot his first film in stunning colour, Antonioni had the sets hand painted to match the internal world of Giuliana to reflect how she sees reality depending upon her mood, from gradients of bleak grey to smatterings of explosive and erotic red. Antonioini’s intricate commitment to this woman’s existential trauma is, to this day, an unprecedented undertaking.

Red Desert (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1964) – 2nd February 

THELMA
Thelma (2017)
Young college student Thelma (Eili Harboe) starts to experience extreme seizures while studying at university in Oslo in Joachim Trier’s sapphic mystery Thelma (2017). She soon learns that the violent episodes are symptoms of an inexplicable and often dangerous set of supernatural abilities, which she must contend with while attempting to resist her feelings for her new friend, Anja (Kaya Wilkins).

Thelma (2017) sees Trier move away from Oslo-based realism and into the realms of psychological feminine complexity, which he would continue to explore with The Worst Person in the World (2021).

Thelma (Joachim Trier, 2017) – 20th February

SHORT FILMS BIG NAMES
lick the star
In Sofia Coppola’s first short film, Lick the Star (1998), teenage high schooler Kate has been absent from school for a week due to a broken foot. Upon arriving, she learns her clique of friends devise a secret plan, involving arsenic, that they codename “Lick the Star”.

This bold, incisive and stylish short foreshadows Coppola’s eerie and dark depiction of high school life in her debut The Virgin Suicides and teases her career-spanning obsession with girl group dynamics. Shot in stunning black-and-white by cinematographer Lance Acord (Lost in Translation, Buffalo ‘66) and featuring Peter Bogdanovich and Zoe Cassavetes as the principal and PE teacher.

Lick the Star (Sofia Coppola, 1998) – 23rd February

MUBI UK/IE FEBRUARY 2024
01/02/24 | World of Glory | Roy Andersson | Short Films Big Names
01/02/24 | Night of the Living Dead | George A. Romero
01/02/24 | Eight Deadly Shots | Mikko Niskanen
01/02/24 | Adaptation. | Spike Jonze
02/02/24 | Red Desert | Michelangelo Antonioni
09/02/24 | Germany Year Zero | Roberto Rossellini | Journey to Italy: A Roberto Rossellini Retrospective
09/02/24 | Rome, Open City | Roberto Rossellini | Journey to Italy: A Roberto Rossellini Retrospective
09/02/24 | Journey to Italy | Roberto Rossellini | Journey to Italy: A Roberto Rossellini Retrospective
09/02/24 | Stromboli | Roberto Rossellini | Journey to Italy: A Roberto Rossellini Retrospective
09/02/24 | Paisan | Roberto Rossellini | Journey to Italy: A Roberto Rossellini Retrospective
09/02/24 | Machine to Kill Bad People | Roberto Rossellini | Journey to Italy: A Roberto Rossellini Retrospective
09/02/24 | Rita, Sue and Bob Too! | Alan Clarke | The More The Messier: Love Tirangles on Film
09/02/24 | A Zed and Two Noughts | Peter Greenaway | The More The Messier: Love Tirangles on Film
9/02/24 | Lions Love (… and Lies) | Agnès Varda | The More The Messier: Love Tirangles on Film
9/02/24 | Jules and Jim | François Truffaut | The More The Messier: Love Tirangles on Film
14/02/24 | Spring Fever | Lou Ye | The More The Messier: Love Tirangles on Film
14/02/24 | La antena | Esteban Sapir
20/02/24 | Thelma | Joachim Trier
23/02/24 | Face | Antonia Bird | The Wise Guys
23/02/24 | Brother | Takeshi Kitano | The Wise Guys
23/02/24 | Lick the Star | Sofia Coppola | Short Films Big Names
25/02/24 | Affliction | Paul Schrader | And the Oscar Goes to…




Author

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The founder of The People’s Movies, started the site 20th November 2008.The site has excelled past all expectations with many only giving the site months and it’s still going strong. A lover of French Thrillers, Post Apocalyptic films, Asian cinema. 2009 started Cinehouse to start his ‘cinema education’ learning their is life outside mainstream cinema. Outside of film, love to travel with Sorrento, Guangzhou and Manchester all favourite destinations.Musically loves David Bowie, Fishbone, Radiohead.





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By fcjyy