MUBI Announces December 2021 Lineup

Highlights include COVID-era satire Project Space 13, Argentinian political thriller AzorThe Bones executive produced by Ari Aster, and the latest from
Tsai Ming-liang and Kiyoshi Kurosawa

MUBI, the global distributor and curated film streaming service, has revealed its lineup for December including premieres, double-bills, and exclusive releases.

December offers an exciting array of five exclusive MUBI releases. The political John le Carré-tinged thriller Azor, directed by Andreas Fontana, stunned audiences across the globe this year. Downtown NY raconteur Michael Bilandic shot his COVID-era satire Project Space 13 during an unprecedented modern epidemic, creating one of the most biting releases in the last year. 

Ari Aster executive produced the Chilean short The Bones, a playfully eerie, fictitious account of the first stop-motion animated film, which premiered in Venice ‘21. Also releasing this month are Tawainese filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang’s Days (Berlinale ‘20), a breathtaking portrait of urban melancholy and human connection, plus Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s thrilling Wife of a Spy, which took home the Silver Lion (Best Director) at the Venice Film Festival.

In addition, a series highlighting some peaks of the French New Wave: Scenes from a Small Town: Short Films by Jacques Demy explores the director’s riveting underseen shorts, while The Cinema of Marx and Coca-Cola: Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960s includes some of the most acclaimed films in cinema history, from Contempt to Alphaville. 

Finally, MUBI will be highlighting the Best Films of 2021 on the platform, where you can watch MUBI releases such as State Funeral (Sergei Loznitsa), Sweat (Magnus Horn), Beginning (Dea Kulumbegashvili), as well as Slow Machine (Paul Felten and Joe DeNardo), Labyrinth of Cinema (Nobuhiko Ôbayashi), Malmkrog (Cristi Puiu), Her Socialist Smile (John Gianvito), and more!

Additional highlights from the December lineup are as follows:

EXCLUSIVELY ON MUBI
Exclusive streaming premieres from the most prestigious international film festivals and rediscovered classics selected by MUBI’s curators

THE WORKS AND DAYS (OF TAYOKO SHIOJIRI IN THE SHIOTANI BASIN)

The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin) is an all-encompassing, massive, eight-hour feature shot over 27 weeks, in a period of 14 months, set in a village of 47 inhabitants in the mountains of Kyoto. A tapestry of patient, deeply human portraiture, this immersive film allows one to fully take the time to listen and hear people out, with a performance by Tayoko Shiojiri that binds fiction and actual bereavement into a heartbreaking indeterminability.

The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin) – December 1

A remarkably assured debut from Swiss director Andreas Fontana, Azor (Berlinale ’20) invites us into the alluring world of the ultra-wealthy in late 1970s Argentina. With the country in the clutches of a military dictatorship, political violence is always simmering just under the surface. Atmospheric and slyly seductive, this sophisticated political thriller teems with exquisite scenery and ominous conversation. A MUBI Release.

Azor – December 3

Directed by Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña (The Wolf House) and executive produced by Ari Aster (Midsommar), The Bones (Venice ’21) is a fictitious account of the world’s first stop-motion animated film. Dated 1901 and excavated in 2021 as Chile drafts a new Constitution, the footage documents a ritual performed by a girl who appears to use human corpses. Emerging in the ritual are Diego Portales and Jaime Guzmán, central figures in the construction of authoritarian and oligarchic Chile.

The Bones – December 8

In Project Space 13–a Covid-19 satire that nobody asked for and yet befits the times like few other films in recent memory–Nate, an emerging performance artist, finally gets a coveted show at a Manhattan gallery, just as the city is shut down due to the virus and political riots unfold in the streets. Unbothered by the tensions bursting at the seams, he locks himself in the sterile gallery to continue his performance for an audience of zero. A complex and masterful bit of late capitalist portraiture by Michael M. Bilandic (Jobz’s World), shot by acclaimed cinematographer Sean Price Williams (Good Time, Zeros and Ones).

Project Space 13– December 10

The great Taiwanese filmmaker Tsai Ming-liang has been directing peerless examinations of alienation, isolation, and the fleeting beauty of human connection featuring his muse Lee Kang-sheng for decades. Lee once again stars as a variation on himself in Days (Berlinale ’20), wandering through a lonely urban landscape and seeking treatment in Hong Kong for a chronic illness; at the same time, a young Laotian immigrant working in Bangkok, played by Anong Houngheuangsy, goes about his daily routine, before they meet for a tryst that’s both tender and primal.

Days – December 11

ALI IN WONDERLAND

A political rallying cry against exploitation and racism, Ali in Wonderland is a breathtaking non-fiction work, shot in luminous and expansive 16mm, focusing on immigrant workers in and around Paris in the 1970s. Presented in an incredible new 4K restoration. 

Ali in Wonderland – December 15

After leaving Norway to pursue her acting career in Hollywood and Berlin, Gritt (an astonishing, award-winning Birgitte Larsen) returns to Oslo, where she manages to get an internship at an underground theater company. After she moves into their performance space, Gritt begins an anti-capitalist mission in first-time director Itonje Søimer Guttormsen’s biting and affecting portrait of the precarity of artists in contemporary society (Rotterdam ’21).

Gritt – December 22

Master filmmaker Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Pulse, Cure) won the Silver Lion (Best Director) at the Venice Film Festival for this riveting, gorgeously crafted, old-school Hitchcockian thriller shot in stunning 8K. On the eve of the outbreak of World War II, local merchant and amateur filmmaker Yusaku (Issey Takahashi, Kill Bill) discovers that his wife Satoko (Honoree Yû Aoi) must seduce, scheme, and even betray in order to outwit a ruthless secret police lieutenant (Masahiro Higashide) who adores her.

Wife of a Spy – December 24

The Cinema of Marx and Coca-Cola: Jean-Luc Godard’s 1960s

Settle in for the holiday season with this quadruple of masterpieces by the ever-essential, ever-fresh Jean-Luc Godard. Pierrot le fou, Contempt, Alphaville, and A Woman Is a Woman alone would top most great directors’ careers, but for Godard he made all four in under five years, and they’re just the tip of the iceberg.

Pierrot Le Fou – December 1
Contempt – December 11
Alphaville – December 18
A Woman Is a Woman – December 25
Scenes from a Small Town: Short Films by Jacques Demy

LE BEL INDIFFERENT 

A master of the musical, romantic comedy and documentary realism, Jacques Demy’s shorts are seldom discussed next to his towering films, like The Umbrellas of CherbourgThe Young Girls of Rochefort, and Model Shop. Thankfully, you’re in luck: we’re presenting Le bel indifferent, alongside Ars, La Luxure, and Le Sabotier du Val de Loire, which set the scene for the incredible body of work that was fleshed out in long form.

El bel indifferent – December 2

Performers We Love

A series focused on one of the simplest and most elemental of cinema’s greatest qualities: the performance. Highlighted here are career highlights from three very different actors, but all achieving their own peaks: Robert Redford in All is Lost, Jane Birkin in Je t’aime moi non plus, and Summer Phoenix in Esther Kahn.

All Is Lost – December 4
Je t’aime moi non plus– December 14
Esther Kahan – December 31

More information: mubi.com

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