July At MUBI Will Be Forbidden And Intimate

The days are counting down until July will be with us before you know it. The temperature maybe getting hotter outside, over at MUBI things are about to get hotter online . It will be a ‘forbidden and Intimate‘…

From renowned provocateur Paul Verhoeven (Elle, Basic Instinct), Benedetta (2021) – the subversive erotic drama based on the true story of a 17th century nun entangled in a forbidden lesbian affair – arrives exclusively on MUBI this month.

Virginie Efira stars as the titular Benedetta, a nun who, devoted to the Virgin Mary as a child, is granted entry to the Theatine Convent of the Italian city of Pescia. As an unwaveringly faithful adult, Benedetta’s religious fervour begins to manifest in increasingly sensual and violent visions of Jesus. These hallucinations arouse the suspicions of Charlotte Rampling’s shrewd abbess, Sister Felicita, whose distrust grows when a farm girl called Bartolomea (Daphné Patakia) enters the convent seeking refuge, and quickly develops an attraction to Benedetta.

Set to the backdrop of a country overcome by a gruesome plague, this outrageous cinematic spectacle is a mischievous and unique twist on the period drama. Verhoeven’s intoxicating latest is a transgressive and alluring look at faith, power and religion, and is every bit as scandalous as you would expect from the controversial filmmaker.

Benedetta (Paul Verhoeven, 2021) – 1st July

Alongside the release of Benedetta, MUBI presents a focus on an additional selection of transgressive Nunsploitation films, including the recently restored Mother Joan of the Angels (1961). The films range from art cinema to erotica – often set within the repressive confines of convents – criticising religious hypocrisy and the constraints placed on women.

Mother Joan of the Angels (Jerzy Kawalerowicz, 1961) – 6th July
Visions of Ecstasy (Nigel Wingrove, 1989) – 19th July
The Sinful Nuns of Saint Valentine (Sergio Grieco, 1974) – 25th July


This July, MUBI kicks off the series Turn It Up: Music on Film with the exclusive streaming premiere of Andrew Dominik’s breathtaking fusion of performance and documentary, This Much I Know To Be True (2022). A companion piece to his previous Cave documentary One More Time With Feeling (2016), Dominik reteams with musical collaborators Nick Cave and Warren Ellis capturing their deep friendship and exceptional creative relationship as they bring to life songs from two of their last studio albums: ‘Ghosteen’ and ‘Carnage’.

Shot on location in London and Brighton by Oscar® nominated cinematographer Robbie Ryan (The Favourite), and featuring extended performance sequences accompanied by singers, a string quartet, and a special appearance by long-term collaborator Marianne Faithfull, this absorbing documentary captures the mood and spirit of the central pair as they move through a new, optimistic phase.

This Much I know to be True (Andrew Dominik, 2022) – 8th July

Encompassing both documentary and fiction, our selection of music films celebrates the electric magnetism of performance, and moves beyond the glitz and glamour of the stage into the lives, trials, and tribulations of the artists themselves.

Taking us both on stage and behind the scenes, this special looks at the creative process and personal lives of both famous and less well-known musicians. Films span different musical genres, from rock to modern tango, bossa nova to protest songs. Includes Lucrecia Martel’s latest musical gem North Terminal (2021) and the 1981 masterpiece Trances, both a concert film and free-form audiovisual essay on the groundbreaking Moroccan band Nass El Ghiwane.

Where Are You, João Gilberto? (Georges Gacho, 2018) – 13th July
Terminal Norte (Lucrecia Martel, 2021) – 20th July
Trances (Ahmed El Maanouni, 1981) – 1st August
One More Time With Feeling (Andrew Dominik, 2016) – 6th August


Making a splash this month on MUBI, the dazzling and bittersweet romantic drama Bergman Island (2021), from acclaimed filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve (Eden, Things to Come), tells the story of two couples spending their summer on the breathtaking island of Fårö, where revered filmmaker Ingmar Bergman lived and worked for over forty years.

Chris (Vicky Krieps) and Tony (Tim Roth) are both filmmakers, hoping to find inspiration for their next films as they retreat to the island to work on their screenplays. Meanwhile Amy (Mia Wasikowska) and Joseph (Anders Danielsen Lie), who were once lovers, are staying on Fårö to celebrate the wedding of their friend. As the summer passes by, the lines between reality and fiction become increasingly blurred as reminders of Bergman’s legacy playfully influence both stories.

Hansen-Løve’s latest feature, and English-language debut, is laced with characteristically semi-autobiographical elements, and is both a mischievous and elegant contemplation of love, memory and the journey of the creative process.

Bergman Island (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2021) – 22nd July 


Adapted from Annie Ernaux’s 2000 novel of the same name, last year’s Golden Lion winner, Happening (2021), streams exclusively on MUBI this month. Director Audrey Diwan’s gripping and timely cinematic work paints a dark portrait of a society that condemns female desire and liberty. Set in 1963 France, the film tells the story of Anne – a bright, young student with a promising future – who falls pregnant and must race against time to secure her future no matter the cost. Featuring a revelatory, central performance from Anamaria Vartolomei.
Happening (Audrey Diwan, 2021) – 14th July


Known for his distinctive merging of gritty social realism with an elegant and fluid postmodern style, director Jia Zhangke cements himself as the leading chronicler of modern mainland China offering astute snapshots of the social and emotional tensions facing his nation.

In July, this director spotlight is devoted to Jia’s stylish, sweeping and straight-talking dramas. A Touch of Sin (2013) marks the director’s return to fiction. A highly controversial political firebomb that the Chinese government tried to suppress, Jia’s singular combination of arthouse neorealism with visceral kung-fu vengeance won him Best Screenplay at Cannes. The grand melodrama of Mountains May Depart (2015) charts its heroine’s journey through several decades, each reflecting the pressures and desires of the time. Tracking the forces of modernization threatening to bulldoze anything standing in the way, Jia’s films stubbornly insist on the value of individual stories of human resilience.

A Touch of Sin (Jia Zhangke, 2013) – 12th July
Mountains May Depart (Jia Zhangke, 2015) – 23rd July
Ash is the Purest White (Jia Zhangke, 2018) – Coming Soon


François Ozon has established himself as a prolific director best known for his contemporary takes on the melodrama genre. His eclectic filmography explores a wide spectrum of themes ranging from the fluidity of desire to heteronormative gender roles and the blind alleys of bourgeois life. With almost twenty films to his name, the French provocateur has built his career on a series of aesthetically fresh and daring stories that speak to a constant process of reinvention.

For this special, we bring together three of Ozon’s sun-soaked, summer tales – Swimming Pool (2003), 5×2 (2004) and Summer of ‘85 (2020) – that take different approaches to explore the notion of time in one’s life and relationships and demonstrates his excellent use of postmodern techniques.

5×2 (François Ozon, 2004) – 24th July
Swimming Pool (François Ozon, 2003) – 30th July
Summer of ’85 (François Ozon, 2020) – Coming Soon

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

[Rediscovered] Beloved by Martin Scorsese who included the film in his Masterpieces of Polish Cinema retrospective, MUBI presents a brand new restoration of Jerzy Kawalerowicz’s work of terrifying beauty, Mother Joan of the Angels (1961). Winner of the Jury Prize at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival, Kawalerowicz takes inspiration from the 17th-century records that inspired Aldous Huxley’s “The Devils of Loudun” and later Ken Russell’s The Devils (1971) in this haunting portrait of a virtuous, young priest sent to a remote convent to investigate an outbreak of demonic possession. Sixty years later this profound exploration of faith, repression, fanaticism and sexuality has lost none of its power, and remains ripe for rediscovery.

Mother Joan of the Angels (Jerzy Kawalerowicz, 1961) – 6th July

[Debuts] The thoughtful and reflective film from newcomer Hong Sung-Eun, Aloners (2021), offers a diagnostic sketch of modern urban solitude through acute character observation and impressive directorial control. This is a snapshot of modern life that is cynical about the present but tinged with hope for the future. Actress Gong Seung-yeon plays Jina – the top employee at a credit card company call centre who avoids building close relationships and chooses instead to live and work alone – for which she won the Best Actor award at Jeonju for her stunning performance.

Aloners (Hong Sung-Eun, 2021) – 11th July 

[Brief Encounters] One of the finest international filmmakers working today, Lucrecia Martel (Zama, The Headless Woman) returns with North Terminal (2022), a short documentary produced during the 2020 lockdown that finds the Argentine master returning to her home in Salta, the nation’s most conservative region. Following singer Julieta Laso, who becomes a window into a wider community of female artists who call Salta home, the result is a gripping tribute to sorority, creative exchange and collective defiance in the face of conservatism, calling for diversity and women’s empowerment.

North Terminal (Lucrecia Martel, 2022) – 20th July 

[Brief Encounters] Filmed over two and a half years along the same stretch of urban beach close to his home, artist Doug Aitken pieces together a series of AI-generated song cycles narrating the cinematic scenes in his latest work Wilderness (2021). Aitken – known for genre-bending installations, featured at MoMA, Serpentine Gallery and Centre Pompidou amongst others – explores the life cycle of the individual, society, and environment and questions the inescapable fusion of the real and the digital.

Wilderness (Doug Aitken, 2021) – 22nd July 


1 July | Benedetta | Paul Verhoeven | Luminaries | A MUBI Release | Review
2 July | The Endless Summer | Bruce Brown
3 July | La notte | Michelangelo Antonioni | Focus on Michelangelo Antonioni
4 July | Blood and Black Lace | Mario Bava
5 July | Vers la tendresse | Alice Diop | Alice Diop Focus
6 July | Mother Joan of the Angels | Jerzy Kawalerowicz | Nunsploitation | A MUBI Release
7 July | Masques | Claude Chabrol
8 July | This Much I Know to Be True | Andrew Dominik | Turn It Up: Music on Film | A MUBI Release
9 July | Adolescents | Sébastien Lifshitz
10 July | While We’re Young | Noah Baumbach | Review
11 July | Aloners | Hong Sung-eun | Debuts | A MUBI Release
12 July | A Touch of Sin | Jia Zhangke | Time Will Transform Mountains: A Jia Zhangke Triple Bill
13 July | Where Are You, João Gilberto? | Georges Gachot | Turn It Up: Music on Film
14 July | Happening | Audrey Diwan | MUBI Spotlight | Review
15 July | Mediterranea | Jonas Carpignano
16 July | Support the Girls | Andrew Bujalski
17 July | Cold War | Paweł Pawlikowski | Review
18 July | All the Crows in the World | Tang Yi
19 July | Visions of Ecstasy | Nigel Wingrove | Nunsploitation
20 July | North Terminal | Lucrecia Martel | Brief Encounters | A MUBI Release
21 July | A Wedding | Stephan Streker
22 July | Bergman Island | Mia Hansen-Løve | A MUBI Release
23 July | Mountains May Depart | Jia Zhangke | Time Will Transform Mountains: A Jia Zhangke Triple Bill
24 July | 5×2 | François Ozon | Ozon Double Bill
25 July | The Sinful Nuns of Saint Valentine | Sergio Grieco | Nunsploitation
26 July | Wilderness | Doug Aitken | Brief Enounters | A MUBI Release
27 July | Revenge | Yermek Shinarbayev
28 July | TBC
29 July | Greener Grass | Dawn Luebbe, Jocelyn DeBoer
30 July | Swimming Pool | François Ozon | Ozon Double Bill
30 July | TBC