The British Film Institute presents the best global cinema on-demand:
From classic and contemporary films to the best of the BFI National Archive.

Choose another Collection

Dark Twisted Fantasy

Perverse fairytales and wayward visions meet, as Pasolini, Rivette, Cocteau and their fellow dreamers create films that burrow into memory.

Enter splintered worlds of desire and power - unsettling views on alternative ways of being.

triangle triangle
Dark Twisted Fantasy
Start your free 30-day trial
View The Company of Wolves
The Company of Wolves
HD

The Company of Wolves 1984 18

Angela Carter and Neil Jordan's magical, radical take on Little Red Riding Hood.

95 mins United Kingdom Director. Neil Jordan

Neil Jordan’s grownup Grimm’s fairytale was one of the first to fuse the milieu from children’s fables with horrific special effects and adult themes.

In its association of monstrous transformation with adolescent sexuality it’s one of the forerunners of today’s Twilight-led teen fantasy scene.

View Eden and After
Eden and After

Eden and After 1969 18

Alain Robbe-Grillet’s sensual fantasy follows a group of students who enter a bizarre sado-masochistic realm after taking a mysterious drug.

98 mins France Director. Alain Robbe-Grillet

The students in Alain Robbe-Grillet’s bizarre fantasy find themselves entering a perverse dream-state after they agree to take a mysterious drug.

They’re transported to a desert realm where they seem to divide into strange sado-masochistic hierarchies, in this daring film that’s both earthily erotic and uncompromisingly intellectual.

View La Belle et la Bête
La Belle et la Bête
HD

La Belle et la Bête 1946 PG

Jean Cocteau’s ravishingly restored 1946 film is a cinematic classic. “Five stars. [This] magical exploration of the fairytale is a compelling and bizarre masterpiece” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

89 mins France Director. Jean Cocteau

In one of the greatest of all screen fantasies, Jean Cocteau takes the timeless fairytale and crafts a gorgeous gothic romance; haunting, touching and visually opulent.

Although Cocteau denied being part of either movement, the film’s dreamlike imagery was surely inspired by his association with surrealist and avant-garde artists.

View Celine and Julie Go Boating
Celine and Julie Go Boating

Celine and Julie Go Boating 1974 12

Jacques Rivette's rarely seen yet most commercially successful film is an exhilarating combination of theatricality, paranoia and la vie Parisienne.

193 mins France Director. Jacques Rivette

With echoes of Alice in Wonderland, Jacques Rivette’s eponymous young women find themselves being transported to an antiquated haunted house every time they eat some strange candy.

The pair’s attempt to unlock the riddle is reminiscent of David Lynch’s Mulholland Dr., but Rivette’s interweaving of magic, mystery, conspiracy and theatre is all his own.

View Theorem
Theorem

Theorem 1968 15

Pasolini’s classic about a handsome, enigmatic stranger (Terence Stamp) who arrives at a bourgeois household and seduces an entire family.

94 mins Italy Director. Pier Paolo Pasolini

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s illusory, quasi-religious tone infuses the story of a mysterious stranger’s hypnotic effect on a bourgeois family.

Characters seem driven by mysterious external forces in a film that challenges audiences to decode its strange symbolism and political allegories.

View Pink Narcissus
Pink Narcissus

Pink Narcissus 1971 18

With its highly charged hallucinogenic quality, its atmosphere of lush decadence, and its explicit erotic power, Pink Narcissus is a landmark of gay cinema.

64 mins USA Director. James Bidgood

In the classic gay phantasmagoria, a young man’s bedroom becomes an otherworldly, oneiric realm as he imagines himself in all manner of psychedelic camp fantasies.

The film’s production mirrors its story, as creator James Bidgood’s reveries were all crafted in his apartment over a number of years.

View Three Businessmen
Three Businessmen

Three Businessmen 1999 12

Alex Cox’s surreal and subversive comic fantasy about three men’s search for a meal that becomes a globe-trotting odyssey.

80 mins USA Director. Alex Cox

Like the subjects of Bunuel’s The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, the entrepreneurs in Alex Cox’s oddity seem unable to find somewhere to eat.

Their journey through various restaurants leads to a desert and the witnessing of the birth of a new messiah, in this imaginative flight-of-fancy from the director of Repo Man.

View Woman of the Dunes
Woman of the Dunes

Woman of the Dunes 1964 15

Hiroshi Teshigahara's mystifying, serene and provocative fable about an entomologist who becomes trapped in a young widow’s desert shack.

141 mins Japan Director. Hiroshi Teshigahara

Hiroshi Teshigahara’s haunting, erotic fable is ostensibly rooted in the real world, but its bizarre atmosphere and avant-garde leanings imbue it with a nightmarish nature.

An entomologist becomes trapped in the home of strange woman who expects him to become her husband and endlessly dig sand with her.

View Orphée
Orphée

Orphée 1950 PG

Magical retelling of the Orpheus myth by poet, playwright, artist and filmmaker Jean Cocteau.

91 mins France Director. Jean Cocteau

Another fantastical work from French cinema’s master of transcendent romanticism, Jean Cocteau.

This adaptation of the Greek myth of Orpheus follows a poet as he goes behind the mirror, entering an Underworld in search of his Eurydice.

Cookies Policy

This website uses cookies, as explained in our Cookies Policy.

To accept the terms and hide this message please click 'I accept'.

I accept

Passionate about film? So are we…

Don't miss the email made for the in-the-know film fan:

New releases — on the same day as in cinemas Special collections & unheralded classics Exclusive news on discounts


Never ask | Ask me later