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Jane Giles' Cult playlist

Throughout my 30 years as a film programmer, writer and distributor I’ve been fascinated by subversive and transgressive cinema. Here are just a few of my favourite films on BFI Player, arranged thematically in triple bills for your viewing pleasure.

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Jane Giles' Cult playlist

Sound & Vision

Sound & Vision is about loving the alien, whether an Englishman abroad in a 1970s Italian sound studio or the girl who fell to Earth one Scottish winter. The least known film in this bill may be The Shout, starring John Hurt and Alan Bates and directed by Jerzy Skolimowski.

View Berberian Sound Studio
Berberian Sound Studio
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Berberian Sound Studio 2011 15

In 1970s Italy, a timid British sound engineer joins the crew on a violent horror film. But the disturbing world of the film soon seeps into reality.

92 mins United Kingdom Director. Peter Strickland

View Under the Skin
Under the Skin
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Under the Skin 2013 15

An alien Scarlett Johansson prowls the streets of Glasgow in Jonathan Glazer’s astonishing, mind-bending mixture of existential sci-fi and inner-city realism.

108 mins United Kingdom Director. Jonathan Glazer

View The Shout
The Shout

The Shout 1978 15

Cannes’ Grand Jury Prize was awarded to this unnerving drama about a man who claims to be able to kill people with a ‘terror shout’ learned from an Aboriginal shaman.

82 mins United Kingdom Director. Jerzy Skolimowski

Dirty Old Town

An ode to London, the repertory epicentre of the polymorphous perverse.

View London the Modern Babylon
London the Modern Babylon

London the Modern Babylon 2012 15

The story of London told through a century of popular music and film archive treasures.

127 mins United Kingdom Director. Julien Temple

View Deep End
Deep End

Deep End 1970 15

A darkly comic and compelling coming of age story set during a time of social change.

88 mins Federal Republic of Germany Director. Jerzy Skolimowski

View The Party's Over
The Party's Over

The Party's Over 1963 12

The partying of a wild group of beatniks lead by Oliver Reed has shocking consequences. Written by Marc Behm, directed by Guy Hamilton and with music by John Barry.

94 mins United Kingdom Director. Guy Hamilton

Queer Cult

An unholy threesome of Divine, Duffer and the outrageous Pink Narcissus, with its erotic fantasies of matadors, dancing boys, slaves and leather-clad bikers.

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I Am Divine

I Am Divine 2013 15

A unique documentary about a unique person – follow Divine’s life from humble Baltimore beginnings to superstar status as the Queen of Cult.

USA Director. Jeffrey Schwarz

View Duffer

Duffer 1971 15

A bizarre study of obsession focusing on a teenage boy who is torn between the charms of a fleshly female prostitute and the sadism of an older man.

75 mins United Kingdom Director. Joseph Despins, William Dumaresq

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

The Beast in Me

Three gorgeous Gothic gems including Lotte Reiniger’s exquisite silhouette animation Thumbelina, a short adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of a girl who escapes marriage and a life underground.

View La Belle et la Bête
La Belle et la Bête

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

View Thumbelina
Watch from £0.85 10 mins

Thumbelina 1955 U

An enchanting silhouette animation of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale.

10 mins United Kingdom Director. Lotte Reiniger

View Dracula
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Dracula 1958 12

Hammer's 1958 version of Stoker's Gothic novel was the most exciting to date, boasting lavish costumes and sets, a vibrant score and red, red blood.

82 mins United Kingdom Director. Terence Fisher

So turn off the house lights, there’s much to see - the doors are never shut nor the party over online!

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