Regarded as the finest work from the first great era of Chinese filmmaking, Fei Mu’s quiet, piercingly poignant study of adulterous desire and guilt-ridden despair – now restored – is a remarkable rediscovery. After eight years of marriage to Liyan – once rich but now sickly and almost suicidally apathetic following a long, ruinous war – Yuwen does little except deliver his daily medication. A surprise visit from Liyan’s friend Zhang re-energises the household, but also stirs up dangerously suppressed longings and resentments to the fore.
Fei Mu’s deft use of locations, dissolves and camera movements makes for a fraught, febrile mood of hesitant passion, entrapment and ennui; sophisticated cinematically and psychologically, the film eschews sentimentality for something far more beguiling.
Drama 2019 105 mins Director: Jukka-Pekka Valkeapää
In this playful, dark comedy a dominatrix offers a widower an unexpected chance for sexual and psychological release.
Drama 1987 0 mins Director: Emile Ardolino
A retro, music-filled classic about teen romances and strict attitudes to sex.
Comedy 2019 108 mins Director: Takashi Miike
A terminally-ill boxer, a runaway call girl, a double-crossing drugs heist and a gang war; Takashi Miike doesn’t do things by halves.
Romance 2019 84 mins Director: Lucio Castro
A chance encounter reconnects two men in this heart-breaking lament on love, lust and missed opportunities.
Drama 2019 90 mins Director: Rashaad Ernesto Green
Budding writer Ayanna’s life is transformed over the course of one hot Harlem summer, when a handsome and mysterious stranger walks into her life.
Comedy 2017 91 mins Director: Sophie Brooks
The captivating Zosia Mamet (Girls) takes centre-stage in this smart and sassy Manhattan-set relationship drama which channels the spirit of Nora Ephron.
Mark Cousins Selects
Crime 1947 116 mins Director: Carol Reed
Wounded during a robbery, a gunman attempts to escape police in Carol Reed's moody Irish thriller, starring James Mason.
Drama 1950 100 mins Director: Roberto Rossellini
In her first collaboration with Roberto Rossellini, Ingrid Bergman stars as a refugee who marries a fisherman and moves to a barren island.
Drama 1980 151 mins Director: Helma Sanders-Brahms
Set during the Third Reich and its aftermath, this lyrical, harrowing tale of love and war is a neglected classic of New German cinema.
Documentary 1929 75 mins Silent Director: Viktor Turin
With bold and exhilarating flair, Turksib charts the monumental efforts to build a railway linking the regions of Turkestan and Siberia in 1920s USSR.
Documentary 2007 90 mins Director: Gideon Koppel
Gideon Koppel’s charming documentary about a small farming community in mid-Wales, observing the unalterable rhythms of country life and the monthly visits of a mobile library.
Drama 2016 84 mins Director: Mark Cousins
Neneh Cherry, director Mark Cousins and cinematographer Christopher Doyle's exquisite love song to the Swedish city.
Crime 2019 152 mins Director: Marco Bellocchio
Italian maestro Marco Bellocchio’s bravura gangster odyssey dramatises the extraordinary real life story of the first major Mafia boss to turn state’s informant.
Drama 2019 105 mins Director: Josephine Mackerras
Following separation from her money-squandering husband, Alice (Emilie Piponnier) finds herself falling into the world of high-end escorting, challenging her perceptions of life and love.
Drama-documentary 2019 90 mins Director: Ben Rivers
Observing locals and visitors creates a highly original portrait of the Thai tourist town of Krabi in this collaboration between award-winning directors Anocha Suwichakornpong and Ben Rivers.
Drama 2019 112 mins
Alfre Woodard is quietly devastating as a weary prison warden presiding over her twelfth execution, in this Sundance-winning death row drama.
Comedy 2014 108 mins Director: Justin Simien
The diversification of an all-black residence hall forces a group of African-American university students to take a stand on their own cultural beliefs and identities.
Historical drama 2019 126 mins Director: Todd Haynes
Mark Ruffalo plays an attorney trying to uncover the corporate scandal of a chemical company poisoning a local community, in this searching ecological drama from Todd Haynes (Safe, Carol).