War, politics and religion are hot topics amongst the court of the 17th century monarch Queen Kristina of Sweden. However, it’s her burgeoning sexuality and unapologetic desire to remain unmarried that causes the most consternation amongst her subjects and eventually leads to her self-imposed exile.
The Girl King is both an historical drama about a kingdom on the brink of modernisation and religious change, and a deeply personal love story between the young and wilful queen and her treasured lady-in-waiting, Countess Ebba. Following acting greats such as Greta Garbo and Liv Ullmann who’ve previously portrayed the queen, Malin Buska gives a commanding performance as Kristina; magnificent and majestic in the throne room yet heartbreakingly vulnerable in her bedchamber. While veteran Finnish director Mika Kaurismaki endows the story with a keen sense of fun and a palpable tone of melodramatic excess.
Historical drama 1989 114 mins Director: Michael Caton-Jones
A fictionalised account of the 1963 ‘Profumo Affair’ that rocked the government of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. Starring John Hurt, Joanne Whalley, Bridget Fonda, Ian McKellen and Leslie Phillips.
Biopic 1952 120 mins Director: John Huston
Toulouse Lautrec (José Ferrer) seeks solace in the drink, dance and distractions of the infamous Paris nightclub, in John Huston's exquisitely evoked biopic.
Biopic 1992 202 mins Director: Spike Lee
Denzel Washington takes the lead in one of the great screen biopics, directed by Spike Lee.
Historical drama 1928 106 mins Silent Director: Franz Osten
This epic silent film, telling the ravishing, romantic story behind the Taj Mahal, has been newly restored with a sumptuous new score from Anoushka Shankar.
Historical drama 1974 99 mins Director: Lester James Peries
Epic tale set in 5th century Sri Lanka, following the battle for the throne between Kassapa and his father King Dhatusena.
Biopic 2014 150 mins Director: Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh’s Cannes-winning account of the later years of J. M. W. Turner, brilliantly played by Timothy Spall.
Biopic 2007 122 mins Director: Anton Corbijn
The life story of Ian Curtis, the tortured singer of Joy Division who suffered epilepsy and crippling self-doubt, filmed in stunning monochrome.
Biopic 2017 94 mins Director: Mark Gill
A deeply insecure young Morrissey dreams of escaping drudgery but seeks the confidence to bloom, in this captivating account of The Smiths' genesis.
Biopic 2017 106 mins Director: Paul McGuigan
Annette Bening and Jamie Bell bring to life the true story of the love affair between Gloria Grahame and young, Liverpudlian actor Peter Turner.
Biopic 2017 108 mins Director: Michel Hazanavicius
From the Oscar-winning director of The Artist, a brilliantly realised portrait of France’s maestro director Jean-Luc Godard spiralling into philosophical and romantic crisis.
Documentary 2019 105 mins Director: Pat Collins
Director Pat Collins’ sublime portrait of the renowned American folklorist and ethnologist, Henry Glassie, who has spent a half century documenting the artistic processes of traditional craftspeople.
Drama 2020 96 mins Director: Francisco Márquez
There are echoes of Lucrecia Martel’s The Headless Woman in this gripping tale of class divisions and ethical responsibility in contemporary Argentina.
Drama 2019 80 mins Director: Samuel Van Grinsven
Sexual obsessions spiral dangerously out of control in this altogether different coming-of-age tale.
Drama 2020 104 mins Director: Suzanne Guacci
Past mistakes haunt the present and threaten a new love affair between an older woman and her patient in this compelling melodrama.
Drama 2020 116 mins Director: Lee Isaac Chung
Lee Isaac Chung's sweeping story of a Korean-American family in search of the American Dream, winner of two Sundance prizes and now nominated for six Academy Awards.
Drama 2019 96 mins Director: Antoneta Kastrati
Haunted by her long-suppressed past, a Kosovar woman struggles to reconcile the expectations of motherhood with a legacy of wartime brutality.