Wong Kar-Wai’s lavish martial arts biopic tells the story of the Ip Man, the legendary trainer who became Bruce Lee’s mentor. Spanning several decades, it follows the story of intense rivalry and yearning that develops between the titular founder of the Wing Chun branch of kung fu (played by regular Wong collaborator Tony Leung) and the head of a competing school (Zhang Ziyi).
Wong Kar-Wai displayed his customary procrastination while editing the film, delaying its release once Donnie Yen had rushed into production an alternate trilogy about the Ip Man mythos. But Wong’s vision was worth the wait. Combing the lyrical style for which he made his name with stunning martial arts sequences, The Grandmaster is both a thrilling action film and a sumptuous visual experience.
Action and Adventure
Blade of the Immortal
Action and Adventure 2017 141 mins Director: Miike Takashi
Takashi Miike's epically blood-strewn swordplay saga follows a samurai cursed with immortal life, who teams up with a young girl to avenge the murder of her parents.
Kill Bill Vol. 2
Action and Adventure 2004 137 mins Director: Quentin Tarantino
The conclusion of Tarantino's kung fu epic follows the Bride's (Uma Thurman) fateful encounter with her former fiance (David Carradine).
Thriller 2017 124 mins Director: Jung Byung-gil
Jung Byung-gil's superb, hyper-kinetic action thriller follows a female assassin who takes a new identity but finds her past life inescapable.
Action and Adventure 2016 90 mins Director: Ben Wheatley
Ben Wheatley’s (High-Rise, Sightseers) all-guns-blazing bullet opera, starring Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy and Armie Hammer.
The Age of Shadows
Action and Adventure 2016 140 mins Director: Kim Jee-woon
Kim Jee-woon’s stunning, seductive and serpentine action thriller set during Japan’s occupation of Korea.
Action and Adventure 2016 107 mins Director: Peter Berg
Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell and John Malkovich bring to life the devastating oil-rig disaster in this intelligent and incendiary eco-thriller.
Biopic 1986 93 mins Director: Derek Jarman
Derek Jarman’s unique biopic of the 17th century Italian artist Michelangelo da Caravaggio is a powerful meditation on sexuality, criminality and art.
Jimi All Is by My Side
Biopic 2013 118 mins Director: John Ridley
OutKast’s André Benjamin stars as Jimi Hendrix on the cusp of greatness, honing his act in Swinging London, in this revealing and alternative take on the rock biopic.
Behind the Candelabra
Biopic 2013 119 mins Director: Steven Soderbergh
Michael Douglas dazzles as the flamboyant virtuoso pianist Liberace in this fascinating biopic by Steven Soderbergh.
Biopic 2015 124 mins Director: Jay Roach
Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Argo) gives a cracking performance as Dalton Trumbo, the Oscar-winning screenwriter who became a Hollywood outcast.
Drama 2006 103 mins Director: Stephen Frears
Helen Mirren won as Oscar for her performance as the enduring monarch who comes under scrutiny following the death of Princess Diana.
The King's Speech
Historical drama 2010 113 mins Director: Tom Hooper
Oscar-winning tale of the relationship between King George VI (Colin Firth) and the Australian speech therapist who treated his stammer.
Featuring Tony Leung Chiu-wai
Drama 2007 158 mins Director: Ang Lee
Esteemed Taiwanese director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain, Life of Pi) returned to Asia once more for this startlingly erotic tale of espionage and obsession.
Featuring Zhang Ziyi
The Founding of a Republic
Historical drama 2009 140 mins Director: Han Sanping
Jet Li, Jackie Chan and Donnie Yen appear together for the first time in the epic, star-studded story of the birth of modern China.
2006 125 mins Director: Feng Xiaogang
Zhang Ziyi (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) stars is this lavish wuxia based on elements from Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Ibsen’s Ghosts.
Mad to Be Normal
Drama 2016 105 mins Director: Robert Mullan
David Tennant is inspired as the renegade Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing, whose unorthodox therapeutic ideas chime with the radical spirit of 1960s counterculture.
Thriller 2017 96 mins Director: Felix Randau
Revenge is served ice-cold in this visceral thriller, in which a neolithic hunter seeks vengeance against those who decimated his tribe.
Sicilian Ghost Story
Drama 2017 119 mins Director: Fabio Grassadonia
A gripping real-life story of a Mafia kidnapping in Italy is enthrallingly re-imagined as supernatural fantasy by the directors of the acclaimed Salvo.
Drama 2015 90 mins Director: Bilall Fallah
Star-crossed lovers from rival street gangs conduct an illicit affair in this pulsating urban romance.
Crime 2017 80 mins Director: Travis Mathews
From the director of Interior. Leather Bar. comes this eerie and powerful psychological thriller that offers a disturbing insight into the dark heart of Trump’s America.
Girls on Film 3: Goddesses
Anthology 2018 111 mins Director: Karishma Dev Dube
Eight more award-winning short films from around the world, exploring female desire, empowerment and the realities of being a woman, a lesbian and a feminist in the modern world.