A collection of the bold and the banned; causes célèbre and succès de scandale to incite, provoke and arouse.
Any history of cinematic controversy in the UK is necessarily a history of our country’s censorship and the evolving vagaries of the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification). Most of these films have fallen foul of the censors at some point, but thankfully they’re now all restored to their once incendiary glories.
Anthology1974103 minsDirector: Walerian Borowczyk
Walerian Borowczyk presents four stories of sexual taboos throughout the ages, in his highly controversial classic of 1970s erotic cinema.
Drama2000148 minsDirector: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Alejandro González Iñárritu's (Birdman, The Revenant) gripping debut feature is a savagely brilliant triptych around the theme of animalistic desires.
Drama196898 minsDirector: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Pasolini’s classic about a handsome, enigmatic stranger (Terence Stamp) who arrives at a bourgeois household and seduces an entire family.
1980122 minsDirector: Nicolas Roeg
Nic Roeg's complex, elusive cult classic is a Vienna-set tale of all consuming passion, starring Art Garfunkel, Theresa Russell and Harvey Keitel.
Drama1960101 minsDirector: Michael Powell
Michael Powell’s dark, disturbing, once controversial tale of a shy camera technician who films women as he kills them is now rightly deemed a classic
Horror196086 minsDirector: Mario Bava
Italian horror classic from acclaimed Italian horror auteur Mario Bava, about a beautiful witch Asa (Barbara Steele) who rises from her grave to take revenge upon her enemies.
Drama2013110 minsDirector: Jahmil Xolani Thandikhaya Qubeka
Disturbing but deeply stylish South African drama about a teacher who becomes obsessed with an under-age pupil in his class, with tragic consequences.
Animation & Artists Moving Image193063 minsDirector: Luis Buñuel
Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali unite for this masterpiece of cinematic surrealism remains as brilliantly witty and shocking as ever, more than 80 years on.
Drama1969116 minsDirector: Barbet Schroeder
The first feature by Barbet Schroeder (Maîtresse, The Valley), More created a sensation when it was released in 1969, quickly becoming a cult classic and famed for its Pink Floyd soundtrack.
Horror198093 minsDirector: Lucio Fulci
Lucio Fulci’s sensationally gory zombie horror finds undead hordes overtaking a sleepy New England town, with only a reporter and a local psychic to stop them.
Thriller196695 minsDirector: Alain Robbe-grillet
This stylish, cult 1966 erotic thriller stars French New Wave icons Jean-Louis Trintigant and Marie-France Pisier.
Historical drama192569 minsDirector: Sergei M. Eisenstein
A fixture in the critical canon almost since its premiere, Eisenstein’s film about a 1905 naval mutiny was revolutionary in both form and content.
1976113 minsDirector: Barbet Schroeder
Gerard Depardieu plays the young innocent who falls for the mysterious maitresse Ariane (Bulle Ogier), a leather clad dominatrix, in Barbet Schroeder’s controversial film.
Drama197797 minsDirector: Ian Merrick
Gripping crime drama charts the killing spree which Donald Neilson, aka the Black Panther, perpetrated across England during the mid-70s.
War195964 minsDirector: John Krish
Previously only shown to a restricted audience of top military brass from the Ministry of Defence, Captured is a stunning Prisoner of War drama.
Drama198920 minsDirector: Nigel Wingrove
Nigel Wingrove's experimental depiction of the erotic imaginings of the 16th Century Carmelite nun remains the only film ever to banned under Britain's blasphemy laws.
Animation & Artists Moving Image192816 minsDirector: Luis Buñuel
A scabrous study of desire, the subconscious and anti-clericalism - Buñuel and Dalí’s provocative first film is a classic of Surrealist cinema.
War1943164 minsDirector: Michael Powell
Powell and Pressburger’s masterpiece follows the rise and fall of a career soldier, from dashing and brave young officer in the Boer War to a pompous and old-fashioned Colonel by the time of World War Two.
Historical drama1915191 minsDirector: D.W. Griffith
D W Griffith's highly controversial, yet extremely significant American silent epic about the American Civil War and its aftermath.
Drama191974 minsDirector: Oscar Micheaux
Oscar Micheaux’s startling silent classic – the earliest surviving feature from an African-American director – presents a fascinating black counterpoint to Griffith’s Birth of a Nation.
Drama197241 minsDirector: Tony Bicât
Tony Bicât’s radical, found-footage record of a revolutionary act, in which three dissidents kidnap a cabinet and torture a cabinet minister.