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Most Popular Films of 2019

The classics that cut through in 2019 – here are the year’s most popular subscription titles.

Highlights include titles from some of the BFI's big 2019 seasons - Nineties (Festen), Musicals! (Once), Antonioni (La Notte) and Weimar (The Blue Angel) - while our annual focus on women filmmakers also provides a few entries, including the #1 spot.

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Appropriate BehaviourAppropriate Behaviour

Comedy201586 minsDirector: Desiree Akhavan

Desiree Akhavan directs and stars in this witty, razor-sharp and fearless comedy following the sexual misadventures of a bisexual Brooklynite.

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CaravaggioCaravaggio

Biopic198693 minsDirector: 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.

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VivaViva

Sex comedy2008116 minsDirector: Anna Biller

Anna Biller's outrageous sexploitation satire follows bored housewife Barbi as she searches for adventure in predatory 1970s Los Angeles.

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The PropositionThe Proposition

Western2006104 minsDirector: John Hillcoat

John Hillcoat and Nick Cave's brilliant, brutal bushranger western, with Guy Pearce as the outlaw tasked with tracking down his psychopathic elder brother (Danny Huston).

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SomersaultSomersault

Drama2004102 minsDirector: Cate Shortland

This intoxicating drama about an adolescent girl's sexual awakening launched the careers of both its star Abbie Cornish and director Cate Shortland.

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ObsessionObsession

Romance197698 minsDirector: Brian De Palma

High melodrama, creeping insanity and barely contained delirium abound in this dizzying tribute to the high tension thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock from director Brian De Palma.

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Salon KittySalon Kitty

Drama1976133 minsDirector: Tinto Brass

Before Caligula, Italian provocateur Tinto Brass directed this controversial and transgressive drama, inspired by the true story of a Nazi-run brothel in 30s Berlin.

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La dolce vitaLa dolce vita

Drama1960175 minsDirector: Federico Fellini

Federico Fellini’s masterpiece depicting seven hedonistic days in the life of a tabloid journalist (Marcello Mastroianni) as he searches for the sweet life.

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MauriceMaurice

Drama1987140 minsDirector: James Ivory

Merchant Ivory’s landmark adaptation of E M Forster’s classic LGBTQ+ novel and a precursor to the James Ivory-scripted Call Me By Your Name, starring Hugh Grant, James Wilby and Rupert Graves.

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Fidelio, Alice's JourneyFidelio, Alice's Journey

Drama201497 minsDirector: Lucie Borleteau

When Alice takes a job as a ship’s engineer her fidelity towards her shore-bound fiancé is tested when she discovers a former lover is the ship’s captain.

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OrphéeOrphée

Drama195096 minsDirector: Jean Cocteau

Magical retelling of the Orpheus myth by poet, playwright, artist and filmmaker Jean Cocteau.

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HyenaHyena

Crime2014112 minsDirector: Gerard Johnson

In this stylish, dark crime thriller, a policeman’s complex web of underworld relationships is threatened by an internal affairs investigator.

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Mysterious SkinMysterious Skin

Drama2004105 minsDirector: Gregg Araki

Gregg Araki's provocative story of two boys haunted by disturbing events one summer when they were eight years old, adapted from Scott Heim's cult indie novel.

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OnceOnce

Musical200787 minsDirector: John Carney

The unique, charming musical about the whirlwind romance between an Irish street musician and a Czech immigrant; winner of an Oscar® and a major prize at Sundance Film Festival.

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FestenFesten

Drama1998101 minsDirector: Thomas Vinterberg

A family reunion turns both incredibly dark and unexpectedly hilarious, in the infamous first film of the Dogme 95 movement initiated by director Thomas Vinterberg and Lars von Trier.

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La NotteLa Notte

Drama1961122 minsDirector: Michelangelo Antonioni

Michelangelo Antonioni's masterpiece stars Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau as a couple re-examining their emotional bonds.

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Kiss of the DamnedKiss of the Damned

Horror201295 minsDirector: Xan Cassavetes

A cool and contemporary take on the vampire myth, steeped in atmosphere and brooding contemplation.

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ArcadiaArcadia

Documentary201779 minsDirector: Paul Wright

A folk horror wrapped up in an archive film, set to a soundtrack by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and Will Gregory (Goldfrapp).

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Love Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis BaconLove Is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon

Biopic199887 minsDirector: John Maybury

Derek Jacobi and Daniel Craig star as artist Francis Bacon and his muse George Dyer in John Maybury’s darkly exquisite biopic.

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EvolutionEvolution

Drama201582 minsDirector: Lucile Hadzihalilovic

The long-awaited second feature from Lucile Hadžihalilović (Innocence) is a gorgeously surreal coming-of-age tale laced with bizarre body-horror.

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PulsePulse

Horror2001119 minsDirector: Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Kiyoshi Kurosawa's dark and apocalyptic J-Horror foretells how technology serves to isolate us as it grows more important to our lives.

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The Blue AngelThe Blue Angel

Drama1930103 minsDirector: Josef von Sternberg

Marlene Dietrich is sensational in her breakthrough role as Lola Lola, star attraction of The Blue Angel beer hall.

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L'avventuraL'avventura

Drama1960137 minsDirector: Michelangelo Antonioni

Antonioni’s masterpiece of modern alienation, with Monica Vitti as the young woman searching for her friend who's inexplicably disappeared.

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What We Do in the ShadowsWhat We Do in the Shadows

Comedy201486 minsDirector: Taika Waititi

An achingly funny mockumentary about New Zealand’s hitherto unknown vampire (and werewolf) communities, from the creators of Flight of the Conchords.