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Nineties Cult Classics

Exploring the films and filmmakers that broke the rules of cinema in the 1990s.

 

Our collection focusing on the titles that created a new cinematic language and challenged aesthetic and formal conventions. The influence of these films can still be felt today; some of them challenged what was expected of a director, of moving image, of a national cinema. We celebrate the rule breakers and rebels who defined a decade.

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AuditionAudition

Horror1999115 minsDirector: Takashi Miike

Takashi Miike burst to international prominence with this deeply disturbing tale of a deadly young woman who turns the tables on her middle-aged suitor.

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Spanking the MonkeySpanking the Monkey

Comedy199495 minsDirector: David O. Russell

David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) made his feature debut in 1994 with this biting black comedy, which caused a stir with its incestuous subplot and portrayal of adolescent restlessness.

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Tetsuo II: Body HammerTetsuo II: Body Hammer

Horror199181 minsDirector: Shinya Tsukamoto

Shinya Tsukamoto's sequel has the Iron Man transforming into a cyberkinetic gun when a gang of vicious skinheads kidnap his son.

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King of New YorkKing of New York

Crime1990103 minsDirector: Abel Ferrara

Christopher Walken is the dogged drug-lord determined to keep his empire together, in Abel Ferrara's brutally gritty crime thriller.

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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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Irma VepIrma Vep

Drama199699 minsDirector: Olivier Assayas

Olivier Assayas' sexy and stylish ode to the madness of filmmaking, with Maggie Cheung as the Hong Kong movie star playing a Catwoman-style anti-heroine.

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The Watermelon WomanThe Watermelon Woman

Comedy199785 minsDirector: Cheryl Dunye

Cheryl Dunye's smart and funny romance - thought to be the first feature directed by a black lesbian - remains a breath of fresh air decades on.

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Under the SkinUnder the Skin

Melodrama199783 minsDirector: Carine Adler

Carine Adler’s sexy and dark debut, starring Samantha Morton in her first major feature film role.

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London London

Animation & Artists Moving Image199485 minsDirector: Patrick Keiller

The first in Patrick Keiller’s highly imaginative trilogy of films is a photographic trip through London, recounted by our unseen narrator.

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FaceFace

Crime1997101 minsDirector: Antonia Bird

Robert Carlyle and Ray Winstone are members of a criminal gang that tears itself apart after a heist goes wrong, in Antonia Bird’s stylish thriller.

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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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Love and Death on Long IslandLove and Death on Long Island

Comedy199689 minsDirector: Richard Kwietniowski

John Hurt stars in Richard Kwietniowski’s comedy of fame and obsession about an older man (Hurt) who becomes infatuated with a young Hollywood actor (Jason Priestley), and proceeds to track him down.

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Young Soul RebelsYoung Soul Rebels

Drama1991105 minsDirector: Isaac Julien

The Queen's Silver Jubilee beats to the sounds of Funkadelic, Sylvester and the O'Jays in Isaac Julien’s feature debut.

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Dellamorte DellamoreDellamorte Dellamore

Horror1993103 minsDirector: Michele Soavi

Michele Soavi’s compelling concoction of anarchic Evil Dead-style horror-comedy, tragic romance and gore.

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Buena Vista Social ClubBuena Vista Social Club

Documentary1999101 minsDirector: Wim Wenders

Cuba’s rich and colourful past comes vividly to life in this legendary, Oscar-nominated documentary from director Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire).

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Land and FreedomLand and Freedom

War1995105 minsDirector: Ken Loach

Ken Loach’s passionate war drama follows an idealistic young Liverpudlian (Ian Hart) who fights for the international brigade during the Spanish Civil War.

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