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A Canterbury Tale
Powell and Pressburger's most personal film combines a Chaucer-inspired pilgrimage with a war-time celebration of English landscape and values to create a gem of British cinema.
War 1944 125 mins
Director: Michael Powell
Powell and Pressburger's most personal and unusual film remains one of the remarkable films in British cinema, delighting and surprising at every turn. Evoking Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the film charts the progress of a select band of modern pilgrims during World War Two – a land girl, an American officer and a British soldier.
With its glorification of the Kent countryside and attempts to define a spiritual - even pre-Christian -vision of English identity, the film can be seen as a very sophisticated form of war-time reassurance, presenting a beguiling moral alternative to the harsh material objectives of fascism.
The Devil's Backbone
Horror 2001 108 mins Director: Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo Del Toro’s elegant and chilling ghost story, set in an orphanage for victims of the Spanish Civil War, which is haunted by the spectre of young boy.
Land and Freedom
War 1995 105 mins Director: 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.
Back to 1942
Drama 2012 146 mins Director: Feng Xiaogang
With a cast that includes Adrien Brody, Tim Robbins and Fan Xu, Back to 1942 is an epic reconstruction of the deadly drought of 1942 that took its toll on central China's Henan province during the war against Japan
War 1992 78 mins Director: Steve Gough
During World War Two, a German airman crash-lands in a wood and is looked after by a naïve 12-year-old girl.
In the Fog
War 2012 123 mins Director: Sergei Loznitsa
A suspected Nazi collaborator and his Partisan abductors join forces to escape pursuing German forces, in this vibrantly shot war drama.
The Way Ahead
War 1944 115 mins Director: Carol Reed
A stirring wartime drama about seven ordinary men who become a formidable fighting force.
Sight & Sound Poll
Vivre sa vie
Drama 1962 83 mins Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Anna Karina shines in Jean-Luc Godard’s critically acclaimed account of a Parisian woman's slow descent into prostitution.
Rome, Open City
War 1945 103 mins Director: Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini’s landmark of Italian neorealism often cited as one of the greatest films ever made.
Celine and Julie Go Boating
Drama 1974 194 mins Director: Jacques Rivette
Jacques Rivette's exhilarating combination of theatricality, paranoia and 'la vie Parisienne' follows two young women as they enter a mysterious realm upon eating a magic sweet.
Spring in a Small Town
Romance 1948 98 mins Director: Fei Mu
Fei Mu’s newly restored 1948 masterpiece, a piercingly poignant study of adulterous desire, was once voted the greatest Chinese film ever made.
Drama 1955 123 mins Director: Mikio Naruse
Mikio Naruse’s masterpiece about a wandering woman trying to find her identity amid the devastation of post-war Japan.
Drama 1968 130 mins Director: John Cassavetes
Richard and his wife Maria seek solace from their disintegrating marriage in the arms of other lovers in John Cassavetes's powerful 1968 feature.
Directed by Michael Powell
Drama 1960 101 mins Director: 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
The Phantom Light
Comedy 1935 72 mins Director: Michael Powell
Michael Powell’s gothic mystery of a haunted lighthouse where insanity thrives.
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
War 1943 164 mins Director: 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.
A Matter of Life and Death
Fantasy 1946 104 mins Director: Michael Powell
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s timeless romantic fantasy, with David Niven as an airman trapped between life and death.
The Battle of the River Plate
War 1956 119 mins Director: Michael Powell
Powell and Pressburger’s biggest commercial success was this rousing retelling of the pursuit of a German battleship by the British Navy during World War II.
The Spy in Black
War 1939 79 mins Director: Michael Powell
A masterful thriller with true flair, The Spy In Black has a much larger importance: it threw Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger together for the first time.
Comedy 1993 99 mins Director: Joe Dante
Joe Dante (Gremlins) directs this affectionate homage to 1950s sci-fi cinema, with John Goodman as a cigar-chomping B-movie producer trying to cash in on the Cuban missile crisis.
Stop Making Sense
1984 88 mins Director: Jonathan Demme
Widely acknowledged as among the best concert films ever, Jonathan Demme's inventive film of Talking Heads' thrilling live show remains the yardstick by which all other music films are measured by.
Drama 2001 113 mins Director: Richard Kelly
Richard Kelly's astounding debut feature is a mix of stylish eighties veneer and existential horror starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the troubled teen who is haunted by a giant rabbit prophesying the apocalypse.
Battle of Soho
Documentary 2017 100 mins Director: Aro Korol
Take a journey through London's most notorious district, meeting residents and campaigners at the forefront of a battle to keep its eccentric, diverse spirit alive.
Lek and the Dogs
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2017 92 mins Director: Andrew Kötting
Andrew Kötting returns with an emotionally affecting and politically resonant multi-genre adaptation of Hattie Naylor’s play.
The Seventh Seal
Fantasy 1957 96 mins Director: Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman’s best-known film is a brilliant allegorical drama starring Max von Sydow as a knight trying to elude his own death.