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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 Silent 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.
The Tell-Tale Heart
Drama 1953 21 mins Director: J.B. Williams
Stanley Baker enacts the classic Edgar Allan Poe story in this chilling short film, only recently rediscovered after being lost for 50 years.
The Woodsman and the Rain
Comedy 2011 128 mins Director: Shûichi Okita
A redneck lumberjack is recruited to work on a rookie producer's inane zombie movie, in this hilarious movie-making satire.
Comedy 2012 93 mins Director: Pang Ho-Cheung
Ho-Cheung Pang's wild, ribald comedy about a Hong Kong movie producer who will do anything to get his projects off the ground.
Who Loves the Sun
Comedy 2006 94 mins Director: Matt Bissonnette
Lukas Haas and Adam Scott play two old friends with a tempestuous history in this delightfully witty character comedy.
Comedy 2010 91 mins Director: Benoît Delépine
Legendary actor Gérard Depardieu is at his most uninhibited as an abattoir worker who hits the road with wild abandon.
Comedy 2011 109 mins Director: Yuya Ishii
An eccentric, pregnant young lady returns to her hometown to help her downtrodden old neighbours, in Yûya Ishii 's strange, whimsical comedy.