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A lone female vampire stalks the nocturnal streets of a decaying ghost town, searching for prey. One of the town’s residents is Arash, who through a series of events involving his junkie father, a prostitute and a drug-dealing pimp, encounters the enigmatic bloodsucker and an unlikely love story begins to unfold.
Although set in the fictional Iranian town of Bad City, Ana Lily Amirpour’s arresting debut was shot in California, the story adapted from its previous incarnations as a graphic novel and short film. With its stark black and white photography, Jarmusch-esque deadpan humour and memorable images of a hijab-clad bloodsucker skateboarding the streets, Amirpour’s film is a superbly ambitious exercise in style and atmosphere. If you only see one Iranian vampire western this year, make sure it’s this one.
Horror 1974 83 mins Director: Tobe Hooper
Unrivalled in its relentless vision of pure terror, Tobe Hooper’s horror masterpiece remains as brutal and horrific as it ever was.
Horror 1976 91 mins Director: David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg’s classic outbreak horror introduces us to a young woman (Marilyn Chambers) who hungers for human blood after an experimental plastic surgery goes wrong.
Horror 2009 104 mins Director: Lars von Trier
After tragedy strikes, a couple retreat to a cabin in the woods in order to grieve. However, they find things go from bad to worse, in this brutal interrogation of nature from Lars von Trier.
Horror 1979 107 mins Director: Werner Herzog
English language version of Herzog’s stimulating take on the Dracula story starring Klaus Kinski, with echoes of Murnau’s 1922 Nosferatu.
Comedy 2014 86 mins Director: Taika Waititi
An achingly funny mockumentary about New Zealand’s hitherto unknown vampire (and werewolf) communities, from the creators of Flight of the Conchords.
Drama 2016 106 mins Director: Olivier Assayas
Kristen Stewart reunites with Olivier Assayas to play an A-List celebrity's personal shopper, who keeps receiving strange text messages from an unknown source.
BFI London Film Festival
Documentary 2011 91 mins Director: Carol Morley
The power of kinship is explored in Carol Morley’s drama-documentary, drawn from real life and resonant with the way we live now.
Drama 2018 90 mins Director: Andrew Bujalski
Andrew Bujalski serves up a big-hearted comedy with his day-in-the-life look at Double Whammies – a Hooters-style bar and its tight-knit, all-female staff.
Documentary 2019 94 mins Director: Suhaib Gasmelbari
Beautifully shot documentary about four members of the 'Sudanese Film Club' who decide to revive an old cinema.
Drama 2020 90 mins Director: Aleem Khan
In this knockout feature debut from BAFTA-nominated short filmmaker Aleem Khan, Joanna Scanlan is superb as a woman left reeling upon discovering her late husband’s secrets.
Drama 2020 91 mins Director: Abel Ferrara
Abel Ferrara returns with an extraordinarily vivid, visually dazzling and characteristically strange rumination on sex, dreams and death.
Action and Adventure 2018 93 mins Director: Jimmy Henderson
An innocent man sentenced to rot in a Cambodian jail is released for the sadistic pleasure of twisted trophy hunters and forced to fight – or die.
Drama 2016 83 mins Director: Joseph A. Adesunloye
A young mixed heritage man confronts the psychological complexities of his identity in this essential, truly cinematic discovery for anyone interested in Black British cinema.
Drama 1998 88 mins Director: Denis Villeneuve
A woman’s existential crisis sends her and her best friend on a road trip with an unusual mission.
Documentary 2020 72 mins Director: Elizabeth Lo
A soulful new voice emerges in Elizabeth Lo’s evocative award-winning debut documentary, which details life on the streets of Istanbul from the perspective of the city’s stray dogs.
Drama 1961 142 mins Director: Jacques Rivette
Remarkable first feature from cinematic visionary Jacques Rivette, brilliantly capturing the mood of paranoia and uncertainty of the Cold War period.
Crime 1950 88 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
Credited with bringing Japanese cinema to worldwide audiences, Akira Kurosawa’s breakthrough tells the story of a murder in the woods from four differing perspectives.
Period drama 1963 114 mins Director: Kon Ichikawa
Kon Ichikawa's wildly melodramatic tale of a kabuki female impersonator who exacts a long-delayed revenge.