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In essence, it tells a five-part story of a naval mutiny leading to full-blown revolution, but while this material could be crudely propagandist in other hands, Eisenstein uses images of such dynamic compositional strength and editing of such frame-perfect precision that it’s hard not to be swept along, regardless of personal politics.
The cinematography by Edward Tissé – who shot all of Eisenstein’s films – is strikingly effective, whether stressing the solidarity of the sailors in group shots or emphasising the suffering of individuals, as in the memorable close-ups of the renowned Odessa Steps sequence.
Biopic 1992 202 mins Director: Spike Lee
Denzel Washington takes the lead in one of the great screen biopics, directed by Spike Lee.
Historical drama 1981 157 mins Director: Werner Herzog
One of Werner Herzog's most acclaimed and audacious films, Fitzcarraldo tells the incredible story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an opera-loving fortune hunter who dreams of bringing opera to the heart of the Peruvian jungle.
Historical drama 1972 94 mins Director: Werner Herzog
This early masterpiece from Werner Herzog stars Klaus Kinski as a power-crazed explorer in sixteenth-century South America who leads a band of conquistadors through the Amazon in search of El Dorado.
Historical drama 1976 85 mins Director: Derek Jarman
A distinctly bold and sensual reclaiming of gay history, Jarman here tells the sexually intense story of the 4th-century martyr.
Biopic 1988 84 mins Director: Terence Davies
Terence Davies' debut feature is a remarkable evocation of working-class family life in the 40s and 50s and a visionary exploration of memory.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1968 80 mins Director: Sergei Paradjanov
The film that Martin Scorsese compared to ‘opening a door and walking into another dimension, where time has stopped and beauty has been unleashed’.
The Timeless Magic of Black and White
Drama 1948 89 mins Director: Vittorio De Sica
Vittorio De Sica’s story of a father and son searching for a stolen bicycle on the streets of Rome is a classic of post-war Italian cinema.
Horror 1932 73 mins Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
The first sound-film by one of the greatest of all filmmakers, Carl Theodor Dreyer, is akin to a waking-dream; guiding the viewer on a trance-like journey between reality and the supernatural.
Comedy 1928 71 mins Director: Charles F. Riesner
Waterway hi jinks abound in this Buster Keaton classic, in which he plays the reluctant heir to his father's paddle steamer business.
Comedy 1932 72 mins Director: James Whale
A group of weary travellers arrive at a spooky mansion with a madman on the loose, in this classic horror-comedy from James Whale (Bride of Frankenstein)
Documentary 1962 43 mins Director: Vera Chytilová
Věra Chytilová's 'fictionalised documentary' uses non-actors to portray girls' lives in the cotton mills of Náchod.
Drama 2018 89 mins Director: Mark Jenkin
Simmering tensions between locals and newcomers in a modern-day Cornish fishing village reach boiling point in this hugely acclaimed British independent film.
Action and Adventure 2015 124 mins Director: Ciro Guerra
The spirit of Werner Herzog and Apocalypse Now imbue this majestic Oscar-nominated odyssey through the heart of the Amazon.
Drama 1986 185 mins Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix
Jean-Jacques Beineix’s story of a volatile, highly sexual relationship was one of the most successful French films of the 1980s.
Non-Fiction 1924 87 mins Director: J.B.L. Noel
Premiere. A breathtaking and poignant account of the valiant 1924 British assault on the awe-inspiring peak, beautifully restored by the BFI.
Drama 2019 88 mins Director: Delphine Lehericey
Under the relentless summer sun, Gus’s childhood is coming to an end as the long-awaited thunderstorms sweep across the exhausted countryside, taking a whole world with them in Delphine Lehericey sizzling rural coming-of-age drama.
Documentary 2020 89 mins Director: David Dufresne
As anger and resentment grows in the face of social inequalities during the Yellow Vests movement in France, many citizen-led protests are being repressed with ever-increasing police violence.
Documentary 2020 109 mins Director: Philippe Béziat
By bringing together urban dance and opera singing, 30 hip-hop, krump, break, voguing dancers reinvent Jean-Philippe Rameau's baroque masterpiece, Les Indes Galantes.