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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.
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’.
Biopic 1927 80 mins Silent Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
An incontestable masterpiece of silent cinema, Carl Dreyer's deeply moving biopic features one of the most powerful performances ever captured on film.
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.
Narrative music video 2021 45 mins Director: Alasdair McLellan
Saint Etienne present a beautiful and enveloping nostalgia trip through 1990s Britain.
Drama 2010 131 mins Director: Denis Villeneuve
A mother bequeaths two life-altering letters to her children in Denis Villeneuve’s powerful and compelling drama.
Crime 2009 77 mins Director: Denis Villeneuve
Denis Villeneuve’s profound dramatisation of the tragic Montreal Massacre.
Documentary 2005 45 mins Director: Paul Kelly
Paul Kelly’s second collaboration with pop band Saint Etienne traces the hidden history of East London’s Lower Lea Valley before its Olympic makeover.
Drama 2013 91 mins Director: Denis Villeneuve
Jake Gyllenhaal as doppelgangers in this dark, pulsating thriller from Denis Villeneuve.
2007 54 mins Director: Paul Kelly
The final part of Saint Etienne and Paul Kelly’s London trilogy follows the renovation and reopening of the Royal Festival Hall through 2005-7.