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Derek Jarman struggled for seven years to bring his portrait of the 17th century Italian artist Michelangelo da Caravaggio to the screen. The result was well worth the wait.
It’s a freely dramatised portrait which conjures several of the controversial artist’s most famous paintings through elaborate and beautifully photographed tableaux vivants, and boasts wonderful performances from Nigel Terry, Sean Bean, and, in her first role, Tilda Swinton.
Distant Voices, Still Lives
Biopic 1988 81 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.
Nature of the Beast
Biopic 2017 96 mins Director: Daniel Draper
A suitably forthright profile of the evergreen socialist, trade unionist and Labour politician Dennis Skinner - also known as the Beast of Bolsover.
Letters from Baghdad
Documentary 2016 91 mins Director: Sabine Krayenbühl
Tilda Swinton narrates the extraordinary journey of Gertrude Bell, a singular woman who played a significant – often unrecognised – role in British imperial policy making in Iraq.
Nick's Film (Lightning Over Water)
Biopic 1980 90 mins Director: Nicholas Ray
Simultaneously a love letter and a farewell, this documentary charts the last few months of acclaimed director Nicholas Ray through the eyes of Wim Wenders.
Historical drama 2017 90 mins Director: Niles Atallah
Niles Atallah's wild, inspired history of French adventurer Orélie-Antoine de Tounens, told via puppetry, stop-motion and degraded film stock.
Because That Road Is Trodden
Biopic 1969 23 mins Director: Tim King
A dreamlike fantasy examining the day-to-day life of a sixteen-year-old schoolboy which was shot at Bryanston School, an independent school.
LGBTQ+ Best of 2018
Girls on Film 2: Before Dawn
Anthology 2017 111 mins Director: Lorelei Pepi
An electric collection of 11 award-winning, lesbian and feminist short films exploring fantasies, dreams, desires, love and transgression.
God's Own Country
Drama 2017 105 mins Director: Francis Lee
A troubled young sheep farmer falls for a hired hand in this stunning debut from Francis Lee.
The Book of Gabrielle
Drama 2016 79 mins Director: Lisa Gornick
Lisa Gornick's funny and frank drama sketches the relationship between a sex-obsessed lesbian illustrator and a randy hetero author, who bond over their favourite subject.
Drama 2017 88 mins Director: John Trengove
A traditional rite of passage ritual forms the backdrop for this tough and complex tale of closeted sexuality in South Africa.
Boys on Film 18: Heroes
Anthology 2018 132 mins Director: Dean Loxton
Ten uplifting and powerful tales of everyday heroes, each striving for their own identities whether gay, bi or transgender, and fighting for the right to be themselves.
50 Years Legal
Documentary 2017 77 mins Director: Simon Napier-Bell
Five decades on from the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality, a range of LGBTQ+ stars (including Sir Elton John and Stephen Fry) reflect on Britain's history of prejudice, persecution and liberation.
Drama 1969 112 mins Director: Vittorio De Sica
Sophia Loren searches for the husband she lost at the Russian Front (Marcello Mastroianni) in this sweeping romance epic with echoes of Doctor Zhivago.
Period drama 1976 130 mins Director: Luchino Visconti
Luchino Visconti's final film is a brilliant and disturbing drama set against the opulent backdrop of decadent, late 19th-century aristocracy.
War 1960 100 mins Director: Vittorio De Sica
Sophia Loren won an Oscar® for her performance as a mother trying to protect her daughter in wartime Italy, in Vittorio De Sica's neorealist classic.
Drama 1960 137 mins Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Antonioni’s masterpiece of modern alienation, with Monica Vitti as the young woman searching for her friend who's inexplicably disappeared.
La Dolce Vita
Drama 1960 175 mins Director: Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini’s masterpiece depicting seven hedonistic days in the life of a tabloid journalist (Marcello Mastroianni) as he searches for the sweet life.
The Battle of Algiers
Drama 1966 121 mins Director: Gillo Pontecorvo
Gillo Pontecorvo’s masterpiece about the last years of French colonial rule in Algeria, seen from the perspective of both the revolutionaries and the French authorities.