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Not a shot is wasted in this bold reworking of Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows, which unfolds with gripping simplicity: one evening in Munich, an elderly cleaning lady (Brigitte Mira) escapes from the rain into a bar frequented by immigrants. To her surprise, the jukebox plays an old German tango and a handsome young Moroccan (El Hedi ben Salem) asks her to dance...
So far, so like a fairy tale, but this tenderest of romances is soon exposed to the brutal reality of racism and ageism. Arguably Fassbinder’s best loved film, it is still, 40 years on, burningly relevant.
Lodger: A Story of the London Fog
Crime 1926 91 mins Silent Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Ivor Novello plays a strange lodger who may be behind a number of Jack the Ripper-style killings in Alfred Hitchcock’s silent thriller.
Drama 2007 96 mins Director: Joanna Hogg
On a Tuscan break a fortysomething woman finds herself drawn to the company of a group of partying teens, including a young Tom Hiddleston (in one of his earliest roles).
For Those in Peril
Drama 2013 92 mins Director: Paul Wright
An intense and mysterious drama about the lone survivor of a strange fishing accident who’s outcast and persecuted by his fellow villagers.
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.
Within Our Gates
Drama 1919 74 mins Silent Director: Oscar Micheaux
Oscar Micheaux’s startling silent classic – the earliest surviving feature from an African-American director – presents a fascinating black counterpoint to Griffith’s Birth of a Nation.
My Brother the Devil
Drama 2012 107 mins Director: Sally El Hosaini
Sally El Hosaini's feature debut tells of the love and disenchantment of two British-Egyptian brothers. Gangs, drugs and sexuality come between them
Featuring Brigitte Mira
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser
Biopic 1974 109 mins Director: Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog’s poetic account of the historical character who captivated 19th-century Nuremberg after emerging from isolation after 16 years in a cellar.
Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Beware of a Holy Whore
Drama 1971 104 mins Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
In an elegant Spanish hotel lobby, a film cast and crew outdo one another in displays of professional and sexual rivalry while waiting endlessly for shooting to begin.
Fox and His Friends
Drama 1975 124 mins Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder's brilliantly caustic and cynical drama follows an ex-fairground worker who wins the lottery but is still mocked and exploited by his boyfriend’s family and friends.
The Marriage of Maria Braun
Drama 1978 120 mins Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
With a blazing star performance from Hanna Schygulla in the title role, this was the greatest critical and commercial success of Fassbinder’s career.
The Merchant of Four Seasons
Drama 1972 88 mins Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder’s first foray into melodrama follows an ex-policeman forced to become a fruit-seller, while his wife craves bourgeois respectability and his family despises his lowly status.
Drama 1974 140 mins Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder's exquisitely subtle rendition of Fontane’s great novel, starring the great Hanna Schygulla as the titular 17-year-old who is forced into a socially advantageous marriage with a much older man.
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant
Drama 1972 124 mins Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder's visual and verbal extravaganza about a successful but lonely fashion designer who falls in love with a beautiful younger woman.
The Frightened Woman
Drama 1969 86 mins Director: Piero Schivazappa
A rich sadist kidnaps a woman to subject to his elaborate S&M games, but she soon turns the tables... Piero Schivazappa's erotic thriller explodes with eye-popping psychedelic production design.
Sex comedy 2008 116 mins Director: Anna Biller
Anna Biller's outrageous sexploitation satire follows bored housewife Barbi as she searches for adventure in predatory 1970s Los Angeles.
Female Human Animal
Drama-documentary 2018 74 mins Director: Josh Appignanesi
Josh Appignanesi's art-world psycho-thriller blends reality and fiction to delirious effect, in its tale of an exhibition curator pursued by a mysterious figure.
Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon
Biopic 1998 87 mins Director: John Maybury
Derek Jacobi and Daniel Craig star as artist Francis Bacon and his muse George Dyer in John Maybury’s darkly exquisite biopic.
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.