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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.
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.
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).
Comedy 1945 96 mins Director: David Lean
A séance results in a man’s first wife returning from the dead in Noël Coward’s wonderful comedy.
Celine and Julie Go Boating
Drama 1974 194 mins Director: Jacques Rivette
Jacques Rivette's exhilarating combination of theatricality, paranoia and 'la vie Parisienne' follows two young women as they enter a mysterious realm upon eating a magic sweet.
The Ipcress File
Crime 1965 108 mins Director: Sidney J. Furie
The coolest spy of all – Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer – makes his brilliant big screen debut in this landmark British spy thriller.
A Matter of Life and Death
Fantasy 1946 104 mins Director: Michael Powell
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s timeless romantic fantasy, with David Niven as an airman trapped between life and death.
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.
Comedy 2008 237 mins Director: Sion Sono
Japanese cinema's enfant terrible, Sion Sono, unleashes this demented, whirlwind tale of cults, love, violence and perversion.
Comedy 1926 79 mins Silent Director: Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton's masterpiece is widely and rightly regarded as one of the greatest comedies ever made.
Steamboat Bill, Jr.
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 1924 45 mins Director: Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton's superb, sophisticated silent comedy in which he dreams himself into the movie he's watching, in order to win back his girl.
A Gentle Creature
Drama 2017 143 mins Director: Sergei Loznitsa
A quietly determined woman undertakes a quest of Kafkaesque proportions as she tries to uncover the fate of her imprisoned husband, in this riveting, blackly comic masterpiece from Sergei Loznitsa (In the Fog).
Drama 1963 138 mins Director: Federico Fellini
Fellini triumphantly conjured himself out of writer's block with this magnum opus about a film director experiencing his own creative crisis.