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The original Godzilla is arguably the definitive monster movie - both a bold metaphor for the atomic age and a thrilling powerhouse of pioneering special effects. Directed by Ishiro Honda and starring Takashi Shimura as the revered palaeontologist who uncovers the horrible secret at the heart of the monster, a long dormant Jurassic beast awoken by the atom bomb. Don’t miss the film that instilled Japan – and the world – with an unquenchable appetite for destruction.
Made in 1954, Godzilla (Gojira) was Japan’s first foray into big budget sci-fi - costing ten times the budget of the average Japanese feature and twice as much as Seven Samurai – released the same year. The film created a monster that would enter the lexicon of popular culture, spawn fifty years of sequels and inspire a new genre: the kaiju eiga, or Japanese monster movie. Upon its release the film was cut, dubbed into English and retitled for American audiences, but it’s presented here in all its restored, original glory. Now regarded as a classic, Godzilla is still regularly cited as among the top twenty Japanese films of all time.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Horror 1919 77 mins Silent Director: Robert Wiene
One of the most iconic masterpieces in cinema history, Robert Wiene’s expressionist nightmare shook filmgoers worldwide and changed the direction of the art form.
Tetsuo II: Body Hammer
Horror 1991 81 mins Director: Shinya Tsukamoto
Shinya Tsukamoto's sequel has the Iron Man transforming into a cyberkinetic gun when a gang of vicious skinheads kidnap his son.
The Old Dark House
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)
Horror 1993 103 mins Director: Michele Soavi
Michele Soavi’s compelling concoction of anarchic Evil Dead-style horror-comedy, tragic romance and gore.
Comedy 1968 96 mins Director: Juraj Herz
This story of a professional cremator whose increasingly deranged impulses are given free reign during Prague's Nazi occupation, is a brilliantly chilling mix of Dr Strangelove and Repulsion.
Period drama 1964 102 mins Director: Kaneto Shindo
Stylish, symbolic and erotically charged Japanese horror in which the fortunes of a murderous mother-and-daughter team are upended by a strangely masked samurai.
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.
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Period drama 1925 91 mins Silent Director: Rupert Julian
'Man of a thousand faces' Lon Chaney stars in the first version of Gaston Leroux's oft-filmed novel.
By Our Selves
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2015 80 mins Director: Andrew Kötting
The latest psycho-geographical excursion from Andrew Kötting and Iain Sinclair
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.
Featuring Takashi Shimura
Horror 1964 183 mins Director: Masaki Kobayashi
This stunningly beautiful anthology of Japanese ghost stories is one of the most meticulously crafted supernatural films ever made.
Crime 1950 88 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
Credited with bringing Japanese cinema to worldwide audiences, Akira Kurosawa’s breakthrough tells the story of a murder in the woods from four differing perspectives.
Throne of Blood
Drama 1957 110 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
A master of period-drama, Kurosawa (Rashomon, Seven Samurai) recasts Macbeth as a Japanese warlord in one of the greatest Shakespearean adaptations.
Drama 1954 207 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
Farmers hire a band of samurai to defend them against marauding bandits in Kurosawa’s influential epic, a touchstone for action movies ever since.
Drama 1952 143 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
Takashi Shimura is superb as a bureaucrat diagnosed with cancer in Akira Kurosawa’s lyrical and moving film about how we find meaning in our lives.
Film noir 1948 98 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
Part gangster film, part melodrama and part social critique, Akira Kurosawa's first critical success follows the troubled friendship between a disillusioned doctor and a young yakuza.
Directed by Ishiro Honda
Science Fiction 1957 85 mins Director: Ishiro Honda
The team behind Godzilla (1954) reunites for Toho’s first colour widescreen sci-fi, an arresting spectacle about the arrival of an alien race and their giant, destructive robot.
Drama 2000 154 mins Director: Liv Ullmann
Ingmar Bergman scripts this semi-autobiographical drama directed by his closest collaborator, Liv Ullmann, about a theatre director facing up to the pain he inflicted upon his muse.
Drama 2004 102 mins Director: Cate Shortland
This intoxicating drama about an adolescent girl's sexual awakening launched the careers of both its star Abbie Cornish and director Cate Shortland.
Drama 2015 113 mins Director: Naomi Kawase
A struggling street food vendor accepts help from an elderly lady with a sensational recipe up her sleeve, in Naomi Kawase's bittersweet drama of culinary redemption.
Khrustalyov, My Car!
Drama 1998 146 mins Director: Alexei German
Aleksei German's hysterical and hallucinatory satire unfolds amid the chaos and paranoia of Stalin's 'doctor's plot' in 1953 USSR.
The Blue Angel
Drama 1930 103 mins Director: Josef von Sternberg
Marlene Dietrich is sensational in her breakthrough role as Lola Lola, star attraction of The Blue Angel beer hall.
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
Comedy 2005 154 mins Director: Cristi Puiu
Cristi Puiu's multiple award-winning drama about a seriously ill man caught in an absurdist bureaucratic nightmare over the course of one night.