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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 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.
Horror 2002 101 mins Director: Hideo Nakata
A single mother desperately tries to shield her daughter from hidden terrors in her apartment block, in Hideo Nakata's chilling masterpiece.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.