Masaki Kobayashi’s stunningly beautiful anthology of Japanese ghost stories is both a captivatingly creepy horror film and an elegant treatise on death and loss to rank alongside Kenji Mizoguchi's Ugetsu Monogatari. Comprising four nightmarish tales adapted from Lafcadio Hearn’s classic ghost stories, each of which has its own visual style, Kwaidan features some of the most breathtaking imagery in Japanese cinema, lavishly photographed from a series of immaculately handpainted sets.
Originally released in Britain in an 163-minute version, Kwaidan was recently restored to its full 183-minute glory, and the result remains a timeless classic that both chills the bones and enraptures the senses.
Horror 1960 90 mins Director: Georges Franju
Georges Franju’s gorgeous, poetic horror film about a surgeon’s dark obsession with restoring his daughter’s disfigured face.
Horror 1974 83 mins Director: Tobe Hooper
Unrivalled in its relentless vision of pure terror, Tobe Hooper’s horror masterpiece remains as brutal and horrific as it ever was.
Horror 1976 91 mins Director: David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg’s classic outbreak horror introduces us to a young woman (Marilyn Chambers) who hungers for human blood after an experimental plastic surgery goes wrong.
Horror 2014 101 mins Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
If you only see one Iranian vampire western this year, make sure it’s this one. A female vampire stalks a ghost town in Ana Lily Amirpour’s arresting debut.
Horror 2009 104 mins Director: Lars von Trier
After tragedy strikes, a couple retreat to a cabin in the woods in order to grieve. However, they find things go from bad to worse, in this brutal interrogation of nature from Lars von Trier.
Horror 1979 107 mins Director: Werner Herzog
English language version of Herzog’s stimulating take on the Dracula story starring Klaus Kinski, with echoes of Murnau’s 1922 Nosferatu.
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 1985 154 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa’s visually spectacular epic transplants Shakespeare’s King Lear from Celtic Britain to feudal Japan.
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.
Drama 1953 136 mins Director: Yasujiro Ozu
A constant fixture in critics' polls, Yasujiro Ozu's most enduring masterpiece is a beautifully nuanced exploration of filial duty, expectation and regret.
Drama 1960 128 mins Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Comedy turns to pathos in Yasujiro Ozu's tale of a group of businessmen who conspire to match-make for a widow and her daughter.
Comedy 1958 118 mins Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Ozu's deft comedy takes an ironic look at the decline of paternal authority.
Action and Adventure 2015 124 mins Director: Ciro Guerra
The spirit of Werner Herzog and Apocalypse Now imbue this majestic Oscar-nominated odyssey through the heart of the Amazon.
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.
Non-Fiction 1924 87 mins Director: J.B.L. Noel
Premiere. A breathtaking and poignant account of the valiant 1924 British assault on the awe-inspiring peak, beautifully restored by the BFI.
Drama 2019 88 mins Director: Delphine Lehericey
Under the relentless summer sun, Gus’s childhood is coming to an end as the long-awaited thunderstorms sweep across the exhausted countryside, taking a whole world with them in Delphine Lehericey sizzling rural coming-of-age drama.
Documentary 2020 89 mins Director: David Dufresne
As anger and resentment grows in the face of social inequalities during the Yellow Vests movement in France, many citizen-led protests are being repressed with ever-increasing police violence.
Documentary 2020 109 mins Director: Philippe Béziat
By bringing together urban dance and opera singing, 30 hip-hop, krump, break, voguing dancers reinvent Jean-Philippe Rameau's baroque masterpiece, Les Indes Galantes.