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La Belle et la Bête
Jean Cocteau’s ravishingly restored 1946 film is a cinematic classic. “Five stars. [This] magical exploration of the fairytale is a compelling and bizarre masterpiece” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Fantasy 1946 95 mins
Director: Jean Cocteau
With its enchanted castle, home to fantastic living statuary, and director Jean Cocteau’s lover Jean Marais starring as a Beast who is at once brutal and gentle, rapacious and vulnerable, shamed and repelled by his own bloodlust, this remains a high point of the cinematic Gothic imagination. As Marina Warner has written, ‘The film unfolds to a perfectly poised slow tempo in surreal settings that gain intensity from the fabulous décor and costumes, the glittering lighting and the many moments of magic effects. The candle-lit shadow-play deepens the Gothic atmosphere of the beast’s castle, harking back to early expressionist classics of the genre.’
Fantasy 1988 67 mins Director: Shinya Tsukamoto
Shinya Tsukamoto's wild cyberpunk tale of a businessman's agonising transformation into a walking scrap heap is a jaggedly dehumanised vision of the future.
Fantasy 1965 89 mins Director: Elio Petri
Long before The Hunger Games, Marcello Mastroianni and Ursula Andress battled it out in a televised assassination game, in Elio Petri’s cult sci-fi.
Fantasy 1965 183 mins Director: Wojciech Jerzy Has
During the Napoleonic wars, a soldier discovers a strange manuscript that reveals endless stories-within-stories. Wojciech Has' opus is a major cult film of the 60s, revered by Luis Buñuel, David Lynch and Jerry Garcia.
Fantasy 1987 128 mins Director: Wim Wenders
In director Wim Wenders' (Paris, Texas) most metaphysical work, a guardian angel desires nothing more than to be human. Presented in a stunning new restoration.
Fantasy 1957 96 mins Director: Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman’s best-known film is a brilliant allegorical drama starring Max von Sydow as a knight trying to elude his own death.
Drama 2011 105 mins Director: Pablo Berger
Pablo Berger’s imaginative black-and-white ‘silent’ movie relocates the story of Snow White to 1920s Spain – complete with bullfighting dwarfs
Drama 1974 106 mins Director: Alain Robbe-Grillet
Alain Robbe-Grillet’s serpentine erotic mystery presented as a surreal investigation into a woman with feared sexual powers.
Drama 1974 194 mins Director: Jacques Rivette
Jacques Rivette’s biggest commercial hit is an exhilarating combination of theatricality, paranoia and ‘la vie parisienne’, around an entrancing examination of making and watching films.
Horror 1983 90 mins Director: Jean Rollin
When toxic waste spill disturbs her grave, a deceased girl comes alive to walk the earth again in Jean Rollin's macabre tale of zombie carnage.
Horror 1978 91 mins Director: Jean Rollin
A woman visiting Roublès deep in France’s winemaking country discovers that the pesticide being sprayed on vineyards is turning people into killer zombies.
Horror 1970 95 mins Director: Jean Rollin
Newlyweds visit their cousins at a remote rural chateau, finding them under the spell of two vampire girls.
Horror 1969 85 mins Director: Jean Rollin
Jean Rollin’s second vampire film is a mesmerisingly surreal art-horror, short on logic but steeped in gorgeously sensual imagery.
Drama 1975 71 mins Director: Miklós Jancsó
Miklós Jancsó's beautifully shot, intricately choreographed reworking of the ancient Greek myth is a searing exposé of oppression and the abuse of power.
Documentary 2018 96 mins Director: Ashley Joiner
Celebratory yet reflective documentary charting the LGBTQ+ movement's momentous journey towards equality.
Horror 2001 119 mins Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Kiyoshi Kurosawa's dark and apocalyptic J-Horror foretells how technology serves to isolate us as it grows more important to our lives.
Science Fiction 1988 91 mins Director: Vincent Ward
A group of medieval English villagers find themselves transported to '80s New Zealand, in Vincent Ward's startling fusion of period fantasy and time-travel science fiction.
Documentary 2018 76 mins Director: Catherine Lurie
Riding on their steel steeds, eleven bikers expose their family pasts, as they power through eight countries from Tel Aviv to the infamous 1936 Berlin Olympic stadium, in this compelling and cathartic documentary.
Horror 1994 82 mins Director: Abel Ferrara
Lili Taylor and Christopher Walken star in Abel Ferrara's raw, intense and intelligent take on the vampire myth - selected for the Sight and Sound Greatest Films of All Time Poll by The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw.