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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.’
The Seventh Seal
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.
Comedy 1975 98 mins Director: Walerian Borowczyk
An outrageous classic of erotic cinema, Walerian Borowczyk’s playful and subversive fantasy finds a horny heiress courting the ravenous desires of a wild beast.
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
Comedy 1990 100 mins Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Jeunet and Caro's endlessly inventive and wildly enjoyable post-apocalyptic black comedy, about a sinister butcher and the circus clown who becomes his nemesis.
I Am Belfast
Documentary 2015 84 mins Director: Mark Cousins
Mark Cousins’ dreamlike evocation of his home city discovers a capital of rich history and startling beauty.
The Company of Wolves
Fantasy 1984 95 mins Director: Neil Jordan
Angela Carter and Neil Jordan's magical, radical take on Little Red Riding Hood.
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.
The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Period drama 1925 91 mins Director: Rupert Julian
'Man of a thousand faces' Lon Chaney stars in the first version of Gaston Leroux's oft-filmed novel.
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.
Drama 2009 102 mins Director: Bruno Dumont
A Catholic nun falls in with some young Arabs and embraces fundamentalist Islam in Bruno Dumont’s provocative film.
Featuring Jean Marais
Directed by Jean Cocteau
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.
Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler Part 1 (The Great Gambler - A Picture of the Time)
Crime 1922 155 mins Director: Fritz Lang
Fritz Lang's legendary epic of silent cinema, following the diabolical crimes of the titular arch-villain, is a masterpiece of conspiracy, fear and paranoia.
Dr Mabuse, the Gambler Part 2 (Inferno, A Game for the People of Our Age)
Crime 1922 115 mins Director: Fritz Lang
The second part of Fritz Lang's legendary epic of silent cinema, following the diabolical crimes of the titular arch-villain.
1959 119 mins Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Yasujiro Ozu's late-career, elegiac masterpiece about a travelling kabuki troupe that returns to the seaside town they visited years before.
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.
Documentary 2017 72 mins Director: Carol Salter
Carol Salter's award-winning portrait of a young Chinese woman training to become a mortician is a tender and reflective elegy on death and the fragility of life.