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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.’
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.
Fantasy 2010 83 mins Director: Jalmari Helander
Part children's adventure, part macabre seasonal shocker, this darkly humorous concoction defies categorisation.
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.
Tilda Swinton selects
Drama 2013 100 mins Director: Alain Guiraudie
A young man witnesses a violent crime at a gay cruising ground and becomes obsessed with the killer in Alain Guiraudie’s acclaimed mystery-thriller.
Fantasy 2010 109 mins Director: Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Apichatpong's Cannes prizewinner, about an ailing man revisiting his past, is a measured, lyrical evocation of mysterious beauty and quiet humanity.
Drama 1970 111 mins Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Pier Paolo Pasolini directs opera singer Maria Callas in a vivid adaptation of Euripides' Greek tragedy.
Drama 1954 86 mins Director: Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini's acerbic but finally very moving masterpiece about marital crisis boasts great performances from Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders
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.
Comedy 1932 87 mins Silent Director: Yasujiro Ozu
Ozu's silent masterpiece follows two brothers as they try to outwit the local bully.
Featuring Jean Marais
Directed by Jean Cocteau
Drama 2019 88 mins Director: Fyzal Boulifa
A lifelong friendship is tested by tragedy in this atmospheric and intense first feature from acclaimed British shorts director Fyzal Boulifa.
Drama 1971 74 mins Director: Masao Adachi
A jaded young woman embarks on an odyssey of self-discovery in this radical pink film from experimental film artist, agent provocateur and underground political soldier, Masao Adachi.
Crime 1967 86 mins Director: Atsushi Yamatoya
A hitman is engaged to track down a kidnapped girl, in this hallucinatory and surreal mix of erotica and yakuza violence from the writer of Branded to Kill.
Crime 1972 87 mins Director: Shunya Ito
The iconic Meiko Kaji's career-defining turn as 'Scorpion', an unjustly imprisoned young woman who must escape to exact revenge upon the man who betrayed her.
Comedy 2015 105 mins Director: Athina Rachel Tsangari
Athina Rachel Tsangari's biting and hilarious dissection of the male ego was awarded Best Film at the 2015 BFI London Film Festival.
Drama 1970 81 mins Director: Yasuharu Hasebe
Japanese cinema's kick-ass heroine Meiko Kaji made her name as leader of a ruthless girl gang - which takes on a crime syndicate - in Yasuharu Hasebe's riotous rebel biker flick.