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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.
Period drama 1964 102 mins
Director: Kaneto Shindo
In a Japan ravaged by civil war, weary samurai are being ambushed and murdered by a ruthless mother (Nobuko Otowa) and daughter-in-law (Jitsuko Yoshimura) team. The women throw the samurai bodies into a pit, and barter their armour and weapons for food. While the daughter begins an affair with a neighbour (Kei Satô), the older woman meets a mysterious samurai wearing a bizarre face-mask; two encounters which will alter their destinies.
Erotically charged and steeped in the symbolism and superstition of its Buddhist and Shintô roots, Kaneto Shindô’s Onibaba is in part a modern parable on consumerism, a study of the destructiveness of sexual desire and — filmed amid a claustrophobic sea of grass — one of the most striking and unique Japanese films of the 20th century.
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.
Comedy 1926 79 mins Silent Director: Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton's masterpiece is widely and rightly regarded as one of the greatest comedies ever made.
The Marquise of O...
Period drama 1976 103 mins Director: Eric Rohmer
Eric Rohmer's first feature-length film after a four-year break from filmmaking is a German-language adaptation of Henrich von Kleist's classic novel, following the titular Marquise as she deals with an unwanted pregnancy.
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.
Smiles of a Summer Night
Comedy 1955 109 mins Director: Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman’s Cannes prize-winning comedy assembles various couples in a country house in 1900.
The Scarlet Letter
Period drama 1972 90 mins Director: Wim Wenders
Wim Wenders adapts the acclaimed novel in which a Puritan village chastises a young mother for giving birth out of wedlock.
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 1970 140 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa’s first colour film is an eccentric and joyous account of a group of disparate people living in a city dump.
Crime 1961 111 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
Kurosawa’s classic about a drifting samurai who plays two gangs off against each other, famously remade as A Fistful of Dollars.
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs
1960 111 mins Director: Mikio Naruse
Mikio Naruse’s best-known film is a masterful study of Ginza hostess struggling under constant pressures to compromise her honour.
Woman of the Dunes
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1964 147 mins Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Hiroshi Teshigahara's mystifying, serene and provocative fable about an entomologist who becomes trapped in a young widow’s desert shack.
The Bad Sleep Well
Crime 1960 151 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
The first film made by Akira Kurosawa's own production company is a dark tale of greed, corporate corruption and revenge.
Drama 2000 154 mins Director: Liv Ullmann
Ingmar Bergman scripts this semi-autobiographical drama directed by his closest collaborator, Liv Ullmann, about a theatre director facing up to the pain he inflicted upon his muse.
Drama 2004 102 mins Director: Cate Shortland
This intoxicating drama about an adolescent girl's sexual awakening launched the careers of both its star Abbie Cornish and director Cate Shortland.
Drama 2015 113 mins Director: Naomi Kawase
A struggling street food vendor accepts help from an elderly lady with a sensational recipe up her sleeve, in Naomi Kawase's bittersweet drama of culinary redemption.
Khrustalyov, My Car!
Drama 1998 146 mins Director: Alexei German
Aleksei German's hysterical and hallucinatory satire unfolds amid the chaos and paranoia of Stalin's 'doctor's plot' in 1953 USSR.
The Blue Angel
Drama 1930 103 mins Director: Josef von Sternberg
Marlene Dietrich is sensational in her breakthrough role as Lola Lola, star attraction of The Blue Angel beer hall.
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
Comedy 2005 154 mins Director: Cristi Puiu
Cristi Puiu's multiple award-winning drama about a seriously ill man caught in an absurdist bureaucratic nightmare over the course of one night.