Subscribe to watch - 14-day free trial, then £4.99 a month
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.
The word ‘Rashomon’ has passed into the English language to signify a narrative told from various, unreliable viewpoints. In this case, the mystery relates to the murder of a samurai and the rape of his wife in 11th century Japan, events which are relayed in wildly differing versions by those present: the bandit, the treacherous wife, a passing woodcutter and the spirit of the dead samurai. This radically non-linear structure, with its profound implications about the fallibility of perspective, impressed judges at the 1951 Venice Film Festival. They awarded Akira Kurosawa’s film the Golden Lion, helping to encourage a broader interest in Japanese film in the west. With its snaking bolero-like score and poetic use of dappled forest light, Rashomon is a work of enduring ambiguity.
Crime 2014 112 mins Director: Gerard Johnson
In this stylish, dark crime thriller, a policeman’s complex web of underworld relationships is threatened by an internal affairs investigator.
Crime 1971 103 mins Director: Wim Wenders
Unavailable for three decades, Wim Wenders’ 1972 classic about an errant footballer who turns to crime; restored and remastered in stunning 4K.
Crime 2013 121 mins Director: Ivan Sen
An Aboriginal cop returns to his hometown to solve the brutal murder teenage girl, uncovering a web of corruption and a growing body count, in Ivan Sen's acclaimed Australian riff on the Western genre.
Crime 2008 93 mins Director: Courtney Hunt
Nominated for two Oscars (Best Actress – Melissa Leo - and Best Original Screenplay) Frozen River is a riveting thriller that raises questions about the borders we construct, between countries, communities and each other.
Crime 1997 101 mins Director: Antonia Bird
Robert Carlyle and Ray Winstone are members of a criminal gang that tears itself apart after a heist goes wrong, in Antonia Bird’s stylish thriller.
Crime 1931 111 mins Director: Fritz Lang
Peter Lorre is unforgettable as the compulsive child murderer on the run from both police and criminals alike, in Fritz Lang’s seminal crime film.
Championed by Agnès
Drama 1974 146 mins Director: John Cassavetes
John Cassavetes's powerful drama stars Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk as a blue-collar couple struggling to cope with the wife's slide into mental illness.
Drama 1978 120 mins Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
With a blazing star performance from Hanna Schygulla in the title role, this was the greatest critical and commercial success of Fassbinder’s career.
Drama 1968 98 mins Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini
Pasolini’s classic about a handsome, enigmatic stranger (Terence Stamp) who arrives at a bourgeois household and seduces an entire family.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1930 63 mins Director: Luis Buñuel
Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali unite for this masterpiece of cinematic surrealism remains as brilliantly witty and shocking as ever, more than 80 years on.
Crime 1964 95 mins Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Godard's playful tribute to the Hollywood pulp crime movies of the 1940s, executed with typically Gallic cool.
Drama 1984 145 mins Director: Wim Wenders
The late, great Harry Dean Stanton's finest role came as the near-mute Travis, on a journey across America to reunite his family, in Wim Wenders' moving tale of loss and redemption.
Featuring Machiko Kyo
Drama 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.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1987 91 mins Director: Derek Jarman
Derek Jarman's passionate and poetic lament on the rise of Thatcherism and corporate dealings.
Drama 1979 96 mins Director: Derek Jarman
Derek Jarman’s brooding and darkly symbolic third feature is considered by some to be the most evocative Shakespeare adaptation ever to reach the screen.
Drama 1977 106 mins Director: Derek Jarman
The mythological past and a soon-to-be bleak future converge on the sparse, grey streets of London in Jarman’s personal vision of the punk movement.
Drama 1965 137 mins Director: Federico Fellini
Fellini’s first colour feature is a sensory experience that blends fantasy and reality in rich, evocative ways, following a woman’s self-discovery through stunning visions.
Drama 1953 107 mins Director: Federico Fellini
Federico Fellini’s influential drama follows five young Italian men and their different attempts to disrupt the drudgery of provincial life.
Drama 2014 93 mins Director: Gerard Barrett
Toni Collette’s visceral performance as an alcoholic, dependent on her devoted son (Jack Reynor), anchors this powerful Irish drama.