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The Day the Earth Caught Fire
The BFI’s new HD remaster of the British sci-fi classic. A journalist discovers that the Earth has been knocked off its axis and is moving ever closer to the sun. Is the Earth doomed?
Science Fiction 1961 100 mins
Director: Val Guest
When the USA and Russia simultaneously test atomic bombs, the earth is knocked off its axis and set on a collision course with the sun. Peter Stenning (Edward Judd), a washed-up Daily Express reporter, breaks the story and sets about investigating the government cover-up. This new HD remaster by the BFI National Archive is exclusively available on BFI Player ahead of its DVD/Blu-ray release.
With strong performances (Leo McKern is a stand-out), a vivid depiction of the world of newspaper journalism, and extensive location shooting on the streets of London, Val Guest delivers one of the best British sci-fi films.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1961 85 mins Director: Karel Zeman
Karel Zeman’s wildly inventive and comic take on the surreal adventures of the bragging Baron explodes on to the screen in a riot of colour, visual wit and poetic verve.
Science Fiction 2000 114 mins Director: Kenji Fukasaku
Before The Hunger Games there was Battle Royale, Kinji Fukasaku's magnificently twisted shocker in which tearaway teens are given three days to kill or be killed.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2020 70 mins Director: Jóhann Jóhannsson
Two billion years ahead of us, a future race of humans finds itself on the verge of extinction. Tilda Swinton narrates this visually stunning lament for humanity by acclaimed composer Jóhann Jóhannsson (Sicario, Arrival).
Detective drama 1965 99 mins Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard’s venture into sci-fi pits secret agent Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine) on a mission to destroy the malevolent supercomputer, Alpha 60.
Science Fiction 2019 105 mins Director: Jessica Hausner
Jessica Hausner’s cool, witty and unsettling sci-fi starring Emily Beecham and Ben Whishaw.
Science Fiction 2018 106 mins Director: Pella Kågerman
The passengers on an interstellar space-liner are thrown into turmoil when their mission goes off course, in this compassionate and thought-provoking sci-fi drama.
Drama 1982 181 mins Director: Ingmar Bergman
Bergman’s magisterial and sumptuous portrait of a 20th-century Swedish family.
Comedy 2008 237 mins Director: Sion Sono
Japanese cinema's enfant terrible, Sion Sono, unleashes this demented, whirlwind tale of cults, love, violence and perversion.
Drama 2008 96 mins Director: Bernard Rose
Bernard Rose updates Tolstoy's tale about the corrupting power of sex and jealousy, with Danny Huston as the wealthy husband of a beautiful, famous pianist (Elisabeth Röhm).
Documentary 2018 73 mins Director: Sean McAllister
Acclaimed filmmaker Sean McAllister (A Syrian Love Story) returns to his hometown of Hull to profile local resident Steve Arnott, a struggling warehouse worker who harbours his own creative dream of breaking into hip-hop.
Drama 1961 122 mins Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Michelangelo Antonioni's masterpiece stars Marcello Mastroianni and Jeanne Moreau as a couple re-examining their emotional bonds.
Comedy 1932 72 mins Director: James Whale
A group of weary travellers arrive at a spooky mansion with a madman on the loose, in this classic horror-comedy from James Whale (Bride of Frankenstein)
Drama 2011 94 mins Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Yorgos Lanthimos directs this odd drama in which a group of people start a company where they impersonate the dead to help customers through the grieving process.
Drama 2018 89 mins Director: Mark Jenkin
Simmering tensions between locals and newcomers in a modern-day Cornish fishing village reach boiling point in this hugely acclaimed British independent film.
Biopic 2008 113 mins Director: Paolo Sorrentino
Giulio Andreotti, arguably the most famous and notorious Italian politician of the post-war era, was Prime Minister in his country no less than seven times. Accused of corruption and Mafia involvement, this is far from stodgy history.
Drama 2014 96 mins Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
Living in the sand dunes just outside the city of Timbuktu, a cattle herder and his wife find their peaceful existence disturbed by forces attempting to dictate their lifestyle.
Drama 1982 109 mins Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Jeanne Moreau plays a jaded brothel madam caught up in the violent sexual awakening of Brad Davis' naïve young sailor in Fassbinder's fever dream of subversive eroticism.
Drama 2004 113 mins Director: Michael Haneke
A literary TV chat-show host (Daniel Auteuil) discovers the drawbacks to celebrity when he and his wife (Juliette Binoche) start receiving anonymous messages in the form of videos of their home and naively violent drawings.