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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.
Science Fiction 1965 101 mins Director: Kevin Brownlow
Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo's legendary, independently produced speculative fiction, imagining the Nazi occupation of Britain.
Fantasy 1988 67 mins Director: Shinya Tsukamoto
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Fantasy 1965 89 mins Director: Elio Petri
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Horror 1979 92 mins Director: David Cronenberg
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Horror 1980 103 mins Silent Director: David Cronenberg
From singularly talented Canadian director David Cronenberg comes this sci-fi/horror classic about people with powerfully violent telepathic powers.
Science Fiction 1927 150 mins Silent Director: Fritz Lang
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Crime 1926 91 mins Silent Director: Alfred Hitchcock
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Period drama 1925 91 mins Silent Director: Rupert Julian
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Animation & Artists Moving Image 2015 80 mins Director: Andrew Kötting
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Drama 2013 92 mins Director: Paul Wright
An intense and mysterious drama about the lone survivor of a strange fishing accident who’s outcast and persecuted by his fellow villagers.
Biopic 1988 84 mins Director: Terence Davies
Terence Davies' debut feature is a remarkable evocation of working-class family life in the 40s and 50s and a visionary exploration of memory.
Drama 1919 74 mins Silent Director: Oscar Micheaux
Oscar Micheaux’s startling silent classic – the earliest surviving feature from an African-American director – presents a fascinating black counterpoint to Griffith’s Birth of a Nation.
Comedy 2015 86 mins Director: Desiree Akhavan
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Drama 2013 108 mins Director: Diego Quemada
Diego Quemada-Diez’s astounding debut feature follows four Guatemalan teenagers as they attempt to escape from the slums of Guatemala City to the bright lights of Los Angeles.
Drama 1987 140 mins Director: James Ivory
Merchant Ivory’s landmark adaptation of E M Forster’s classic LGBTQ+ novel and a precursor to the James Ivory-scripted Call Me By Your Name, starring Hugh Grant, James Wilby and Rupert Graves.
Drama 1950 96 mins Director: Jean Cocteau
Magical retelling of the Orpheus myth by poet, playwright, artist and filmmaker Jean Cocteau.
Drama 1975 71 mins Director: Miklós Jancsó
Miklós Jancsó's beautifully shot, intricately choreographed reworking of the ancient Greek myth is a searing exposé of oppression and the abuse of power.
Documentary 2018 96 mins Director: Ashley Joiner
Celebratory yet reflective documentary charting the LGBTQ+ movement's momentous journey towards equality.