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John Hurt, unrecognisable beneath the make-up, delivers a tender performance as the severely deformed Joseph Merrick (renamed John Merrick for the film), rescued by Anthony Hopkins' kindly surgeon from the hell of a circus sideshow to a more genteel world of scientific enquiry. Lynch's sensitive study of disability and difference was shot in lustrous black and white by veteran cinematographer and ex-Hammer director Freddie Francis.
Distant Voices, Still Lives
Biopic 1988 81 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.
Nature of the Beast
Biopic 2017 96 mins Director: Daniel Draper
A suitably forthright profile of the evergreen socialist, trade unionist and Labour politician Dennis Skinner - also known as the Beast of Bolsover.
Letters from Baghdad
Documentary 2016 91 mins Director: Sabine Krayenbühl
Tilda Swinton narrates the extraordinary journey of Gertrude Bell, a singular woman who played a significant – often unrecognised – role in British imperial policy making in Iraq.
Nick's Film (Lightning Over Water)
Biopic 1980 90 mins Director: Nicholas Ray
Simultaneously a love letter and a farewell, this documentary charts the last few months of acclaimed director Nicholas Ray through the eyes of Wim Wenders.
Historical drama 2017 90 mins Director: Niles Atallah
Niles Atallah's wild, inspired history of French adventurer Orélie-Antoine de Tounens, told via puppetry, stop-motion and degraded film stock.
Because That Road Is Trodden
Biopic 1969 23 mins Director: Tim King
A dreamlike fantasy examining the day-to-day life of a sixteen-year-old schoolboy which was shot at Bryanston School, an independent school.
Drama 1986 185 mins Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix
Jean-Jacques Beineix’s story of a volatile, highly sexual relationship was one of the most successful French films of the 1980s.
Drama 2007 96 mins Director: Joanna Hogg
On a Tuscan break a fortysomething woman finds herself drawn to the company of a group of partying teens, including a young Tom Hiddleston (in one of his earliest roles).
Comedy 1945 96 mins Director: David Lean
A séance results in a man’s first wife returning from the dead in Noël Coward’s wonderful comedy.
Celine and Julie Go Boating
Drama 1974 194 mins Director: Jacques Rivette
Jacques Rivette's exhilarating combination of theatricality, paranoia and 'la vie Parisienne' follows two young women as they enter a mysterious realm upon eating a magic sweet.
The Ipcress File
Crime 1965 108 mins Director: Sidney J. Furie
The coolest spy of all – Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer – makes his brilliant big screen debut in this landmark British spy thriller.
A Matter of Life and Death
Fantasy 1946 104 mins Director: Michael Powell
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s timeless romantic fantasy, with David Niven as an airman trapped between life and death.
Featuring John Hurt
Love and Death on Long Island
Comedy 1996 89 mins Director: Richard Kwietniowski
John Hurt stars in Richard Kwietniowski’s comedy of fame and obsession about an older man (Hurt) who becomes infatuated with a young Hollywood actor (Jason Priestley), and proceeds to track him down.
Drama 1978 83 mins Director: Jerzy Skolimowski
Cannes’ Grand Jury Prize was awarded to this unnerving drama about a man who claims to be able to kill people with a ‘terror shout’ learned from an Aboriginal shaman.
The Wild and the Willing
Drama 1962 109 mins Director: Ralph Thomas
Ian McShane and John Hurt made their feature film debuts in this swinging 1960s drama centring on a group of students and their sexual exploits and escapades.
Drama 1975 111 mins Director: Stuart Cooper
Delusional revolutionary Malcolm Scrawdyke (John Hurt) leads his Party of Dynamic Erection in a battle against an unseen nemesis in this dark comedy.
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.
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.
Steamboat Bill, Jr.
Comedy 1928 71 mins Director: Charles F. Riesner
Waterway hi jinks abound in this Buster Keaton classic, in which he plays the reluctant heir to his father's paddle steamer business.
Comedy 1924 45 mins Director: Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton's superb, sophisticated silent comedy in which he dreams himself into the movie he's watching, in order to win back his girl.
A Gentle Creature
Drama 2017 143 mins Director: Sergei Loznitsa
A quietly determined woman undertakes a quest of Kafkaesque proportions as she tries to uncover the fate of her imprisoned husband, in this riveting, blackly comic masterpiece from Sergei Loznitsa (In the Fog).
Drama 1963 138 mins Director: Federico Fellini
Fellini triumphantly conjured himself out of writer's block with this magnum opus about a film director experiencing his own creative crisis.