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This Sporting Life
Lindsay Anderson’s fantastic first feature masterfully dissects the brutal life struggles of a rough-edged rugby footballer on and off the field.
Sport 1963 129 mins
Director: Lindsay Anderson
In this astonishingly powerful debut feature by Lindsay Anderson, Richard Harris is outstanding as a tormented rugby player looking for love but unable to express himself away from the rough brutality of the playing-field scrum. The unattainable object of his affections, withdrawn widower Margaret Hammond (brilliantly portrayed by Rachel Roberts), is similarly unable to articulate her emotions.
Whilst it was well received by contemporary critics, and acclaim has grown with passing decades, This Sporting Life failed at the box office when it was first released in 1963.Director Lindsay Anderson would find greater commercial success with his next feature, If…(1968).
Sport 1973 56 mins Director: Alan Clarke
Alan Clarke’s film of a day in the life of a professional footballer as he deals with the newfound pressures of money, glamour and celebrity in the 1970s game.
Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire
Musical 1985 90 mins Director: Alan Clarke
Alan Clarke’s once derided feature is surely the only vampire snooker musical in cinema history and a genuine cult artefact ripe for rediscovery.
Sport 1986 102 mins Director: Horace Ové
A cricketing comedy of manners exploring white and black stereotypes, from pioneering British filmmaker Horace Ové.
The Great Game
Comedy 1952 77 mins Director: Maurice Elvey
Goals and glamour go together in this high-scoring drama of football league corruption with Thora Hird, Diana Dors and John Laurie.
Sammy's Super T-shirt
Children's 1978 58 mins Director: Jeremy Summers
Puny young Sammy gets a super-strength makeover when his lucky t-shirt is imbued with special powers, in this classic from Children’s Film Foundation.
Working Class Heroes
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.
The Moon over the Alley
Musical 1977 108 mins Director: Joseph Despins
The Moon Over the Alley is a bizarre and compelling musical exploring the problems of multicultural Notting Hill residents in the early 1970s.
Hell Is a City
Police drama 1959 96 mins Director: Val Guest
Punchy crime thriller with a realist streak as Stanley Baker pursues a fugitive through the streets of Manchester.
It Always Rains on Sunday
Drama 1947 88 mins Director: Robert Hamer
Austerity noir: Ealing's downbeat but compelling East End thriller.
Burning an Illusion
Legal and Courtroom drama 1981 101 mins Director: Menelik Shabazz
Menelik Shabazz’s pioneering first feature traces the emotional and political growth of a young black couple in Thatcher’s London.
My Way Home
Drama 1978 72 mins Director: Bill Douglas
Concluding his acclaimed Trilogy, Bill Douglas’ autobiographical film follows young Jamie as he’s conscripted in the RAF and finally feels at home.
Featuring Richard Harris
Drama 1964 117 mins Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
Antonioni's mid-career masterpiece stars Monica Vitti as an emotionally anguished young woman embarking on a tentative affair with a businessman (Richard Harris).
Tetsuo II: Body Hammer
Horror 1991 81 mins Director: Shinya Tsukamoto
Shinya Tsukamoto's sequel has the Iron Man transforming into a cyberkinetic gun when a gang of vicious skinheads kidnap his son.
Tetsuo: The Iron Man
Fantasy 1988 67 mins Director: Shinya Tsukamoto
Shinya Tsukamoto's wild cyberpunk tale of a businessman's agonising transformation into a walking scrap heap is a jaggedly dehumanised vision of the future.
Power in Our Hands
Documentary 2015 75 mins Director: Angela Spielsinger
Ground-breaking documentary that uses archive film to tell the story of the British Deaf community’s fight for civil rights.
Comedy 1998 116 mins Director: Vera Chytilová
Věra Chytilová's dark, post-communist comedy. After a veterinary surgeon is sexually assaulted by two men, she uses her particular expertise in castraton to exact her revenge…
Drama 1963 81 mins Director: Vera Chytilová
Věra Chytilová's first feature is an important work of women's cinema, which contrasts the parallel stories of a gymnast (filmed as documentary) and a housewife (told as fiction).
Fruit of Paradise
Drama 1969 99 mins Director: Vera Chytilová
Věra Chytilová's symbolic retelling of the Adam and Eve story is a ravishing tapestry of ideas, textures, and visual tropes.