A potter and a farmer cross the lake to the city of Oziwa, in search of their fortune. One joins a group of samurai while the other is seduced by the supernatural Lady Wasaka. Set in the divided Japan of the 16th century, where mystery and illusion vie with violence and lawlessness, Ugetsu Monogatari evokes a feudal world where brutal realism intermingles with the supernatural. A film of haunting beauty, it is a landmark in Japanese cinema.
Drama 1948 97 mins Director: Ingmar Bergman
Arguably the most acclaimed of Bergman's early films, this charts the unsteady relationship between a girl bruised by her parents’ unhappy marriage and a sailor tired of years at sea.
Drama 2004 102 mins Director: Cate Shortland
This intoxicating drama about an adolescent girl's sexual awakening launched the careers of both its star Abbie Cornish and director Cate Shortland.
Drama 2012 127 mins Director: Michael Haneke
Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or-winner, about an octogenarian couple trying to cope when a stroke leaves the wife partly paralysed and speechless.
Drama 2013 105 mins Director: Ritesh Batra
Mismatched lunchboxes lead to an unlikely romance in this exquisite Indian drama, brimful of tantalising food and elegantly delivered wisdom.
Romance 1959 107 mins Director: Marcel Camus
Thrilling re-working of the Orpheus myth, incorporating the music, costume and dance of Brazil’s Rio Festival.
Romance 2017 107 mins Director: Mikko Makela
The world’s troubles recede, at least for a moment, in this intimate drama about an affair between a Finnish man and a Syrian immigrant.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1964 147 mins Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Hiroshi Teshigahara's mystifying, serene and provocative fable about an entomologist who becomes trapped in a young widow’s desert shack.
Horror 1964 183 mins Director: Masaki Kobayashi
This stunningly beautiful anthology of Japanese ghost stories is one of the most meticulously crafted supernatural films ever made.
Horror 2002 101 mins Director: Hideo Nakata
A single mother desperately tries to shield her daughter from hidden terrors in her apartment block, in Hideo Nakata's chilling masterpiece.
Horror 2001 119 mins Director: Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Kiyoshi Kurosawa's dark and apocalyptic J-Horror foretells how technology serves to isolate us as it grows more important to our lives.
Horror 1997 96 mins Director: Hideo Nakata
A journalist sets out to uncover in urban legend about a supposedly cursed videotape, in Hideo Nakata's chilling and highly influential tale of technological terror.
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.
Featuring Masayuki Mori
1960 111 mins Director: Mikio Naruse
Mikio Naruse’s best-known film is a masterful study of Ginza hostess struggling under constant pressures to compromise her honour.
Crime 1960 151 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
The first film made by Akira Kurosawa's own production company is a dark tale of greed, corporate corruption and revenge.
Drama 1955 123 mins Director: Mikio Naruse
Mikio Naruse’s masterpiece about a wandering woman trying to find her identity amid the devastation of post-war Japan.
Featuring Kinuyo Tanaka
Comedy 1932 86 mins Silent Director: Yasujirō Ozu
Ozu’s long-term collaborator Kogo Noda scripts a subtle shift from light to dark as Hirano’s carefree college life is marred by tragedy.
Drama 1948 84 mins Director: Yasujirō Ozu
In a Japan recently devastated by World War II a devoted, near-destitute mother turns to prostitution to pay medical bills when her son falls dangerously ill.
Melodrama 1933 45 mins Silent Director: Yasujirō Ozu
Chikako (Yoshiko Okada) works hard to pay her brothers Ryoichi’s (Ureo Egawa) college fees, but disaster looms when he learns the true nature of her work.
Comedy 1930 64 mins Silent Director: Yasujirō Ozu
Takahashi finds a creative way to avoid doing his revision in Ozu's roguish comedy, reminiscent of Harold Lloyd’s The Freshman.
Crime 1933 100 mins Silent Director: Yasujirō Ozu
A seemingly ordinary typist moonlights as a fun-loving gangster's moll in one of Ozu's most enduring silent films.
Comedy 1958 118 mins Director: Yasujirō Ozu
Ozu's deft comedy takes an ironic look at the decline of paternal authority.
Drama 2016 83 mins Director: Joseph A. Adesunloye
A young mixed heritage man confronts the psychological complexities of his identity in this essential, truly cinematic discovery for anyone interested in Black British cinema.
Drama 1998 88 mins Director: Denis Villeneuve
A woman’s existential crisis sends her and her best friend on a road trip with an unusual mission.
Documentary 2020 72 mins Director: Elizabeth Lo
A soulful new voice emerges in Elizabeth Lo’s evocative award-winning debut documentary, which details life on the streets of Istanbul from the perspective of the city’s stray dogs.
Drama 1961 142 mins Director: Jacques Rivette
Remarkable first feature from cinematic visionary Jacques Rivette, brilliantly capturing the mood of paranoia and uncertainty of the Cold War period.
Crime 1950 88 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
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.
Period drama 1963 114 mins Director: Kon Ichikawa
Kon Ichikawa's wildly melodramatic tale of a kabuki female impersonator who exacts a long-delayed revenge.