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Traveller Allan Gray (arrestingly depicted by Julian West, aka the secretive real-life Baron Nicolas de Gunzburg) arrives at a countryside inn seemingly beckoned by haunted forces. His growing acquaintance with the family who reside there soon opens up a network of uncanny associations between the dead and the living, of ghostly lore and demonology, which pull Gray ever deeper into an unsettling, and upsetting, mystery.
Even more experimental than the director's previous film (The Passion of Joan of Arc), the camerawork, cutting, sound, dialogue and overall narrative seem intended to render everything not only profoundly unsettling but ultimately inexplicable. As such the protagonist's experiences at the sinister chateau are as nightmarishly strange as anything in a Lynch movie; suffused with a pallid, cloudy grey, the world of shadowy beings and deathly visions feels as eerily intangible as it is terrifying.
Horror 1960 90 mins Director: Georges Franju
Georges Franju’s gorgeous, poetic horror film about a surgeon’s dark obsession with restoring his daughter’s disfigured face.
Horror 1974 83 mins Director: Tobe Hooper
Unrivalled in its relentless vision of pure terror, Tobe Hooper’s horror masterpiece remains as brutal and horrific as it ever was.
Horror 1976 91 mins Director: David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg’s classic outbreak horror introduces us to a young woman (Marilyn Chambers) who hungers for human blood after an experimental plastic surgery goes wrong.
Horror 2014 101 mins Director: Ana Lily Amirpour
If you only see one Iranian vampire western this year, make sure it’s this one. A female vampire stalks a ghost town in Ana Lily Amirpour’s arresting debut.
Horror 2009 104 mins Director: Lars von Trier
After tragedy strikes, a couple retreat to a cabin in the woods in order to grieve. However, they find things go from bad to worse, in this brutal interrogation of nature from Lars von Trier.
Horror 1979 107 mins Director: Werner Herzog
English language version of Herzog’s stimulating take on the Dracula story starring Klaus Kinski, with echoes of Murnau’s 1922 Nosferatu.
The Timeless Magic of Black and White
Historical drama 1925 69 mins Silent Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein
A fixture in the critical canon almost since its premiere, Eisenstein’s film about a 1905 naval mutiny was revolutionary in both form and content.
Drama 1948 89 mins Director: Vittorio De Sica
Vittorio De Sica’s story of a father and son searching for a stolen bicycle on the streets of Rome is a classic of post-war Italian cinema.
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 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)
Documentary 1962 43 mins Director: Vera Chytilová
Věra Chytilová's 'fictionalised documentary' uses non-actors to portray girls' lives in the cotton mills of Náchod.
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.
Directed by Carl Th. Dreyer
Biopic 1927 80 mins Silent Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
An incontestable masterpiece of silent cinema, Carl Dreyer's deeply moving biopic features one of the most powerful performances ever captured on film.
Action and Adventure 2015 124 mins Director: Ciro Guerra
The spirit of Werner Herzog and Apocalypse Now imbue this majestic Oscar-nominated odyssey through the heart of the Amazon.
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.
Non-Fiction 1924 87 mins Director: J.B.L. Noel
Premiere. A breathtaking and poignant account of the valiant 1924 British assault on the awe-inspiring peak, beautifully restored by the BFI.
Drama 2019 88 mins Director: Delphine Lehericey
Under the relentless summer sun, Gus’s childhood is coming to an end as the long-awaited thunderstorms sweep across the exhausted countryside, taking a whole world with them in Delphine Lehericey sizzling rural coming-of-age drama.
Documentary 2020 89 mins Director: David Dufresne
As anger and resentment grows in the face of social inequalities during the Yellow Vests movement in France, many citizen-led protests are being repressed with ever-increasing police violence.
Documentary 2020 109 mins Director: Philippe Béziat
By bringing together urban dance and opera singing, 30 hip-hop, krump, break, voguing dancers reinvent Jean-Philippe Rameau's baroque masterpiece, Les Indes Galantes.