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The first sound-film by one of the greatest of all filmmakers, Carl Theodor Dreyer, is akin to a waking-dream; guiding the viewer on a trance-like journey between reality and the supernatural.
Horror 1932 73 mins
Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
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.
The Old Dark House
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)
Horror 1993 103 mins Director: Michele Soavi
Michele Soavi’s compelling concoction of anarchic Evil Dead-style horror-comedy, tragic romance and gore.
Comedy 1968 96 mins Director: Juraj Herz
This story of a professional cremator whose increasingly deranged impulses are given free reign during Prague's Nazi occupation, is a brilliantly chilling mix of Dr Strangelove and Repulsion.
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.
Period drama 1964 102 mins Director: Kaneto Shindo
Stylish, symbolic and erotically charged Japanese horror in which the fortunes of a murderous mother-and-daughter team are upended by a strangely masked samurai.
The Ninth Configuration
Horror 1979 118 mins Director: William Peter Blatty
From the writer of The Exorcist, one of the ultimate cult film experiences: William Peter Blatty's unclassifiable blend of unhinged psychological thriller and anarchic comedy.
Crime 1931 111 mins Director: Fritz Lang
Peter Lorre is unforgettable as the compulsive child murderer on the run from both police and criminals alike, in Fritz Lang’s seminal crime film.
The Marriage of Maria Braun
Drama 1978 120 mins Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
With a blazing star performance from Hanna Schygulla in the title role, this was the greatest critical and commercial success of Fassbinder’s career.
Drama 1976 86 mins Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Psychodrama with a vengeance: Anna Karina stars in Fassbinder’s first international co-production; another deadly assault on the institution of marriage.
Drama 1974 140 mins Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder's exquisitely subtle rendition of Fontane’s great novel, starring the great Hanna Schygulla as the titular 17-year-old who is forced into a socially advantageous marriage with a much older man.
Beware of a Holy Whore
Drama 1971 104 mins Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
In an elegant Spanish hotel lobby, a film cast and crew outdo one another in displays of professional and sexual rivalry while waiting endlessly for shooting to begin.
Drama 1954 83 mins Director: Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini’s film with Ingrid Bergman exploring the inner turmoil of a woman pushed to the edge through the guilt of her infidelity.
Directed by Carl Th. Dreyer
Day of Wrath
Period drama 1943 97 mins Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
Dark and powerful tale of love and betrayal, and a community gripped by an obsessive fear of witchcraft.
The Master of the House
Drama 1925 107 mins Silent Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
Carl Theodor Dreyer’s richly detailed tragicomedy of domestic manners is by turns funny, intensely emotional and deeply affecting.
Drama 1964 116 mins Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
Carl Theodor Dreyer’s final masterpiece centres on a woman who rejects the compromise of her marriage and retreats into a serene isolation.
Drama 1955 125 mins Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
Carl Theodor Dreyer’s beautifully photographed tale explores the religious intolerance and familial tensions within a Danish farming family.
The Passion of Joan of Arc
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.
They Caught the Ferry
Documentary 1948 12 mins Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
An unusual - but no less startling – entry in Carl Theodor Dreyer’s filmography, They Caught the Ferry is a fast-paced and effective road-safety film.
The Frightened Woman
Drama 1969 86 mins Director: Piero Schivazappa
A rich sadist kidnaps a woman to subject to his elaborate S&M games, but she soon turns the tables... Piero Schivazappa's erotic thriller explodes with eye-popping psychedelic production design.
Sex comedy 2008 116 mins Director: Anna Biller
Anna Biller's outrageous sexploitation satire follows bored housewife Barbi as she searches for adventure in predatory 1970s Los Angeles.
Female Human Animal
Drama-documentary 2018 74 mins Director: Josh Appignanesi
Josh Appignanesi's art-world psycho-thriller blends reality and fiction to delirious effect, in its tale of an exhibition curator pursued by a mysterious figure.
Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon
Biopic 1998 87 mins Director: John Maybury
Derek Jacobi and Daniel Craig star as artist Francis Bacon and his muse George Dyer in John Maybury’s darkly exquisite biopic.
Drama 1969 112 mins Director: Vittorio De Sica
Sophia Loren searches for the husband she lost at the Russian Front (Marcello Mastroianni) in this sweeping romance epic with echoes of Doctor Zhivago.
Period drama 1976 130 mins Director: Luchino Visconti
Luchino Visconti's final film is a brilliant and disturbing drama set against the opulent backdrop of decadent, late 19th-century aristocracy.