Mark Kermode Introduces
The UK's best-known film critic gives exclusive introductions to films he's selected from BFI Player subscription.
Each one probes the making and meaning of the film, and explains why it's essential viewing.
What we're watching
Crime2013121 minsDirector: Ivan Sen
An Aboriginal cop returns to his hometown to solve the brutal murder teenage girl, uncovering a web of corruption and a growing body count, in Ivan Sen's acclaimed Australian riff on the Western genre.
Animation & Artists Moving Image197372 minsDirector: René Laloux
René Laloux and Roland Topor’s surreal, psychedelic sci-fi animation imagines a world in which humanoid creatures are kept as pets by a race of giants.
Crime1931111 minsDirector: 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.
Comedy201391 minsDirector: Andrew Bujalski
Andrew Bujalski’s hilarious and surreal comedy about the birth of computer culture, set in an early 1980s conference where primitive programmers take on chess masters.
Drama197883 minsDirector: 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.
Horror1999115 minsDirector: Takashi Miike
Takashi Miike burst to international prominence with this deeply disturbing tale of a deadly young woman who turns the tables on her middle-aged suitor.
Drama2014116 minsDirector: Chaitanya Tamhane
Hailed as a modern classic channelling the spirit of Satyajit Ray, Chaitanya Tamhane's film is an absurdist portrait of injustice in contemporary India.
Biopic1927177 minsDirector: Abel Gance
Abel Gance’s silent epic, one of the most magnificent spectacles in all cinema is finally restored in this stunning new digital restoration.
Biopic1927156 minsDirector: Abel Gance
Abel Gance’s silent epic, one of the most magnificent spectacles in all cinema is finally restored in this stunning new digital restoration.
Period drama1947118 minsDirector: David Lean
The first of David Lean’s two Dickens adaptations is one of the finest British literary interpretations and one of the most acclaimed of all British films.
Thriller1986111 minsDirector: Donald Cammell
British visionary Donald Cammell directs this kaleidoscopic, highly stylised thriller about a series of brutal murders in an isolated desert community.
Drama201674 minsDirector: Shola Amoo
The gentrification of London’s Brixton is examined in this probing and stylistically ambitious debut feature.
Comedy194983 minsDirector: Alexander Mackendrick
Ealing's thirstiest comedy: "the longest unsponsored advertisement ever to reach cinema screens"?
Thriller196997 minsDirector: Dario Argento
Dario Argento's hugely influential thriller, about a murder witness who becomes amateur detective, added sex and style to the murder-mystery and kick-started Italy's 'giallo' genre.
Documentary201772 minsDirector: Alex Barrett
A poetic journey through the capital, presenting an artistic snapshot of London as it stands today, and a celebration of its rich diversity of culture, architecture and religion.
Drama200886 minsDirector: Lucrecia Martel
A woman is plagued by paranoia after she hits something – or someone – with her car in Lucrecia Martel’s acclaimed psychological thriller.
Thriller1949104 minsDirector: Carol Reed
Carol Reed's timeless classic, one of the greatest British films, lavishly marries a perfect script, an unforgettable theme tune and the star power of Orson Welles.
Horror196086 minsDirector: Mario Bava
Italian horror classic from acclaimed Italian horror auteur Mario Bava, about a beautiful witch Asa (Barbara Steele) who rises from her grave to take revenge upon her enemies.
Drama2016106 minsDirector: Anocha Suwichakornpong
Anocha Suwichakornpong's mesmerising and innovative treatise on memory, politics and cinema.
Drama1953136 minsDirector: Yasujiro Ozu
A constant fixture in critics' polls, Yasujiro Ozu's most enduring masterpiece is a beautifully nuanced exploration of filial duty, expectation and regret.
Horror196794 minsDirector: Roy Ward Baker
One of Britain’s finest sci-fi films, based on Nigel Kneale’s masterful script, about the discovery of ancient alien craft beneath central London.
Drama201484 minsDirector: Guy Myhill
A teen seeks meaning as an East Anglian summer and a violent outsider threaten to overwhelm.
Agyness Deyn stars in a powerful story seen through the eyes of a young woman whose epilepsy brings extraordinary hallucinations.
Drama1967100 minsDirector: Luis Buñuel
Luis Buñuel's provocative classic about a bored and neglected housewife (Catherine Deneuve) risks her reputation to take up a daring new hobby.
Thriller2012103 minsDirector: Tobias Lindholm
Tobias Lindholm’s thriller refreshes the genre as a ship's cook, Somali pirates and a CEO negotiate an endgame.
Desperate Optimists' deliriously deconstructed biopic of the extraordinary Ambrosio O'Higgins, who left Ireland to become the captain general of Chile in the Spanish Empire.
Pablo Berger’s imaginative black-and-white ‘silent’ movie relocates the story of Snow White to 1920s Spain – complete with bullfighting dwarfs
Stunningly photographed drama about a young American boy caught up in the nightmare of a sinister rural community.
Thriller2013113 minsDirector: Kelly Reichardt
Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning star in a taut political thriller about radical environmentalists planning to commit an act of eco-terrorism.
Comedy1990100 minsDirector: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Jeunet and Caro's endlessly inventive and wildly enjoyable post-apocalyptic black comedy, about a sinister butcher and the circus clown who becomes his nemesis.
Drama1961100 minsDirector: Basil Dearden
This thought-provoking classic stars Dirk Bogarde as a homosexual lawyer who risks his career to hunt down a blackmailer.
Period drama1978186 minsDirector: Ermanno Olmi
Ermanno Olmi’s Palme d’Or-winner, about the hardships faced by peasants in late 19th-century Lombardy, is a masterpiece of neorealism.
Documentary201761 minsDirector: Andrew Kötting
Andrew Kötting undertakes a pilgrimage in honour of Edith Swan Neck, first wife of King Harold, in this eccentric odyssey in search of English identity.
Crime2008132 minsDirector: Matteo Garrone
Matteo Garrone's unnervingly authentic Naples crime drama won the Grand Prix at Cannes before inspiring a hit TV series.
Period drama201492 minsDirector: Jessica Hausner
Jessica Hausner’s long-awaited follow-up to Lourdes is a devilish anti-Rom-Com in which German poet seeks mates for a suicide pact.
Drama194889 minsDirector: 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.
Science Fiction2006115 minsDirector: Bong Joon-ho
Bong Joon-ho's barnstorming yet highly original monster movie follows an eccentric family's attempts to rescue the daughter snatched by a huge amphibious creature.
Drama200797 minsDirector: Sarah Gavron
Sarah Gavron’s subtle and intelligent adaptation of Monica Ali’s acclaimed novel charts the experiences of a Bangladeshi woman in London.
Drama2012111 minsDirector: Thomas Vinterberg
Mads Mikkelsen stars in a distressing examination of a false indictment, and the collective hysteria that ensues, in this electrifying drama from Festen director Thomas Vinterberg.
Comedy196398 minsDirector: John Schlesinger
Tom Courtenay is the clerk whose overactive fantasies compensate for a dull provincial life, in this classic film from the British New Wave.
Horror2001108 minsDirector: Guillermo del Toro
Guillermo Del Toro’s elegant and chilling ghost story, set in an orphanage for victims of the Spanish Civil War, which is haunted by the spectre of young boy.
Anthology1974103 minsDirector: Walerian Borowczyk
Walerian Borowczyk presents four stories of sexual taboos throughout the ages, in his highly controversial classic of 1970s erotic cinema.
Drama1985154 minsDirector: Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa’s visually spectacular epic transplants Shakespeare’s King Lear from Celtic Britain to feudal Japan.
Film noir196090 minsDirector: Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard’s extraordinary debut feature, an insouciant and iconoclastic crime film that paved the way for the French New Wave.
Melodrama197493 minsDirector: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Fassbinder’s international breakthrough, this unconventional love story combines lucid social analysis with devastating emotional power.
Drama197491 minsDirector: José R. Larraz
The official British Palme d'Or entry at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival, Symptoms is a sophisticated modern gothic horror film exploring the themes of sexual repression and psychosis.
Thriller2009129 minsDirector: Bong Joon-ho
Cult Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s (The Host, Snowpiercer) fourth feature is a startlingly original and thrilling account of the limits of maternal devotion.
Comedy199689 minsDirector: 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.
Drama2000148 minsDirector: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Alejandro González Iñárritu's (Birdman, The Revenant) gripping debut feature is a savagely brilliant triptych around the theme of animalistic desires.
Period drama1970109 minsDirector: Lionel Jeffries
The beloved children’s classic about a London family who move near a Yorkshire railway station; one of the classiest examples of British period nostalgia.
Drama1960101 minsDirector: Michael Powell
Michael Powell’s dark, disturbing, once controversial tale of a shy camera technician who films women as he kills them is now rightly deemed a classic
Drama1963103 minsDirector: Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard conducts an autopsy of love and the creative process, as a boorish film producer dismantles a seemingly strong marriage.
Biopic1980124 minsDirector: David Lynch
David Lynch's moving true-life tale of the severely deformed Joseph Merrick and his rescue from the hell of a Victorian circus sideshow.
Drama1964117 minsDirector: 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).
Drama201397 minsDirector: Destin Daniel Cretton
A care-worker is confronted by a troubled teen whose case history provokes an unwelcome reminder of her own concealed and traumatic past.
Crime1997101 minsDirector: Antonia Bird
Robert Carlyle and Ray Winstone are members of a gang of thieves that falls apart when a heist goes wrong, in Antonia Bird’s stylish and political crime thriller.
Science Fiction193697 minsDirector: William Cameron Menzies
H.G. Wells' chilling vision of the future, which imagines the 20th Century as a near-endless war and struggle against tyranny, remains a key milestone in British science fiction.
Documentary199572 minsDirector: Martin Scorsese
The first part of Martin Scorsese's 'personal journey' through American Cinema.
Comedy191724 minsDirector: Charles Chaplin
One of Chaplin’s most famous early shorts finds the Little Tramp aboard a ship bound for America, mistakenly accused of being a pickpocket.
Animation & Artists Moving Image201580 minsDirector: Andrew Kötting
The latest psycho-geographical excursion from Andrew Kötting and Iain Sinclair
An intense and mysterious drama about the lone survivor of a strange fishing accident who’s outcast and persecuted by his fellow villagers.
Biopic198881 minsDirector: 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.
Drama191974 minsDirector: Oscar Micheaux
Oscar Micheaux’s startling silent classic – the earliest surviving feature from an African-American director – presents a fascinating black counterpoint to Griffith’s Birth of a Nation.
Drama2012107 minsDirector: Sally El Hosaini
Sally El Hosaini's feature debut tells of the love and disenchantment of two British-Egyptian brothers. Gangs, drugs and sexuality come between them
War1995105 minsDirector: Ken Loach
Ken Loach’s passionate war drama follows an idealistic young Liverpudlian (Ian Hart) who fights for the international brigade during the Spanish Civil War.
Drama200486 minsDirector: Saul Dibb
Ashley Walters impresses in the hard-hitting Hackney drama that’s still one of the best of Britain’s black urban crime films.
Costume drama192591 minsDirector: Rupert Julian
'Man of a thousand faces' Lon Chaney stars in the first version of Gaston Leroux's oft-filmed novel.
Drama200796 minsDirector: 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).
Road movie201183 minsDirector: Pablo Giorgelli
Pablo Giorgelli's debut is a slow, touching Argentinian road-movie about a quiet trucker warming to a woman and child he reluctantly gives a lift to
Andrea Arnold’s highly acclaimed film, winner of top prizes at Cannes and the BFI London Film Festival, is a haunting drama about a woman confronting past demons.
Drama200993 minsDirector: Yorgos Lanthimos
Yorgos Lanthimos' scary, witty tale of a dysfunctional Greek family is original, ingenious and sadly relevant as a study of parent-child relationships
Romance192893 minsDirector: Anthony Asquith
The BFI National Archive restoration of one of Anthony Asquith's finest silent films set in London's Underground, with a new score.
Biopic201090 minsDirector: Clio Barnard
Clio Barnard's film about Bradford playwright Andrea Dunbar mixes reconstruction, interviews (performed by actors) and scenes from the plays.
Animation & Artists Moving Image193063 minsDirector: Luis Buñuel
Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali unite for this masterpiece of cinematic surrealism remains as brilliantly witty and shocking as ever, more than 80 years on.
Thriller193896 minsDirector: Alfred Hitchcock
An old woman disappears mysteriously on a busy train in Hitchcock’s delightful classic.
Drama2001106 minsDirector: Andrew Kötting
Andrew Kötting's tragic tale of passion and survival, following the existence of two sisters amidst a landscape of rural hardship and a community consumed with superstition
Horror197185 minsDirector: Peter Sasdy
In Edwardian London, a series of gruesome murders match those of the Whitechapel Ripper, revealing an unlikely suspect.
Drama2009102 minsDirector: Bruno Dumont
A Catholic nun falls in with some young Arabs and embraces fundamentalist Islam in Bruno Dumont’s provocative film.
Fantasy1946104 minsDirector: Michael Powell
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s timeless romantic fantasy, with David Niven as an airman trapped between life and death.
Crime1965108 minsDirector: 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.
Drama1974194 minsDirector: 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.
Comedy194596 minsDirector: David Lean
A séance results in a man’s first wife returning from the dead in Noël Coward’s wonderful comedy.
Documentary201475 minsDirector: André Singer
An unforgettable, compelling account of the production and subsequent restoration of a withheld film recording the liberation of Nazi concentration camps in 1945.
Willem Dafoe plays the controversial filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini in this dark, daring drama about the director’s final days, from Abel Ferrara.
Horror197094 minsDirector: Peter Sasdy
An ageing countess finds that if she bathes in the blood of virgins her youth is restored.
Drama2011105 minsDirector: Andrey Zvyagintsev
Andrey Zvyagintsev (Leviathan, Loveless) relates a taut, caustic tale of need and greed leading to desperate deeds; a bleak and brilliant study of contemporary Russian mores.
Historical drama192569 minsDirector: 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.
1980122 minsDirector: Nicolas Roeg
Nic Roeg's complex, elusive cult classic is a Vienna-set tale of all consuming passion, starring Art Garfunkel, Theresa Russell and Harvey Keitel.
Comedy195383 minsDirector: Henry Cornelius
Classic British comedy about two vintage automobile enthusiasts racing from Brighton to London.
Drama1947101 minsDirector: Michael Powell
Tensions grow when a group of nuns open a convent in the Himalayas in Powell and Pressburger’s remarkable melodrama, starring Deborah Kerr.
Documentary201390 minsDirector: Jeffrey Schwarz
A unique documentary about a unique person – follow Divine’s life from humble Baltimore beginnings to superstar status as the Queen of Cult.
Fantasy198495 minsDirector: Neil Jordan
Angela Carter and Neil Jordan's magical, radical take on Little Red Riding Hood.
Animation & Artists Moving Image198016 minsDirector: Jan Svankmajer
The first of Švankmajer's 'tactile experiments', the subject chosen partly because the title was on an official list of 'approved' texts. In this version there are no humans, just a brief glimpse of a live raven as the camera roams around an eerie derelict house.
War1945103 minsDirector: Roberto Rossellini
Roberto Rossellini’s landmark of Italian neorealism often cited as one of the greatest films ever made.
Horror192289 minsDirector: F.W. Murnau
This influential Dracula adaptation contains some of the most famous images of expressionist film, with a new score by Hammer composer James Bernard.
Disaster1958123 minsDirector: Roy Ward Baker
Widely regarded as the finest film account of the sinking of the Titanic, this moving seafaring disaster tale will grip you from start to finish.
Biopic1987110 minsDirector: Stephen Frears
A celebration of outrageous British playwright Joe Orton’s irreverent and charismatic talent, starring Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina.
Drama1972105 minsDirector: Barbet Schroeder
Different worlds collide when a chic young diplomat's wife meets an intriguing adventurer and his hippy friends in Barbet Schroeder's striking second feature.
Period drama1982107 minsDirector: Peter Greenaway
Peter Greenaway became a director of international status with this witty, stylised, erotic country house murder mystery.
Crime195088 minsDirector: 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.
Animation & Artists Moving Image192816 minsDirector: Luis Buñuel
A scabrous study of desire, the subconscious and anti-clericalism - Buñuel and Dalí’s provocative first film is a classic of Surrealist cinema.
Drama1955125 minsDirector: Carl Th. Dreyer
Carl Theodor Dreyer’s beautifully photographed tale explores the religious intolerance and familial tensions within a Danish farming family.
201360 minsDirector: James Franco
James Franco and Travis Mathews recreate explicit footage cut, rumoured to be lost, from one of the most notorious gay features ever made.
Romance194586 minsDirector: David Lean
Noël Coward’s tale of a love affair, thrillingly played out with tight British reserve.
Drama1991104 minsDirector: Alex Cox
Alex Cox’s Mexican film follows the journey of a highway patrolman whose idealism eventually gives way to inevitable corruption.
1976113 minsDirector: Barbet Schroeder
Gerard Depardieu plays the young innocent who falls for the mysterious maitresse Ariane (Bulle Ogier), a leather clad dominatrix, in Barbet Schroeder’s controversial film.
Road movie1979100 minsDirector: Chris Petit
Chris Petit's cult classic is one of the most striking feature debuts in British cinema – a haunting blend of edgy mystery story and existential road movie.
Thriller200875 minsDirector: Christine Molloy
An inventive and acclaimed British feature following the transformation of a teenager who agrees to portray her missing college friend in a highly detailed crime reconstruction.
Comedy197990 minsDirector: Bill Forsyth
Before Gregory's Girl, Bill Forsyth mate this equally hilarious caper about a group of unemployed teenagers who hatch a plan to steal a job lot of stainless steel sinks.
Science Fiction1961100 minsDirector: Val Guest
The BFI’s new HD remaster of the British sci-fi classic. A journalist discovers that the Earth has been knocked off its axis and is moving ever closer to the sun. Is the Earth doomed?
Science Fiction1977123 minsDirector: Peter Hyams
Stunning sci-fi thriller steeped in post-Watergate paranoia, following a hoaxed mission to Mars and a trio of astronauts' desperate flight for survival, with Elliott Gould, James Brolin and O.J. Simpson.
Fantasy194695 minsDirector: Jean Cocteau
Jean Cocteau’s ravishingly restored 1946 film is a cinematic classic. “Five stars. [This] magical exploration of the fairytale is a compelling and bizarre masterpiece” – Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Drama1948135 minsDirector: Michael Powell
Moira Shearer’s ballerina is torn between love and her career in Powell and Pressburger’s hugely influential melodrama.
Documentary200874 minsDirector: Terence Davies
Brilliantly mixing archive film and music, Liverpool-born director Terence Davies reflects with wit and wisdom on a times of change, for good or ill
Historical drama1981157 minsDirector: Werner Herzog
One of Werner Herzog's most acclaimed and audacious films, Fitzcarraldo tells the incredible story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an opera-loving fortune hunter who dreams of bringing opera to the heart of the Peruvian jungle.
Horror195492 minsDirector: Ishiro Honda
The original Godzilla - arguably the definitive monster movie - both a bold metaphor for the atomic age and a thrilling powerhouse of pioneering special effects.
Horror1988115 minsDirector: David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg's multi award-winning psychological thriller exploring the bizarre lives of identical twins Elliot and Beverly, both played by Jeremy Irons.
Crime192691 minsDirector: Alfred Hitchcock
Ivor Novello plays a strange lodger who may be behind a number of Jack the Ripper-style killings in Alfred Hitchcock’s silent thriller.