Regarded as the finest work from the first great era of Chinese filmmaking, Fei Mu’s quiet, piercingly poignant study of adulterous desire and guilt-ridden despair – now restored – is a remarkable rediscovery. After eight years of marriage to Liyan – once rich but now sickly and almost suicidally apathetic following a long, ruinous war – Yuwen does little except deliver his daily medication. A surprise visit from Liyan’s friend Zhang re-energises the household, but also stirs up dangerously suppressed longings and resentments to the fore.
Fei Mu’s deft use of locations, dissolves and camera movements makes for a fraught, febrile mood of hesitant passion, entrapment and ennui; sophisticated cinematically and psychologically, the film eschews sentimentality for something far more beguiling.
Romance 2020 81 mins Director: Rachel Hirons
Alexandra Roach (Utopia) and George MacKay (1917) play a couple hopelessly navigating the world of millennial dating, in Rachel Hirons’ distinctly filthy and cringe-heavy comedy.
Drama 2020 101 mins Director: Bruce Labruce
A young man with a fetish for himself, a mother he thought was dead and a twin brother he knew nothing about.
Comedy 2021 105 mins Director: Jacques Audiard
Jacques Audiard ventures into new territory with a vibrant take on love and Paris, as four characters cross amorous paths in the modern city.
Comedy 2021 103 mins Director: Marley Morrison
AJ discovers it’s not so bad being on a family holiday when she meets flirtatious lifeguard Isla in this smart and funny first feature.
Drama 2021 121 mins Director: Ryusuke Hamaguchi
A triptych of charming romantic mishaps from Ryusuke Hamaguchi, director of the Oscar and Bafta-nominated Drive My Car.
Romance 2020 97 mins Director: Matt Fifer
As a young man embarks on a new relationship, he is forced to face the traumas of his past in this remarkable debut feature.
Mark Cousins Selects
Crime 1947 116 mins Director: Carol Reed
Wounded during a robbery, a gunman attempts to escape police in Carol Reed's moody Irish thriller, starring James Mason.
Drama 1950 100 mins Director: Roberto Rossellini
In her first collaboration with Roberto Rossellini, Ingrid Bergman stars as a refugee who marries a fisherman and moves to a barren island.
Drama 1980 151 mins Director: Helma Sanders-Brahms
Set during the Third Reich and its aftermath, this lyrical, harrowing tale of love and war is a neglected classic of New German cinema.
Documentary 1929 75 mins Director: Viktor Turin
With bold and exhilarating flair, Turksib charts the monumental efforts to build a railway linking the regions of Turkestan and Siberia in 1920s USSR.
Documentary 2007 90 mins Director: Gideon Koppel
Gideon Koppel’s charming documentary about a small farming community in mid-Wales, observing the unalterable rhythms of country life and the monthly visits of a mobile library.
Drama 2016 84 mins Director: Mark Cousins
Neneh Cherry, director Mark Cousins and cinematographer Christopher Doyle's exquisite love song to the Swedish city.
Comedy 2021 120 mins
Javier Bardem is a beleaguered Spanish factory boss in ruthless pursuit of winning an award for excellence in this waspish corporate comedy.
Documentary 2021 76 mins Director: Lee Cooper
An intimate portrait of ageing and friendship, we follow David Raven as he dons his sequins and eyelashes to prepare for a special birthday performance as ‘Maisie Trollette’, Britain’s Oldest Performing Drag Artiste.
Fantasy 2017 133 mins Director: Terry Gilliam
Two decades in the making, Terry Gilliam’s wildly imaginative Cervantes adaptation is finally with us, and it’s everything we have come to expect from this visionary filmmaker.
Comedy 2022 97 mins Director: Sophie Hyde
Nancy Stokes (Emma Thompson), a retired school teacher and widow, is yearning for adventure and really good sex, in comedian Katy Brand’s witty drama.
Thriller 2021 96 mins Director: Charlotte Boulay-Goldsmith
In Charlotte Colbert’s strikingly gothic film, an ageing actor recovering from a mastectomy taps into a mysterious power at a remote Scottish retreat.
Drama 2021 102 mins Director: Harry Wootliff
Ruth Wilson is at her best in this compelling drama about a lonely woman whose life is changed by Tom Burke, the dangerous stranger who offers something different.