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.
Drama 2019 90 mins Director: Rashaad Ernesto Green
Budding writer Ayanna’s life is transformed over the course of one hot Harlem summer, when a handsome and mysterious stranger walks into her life.
Comedy 2017 91 mins Director: Sophie Brooks
The captivating Zosia Mamet (Girls) takes centre-stage in this smart and sassy Manhattan-set relationship drama which channels the spirit of Nora Ephron.
Drama 2019 111 mins Director: Marco Berger
A tentative friendship blossoms into a beautiful romance in this erotically-charged yet disarmingly sweet-natured offering from Marco Berger (Taekwondo).
Romance 2018 110 mins Director: Chanya Button
Gemma Arterton and Elizabeth Debicki relive a literary love affair, fiery and forbidden, with a remarkable legacy.
Drama 2018 189 mins Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck
Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck (The Lives of Others) presents this epic, intergenerational tale of love, art and politics, loosely based on the life of world-renowned painter Gerhard Richter.
Drama 2017 108 mins Director: Tali Shalom Ezer
Starring Ellen Page and Kate Mara, this sophomore feature from Tali Shalom-Ezer is a beautiful and poignant love story between two women from vastly different backgrounds and opposing political views.
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 Silent 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 2018 103 mins Director: Cédric Le Gallo
Drama 2019 113 mins Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Drama 2018 86 mins Director: Camilla Strøm Henriksen
Camilla Strøm Henriksen’s astute and atmospheric adolescent drama follows a young girl having to grow up quickly in an intensely adult world.
Documentary 2017 73 mins Director: Vanessa Redgrave
Documentary 2019 86 mins Director: Ljubomir Stefanov
Drama 2017 143 mins Director: Robin Campillo
Pulsating with life and pounding with urgency, Robin Campillo’s extraordinary account of 1990s AIDS activism is a rousing, sensual and heart-breaking celebration of personal and political resistance.