From actuality to direct cinema and the film essay, the documentary form is one of cinema’s pre-eminent mediums.
Most Popular Films of 2018
The classics that cut through in 2018 – here are the year’s most popular subscription titles.
Coming of Age
Filmmakers love it, audiences live it. The rites-of-passage film enables us the chance to relive the past with wisdom, but not angst.
Sight & Sound Poll
It is the most respected of guides: a census of cinema’s best, as voted for by the most respected names in the business. Here's a selection.
Celebrating a world of side-splitting cinema, from slapstick legends to today's anarchic voices.
Antonioni, Bertolucci, Pasolini, Rossellini – the melodic names that conjure up the greatest era of Italian cinema.
Tales of war and want, nerve and desire, flavoured with wit and rhythm from some of the greatest filmmakers ever assembled.
BFI London Film Festival
BFI Player is the home of BFI London Film Festival all year round. And with Subscription you now have a festival pass - allowing unlimited screenings of favourites from festivals past.
Tales of terror have been embraced by cinema since its birth, and horror remains one of the most popular genres in world cinema.
BFI Flare LGBTQ+
Here are the pioneers, the iconoclasts, the brave - from landmark LGBTQ+ portraits to the next generation of gay classics from the BFI Flare festival.
Working Class Heroes
A collection of films lit up by the charisma of working-class stars; a celebration of fine actors and remarkable leading roles.
Classic American Indie
Celebrating the outsiders and mavericks whose independent methods rewrote the rulebook for American cinema.
A selection of penetrating masterworks from one of the greatest filmmakers of all time.
From the samurai thrillers of Kurosawa and the beautiful melodramas of Naruse to classic sci-fi, this collection celebrates the extraordinary diversity of Japanese cinema.
From the New Wave to poetic realism and cinéma vérité, French cinema takes many forms and offers endless delights.
First impressions count. These features launched some of cinema's highest achievers, showing the themes and techniques to which many would return.
Ten classics from cinema’s master of humanity and compassion.
Despite the accessibility of erotica, audiences still seek out the more substantial approaches to sex that only narrative cinema can offer.
With garlands and glamour, cinema’s spirit of self-congratulation has long fascinated, allowing great works to gain recognition and reach wide audiences.
Sonic: Music in Movies
Pump up the volume for this selection of music-themed films; compiled in a long-player with copious sleeve-notes.
Women with a Movie Camera
Inspirational and diverse works of great cinema; all originating from women with a movie camera.
Filmmaking in Focus
The camera flips inward to film the creative process. Discover the lives behind the artists and obsessives who make movies what they are.
Classic Cannes Festival
The red carpet remains forever unfurled in this selection from the world’s most famous film festival.
Cinema’s perpetual provocateur has been inciting audiences for over half a century. From his early shorts to his most recent feature, we chart the advances of film's most enduring revolutionary.
Controversial, iconoclastic and erotic, the works of Walerian Borowczyk have inspired censure and acclaim in equal measure.
Tapping into a sense of early 20th-century Europe that is a place of dusty nightmares, folkloric paraphernalia and crumbling institutes filled with the dispossessed.
Enter the spooky, surreal and sepia-tinted world of the Brothers Quay.
A collection of the bold and the banned; causes célèbre and succès de scandale to incite, provoke and arouse.
Carl Theodor Dreyer
With three films in the top 50 of Sight and Sound’s Greatest Films poll, Dreyer is of his cinema history’s incontestable masters.
Tales of carnal bargaining, conspiracy, subversion and rage. Peter Greenaway's maverick work embodies all of these and more.
Few genres stretch like science fiction, a marketplace for idle prediction, utopia, apocalypse and wonder.
Most Popular Films of 2017
The classics that cut through in 2017 – here are the year’s most popular subscription titles.
Chaos, hostility and murder are, said one of these directors, our common denominator. Another had scandal as a hobby and human nature as a focus.
‘John Hurt is simply the greatest actor in the world,’ said David Lynch, 10 years after working with him on The Elephant Man. It’s a sentiment expressed by many during Hurt’s long career.
Along with Kurosawa, the director Yasujirō Ozu is a true master of Japanese cinema whose work has its place among the all-time greats.
Who Can You Trust?
Trust few and fear all in a collection of films packed with paranoia and conspiracy.
Dark Twisted Fantasy
Perverse fairytales and wayward visions meet, as Pasolini, Rivette, Cocteau and their fellow dreamers create films that burrow into memory.
From the seedy streets of '60s Soho to the city's metropolitan sheen.
Welcome to the London collection.
Flipside - Cult British Cinema
Revisiting the many British films that have fallen through the cracks, this Flipside collection favours the overlooked, the sidelined and the undervalued.
Based on the Book…
Literature has inspired some of the greatest films ever made.
Filmmaking is a team sport, and these creative partnerships have proved consistently rewarding.
The first three decades of cinema gave us some of the greatest films ever made, which had to tell their stories purely visually, giving us countless unforgettable images.
Our subscription selection celebrating black stardom, focusing on British talents and pioneering performers.
A collection of films exploring the great American director’s connection to a rich vein of cinema history...
This is a man who brought Asian cinema to the world with the release of Rashomon, and was named 'Asian of the Century' by AsianWeek magazine. Discover his astonishing range of works, from early classics to avowed masterpieces such as Seven Samurai.
The leading light of New German Cinema who has progressed to become something of an international treasure, Herzog is famed for making all types of films - in all sorts of strange places.
Powell and Pressburger
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger – alias The Archers – worked like tailors, sizing the cloth of their insanely inspiring films so they would cling.
Before Hollywood beckoned, Alfred Hitchcock directed some of the best British films ever made, many of them suspenseful thrillers that predicted his later, more famous American movies.
Despite directing only 16 films over his long career, David Lean is regarded as one of the greats of British cinema, and his films have come to exemplify a certain type of ‘Britishness’.
Singular, uncompromising, visionary. John Cassavetes was the pretty-boy actor who left it all behind to focus on his guerrilla filmmaking. In doing so he near singlehandedly established the American independent film scene.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Dead by 37, openly bi-sexual, constantly controversial: Rainer Werner Fassbinder was arguably post-war Germany’s greatest filmmaker.
Strange odysseys, straw bears and swan-shaped pedalos suffuse these singular works from Britain’s cinema’s most celebrated surrealist.
Twelve hugely influential comedy classics from the little star who became a giant of cinema.
If you’re a subscriber who’s pressed for time or simply a lover of the short-form format, you’ll find something to enjoy in these perfectly formed brevities.
Our Love collection highlights the range of cinematic romance from sweeping love affairs to quirky rom-coms and tales of obsessive desire.
Family viewing isn’t all Aardman and Pixar (great as they are). Our collection proves a reminder of the joys of children’s film from previous eras, waiting to be discovered by new generations.
Unavailable on DVD
Browse a selection of features that are near-impossible to watch anywhere else (legally!) in the UK, including hard-to-see curios made by and starring future greats.
The Art of Seduction
Be beguiled by cinema's smooth talkers and teasing temptresses.
Coded phrases and angled trilbies make for a genre the British adore.
A specially selected folio of Shakespeare adaptations exclusively for BFI Player subscribers.
Bringing together films and videos by artists that have transformed our experience of the moving image. Our collection includes films from outside the sphere of experimental filmmaking, including the celebrated surrealists and challenging works of narrative fiction.
When asked what a government most fears, one prime minister declared, "Events, dear boy. Events". These films chart events and people, real and imagined, who dared to ask for change, for power and for more.
Cinema's ultimate prize, the Academy Awards. These nominees and winners show the medium at its electric best.
Most Popular Films 2016
The classics that cut through in 2016 – here are the year’s most popular subscription titles.
Incorporating fantasy, horror and science fiction, the French fantastique genre offers many weird and wonderful delights.