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In essence, it tells a five-part story of a naval mutiny leading to full-blown revolution, but while this material could be crudely propagandist in other hands, Eisenstein uses images of such dynamic compositional strength and editing of such frame-perfect precision that it’s hard not to be swept along, regardless of personal politics.
The cinematography by Edward Tissé – who shot all of Eisenstein’s films – is strikingly effective, whether stressing the solidarity of the sailors in group shots or emphasising the suffering of individuals, as in the memorable close-ups of the renowned Odessa Steps sequence.
Historical drama 1981 157 mins Director: 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.
Historical drama 1972 94 mins Director: Werner Herzog
This early masterpiece from Werner Herzog stars Klaus Kinski as a power-crazed explorer in sixteenth-century South America who leads a band of conquistadors through the Amazon in search of El Dorado.
Historical drama 1976 85 mins Director: Derek Jarman
A distinctly bold and sensual reclaiming of gay history, Jarman here tells the sexually intense story of the 4th-century martyr.
Biopic 1988 84 mins Director: 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.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1968 80 mins Director: Sergei Paradjanov
The film that Martin Scorsese compared to ‘opening a door and walking into another dimension, where time has stopped and beauty has been unleashed’.
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.
The Timeless Magic of Black and White
Drama 1948 89 mins Director: 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.
Horror 1932 73 mins Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
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.
Comedy 1928 71 mins Director: Charles F. Riesner
Waterway hi jinks abound in this Buster Keaton classic, in which he plays the reluctant heir to his father's paddle steamer business.
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)
Documentary 1962 43 mins Director: Vera Chytilová
Věra Chytilová's 'fictionalised documentary' uses non-actors to portray girls' lives in the cotton mills of Náchod.
Drama 2018 89 mins Director: Mark Jenkin
Simmering tensions between locals and newcomers in a modern-day Cornish fishing village reach boiling point in this hugely acclaimed British independent film.
Drama 2010 109 mins Director: Joanna Hogg
Starring Tom Hiddleston, a family holiday to the Isles of Scilly sees fractures emerge in this sun-filled drama from Joanna Hogg (The Souvenir).
Drama 2013 105 mins Director: Joanna Hogg
Joanna Hogg's sleek and minimalist comedy about a pair of artists and their emotional attachment to their ultra-modernist apartment.
Drama 2006 105 mins Director: Krzysztof Krauze
Timely slice of social realism following a family forced to stay in a cramped relative's flat and the eruption of tensions that ensue.
Drama 2011 94 mins Director: Wojciech Smarzowski
Agata Kulesza (Ida) won the Polish Academy Award for Best Actress for this devastating tale of wartime survival and shared trauma.
Thriller 2018 102 mins Director: Agnieszka Smoczynska
Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s follow up to The Lure (2015) is an unsettling, gripping psychodrama about a woman trying to rebuild her family life after two years' absence with severe memory loss.
Animation & Artists Moving Image 2020 88 mins Director: Mariusz Wilczynski
This nightmarish, haunting and beautifully poetic animation is a deeply personal tale from self-taught animator Mariusz Wilczyński that was 15 years in the making.