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Stylish, symbolic and erotically charged Japanese horror in which the fortunes of a murderous mother-and-daughter team are upended by a strangely masked samurai.
Period drama 1964 102 mins
Director: Kaneto Shindo
In a Japan ravaged by civil war, weary samurai are being ambushed and murdered by a ruthless mother (Nobuko Otowa) and daughter-in-law (Jitsuko Yoshimura) team. The women throw the samurai bodies into a pit, and barter their armour and weapons for food. While the daughter begins an affair with a neighbour (Kei Satô), the older woman meets a mysterious samurai wearing a bizarre face-mask; two encounters which will alter their destinies.
Erotically charged and steeped in the symbolism and superstition of its Buddhist and Shintô roots, Kaneto Shindô’s Onibaba is in part a modern parable on consumerism, a study of the destructiveness of sexual desire and — filmed amid a claustrophobic sea of grass — one of the most striking and unique Japanese films of the 20th century.
Period drama 1976 130 mins Director: Luchino Visconti
Luchino Visconti's final film is a brilliant and disturbing drama set against the opulent backdrop of decadent, late 19th-century aristocracy.
Comedy 1926 79 mins Silent Director: Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton's masterpiece is widely and rightly regarded as one of the greatest comedies ever made.
The Marquise of O...
Period drama 1976 103 mins Director: Eric Rohmer
Eric Rohmer's first feature-length film after a four-year break from filmmaking is a German-language adaptation of Henrich von Kleist's classic novel, following the titular Marquise as she deals with an unwanted pregnancy.
The Seventh Seal
Fantasy 1957 96 mins Director: Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman’s best-known film is a brilliant allegorical drama starring Max von Sydow as a knight trying to elude his own death.
Smiles of a Summer Night
Comedy 1955 109 mins Director: Ingmar Bergman
Ingmar Bergman’s Cannes prize-winning comedy assembles various couples in a country house in 1900.
The Scarlet Letter
Period drama 1972 90 mins Director: Wim Wenders
Wim Wenders adapts the acclaimed novel in which a Puritan village chastises a young mother for giving birth out of wedlock.
Throne of Blood
Drama 1957 110 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
A master of period-drama, Kurosawa (Rashomon, Seven Samurai) recasts Macbeth as a Japanese warlord in one of the greatest Shakespearean adaptations.
Drama 1970 140 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
Akira Kurosawa’s first colour film is an eccentric and joyous account of a group of disparate people living in a city dump.
Crime 1961 111 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
Kurosawa’s classic about a drifting samurai who plays two gangs off against each other, famously remade as A Fistful of Dollars.
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs
1960 111 mins Director: Mikio Naruse
Mikio Naruse’s best-known film is a masterful study of Ginza hostess struggling under constant pressures to compromise her honour.
Woman of the Dunes
Animation & Artists Moving Image 1964 147 mins Director: Hiroshi Teshigahara
Hiroshi Teshigahara's mystifying, serene and provocative fable about an entomologist who becomes trapped in a young widow’s desert shack.
The Bad Sleep Well
Crime 1960 151 mins Director: Akira Kurosawa
The first film made by Akira Kurosawa's own production company is a dark tale of greed, corporate corruption and revenge.
Romance 1976 98 mins Director: Brian De Palma
High melodrama, creeping insanity and barely contained delirium abound in this dizzying tribute to the high tension thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock from director Brian De Palma.
The Olive Tree
Drama 2016 99 mins Director: Icíar Bollaín
A spirited young woman embarks on a journey from the East coast of Spain to Germany in order to retrieve an ancient olive tree precious to her ailing grandfather.
Kiss of the Damned
Horror 2012 95 mins Director: Xan Cassavetes
A cool and contemporary take on the vampire myth, steeped in atmosphere and brooding contemplation.
My 20th Century
Drama 1989 99 mins Director: Ildikó Enyedi
Ildikó Enyedi's magical tale of twin girls born in Budapest at the very moment that Edison’s wondrous electric light-bulb is unveiled to the world.
The Cave of the Yellow Dog
Drama 2005 89 mins Director: Byambasuren Davaa
A Mongolian nomad family find themselves in disagreement when the oldest daughter, Nansal, finds a small dog and brings it home, in Davaa Byambasuren's reflective, naturalistic fable.
Drama 2000 154 mins Director: Liv Ullmann
Ingmar Bergman scripts this semi-autobiographical drama directed by his closest collaborator, Liv Ullmann, about a theatre director facing up to the pain he inflicted upon his muse.