Subscribe to watch - 14-day free trial, then £4.99 a month
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 1975 107 mins Director: Peter Weir
The film that established Peter Weir as a major filmmaker remains one of the most chillingly atmospheric and beautifully enigmatic films ever made.
Period drama 1964 85 mins Director: Karel Zeman
Karel Zeman's astonishing fantasy mixes live-action and animation to tell the adventures of a ploughman and a mercenery during the Thirty Years War.
Period drama 1954 125 mins Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Mizoguchi’s historical epic is among the greatest of all Japanese films, and a masterpiece of humanist cinema.
Period drama 1971 94 mins Director: Walerian Borowczyk
Borowczyk's visually stunning historical drama, which presents the story of a young woman's hypnotic beauty in the style of a moving medieval fresco.
Science Fiction 1988 91 mins Director: Vincent Ward
A group of medieval English villagers find themselves transported to '80s New Zealand, in Vincent Ward's startling fusion of period fantasy and time-travel science fiction.
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.
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.
Horror 1964 183 mins Director: Masaki Kobayashi
This stunningly beautiful anthology of Japanese ghost stories is one of the most meticulously crafted supernatural films ever made.
Horror 2002 101 mins Director: Hideo Nakata
A single mother desperately tries to shield her daughter from hidden terrors in her apartment block, in Hideo Nakata's chilling masterpiece.
Horror 1997 96 mins Director: Hideo Nakata
A journalist sets out to uncover in urban legend about a supposedly cursed videotape, in Hideo Nakata's chilling and highly influential tale of technological terror.
Science Fiction 2000 114 mins Director: Kenji Fukasaku
Before The Hunger Games there was Battle Royale, Kinji Fukasaku's magnificently twisted shocker in which tearaway teens are given three days to kill or be killed.
Romance 1953 97 mins Director: Kenji Mizoguchi
Kenji Mizoguchi's haunting evocation of a feudal world where brutal realism intermingles with the supernatural.
Drama 2007 97 mins Director: Naomi Kawase
A beautiful and contemplative portrait of grief from Cannes-winning filmmaker Naomi Kawase (Sweet Bean, Still the Water).
Drama 2016 141 mins Director: Edgardo Castro
A gritty journey through the sexual underbelly of Buenos Aires, with graphic depictions of the highs and lows in one man’s quest for intimacy.
Drama 1968 101 mins Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Jean-Luc Godard intercuts footage of The Rolling Stones composing their classic Sympathy for the Devil with punchy agitprop sketches on the global anti-imperialist struggle.
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.