Cinephile Pics

A selection of great films for cinema-lovers, including documentaries on Akira Kurosawa's muse Toshiro Mifune, Abbas Kiarostami, and Psycho

76 Minutes and 15 Seconds with Abbas Kiarostami

A touching portrait of the legendary Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, who died in July 2016, crafted by his friend and collaborator, photographer Seifollah Samadian.

78/52

A documentary tribute to a movie sequence: the infamous shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho gets the full-on geek cinephile treatment.

Afterimage

The final film by Polish master Andrzej Wajda (1926-2016) is an illuminating biopic of charismatic dissident artist Wladyslaw Strzeminski.

Ana, Mon Amour

A sexually explicit, unflinching look at a turbulent romantic relationship over the course of a decade, from the director of Golden Bear winner Child’s Pose (SFF 2013).

Austerlitz

A fixed camera films visitors to the sites of Nazi death camps, watching as they observe, and thereby questioning the nature of history and remembrance.

Belle de Jour

In 1967 Catherine Deneuve entranced audiences in Belle de Jour, Luis Buñuel’s satire of sexual manners. 50 years on it stands as a masterpiece of erotic cinema.

By the Time it Gets Dark

The exciting rise of Thai experimental cinema continues with Anocha Suwichakornpong’s surreal meditation on the passage of time and the quest for truth.

Desperate Living

In the sacred year of 1977 the ‘Pope of Trash’ John Waters served up this deliriously demented punk rock fairytale set in the garbage dump kingdom of Mortville.

Ember

Maternal instinct and masculine rivalries collide in this meticulous psychological melodrama about a single mother struggling to survive in contemporary Istanbul.

A Ghost Story

Made in secret and on a micro-budget, A Ghost Story is a haunting and sparse love story starring Rooney Mara (Lion) and Oscar-winner Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea).

Happy End

Master Austrian director Michael Haneke has won the Cannes Palme d'Or with his last two films, The White Ribbon (2009) and Amour (SFF 2012).

The Hidden Fortress

The widescreen adventure that inspired Star Wars features a princess on the run from her enemies and the brave warrior who comes to her aid.

High and Low

An Ed McBain thriller (King's Ransom) is transformed into an epic moral tale in which a man is faced with a terrible dilemma when his son is kidnapped.

I Am Not Your Negro

Narrated by Samuel L Jackson, this mesmerising Oscar-nominated film channels the impassioned words of writer James Baldwin, one of the most incisive commentators on race in America.

Jubilee

Derek Jarman (Edward II; Wittgenstein, SFF 1993) directed this stunning satirical fantasy about England on the brink of punk-fuelled destruction.

Kagemusha

At the time, the most expensive Japanese film ever made, this epic unfolds during a period of clan warfare and questions the very nature of power.

Lady Macbeth

The arranged marriage between beautiful Katherine and wealthy landowner Alexander is the beginning of a gripping and violent psychodrama that's far from a traditional bodice-ripper.

Living

A middle-aged bureaucrat discovers he has terminal cancer and determines to do something useful with the remainder of his life. Kurosawa's most humanistic and ironic film.

Manifesto

The magnificent Cate Blanchett plays 13 different roles in this homage to the great artistic manifestos of our time, directed by influential artist Julian Rosefeldt.

Mifune: The Last Samurai

A documentary portrait of Kurosawa's muse, Toshiro Mifune, who reinvented the modern movie samurai hero. Narrated by Keanu Reeves.

Mister Universo

Humorous Italian docu-fiction set in the world of the circus, in which a young lion tamer sets out to retrieve a lucky charm from a former Mister Universe.

On Body and Soul

Winner of the Berlinale Golden Bear, On Body and Soul is about the unconventional romance between two co-workers who discover that each night they have exactly the same dreams.

A Quiet Dream

The grungy side of Seoul is the playground for the unconventional characters in this whimsical slice of life by respected Korean-Chinese writer-director Zhang Lu (Love And...,, SFF 2016).

Ran

Kurosawa’s last great epic is a re-working of ‘King Lear’ with sons replacing the original’s daughters. The battle scenes are magnificently staged with impressive use of colour.

Rashomon

An innovative murder mystery that explores the subjective nature of truth. Toshiro Mifune plays a bandit accused of murdering a samurai and raping his wife – but what actually happened?

Red Beard

A young doctor becomes intern at a public clinic and learns life lessons from the title character, a man who believes in personal sacrifice for the common good.

Saint George

Nuno Lopes won a Best Actor prize at Venice for his powerhouse portrayal of an unemployed ex-boxer who becomes a debt collector during Portugal's economic crisis.

Seven Samurai

Farmers from a remote village, who are regularly attacked and robbed by bandits, seek help from seven warriors in this celebrated action epic.

Song to Song

Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett star in Terrence Malick's dreamy love story set in the Texas music capital of Austin.

Spoor

In a remote mountain town the hunters become the hunted in this Berlinale Silver Bear-winner by the great Agnieszka Holland (Europa, Europa, SFF 1991; The Wire; House of Cards).

Taste of Cherry

SFF honours the great Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami (1940-2016) with a 20th anniversary screening of his minimalist masterpiece about a rational man on the brink of suicide.

Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves

Best Canadian Film at the Toronto Film Festival: an extraordinary, audacious film about four Quebec students who take protest to the verge of terrorism.

The Throne of Blood

'Macbeth' is brilliantly re-invented with elements of Noh theatre incorporated into the drama. A great screen adaptation of Shakespeare - beautiful and ominous.

Untitled

In 2014, award-winning director Michael Glawogger died tragically whilst filming. His long-time editor, Monika Willi, has crafted his final footage into a striking documentary.

The Untamed

A creature of another world unleashes people's base sexual impulses in this imaginative meld of social realism and erotic sci-fi which won the Venice Silver Lion for Best Director.

The Woman Who Left

The Venice Golden Lion-winning epic from Filipino master Lav Diaz (From What is Before, SFF 2015) explores a woman's quest for revenge following her unjust 30-year incarceration.

Yojimbo

Toshiro Mifune is the fastest sword in the East in an exciting and entertaining film that inspired Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars.