Heard of BFI Player? Well, there’s also BFI Player+, a subscription service that offers an all-you-can-eat selection of hand-picked classics.
Every Friday, Mark Kermode highlights one of the collection’s titles with a video introduction. This week, it’s Bicycle Thieves. 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. Kermode celebrates the neorealist masterpiece as an “unstoppable, freewheeling force of cinema” that continues to influence filmmakers and act as a standard-bearer of arthouse film.
What else is new? Here are the latest titles on BFI Player+ this week:
My Voyage to Italy (Part 1 and 2)
Martin Scorsese’s two-part love letter to Italian cinema is epic and sprawling in scope but also a deeply personal and moving testament to his passion for film.
Haunters of the Deep
A ghostly boy returns from the grave to warn against reopening ‘The Devil’s Mine’ in this spooky drama.
Peter Greenaway’s epic first feature, constructed as an excerpt from an imagined, filmic directory listing everyone affected by VUE, a “Violent Unknown Event”.
Love and Death on Long Island
John Hurt stars in Richard Kwietnioski’s comedy of fame and obsession about an older man, who becomes infatuated with a young Hollywood actor (Jason Priestley), and proceeds to track him down.
“It’s how the world is made. Men prefer sorrow over joy. Suffering over peace.” A study of mankind’s ability to wage war with itself, Kurosawa’s epic adaptation of King Lear takes Shakespeare’s family drama and blows it up to an almost impossibly big scale. At its heart, the simple foolishness of one dad’s inability to see the impending chaos around him. Three arrows bundled together cannot be broken, he teaches them – but, as one son proves, they can. All it takes is a bit of brute force. This is ambitious, audacious and breathtaking cinema. Read our full review.
An excruciating look at what happens to one man’s life when a child wrongfully says he abused her, Thomas Vinterberg’s drama boasts an incredible performance from Mads Mikkelsen and prescience that shows no sign of fading. Devastatingly brilliant. Brilliantly devastating. Read our full review.
A BFI Player+ subscription costs £4.99 a month with a 30-day free trial. For more information, visit http://player.bfi.org.uk.