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 The Elephant Man. David Lynch’s moving true-life tale of the severely deformed Joseph Merrick and his rescue from the hell of a Victorian circus sideshow stars the late John Hurt, who is unrecognisable, yet recognisably human – the kind of vulnerable, sensitive performance that made him such a phenomenal screen presence. (Read our full tribute to John Hurt here.)
What else is new? Here are the latest titles on BFI Player+ this week:
Short Term 12
Oscar winner Brie Larson stars in this 2013 drama about a care-worker confronted by a troubled teen, whose case history provokes a reminder of her own past.
“This isn’t a film that hits beats you over the head, but one that creeps up and knocks you out with a visual beauty and characters you enjoy spending time with,” we wrote in our review. “An absolute must-watch.” (Read our full review of the film here.)
After Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman, you couldn’t be blamed for being sick of Snow White and her seven flipping dwarves. But Blancanieves is Snow White like you’ve never seen it: it’s Spanish. And silent. And black-and-white. And it features a chicken called Pepe. In short, it’s fantastic. Read our full review.
Chaplin’s first comedy for Mutual Films features the first film use of an elevator as a source for slapstick.
Catch a young Tom Hiddleston in Joanna Hogg’s debut film from 2007, which sees a forty-something woman on a Tuscan break fall in with a group of partying teens.
The Phantom of the Opera
Lon Chaney stars in this landmark Universal horror film, which is the first ever screen version of Gaston Leroux’s classic novel. Accompanied by Carl Davis’ 1996 score, performed by the Prague Philarmonic Orchestra.
Pete Postlethwaite, Bill Nighy and Julie Walters appear in Gale Dohany’s 1976 film about a four-year struggle to set up a worker’s cooperative.
Sarah Gavron’s subtle adaptation of Monica Ali’s acclaimed novel charts the experiences of a Bangladeshi woman in London.
A BFI Player+ subscription costs £4.99 a month with a 30-day free trial. For more information, visit http://player.bfi.org.uk.