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 Le Mepris. Jean-Luc Godard’s caustic look at compromised creativity in the filmmaking world boasts superb performances by Michel Piccoli as a compromised writer, Brigitte Bardot as his bored wife, Jack Palance as a manipulative producer and Fritz Lang as himself, about to film Homer’s Odyssey in Cinecittà and Capri.
What else is new? Here are the latest titles on BFI Player+ this week:
Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Actor, Sir Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet is a definitive take on a Shakespeare classic – and the first British film to win Best Picture.
A man claims to be able to kill others with a shout learned from an Aboriginal shaman in this 1978 Cannes Grand Jury Prize winner, which stars John Hurt, Susannah York and a healthy serving of Devon coastline.
Tom Courtenay stars in John Schlesinger’s 1963 classic film from the British New Wave, which follows a clerk whose overactive fantasies compensate for a dull provincial life.
The Battle of the River Plate
Powell and Pressburger had their biggest hit with this account of the British Navy’s pursuit of a German battleship at the start of World War II. Filmed in VistaVision, locations including Malta and Montevideo plus actual ships from the battle all add to the spectacle, while the directors bring sympathy to the portrayal of both heroes and enemies.
Quest for Love
Who says alternate histories have to be dystopian? Joan Collins stars in this 70s story about a man searching for the perfect woman he briefly met in a parallel universe. Based on a John Wyndham novel, the result is as much comedy as it is sci-fi.
A young girl witnesses a murder in Tiger Bay, only to become friends with the killer and protect him from the cops.
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.)
A BFI Player+ subscription costs £4.99 a month with a 30-day free trial. For more information, visit http://player.bfi.org.uk.