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 Elena, Andrey Zvyagintsev’s drama about a nurse who is married to a rich businessman. But when he decides to leave everything to his daughter from a previous marriage, her worry about her unemployed son drive her to consider doing something terrible.
“At once intimate yet alienating, picking away at complex socio-political themes under the guide of a domestic pot-boiler,” says Kermode.
What else is available to stream? Every week, we bring you a round-up of the latest titles on BFI Player+:
The Phantom Light
Michael Powell’s early feature is a Gothic mystery that explores the legend of a Welsh lighthouse, which is known for having a haunted light that causes shipwrecks and drives lighthouse keepers insane.
A darkly comic short that saves the purpose of its titular contraption right until the end.
Requiem for a Village
David Gladwell’s film is “little-known”, says the BFI, which praises the “extraordinary” Requiem for a Village, in which the idyllic, pastoral past of a Suffolk village is reborn through memory.
Gideon Koppel’s 2008 documentary depicts a small farming community in mid-Wales, from sheep to mobile libraries.
From the Sea to the Land Beyond
One of Britain’s more interesting directors, Penny Woolcock teamed up with British Sea Power for this 2012 portrait of the British coastline, accompanied by a score from the band.
Great Steam Fair
Love trains? Try this short documentary from 1964, which captures the titular event at Shottesbrooke Park, Berkshire, featuring fairground rides and steam engines. In the words of the BFI, it “skilfully combines the techniques of traditional sponsored documentary with the new approaches of the direct cinema movement.”
Let it never be said that Jean-Luc Godard doesn’t try new things. Years before he reinvented 3-D with Adieu au Langage, he embraced HD with this essay on the decline of Western civilisation, shot on a cruise ship – Costa Concordia – that ran aground two years later.
A BFI Player+ subscription costs £4.99 a month with a 30-day free trial. For more information, visit http://player.bfi.org.uk.