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 Valley, Barbet Schroeder’s 1972 film, which boasts a score by Pink Floyd. It follows a bored diplomat’s wife as she ventures into the rainforest, only to meet a tribe, shed her inhibitions and, ultimately, head to The Valley – but is it the paradise people say it is? Kermode notes that the nudity and animal slaughter depicted on screen means that the film is “not for everyone” and “probably more fun to execute than to watch”.
What else is available to stream? Every week, we bring you a round-up of the latest titles on BFI Player+:
Bruno Dumont’s 2011 film sees a mysterious figure stroll around a French seaside town offering a path to salvation – one that’s as violent as it is disturbing.
Paris Nous Appartient
The one and only Jacques Rivette makes his feature debut with this 1961 look at the paranoia and doubt of the Cold War.
Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 masterpiece about a village under attack by bandits that recruits unemployed samurai to defend them is regarded one of the best films of all time – and rightly so. Its influence can be seen in everything from A Bug’s Life to The Magnificent Seven, but its legacy is second only its standalone quality, from the carefully balanced ensemble of characters to the choreography of both action and cameras. It runs for over three hours. You don’t feel a minute go by.
They Who Tred on the Tiger’s Tail
Another Kurosawa film joins the collection, as the director adapts Noh and Kabuki theatre to produce a tale of deception about a lord and his bodyguard, who disguise themselves as monks to get past an enemy roadblock.
This 1975 film may only be 20 minutes, but it certainly makes the most of them, as it sees the filming of director Stephen Dwoskin’s avant-garde film Central Bazaar interrupted by an unsuspecting Labour Party canvasser, who rings the doorbell and stumbles onto the set.
This 1972 sci-fi comedy sees the eponymous cosmic hobo arrive on earth and befriend the locals and take on nasty politicians and developers. It all amounts to what the BFI hails as a “gloriously odd, gently subversive comedy” and “1970s Children’s Film Foundation at its weirdest, wackiest best”.
Interior. Leather. Bar.
James Franco’s revisit of William Friedkin’s thriller delves into the 40 minutes Friedkin cut from his original – minutes that effectively amounted to extremely graphic footage of hardcore acts – and emerges as a quasi-documentary exploring the boundary between art and (ahem) adult movies.