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 Brick Lane. Sarah Gavron’s subtle adaptation of Monica Ali’s acclaimed novel charts the experiences of a Bangladeshi woman in London. A post-9/11 tale of cultural dislocation and female empowerment, Mark delves into the controversies that dogged its creation and the future careers of its various talents.
What else is new? Here are the latest titles on BFI Player+ this week:
The Devil’s Backbone
Long before Pan’s Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro creeped the hell out of audiences with his gentle 2001 horror. Set in a Spanish orphanage during the Civil War, it’s not long until the ghost of a missing child begins to appear to the kids. Independently produced by Pedro Almodóvar, it’s a typically grounded horror from del Toro, which focuses on the human as much as the supernatural, creating a sentimental edge that makes the scares far more powerful. Spine-tingling stuff.
Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return) directs this measured drama about a nurse, who is married to an ailing rich businessman but worried about her unemployed son and his family, yielding to terrible temptation. A corrosive study of need corrupted by greed, accompanied by suspenseful music from Philip Glass.
Bong Joon-ho’s barnstorming yet highly original monster movie follows an eccentric family’s attempts to rescue the daughter snatched by a huge amphibious creature.
Yorgos Lanthimos’ scary, witty tale of a dysfunctional Greek family is both daring and brilliant – and, while its study of parent-child relationships is still relevant today, plays a keep part in Greece’s “weird wave” of cinema.
Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, Sir Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet is a definitive take on a Shakespeare classic.
David Cronenberg, Jeremy Irons and, er, Jeremy Irons team up for this multi award-winning psychological thriller, which explores the bizarre lives of identical twins Elliot and Beverly.
The Draughtsman’s Contract
Peter Greenaway’s 1982 erotic murder mystery put the indie director on the global map, not to mention soundtrack composer Michael Nyman. Art, sex, death and gardening. What’s not to like?
A BFI Player+ subscription costs £4.99 a month with a 30-day free trial. For more information, visit http://player.bfi.org.uk.