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 Genevieve. Henry Cornelius’ 1953 comedy about two vintage car enthusiasts racing from Brighton to London stars Kay Kendall, John Gregson and Dinah Sheridan, poking fun at the battle of the sexes, not to mention boasting attractive photography of 1950s London and the titular 1904 Darracq.
Kermode reminisces about seeing the film as a child, labelling it “colourful, fun and singularly British”, and praising it for its trumpet solo from famous jazz musician Kenny Baker – not to be confused with the Star Wars R2-D2 actor.
What else is available to stream? Every week, we bring you a round-up of the latest titles on BFI Player+:
Laurence Olivier’s star-studded adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic history play is an epic, soaring piece of fimmaking, with Olivier not only carrying the role of the young king but helming the whole thing to boot. From the bravura opening, which seamlessly takes us from a theatre stage to a fullscreen landscape, to the ambitious scale of the battle scenes, this is perfect timing from MUBI, as it celebrates Olivier’s Shakespeare in the month that marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
Paul Kelly and Kieran Evans chart the influence of London upon indie pop band Saint Etienne in this journey from the capital’s suburbs into its heart over an imaginary 24 hours.
Prick Up Your Ears
Stephen Frears’ celebration of British playwright Joe Orton, starring Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina, is, in the words of BFI patron Mark Kermode, a tale of “prison, sexual politics and a potential dalliance with The Beatles”. Written by Alan Bennett, the tragicomedy is one of the director’s best – not only because of its surprising list of cameos, which includes Derek Jarman, Wallace Shawn and Julie Walters.
Les Enfants Terrible
Jean-Pierre Melville films are always worth watching and his 1949 adaptation of Jean Cocteau’s novel is no exception, not least because of its controversial subject: the intimate relationship between a teenage brother and sister.
Who doesn’t love a film with a Pink Floyd soundtrack? The band helped make this Barbet Schroeder film a cult classic when it was released in 1969.
A BFI Player+ subscription costs £4.99 a month with a 30-day free trial. For more information, visit http://player.bfi.org.uk.