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 Prick Up Your Ears, Stephen Frears’ celebration of British playwright Joe Orton, starring Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina. Written by Alan Bennett, the tragicomedy is a tale of “prison, sexual politics and a potential dalliance with The Beatles”, with Kermode convincingly arguing it to be one of Frears’ best – not only because of its surprising list of cameos, which includes Derek Jarman, Wallace Shawn and Julie Walters.
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.
Sound can be a powerful tool in cinema – and, as Berberian Sound Studio demonstrated, can also make for a fascinating subject. Pat Collins’ 2011 film, as its title suggests, has acoustics on the brain: it follows a sound recordist around Ireland, as he searches for a space untouched by artificial, man-made sound.
Withnail and I’s Bruce Robinson stars in this tale about one man’s struggle for freedom in 1970s London. He plays a young writer, whose rural life of sex and drugs shock the parents of his partner, a receptionist named Ann.
Don Levy’s experimental collage film examines the scientific problems connected with the nature of time.
Viktor Turin helms this account of the epic project to build a railway between Turkestan and Siberia in 1920s USSR. People coming together. Modern engineering conquering nature. As the BFI puts it, “a striking example of Soviet filmmaking”.
This 1951 drama-documentary, the first film produced by the BFI, charts the everyday life of a Welsh caretaker and ex-miner. It’s directed by Paul Dickson, spans 38 minutes, and is available to watch for free.