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 Abel Ferrara’s biopic, Pasolini, which marks one of the SVOD platform’s highest profile additions from recent years.
“Pasolini packs an awful lot into its surprisingly brisk 84 minutes,” we wrote in our review of the film. “Wisely eschewing the trappings of your normal biopic, this instead shows us the last day or so of Pasolini’s life, as he gears up for the release of Salo, takes in an interview that challenges his worldview and starts plotting his next film, and finally, the grisly, unfortunate events that lead up to his death. That this is all mixed with occasional flashbacks and scenes playing out in Pasolini’s mind (we see the inner visuals that go with his storytelling) should be a recipe for disaster, but Ferrara somehow pulls it off.”
What else is available to stream? Every week, we bring you a round-up of the latest titles on BFI Player+:
Billy the Kid and the Green Baize Vampire
BFI Player+ continues its Alan Clarke run with a 1985 film that more than lives up to its title. Made at the height of snooker’s popularity on TV, it pits backstreet contender Billy Kid (Phil Daniels) against champion Maxwell Randall (Alun Armstrong). Whether it’s any good or not is up for debate, but this is undoubtedly the greatest vampire snooker musical in cinema history. It’s also the only vampire snooker musical in cinema history.
The BFI’s Alan Clarke season collides with Euro 2016 with the addition of this 1973 film that follows a professional footballer for a day, giving an insight into the pressures of money and celebrity in the sport forty years ago.
A Friend of Dorothy
Raoul O’Connell writes, stars in and directs this 30-minute short film about a gay student who looks forward to the freedom of going to college New York, only to fall for his male roommate instead.
Welcome to Britain
Immigration is all over the media headlines today, but how much have attitudes really changed since the 1970s? Get a window into familiar concerns about immigrants with Ben Lewin’s Welcome to Britain, which focuses on new arrivals at Heathrow airport.
BFI Player+ continues its Shakespeare run with Rupert Goold’s stunning take on Macbeth from 2009, which fuses the action and tragedy of the text with the horror of a wartime hospital. Patrick Stewart is wonderfully intense in the lead.
Robert Young’s 1971 flick follows a village in 19th century Europe where a the arrival of a circus brings relief from a plague that has quarantined the community. But the clue’s in the title, and it soon becomes apparent that these travelling performers are here to take revenge against the villagers, whose ancestors killed their leader years before.
La Belle et la Bete (The Beauty and the Beast)
It’s hard not to think of Disney when you hear the words “Beauty and the Beast”, but years before the Disney animation came Jean Cocteau’s stunning take on the tale. Landmark stuff and a must-see for fantasy fans.
A BFI Player+ subscription costs £4.99 a month with a 30-day free trial. For more information, visit http://player.bfi.org.uk.