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, he recommends Maîtresse, Barbet Schroeder’s conventional love story and controversial study of fetishism. Gerard Depardieu stars as Olivier, a young innocent who falls for the mysterious maitresse Ariane (Bulle Ogier), a leather clad dominatrix.
Based on a real-life encounter, this story of a Paris prostitute specialising in bondage and sado-masochism was refused a certificate by the BBFC on its original release. The film features graphic scenes of torture and fetishism which the Board described as ‘miles in excess of anything we have ever passed in this field’ in 1976. In 2003, though, the fully uncut version was finally passed.
But what else is available to stream? Every week, we bring you a round-up of the latest titles on BFI Player+:
A Canterbury Tale (1944)
Nothing says British cinema like Powell and Pressburger. The duo’s most unusual movie, A Canterbury Tale sees them lean on Chaucer’s work to inspire a story of pilgrims during World War II.
Of Good Report (2013)
Unrated by the BBFC, this South African film screened at the London Film Festival in 2013. It follows a newly hired teacher of “good report” and his fling with an under-age pupil in his class, giving us an insight into the mind of a disturbed man.
My Childhood (1972)
Bill Douglas’ autobiographical film follows a young boy called Jamie, who grows up in poverty in a Scottish mining village. His harsh life is captured by the black-and-white visuals, in what would be the first of a trilogy for the director.
My Ain Folk (1973)
Douglas continues his trilogy with Jamie’s older years in a children’s home, an ordeal that shuns sentimentality for sheer realism.
My Way Home (1978)
Bill Douglas concludes his trilogy with Jamie’s conscription into the RAF. Through military service, it is in Egypt where he finally finds a sense of freedom and friendship.
Floating Clouds (1955)
Adapted from Fumiko Hayashi’s novel, Mikio Naruse’s drama contrasts two characters in the newly democratised Japan: a strong woman, who relentlessly pursues her desire while hoping her lover and society will understand, and her lover, who craves a conventional social identity.
The Fall of the House of Usher (1980)
Jan Švankmajer takes on Edgar Allan Poe with this 15-minute short. “The effect of Poe’s stories does not reside in their plot,” he argued, “but in his ability to evoke feelings of horror that emanate from the inner being of the characters. He succeeds in describing the most intimate reactions of the human soul to that primal horror that rises up through our unconscious for which the situations are simply a kind of explosive trigger.”
A BFI Player+ subscription costs £4.99 a month, with a 30-day free trial. For more information, visit http://player.bfi.org.uk