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 Night Will Fall, a 2014 documentary that sees researchers discover a lost film made by Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein about German concentration camps in 1945. The results tells not only of the discovery of the death camps but also how that story was suppressed for fear that it would damage the future relationship between the allies and their enemies.
Blending original footage and contemporary comment, Kermode explains that as Hitchcock’s enthusiasm for the project, on which he worked as treatment supervisor, waned in the years after the war, some of the footage was ultimately used in a “much abridged” American project, Death Mills, directed by Billy Wilder. It was only two years ago that the film was fully restored and played in festivals in Berlin and London.
What else is available to stream? Every week, we bring you a round-up of the latest titles on BFI Player+:
A Personal Journey… Part 1
Martin Scorsese begins a personal documentary through the history of American Cinema. Beginning with the film industry’s dual role of business and art, he moves between different aspects of Hollywood, from the studio system to questions of narrative and technique.
The Spy in Black
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger teamed up for the very first time with this 1939 thriller, following a U-Boat captain who arrives in The Orkney Islands to meet a spy. The Archers’ legendary duo would go on to make many more cinematic crackers.
This 1933 horror, starring Boris Karloff, does exactly what it says on the tin, as an Egyptologist rises from the grave to terrorise those spending the night in his old house.
Jean Cocteau retells the Orpheus myth, with Jean Marais playing a famous poet scorned by the Left Bank youth, and in love with both his wife Eurydice (Marie Déa) and a mysterious, black-clad princess (Maria Casarès).
The Lady Vanishes
Hitchcock’s 1938 classic sees a train-full of passengers holed up in a small hotel for the night, just after the mysterious disappearance of an old governess. One young socialite investigates…
Need to brush up on your Werner Herzog? Then this 1971 meditation on desert life, as seen by an alien, is one that even Herzog completists may not have seen.
The Stuart Hall Project
John Akomfrah’s 2013 film is a portrait of the life and times of the founder of cultural studies and the New Left Experience. Comprised of archive footage, set to the music of Miles Davis.
A BFI Player+ subscription costs £4.99 a month with a 30-day free trial. For more information, visit http://player.bfi.org.uk.