Fiction - Commercial - Corporate - Animation - Documentary

Come and See – 1985

Once in a while we highlight a film we might not actually enjoy, but which we just can’t get out of our heads. World War II is an endless goldmine for filmmakers, and you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s not much left to explore. If it’s a buddy adventure you’re after, though, stay clear of Elem Kilmov’s nightmarish masterpiece. Come And See throws two children into the utter horror that was the Eastern Front, kicking off with an unnerving aura of doom and segueing into some of the most traumatic sights you’ve ever seen on a screen. Of all things though, it’s the look in our character’s eyes that has the most devastating impact, but only by a narrow margin. As close to a real war as you can get without actually living through one, it’s a cautionary reminder we all need, and expertly executed.

A Town Called Panic – 2009

Animation is such a meticulous craft, you have to admire anyone who can apply it and end up with a result that feels spontaneous and fresh, and stop-motion animation is an even greater challenge. Thank God for the mad Belgian geniuses behind this chaotic trip. If a piano-playing horse and a giant penguin-shaped tank sound like things you might enjoy, this is probably the only place to find them. Watch this, it’s absolutely insane!

Holy Motors – 2012

2012 was the year the world might end, and Leos Carax made a film to match, just in case. Holy Motors is every kind of film you can think of rolled into one: musical, science-fiction, comedy, drama… it’s a patchwork that shouldn’t work but does, and a treat to lovers of cinema (did we mention we loved film?). You can bet they won’t be making them like this again for a while.

Woyzeck – 1979

If it makes sense that Woyzeck, an unfinished riddle of a German play written by a very young author, is deemed a monument of modern literature, then it makes just as much sense that the best man to adapt it might be Werner Herzog, with leftover funds, star, crew, kit and permits from his previous film (Nosferatu), wrapped a few days earlier. A masterclass in filmmaking, this was shot in 18 days and edited in 4, and the unlikely result speaks for itself. From the moment Klaus Kinski, teetering at the brink of sanity, steps into frame, it’s impossible to look away.

Jigoku – 1960

Happy Halloween! You’re probably in the mood for something spooky, and we’ve got just the film for you. It’s two thirds weird murder drama – so far so average – and then we dive deep into the most eclectic hell you’ve ever seen this side of Dante. Its visions of damnation will stay with you long after the credits roll.

Innocence – 2004

Or to use its fuller title, Ghost In The Shell 2. The original is a classic, and since we owe it the Matrix, we won’t argue with that. What we will say is that it pales in comparison to this sequel, which expands on its better ideas and focuses on a more interesting hero. This is a spiritual twin film to Blade Runner, and almost just as gorgeous to look at.

Beauty and the Beast – 1946

You’ll never know by the looks of this it was made on a shoestring budget, but you can tell it was made by one of the great poets of modern times. Cocteau’s take on the fairytale feels like a dream, and the beast will break your heart. If you really want to make your head explode though (in a good way), try to see this synced to the Philip Glass opera!

The Adventures of Prince Achmed – 1926

Lotte Reiniger pioneered silhouette animation in many short films that bravely stand the test of time. They actually transcend modern advances in animation because a human handprint is so obviously all over them, despite their technical ingenuity. Achmed is her crowning achievement: a feature-length animation film like nothing you’ve ever seen. If you’re even slightly interested in the medium, you owe it to yourself to experience this.

Kwaidan – 1964

Few nations have a spiritual and paranormal tradition as rich as Japan’s and 4 supernatural chestnuts get roasted to perfection in Kwaidan. A refreshing counterpoint to contemporary horror flicks, this one shows that terror can be beautiful, and is at its most unnerving when you barely see it or hear it.

Chimes at Midnight – 1966

We love Orson Welles and we love Shakespeare. Lucky us, were we to want to combine the two, we have several options and we’re going with his last attempt: a genius distillation Of Henry IV parts 1&2 and Henry V, focusing on the character of Falstaff (Welles himself). Welles always said he’d have liked to be a magician. Judging by this, he actually was.