BFI Player Weekly Update

BFI Player is the greatest global cinema on demand. You can rent the latest releases, subscribe to classics and explore the best from the BFI national and regional archives.

SPECIAL EVENTS – BFI AT HOME ON BFI YOUTUBE

MARK KERMODE IN 3D (MK3D) ONLINE

Monday 15 June, 18:30 BST, BFI YouTube

After fifty sell-out live stage events at BFI Southbank and online events in April and May, bringing the show directly into your living room, the latest edition of MARK KERMODE LIVE IN 3D (MK3D) returns on BFI YouTube available to view for free. The funniest, best loved and most respected film critic in the UK will explore, critique and celebrate film culture past and present joined by Sam Riley (RADIOACTIVE), Noel Clarke (BULLETPROOF), Caitlin Moran (HOW TO BUILD A GIRL),  plus director Fyzal Boulifa and actor Roxanne Scrimshaw (LYNN + LUCY).

Expect lively and interactive chat about what has been happening in the world of film, as Mark and his special guests delve deeper into particular movies or topics, with a focus on the issues of the day.

LITTLE JOE: Jessica Hausner, in conversation with Carol Morley

Thursday 18 June, 19:00 BST, BFI YouTube

To celebrate the home entertainment release of LITTLE JOE, director Jessica Hausner is joined by director Carol Morley (OUT OF BLUE, THE FALLING) to discuss her cool, witty and unsettling sci-fi.

***Viewing link available***

LITTLE JOE (2019) directed by Jessica Hausner

Starring Emily BeechamBen Whishaw and Kerry Fox

Against company policy, plant breeder Alice takes home a newly created species as a gift for her teenage son, Joe. They christen it ‘Little Joe’ but as it grows, so too does Alice’s suspicion that her new creations may not be as harmless as their nickname suggests…

Little Joe is now available to watch on BFI Player:

https://player.bfi.org.uk/subscription/film/watch-little-joe-2019-online

And as a dual-format edition: https://shop.bfi.org.uk/pre-order-little-joe-dual-format-edition.html#.XudbzkW2nIU

Explore Carol Morley’s work on BFI Player:

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/collection/carol-morley

GANGS OF LONDON Q&A with Gareth Evans, Sope Dirisu, Lucas Ochoa and Jude Poyer

Friday 19 June, 19:00 BST, BFI YouTube

Join the creators of Sky’s thrilling smash hit show Gangs of London as they dive into the violent and murky underbelly of the capital’s modern-day criminal underworld. 

Creator Gareth Evans, Exec Producer Lucas Ochoa, Action Designer Jude Poyer and star Sope Dirisu in conversation with BFI Head of Programme Stuart Brown will discuss the success of Sky’s smash drama series that concluded this week and take a look behind the scenes at some of the most complex action sequences on television. 

‘A sly wit, inventive violence, colourful characters and feuding families – Gangs of London has all the right ingredients to […} become the next TV drama sensation’ – Morgan Jeffrey, Radio Times

SAVE ME TOO: LENNIE JAMES IN CONVERSATION

Monday 22 June, 19:00 BST, BFI YouTube

BBC Radio 6 Music Critic Rhianna Dhillon interviews Lennie James, the creator, writer and star of the universally acclaimed Save Me Too. The event will look back at the success of the show, how Lennie is spending lockdown and his varied and esteemed career, including starring in television phenomena Line Of Duty, The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead, as well as roles in blockbuster films including SNATCH and BLADE RUNNER 2049.

Save Me Too, which stars Suranne Jones, Stephen Graham and Jason Flemyng, has James delivering a powerhouse performance as Nelly, on a desperate search for his missing daughter Jody with potentially terrible consequences for him and those around him. All episodes of Save Me Too are available on Sky Atlantic on demand and NOW TV, and on DVD from the 22nd June.

‘Powerful, thrilling and beautifully observed, the sequel to Save Me is a gem’ – Morgan Jeffrey, Radio Times

RENTAL

Rent new and acclaimed films, without a subscription; features start from just £2.50

New today – 15 June

THE GROUND BENEATH MY FEET (2019) directed by Marie Kreutzer

In this taut Austrian thriller, ghosts from the past threaten to engulf a young woman’s tightly controlled present.

https://player.bfi.org.uk/rentals/film/watch-the-ground-beneath-my-feet-2019-online

THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD (2019) directed by Armando Iannucci

Armando Iannucci brings David Copperfield fizzing to life with all-star collaborators in this exuberant, entertaining and sharply pertinent adaptation.

https://player.bfi.org.uk/rentals/film/watch-the-personal-history-of-david-copperfield-2019-online

New on 19 June

RESISTANCE (2020) directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz

Jesse Eisenberg stars in the true story of Jewish Boy Scouts joining the French Resistance to save over 10,000 orphans from the Nazis in World War Two. He plays famous mime artist Marcel Marceau who, together with a group of activists, fights to rescue 123 Jewish orphans from ruthless Nazis led by SS Klaus Barbie, and take them safely across the Swiss border.

New on 26 June

FANNY LYE DELIVR’D (2019) directed by Thomas Clay

BFI Film Funded FANNY LYE DELIVR’Dsees Maxine Peake’s eponymous Fanny Lye living a quiet Puritan life with her husband John (Charles Dance) and young son Arthur (Zak Adams). But her simple world is shaken to its core by the unexpected arrival of a mysterious young couple (Freddie Fox and Tanya Reynolds) in need.

ON THE RECORD (2020) directed by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering.

This Sundance documentary centres allegations of sexual abuse and harassment against hip hop mogul Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records, featuring interviews with some of the over 20 women who have accused him, including Drew Dixon, a former A&R executive who decided to break her silence and go public. A significant #MeToo moment for black women working in the US music industry.

New on 29 June

A WHITE, WHITE DAY (2019) directed by Hlynur Pálmason

Iceland’s finest actor Ingvar Sigurðsson gives a heart-breaking and Cannes award-winning performance as widowed cop who becomes increasingly obsessed with his wife’s death. This is no standard police procedural, Hlynur Pálmason’s highly original and emotionally complex drama exploring the ravages of loss screened at the BFI London Film Festival. Hypnotic images highlight the beauty and strangeness of Iceland’s breathtaking landscape, while Sigurðsson’s towering performance reveals the interior devastation of a man consumed by loss.

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New today – 15 June

Part 5, the final part of WOMEN MAKE FILM: A NEW ROAD MOVIE THROUGH CINEMA,includes chapters on love, death and the meaning of life.

https://player.bfi.org.uk/subscription/film/watch-women-make-film-a-new-road-movie-through-cinema-part-5-2019-online

New on 22 June

THE LAST TREE (2019) directed by Shola Amoo

Femi, a young British boy of Nigerian heritage, has to adapt to the new environment of inner-city London, in this outstanding, BIFA-winning BFI Film Funded drama from Shola Amoo (Amoo’s feature debut, A MOVING IMAGE is also available to view on BFI Player). Sam Adewunmi stars as the teenage Femi who must decide which path to adulthood he wants to take, and find out what it means to be a young black man in London during the early 00s.

https://player.bfi.org.uk/subscription/film/watch-the-last-tree-2019-online

New on 29 June

ARMY OF SHADOWS (1969) /LE DOULOS (1962) /LE CERCLE ROUGE (1970) directed by Jean-Pierre Melville

ARMY OF SHADOWS

Based on the novel by Joseph Kessel this classic French war drama draws on the director’s own experiences in World War II. The film follows a band of resistance fighters in German-controlled France. As the grip of the occupying force tightens, friendships, loyalty and trust give way to suspicion, secrecy and loss.

LE DOULOS

The backstabbing criminals in Melville’s shadowy underworld only have one guiding principle: “Lie or die.” By the end of this brutal, twisting and multilayered policier who will be left to trust? Shot and edited with Melville’s trademark cool with masterfully stylized dialogue and a memorable performance from a stone-faced Jean-Paul Belmondo.

LE CERCLE ROUGE

A masterpiece of crime cinema, Alain Delon plays a master thief, fresh out of prison, who crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic ex-cop. The unlikely trio plot a heist, against impossible odds, until a relentless inspector and their own pasts seal their fates.

New from the BFI on 2 July

*** Viewing link available***

LYNN + LUCY (2019) directed by Fyzal Boulifa

A lifelong friendship is tested by tragedy in this atmospheric and intense first feature from acclaimed British shorts director Fyzal Boulifa which premiered at the BFI London Film Festival. Beautifully acted, this taut thriller of bad choices, misunderstandings and escalating social unrest skilfully transcends conventional British film genres and tropes.

FREE FILMS TO WATCH

Explore over 10,000 free archive films on BFI Player from the last 120 years at https://player.bfi.org.uk/free

BFI NATIONAL ARCHIVE COLLECTION OF THE WEEK:

KEEP FIT https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/collection/keep-fit

To paraphrase Olivia Newton-John, “Let’s get physical”. With over a century of exercise on film, this new collection, digitised thanks to National Lottery funding, offers some high intensity viewing. Drawn from the BFI National Archive and regional film archive partners across the UK the selection of titles proves that Britons advocated exercise and keep fit regimes long before The Body Coach, Joe Wicks’s lockdown workouts.

Victorians might not have known how to Zumba, but few generations have been without a fitness craze. Since its earliest days film has been used to champion a variety of physical pursuits, from calisthenics and running, to cycling, rambling and haggis hurling. Whether it is the spectacle of the form in motion, the pursuit of healthy body and mind, or an excuse to let it all hang out, this collection is testament to the fact that when it comes to exercise it’s not about winning, it’s the taking part that counts.

Three to see for free:

4 and 20 Fit Girls (1940)

These sprightly scenes of women partaking in energetic group exercise at a local community hall add up to something of a wartime curio. The film was part of a wider three-year national fitness campaign organised by the National Fitness Council for England and Wales, which issued grants to local authorities to run fitness classes like the one shown.

Long Distance Runner (1974) (Media Archive for Central England, University of Lincoln)

They breed them hard in Dudley – running non-stop for 24 hours is nothing to ultra-runner Ron Bentley. This local news report announces his next challenge, an 800 mile race across Finland, getting his training miles in running to and from work Ron even pops out for a run during his lunch break.

Stoke Mandeville Sports Stadium for the Disabled (1967) (UEA’s East Anglian Film Archive)

Rare home movie captures sporting action in 1967 at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, birthplace of the Paralympics. Stoke Mandeville hosted a yearly international sporting competition for wheelchair users. This amateur footage shows wheelchair athletes competing in a range of sports including archery and javelin.

BFI RECOMMENDS – A daily series on the BFI website of recommended viewing on BFI Player chosen by our film-loving staff from across the BFI – all BFI Recommends to date can be viewed here:

https://www.bfi.org.uk/bfi-recommends

#BFIRecommends

Mon 15/6: – WITCHFINDER GENERAL (1968) directed by Michael Reeves

Available to rent https://player.bfi.org.uk/rentals/film/watch-witchfinder-general-1968-online

Senior Archive Projects Curator Mark Duguid is struck by Michael Reeves caustic analysis of the English in his cult 1968 British horror. Inspired by the savage deeds of the real Matthew Hopkins, the self-proclaimed ‘witchfinder general’ who stalked East Anglia during the English Civil War terrorising women, the film boasts a particularly malevolent central performance from Vincent Price. Conceived during the Summer of Love and released in May 68, at the height of the uprising in Paris, Reeves’ film shows how easily breathtaking cruelty and endemic misogyny can be tolerated and even thrive in the thick of revolution.

Tue 16/6: THE GREAT WHITE SILENCE (1924) directed by Herbert Ponting

Available to rent: https://player.bfi.org.uk/rentals/film/watch-the-great-white-silence-1924-online 

Conservation Specialist, Angelo Lucatello, revisits the BFI National Archive’s extensive restoration project to bring The Great White Silence, Herbert Ponting’s breathtakingly beautiful record of Captain Scott’s legendary expedition to the South Pole (1910-13), back to life. Angelo lived and breathed this film for almost a year. It felt like a privilege to handle the original negatives that had been shot at the South Pole, but also a responsibility to do them justice, attempting to match hundreds of short rolls of film, even trying to identify individual penguins, to select the best material. The conservation team were even able to return the original colours to the film by following Ponting’s tinting and toning instructions which he had scratched onto the film negative.

Wed 17/6: RED ROAD (2006) directed by Andrea Arnold

Available to subscribers https://player.bfi.org.uk/subscription/film/watch-red-road-2006-online 

BFI National Archive Fiction Curator Jo Botting champions Andrea Arnold’s much garlanded debut feature as being distinctly British in style. This intense and intriguing voyeuristic Glaswegian take on Rear Window is a complete antidote to the genteel period drama that is British Cinema’s stock in trade. Though the setting is bleak and squalid, the film’s title refers to the monstrous tower blocks, now demolished, which dominate the skyline, and which had become synonymous with crime and anti-social behaviour, Arnold’s film never revels in or exploits this, just uses it as the backdrop for what is, ultimately, a tale of hope and redemption.

Thu 18/6: DJANGO (1966) directed by Sergio Corbucci

Available to subscribers https://player.bfi.org.uk/subscription/film/watch-django-1966-online

Press and PR Coordinator Victoria Millington finds herself drawn to the mysterious lone drifter who calls himself Django. From the opening bars of Luis Bacalov’s score and Rocky Robert’s heroic vocal to a lone figure dragging his coffin through a muddy, apocalyptic landscape, this landmark ‘spaghetti western’ set the benchmark for this stylistic, violent, influential, political, fun and often sadistic genre. Discover for yourself what Django stores in his coffin. This is far from a mindless violent western however, covering racism, political and social themes. If you are looking for a spaghetti feast after the films of maestro Sergio Leone and Sergio Sollima then look no further than DJANGO.

Fri 19/6: MYSTERY ROAD (2013) directed by Ivan Sen

Available to subscribers https://player.bfi.org.uk/subscription/film/watch-mystery-road-2013-online

Returning from a holiday in Australia straight into Lockdown London, BFI Southbank Programme and Research Manager Simon Duffy found himself craving a reminder of those pre-confinement Australian landscapes. Ivan Sen’s slow-burn crime thriller plays out like a neo-western, smartly navigating the economic and racial divides at play in contemporary Australia. An Aboriginal cop returns to his hometown, charged with investigating the murder of a teenage girl, yet this ostracised outsider has much to overcome in his search for the truth. Ivan Sen’s brilliant sequel, GOLDSTONE can also be found on BFI Player.

MARK KERMODE INTRODUCES

https://player.bfi.org.uk/subscription/kermode-introduces

Mark Kermode gives exclusive introductions to films selected from Subscription. Each one probes the making and mean of the film, and explains why it’s essential viewing.

19 June

Little Joe (2019) directed by Jessica Hausner

https://player.bfi.org.uk/subscription/film/watch-little-joe-2019-online

26 June

The Last Tree (2019) directed by Shola Amoo

https://player.bfi.org.uk/subscription/film/watch-the-last-tree-2019-online

THE CHARTS – Last week’s most popular titles on BFI Player (8 – 14 June)

Subscription Top 10

  1. A Bigger Splash (2015)
  2. Girlhood (2014)
  3. Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema – Part 1 (2019)
  4. Bait (2019)
  5. Tokyo Story (1953)
  6. King of New York (1990)
  7. Seven Samurai (1954)
  8. Good Morning (1959)
  9. Ran (1985)
  10. The Watermelon Woman (1997)

Rental Top 10

  1. Days of the Bagnold Summer (2019)
  2. Parasite (2019)
  3. The Lighthouse (2019)
  4. I Am Not Your Negro (2016)
  5. Malcolm X (1992)
  6. The Assistant (2019)
  7. Do the Right Thing (1989)
  8. 1917 (2019)
  9. Waves (2019)
  10. Misbehaviour (2019)

FREE to watch Top 10 (see more popular titles here):

https://player.bfi.org.uk/free/popular

  1. Spelga Dam (industry sponsored film, BFI, 1960)
  2. Clash (documentary, BFI/BBC Four, 2017)
  3. Neston Ladies Walking Club. Incidents of the Day (non-fiction, North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University, 1910)
  4. Monday Morning (Amateur Film, BFI, 1958)
  5. Gateway (promotional film, Screen and Sound Archive, National Library of Wales, 1975)
  6. Hot Air (documentary, UEA’s East Anglian Film Archive, 1977)
  7. Kidwelly Castle (advert, Screen and Sound Archive, National Library of Wales, 1974)
  8. In One End (documentary, UEA’s East Anglian Film Archive, 1977)
  9. Yorkshire Sketchbook (amateur film, Yorkshire Film Archive, 1956)
  10. The Nudists (local news report, The Box, Plymouth, 1971)