United Kingdom

Jacques Demy – The Pied Piper (1972)

Synopsis:
Greed, corruption, ignorance, stupidity, and disease. Midsummer, 1349: the Black Death reaches northern Germany. A family of strolling players travel to Hamelin for the Mayor’s daughter’s wedding to the Baron’s son. He wants her dowry to pay his army, while his father taxes the people to build a cathedral he thinks will save his soul. A local Jewish apothecary tries to find a treatment for the plague. The Priests charge him with heresy and witchcraft. A mysterious minstrel (Donovan), who joined up with the players and who has soothed the Mayor’s daughter with his music, promises to rid the town of rats for a fee. The Mayor agrees, then reneges after the rats have been dealt with. In the morning, the plague, the Jew’s execution, and the Piper’s revenge come at once. Read More »

André Singer – Night Will Fall (2014) (HD)

Synopsis
When Allied forces liberated the Nazi concentration camps, their terrible discoveries were recorded by army cameramen, revealing for the first time the horror of what had happened

Using British, Soviet and American footage, the Ministry of Information’s Sidney Bernstein collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock to make a film that would provide evidence of the Nazi’s unspeakable crimes. Yet, despite initial support from the British and US governments, the film was shelved. In this compelling documentary by André Singer (executive producer, The Act of Killing), the full story of the filming of the camps and the fate of Bernstein’s project, which has now been restored and completed by Imperial War Museums, can finally be told. Read More »

Ken Loach – Cathy Come Home (1966)

Quote:
From the BBC’s influential ‘Wednesday Play’ series. This tells the bleak tale of Cathy, who loses her home, husband and eventually her child through the inflexibility of the British welfare system. A grim picture is painted of mid-sixties London, and though realistic the viewer cannot but realise that a political point is being made. One of the consequences of this film was the enormous public support for the housing charity ‘Shelter’, whose public launch came shortly after the programme was first shown. Read More »

Michael Gill & Peter Montagnon & Ann Turner – Civilisation: A Personal View by Kenneth Clark (1969)

Quote:
A television documentary series outlining the history of Western art, architecture and philosophy since the Dark Ages. The series was produced by the BBC and aired in 1969 on BBC2. Both the television scripts and the accompanying book version were written by art historian Kenneth Clark (1903–1983), who also presented the series. The series is considered to be a landmark in British Television’s broadcasting of the visual arts. Read More »

Cornel Wilde – Lancelot and Guinevere AKA Sword of Lancelot (1963)

“Lancelot and Guinevere” (known as “Sword of Lancelot” in the U.S.) is a British 1963 film starring Cornel Wilde and his real-life wife at the time, Jean Wallace. This lesser-known version of the Camelot legend, is a work almost solely made by Cornel Wilde, who co-produced, directed, co-wrote, and played Lancelot.

Lancelot is King Arthur’s most valued Knight of the Round Table and a paragon of courage and virtue. Things change, however, when he falls for Guinevere (Wallace), bride of Arthur (Brian Aherne, who had essayed this character more than once, e.g. in 1954’s “Prince Valiant”), and she for him. Read More »

James Dearden – Pascali’s Island (1988)

Synopsis:
‘Set in 1908 during decline of the Ottoman Empire. A dissatisfied spy for the Sultan, Pascali, offers his services as translator to a visiting archaeologist from Britain. Matters are complicated by the fact that the archaelogist falls in love with Pascali’s friend Lydia.’
– BFI Read More »

Mark Jenkin – Bait (2019) (HD)

Martin Ward is a cove fisherman, without a boat. His brother Steven has repurposed their father’s vessel as a tourist tripper, driving a wedge between the brothers. With their childhood home now a getaway for London money, Martin is displaced to the estate above the harbour. As his struggle to restore the family to their traditional place creates increasing friction with tourists and locals alike, a tragedy at the heart of the family changes his world. Read More »