Fat Man On A Beach

Michael Bakewell


In this very personal piece of psychogeography experimental writer, B.S Johnson talks jovially to the camera about his relationship to Porth Ceiriad Bay in Wales. It’s a gentle, ponderous film with dashes of Tati-like silliness but the theme of death is never far away. Three weeks later Johnson committed suicide.


The Battle Of Algiers

Gillo Pontecorvo


What you take away from this newsreel-like film are the faces. There is only one professional actor here and you’ll be able to spot him. Everyone else looks like they knew the real horrors intimately. You can see its relentless influence in the films of Alan Clark and Lynne Ramsay.

The Last Picture Show

Peter Bogdanovich


After the west was won it slowly died of loneliness. The residents of a northern Texas town have little to do except fantasise about sex and escape. A surprisingly frank and epic film, touching and witty but bloody sad. Everyone here looks so youthful. They’re young and they’re….well, restless.




Alex Garland


Proper science fiction, whatever that is, is as rare as androids’ tears. Annihilation is a film fans of the genre have to, need to, watch. It looks amazing. But it’s not a total film experience. Flashbacks and forwards make the script overly fussy leaving a good rather than great film.

The Cat People

Jacques Tourneur


A Serbian woman shuns intimacy with her husband because she might just turn into a vengeful panther. Although silly, very much of its time and with deafening exposition, this film is deceptively clever and helped move genre film forward: shadows, screaming and a torn dressing gown, are all you need.

You Were Never Really Here

Lynne Ramsay


An apocalyptically bleak and beautiful film comparable to Taxi Driver but only in terms of greatness; perhaps the 700th review of this movie to mention Travis Bickle but it’s a lazy reference; pain and suggestion, hammers and jellybeans are far more important than rage. Ramsay knows our imaginations are psychopaths.


Vera Chytilová


An experimental Czechoslovakian film about two young women, both called Marie, who flirt, play and worry The Man. Experimental often means cold and difficult but this is cute, colourful and endearing – and just a little angry. New wave cinema frightened the authorities. So it was banned, just in case.