The Mediatheque is not only home to those bitesize curios from the vaults – over the past few years we’ve been busily selecting a cornucopia of fully-fledged feature films from the many thousands preserved in the BFI National Archive. For this new collection we’ve hand picked 100 of the best and the rarest for those occasions when you have a little more time to spare. Reacquaint yourself with classics of British cinema, from Brief Encounter and The Ladykillers to The Wicker Man and Withnail & I, or enjoy a host of films you won’t be able to find on DVD. You can sample the work of directors including Alfred Hitchcock, Derek Jarman, David Lean and Sally Potter, while for younger viewers there’s animal magic in Watership Down and Tarka the Otter, and a hearty dose of nostalgia courtesy of The Railway Children.
Whether you’re after a silent melodrama, 1930s crime caper, cult favourite or something more experimental, this collection will keep you coming back. And don’t forget that every title in the Mediatheque comes with tailored recommendations for further viewing, so there’s always more to discover.
Ten to try
Another Sky (1955)
A prim young Englishwoman travels to Morocco and falls in love with a street musician.
Daleks’ Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966)
Exterminate! Can Dr. Who and Bernard Cribbins save the Earth?
Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)
Shane Meadows’ masterly revenge thriller, featuring a truly mesmerising star turn by Paddy Considine.
The Gold Diggers (1983)
Julie Christie stars in Sally Potter’s debut feature, a dazzling feminist reinterpretation of cinema history.
Hedd Wyn (1992)
Oscar-nominated Welsh language biopic of tragic war poet Ellis Evans.
I Know Where I’m Going! (1945)
Powell & Pressburger’s metaphysical love story, beautifully filmed in the Scottish Hebrides.
The Man Without Desire (1923)
Ivor Novello stars in this extraordinary psychosexual time travelling drama, shot in Venice and London.
Black Joy (1977)
The influence of American Blaxploitation is underscored by an engrossing snapshot of 70s Brixton in this unfairly neglected gem.
Under the Skin (1997)
A revelatory performance from Samantha Morton in Carine Adler’s intense psychological drama about two bereaved sisters.
Waltzes From Vienna (1934)
A real Hitchcock rarity and the director’s only musical.