Ennio (2021)

Where’s it on? Cinemas nationwide, including BFI Southbank, streaming on BFI Player

Ennio Morricone conducting an orchestra in Ennio (2022).

This epic documentary portrait of the Italian film composer Ennio Morricone comes to us from the director of Cinema Paradiso (1988), Giuseppe Tornatore. An immersive dive into his life and extraordinary talent, it runs an imposing 156 minutes yet squeezes in a wealth of anecdote and insight, as well as a head-turning roll call of contributors, including Clint Eastwood, Dario Argento, Lina Wertmüller, Bernardo Bertolucci and Pat Metheny. Its core is an interview with the great man himself, conducted just prior to his death in 2020.

Happening (2021)

Where’s it on? Cinemas nationwide

Winner of the Golden Lion at last year’s Venice Film Festival, Audrey Diwan’s frank and finally overwhelming drama centres on a college student’s efforts to terminate an unwanted pregnancy in early 1960s France, when abortions were still illegal. Rising star Anamaria Vartolomei impresses as the bright young woman facing the derailment of her academic ambitions, whose attempts to seek a solution become increasingly desperate. Handsomely shot amid a subtle evocation of the times, it offers a supporting turn from Sandrine Bonnaire, the veteran star of A nos amours (1983) and Vagabond (1985)

Limit (1931)

Where’s it on? Mubi

Limite (1931)

Mubi recently cut a deal with Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation to bring 12 restored gems of world cinema to its streaming service. Added this week is this entrancing Brazilian avant-garde film from the end of the silent era. The only feature directed by Mário Peixoto, and much admired by Orson Welles, Sergei Eisenstein and David Bowie, it unfolds a fragmented narrative about the past lives of a couple drifting in a rowboat at sea. Making haunting use of music by Satie, Debussy, Stravinsky and others, it’s a unique cine-dream of ungraspable beauty.

Funny Girl (1968)

Where’s it on? BBC Two, Saturday, 2.05pm; also streaming on Netflix

Funny Girl (1968)

Hollywood’s musicals of the late 1960s are bloated affairs. Often you get a five-minute musical overture against a black screen before the credits even start. But they sure do make for a good weekend-afternoon wallow in front of the TV. This Saturday, BBC Two is bringing out 1968’s Funny Girl on the occasion of Barbra Streisand’s 80th birthday. Already a mega-star on stage and vinyl, this was Babs’ big screen debut – a splashy one that saw her winning the Oscar for best actress straight out of the gates. In William Wyler’s Fanny Brice biopic, she plays the stagestruck girl who ascends to stardom in the Ziegfeld Follies in 1910s/20s New York. Omar Sharif is on hand as her dashing love interest.

Playground (2021)

Where’s it on? Cinemas nationwide, including BFI Southbank

One of the buzzier titles on last year’s festival circuit, this tense, punchy debut feature from Laura Wandel offers a child’s eye view on the traumas of the school playground. In tight close-ups and low angles, the Belgian director narrows the focus of her film to the first-hand experiences of a seven-year-old girl. New at school, she sticks up for her older brother when she witnesses him being bullied, only to have to face the harrowing repercussions.