Top 50 most watched films on BFI Player so far in 2018

As we reach the middle of the year, here’s what subscribers have been watching online on BFI Player. These 50 are all available to watch with a free 14-day trial

50. Kelly + Victor (2012)

Director: Kieran Evans

Kelly + Victor (2012)

In modern Liverpool, a couple meet and begin a transgressive, sexually charged affair set against a background of crime and encroaching danger.

49. Love and Death on Long Island (1997)

Director: Richard Kwietniowski

Love and Death on Long Island (1997)

John Hurt stars in Richard Kwietniowski’s comedy of fame and obsession about an older man (Hurt) who becomes infatuated with a young Hollywood actor (Jason Priestley), and proceeds to track him down.

48. Gomorrah (2008)

Director: Matteo Garrone

Gomorrah (2008)

Matteo Garrone’s unnervingly authentic Naples crime drama won the Grand Prix at Cannes before inspiring a hit TV series.

47. The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982)

Director: Peter Greenaway

The Draughtsman’s Contract (1982)

Peter Greenaway became a director of international status with this witty, stylised, erotic country house murder mystery.

46. The Red Shoes (1948)

Directors: Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger

The Red Shoes (1948)Restoration by UCLA Film & Television Archive in association with the BFI/The Film Foundation/ITV Global Entertainment/Park Circus

Moira Shearer’s ballerina is torn between love and her career in Powell and Pressburger’s hugely influential melodrama.

45. Metropolis (1927)

Director: Fritz Lang

Metropolis (1927)

Fritz Lang’s expressionist dystopia is one of the first science fiction feature films, and is arguably the most influential.

44. The Lickerish Quartet (1970)

Director: Radley Metzger

The Lickerish Quartet (1970)

A decadent couple and their son invite a circus stunt-woman back to their castle for an evening of erotic games, role-play and revelations.

43. Nightwatching (2007)

Director: Peter Greenaway

Nightwatching (2007)

Martin Freeman’s hearty turn as Rembrandt anchors one of Peter Greenaway’s most accessible films, charting the creation of the Dutch master’s key work, ‘The Night Watch’.

42. The Shout (1978)

Director: Jerzy Skolimowski

The Shout (1978)

Cannes’ Grand Jury Prize was awarded to this unnerving drama about a man who claims to be able to kill people with a ‘terror shout’ learned from an Aboriginal shaman.

41. Great Expectations (1946)

Director: David Lean

Great Expectations (1946)

The first of David Lean’s two Dickens adaptations is one of the finest British literary interpretations and one of the most acclaimed of all British films.

40. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)

Director: Dario Argento

The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970)

Dario Argento’s hugely influential thriller, about a murder witness who becomes amateur detective, added sex and style to the murder-mystery and kick-started Italy’s ‘giallo’ genre.

40. Computer Chess (2013)

Director: Andrew Bujalski

Computer Chess (2013)

Andrew Bujalski’s hilarious and surreal comedy about the birth of computer culture, set in an early 1980s conference where primitive programmers take on chess masters.

39. Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Director: Vittorio De Sica

Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Vittorio De Sica’s story of a father and son searching for a stolen bicycle on the streets of Rome is a classic of post-war Italian cinema.

37. Eisenstein in Guanajuato (2015)

Director: Peter Greenaway

Eisenstein in Guanajuato (2015)

One of Britain’s most inventive filmmakers, Peter Greenaway, tackles the story of arguably the most influential filmmaker in cinema history, Sergei Eisenstein.

36. Red Road (2006)

Director: Andrea Arnold

Red Road (2006)

Andrea Arnold’s highly acclaimed film, winner of top prizes at Cannes and the BFI London Film Festival, is a haunting drama about a woman confronting past demons.

35. Fear Eats the Soul (1974)

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Fear Eats the Soul (1974)

Fassbinder’s international breakthrough, this unconventional love story combines lucid social analysis with devastating emotional power.

34. The Reflecting Skin (1990)

Director: Philip Ridley

The Reflecting Skin (1990)

Stunningly photographed drama about a young American boy caught up in the nightmare of a sinister rural community.

33. Night Moves (2013)

Director: Kelly Reichardt

Night Moves (2013)

Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning star in a taut political thriller about radical environmentalists planning to commit an act of eco-terrorism.

32. M (1931)

Director: Fritz Lang

M (1931)

Peter Lorre is unforgettable as the compulsive child murderer on the run from both police and criminals alike, in Fritz Lang’s seminal crime film.

31. Fitzcarraldo (1982)

Director: Werner Herzog

Fitzcarraldo (1982)

One of Werner Herzog’s most acclaimed and audacious films, Fitzcarraldo tells the incredible story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an opera-loving fortune hunter who dreams of bringing opera to the heart of the Peruvian jungle.

30. Rome Open City (1945)

Director: Roberto Rossellini

Rome, Open City (1945)

Roberto Rossellini’s landmark of Italian neorealism, often cited as one of the greatest films ever made.

29. Welcome to Leith (2015)

Director: Michael Beach Nichols

Welcome to Leith (2015)

What would you do if a Nazi moved next door? This chilling documentary follows the white supremacist takeover of a tiny Dakotan town.

28. Tokyo Story (1953)

Director: Yasujiro Ozu

Tokyo Story (1953)

A constant fixture in critics’ polls, Yasujiro Ozu’s most enduring masterpiece is a beautifully nuanced exploration of filial duty, expectation and regret.

27. Red Desert (1964)

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni

Red Desert (1964)

Antonioni’s mid-career masterpiece stars Monica Vitti as an emotionally anguished young woman embarking on a tentative affair with a businessman (Richard Harris).

26. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1927)

Director: Carl Th. Dreyer

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

An incontestable masterpiece of silent cinema, Carl Dreyer’s deeply moving biopic features one of the most powerful performances ever captured on film.

25. The Ipcress File (1965)

Director: Sidney J. Furie

The Ipcress File (1965)

The coolest spy of all – Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer – makes his brilliant big screen debut in this landmark British spy thriller.

24. Audition (1999)

Director: Takashi Miike

Audition (1999)

Takashi Miike burst to international prominence with this deeply disturbing tale of a deadly young woman who turns the tables on her middle-aged suitor.

23. Theorem (1968)

Director: Pier Paolo Pasolini

Theorem (1968)

Pasolini’s classic about a handsome, enigmatic stranger (Terence Stamp) who arrives at a bourgeois household and seduces an entire family.

22. Room 237 (2012)

Director: Rodney Ascher

Room 237 (2012)

Rodney Ascher’s enigmatic essay film weaves together the contrasting theories of five different narrators who believe Stanley Kubrick deliberately buried hidden messages in his 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel.

21. The Third Man (1949)

Director: Carol Reed

The Third Man (1949)

Carol Reed’s timeless classic, one of the greatest British films, lavishly marries a perfect script, an unforgettable theme tune and the star power of Orson Welles.

20. Mademoiselle Chambon (2009)

Director: Stéphane Brizé

Mademoiselle Chambon (2009)

When a happily married man decides to volunteer at his son’s school, he begins to form a romantic bond with a teacher in this intimate French drama.

19. King of New York (1990)

Director: Abel Ferrara

King of New York (1990)

Christopher Walken is the dogged drug-lord determined to keep his empire together, in Abel Ferrarra’s brutally gritty crime thriller.

18. Wake in Fright (1971)

Director: Ted Kotcheff

Wake in Fright (1971)

In this classic, broiling Australian thriller, an exasperated schoolteacher finds himself stranded in the dusty outback town of Bundanyabba, where the growing isolation and unhinged locals begin to eat away at his sanity.

17. Mystery Road (2003)

Director: Ivan Sen

Mystery Road (2013)

An Aboriginal cop returns to his hometown to solve the brutal murder teenage girl, uncovering a web of corruption and a growing body count, in Ivan Sen’s acclaimed Australian riff on the western genre.

16. Spanking the Monkey (1994)

Director: David O. Russell

Spanking the Monkey (1994)

David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook) made his feature debut in 1994 with this biting black comedy, which caused a stir with its incestuous subplot and portrayal of adolescent restlessness.

15. The American Friend (1977)

Director: Wim Wenders

The American Friend (1977)

Acclaimed director Wim Wenders, with the help of Dennis Hopper, transforms Patricia Highsmith’s novel ‘Ripley’s Game’ into a gripping European noir.

14. Fantastic Planet (1973)

Director: René Laloux

Fantastic Planet (1973)

René Laloux and Roland Topor’s surreal, psychedelic sci-fi animation imagines a world in which humanoid creatures are kept as pets by a race of giants.

13. Bande à part (1964)

Director: Jean-Luc Godard

Bande à part (1964)

Jean-Luc Godard’s playful tribute to the Hollywood pulp crime movies of the 1940s, executed with typically Gallic cool.

12. Breathless (1960)

Director: Jean-Luc Godard

Breathless (1960)

More Godard. This time his extraordinary debut feature, an insouciant and iconoclastic crime film that paved the way for the French New Wave.

11. Dogtooth (2009)

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Dogtooth (2009)

Yorgos Lanthimos’ scary, witty tale of a dysfunctional Greek family is original, ingenious and sadly relevant as a study of parent-child relationships

10. The Beast (1975)

Director: Walerian Borowczyk

The Beast (1975)

An outrageous classic of erotic cinema, Walerian Borowczyk’s playful and subversive fantasy finds a horny heiress courting the ravenous desires of a wild beast.

9. Frozen River (2008)

Director: Courtney Hunt

Frozen River (2008)

Nominated for two Oscars (best actress – Melissa Leo – and best original screenplay), Frozen River is a riveting thriller that raises questions about the borders we construct, between countries, communities and each other.

8. Belle de jour (1967)

Director: Luis Buñuel

Belle de Jour (1967)

Luis Buñuel’s provocative classic about a bored and neglected housewife (Catherine Deneuve) risks her reputation to take up a daring new hobby.

7. Vivre sa vie (1962)

Director: Jean-Luc Godard

Vivre sa vie (1962)

Anna Karina shines in Godard’s critically acclaimed account of a Parisian woman’s slow descent into prostitution.

6. Le Mépris (1963)

Director: Jean-Luc Godard

Le Mépris (1963)

Godard conducts an autopsy of love and the creative process, as a boorish film producer dismantles a seemingly strong marriage.

5. Me without You (2001)

Director: Sandra Goldbacher

Me without You (2001)

Anna Friel and Michelle Williams star as two troubled girls whose tumultuous friendship takes many twists and turns.

4. Half Nelson (2006)

Director: Ryan Fleck

Half Nelson (2006)

Ryan Gosling received his first Oscar nomination for his performance as an inspirational inner city high school teacher, in this moving story of redemption in an unforgiving world.

3. Immoral Tales (1974)

Director: Walerian Borowczyk

Immoral Tales (1973)

Walerian Borowczyk presents four stories of sexual taboos throughout the ages, in his highly controversial classic of 1970s erotic cinema.

2. The Housemaid (2010)

Director: Im Sang-soo

The Housemaid (2010)

An enigmatic housemaid and her wealthy, totalitarian employer begin an affair that will have disastrous consequences for them both.

1. Paris, Texas (1984)

Director: Wim Wenders

Paris, Texas (1984)

Our most played film of the year so far is Wim Wenders’ moving tale of loss and redemption. The late, great Harry Dean Stanton had his finest role as the near-mute Travis, on a journey across America to reunite his family.

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