only £6 each
Part of Arrow Films, one of the UK’s leading distributors of independent, arthouse and world cinema, Arrow Academy brings cinephiles prestige editions of films by the absolute masters of cinema from across the globe.
Featuring filmmakers such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder, the Taviani Brothers and Masaki Kobayashi, the Arrow Academy collection explores both their renowned masterworks, their lesser-known curios and even the early works from their days as burgeoning directors.
Back in by popular demand, our stores offer a great selection of their films, all only £6 for a limited, check out some of our favourites below…
Bicycle Thieves (1948)
Heralded as the greatest film ever made on release, winning an Oscar in 1949 and topping the Sight & Sound film poll in 1952, De Sica’s seminal work of Italian neorealism has had an impact on cinema worldwide from release to the present day, with filmmakers such as Satyajit Ray and Ken Loach claiming the film as a direct influence on their own.
Bicycle Thieves tells the story of Antonio, a long unemployed man who finally finds employment putting up cinema posters for which he needs a bicycle. His wife pawns all the family linen to redeem the already pawned bicycle and for Antonio salvation has come, until the bicycle is stolen. Antonio and his son take to the streets in a desperate search to find the bicycle. Bicycle Thieves is as much about the position of Italians in post-War, post-Fascist Italy as the relationship between father and son, told through the labyrinth of the cinematic city with De Sica’s arresting visual poetry. Defining neorealism, a small period of filmmaking that focused on simple, humanist stories, Bicycle Thieves was one of the most captivating and moving.
Sweet Smell Of Success (1957)
One of the darkest films ever to come out of the Hollywood mainstream – both literally and figuratively – this spellbindingly cynical study of Machiavellian media machinations in a neon-drenched New York City was the first and best American film by Alexander Mackendrick, who already had several Ealing Studios classics on his CV (Whisky Galore, The Man in the White Suit, Mandy, The Ladykillers) when he crossed the Atlantic.
Considering his star status, Burt Lancaster was famously fearless when it came to risking audience sympathies, and he gives one of his most memorable performances as ruthless gossip columnist J.J. Hunsecker, who’ll go to any lengths to break up his sister’s unsuitable romance, even if it means destroying the reputation of press agent Sidney Falco (Tony Curtis).
Brilliantly scripted by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman from the latter’s autobiographical short story, and filmed in gleaming monochrome by legendary cinematographer James Wong Howe, Sweet Smell of Success is one of the greatest and most clear-eyed of all American films, lifting up the stone of Fifties decorum and unflinchingly revealing what was crawling underneath.
I will be retiring from this programme in two weeks’ time because of poor ratings.
In 1976 two of the key players in the Golden Age of Television, writer Paddy Chayefsky and director Sidney Lumet, delivered a coruscating attack – at once savage and hilarious – on the medium that made their names.
Since this show was the only thing i had going for me in my life, i’ve decided to kill myself.
To speak Chayefsky’s Oscar-winning dialogue, Lumet enlisted a powerhouse cast list, including Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch (as ‘the mad prophet of the airwaves’ Howard Beale), Robert Duvall, Ned Beatty and Beatrice Straight. Five of them would be nominated for Academy Awards, three would win.
I’m going to blow my brains out right on this programme a week from today.
As well as its four Oscars, Network was also garlanded with a quartet of Golden Globes, a BAFTA and numerous other awards. In the years since its release, its reputation has only grown: the Library of Congress granted it a place on their prestigious National Film Registry; the American Film Institute named it as one of the greatest American films of all time; and the Writers Guild of America declared its screenplay one of the ten best of all time. It remains a true classic.
So tune in next tuesday.
Hard To Be A God (2013)
A group of scientists visits the distant planet Arkanar, and discovers a society still trapped in its own medieval era. Unable to interfere with the course of its history, they can only watch in mounting horror as all sparks of intelligent and independent thought are mercilessly snuffed out by Arkanar’s cruel rulers. Will they remain enmired in their squalid existence for ever, or can the visitors subtly nudge the more open-minded in the right direction? Truly, it’s hard to be a god.
Legendary Russian sci-fi authors Arkady and Boris Strugatsky (whose Roadside Picnic was filmed as Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky) wrote the source novel, and adapting it was director Aleksei German’s dream project for decades. It would take six years of shooting, a further six of post-production and a posthumous premiere before his masterpiece was finally unveiled.
But masterpiece it is: a visually astonishing, almost tactile recreation of an unnervingly recognisable alternative universe, drenched in blood, mud and the tears of the oppressed.
Big Combo (1955)
Lieutenant Diamond (Cornel Wilde, The Naked Prey) is determined to bring down mob boss Mr Brown (Richard Conte, Thieves’ Highway), even if it means jeopardising his own career, but the feeling is mutual and the unscrupulous gangster is more than willing to operate outside the law to get his man. The confrontation escalates, leading to some wince-inducing set-pieces involving such handy props as a radio and a hearing aid.
This masterpiece from Joseph H. Lewis (Gun Crazy, Terror in a Texas Town), drenched with sleazy innuendo, came late to the film noir cycle, but is now considered one of the defining examples of the genre, not least thanks to some extraordinary chiaroscuro lighting by the great cinematographer John Alton (already an Oscar-winner for An American in Paris) and a heartbreaking performance by Jean Wallace (No Blade of Grass) as Brown’s troubled girlfriend. The film also boasts a menacing early performance from a pre-stardom Lee Van Cleef (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly) as one of Brown’s henchmen.
When the film was revived in London in the mid-seventies, a polemically breathless Time Out review called it “almost certainly the greatest movie ever made… as heady as amyl nitrate and as compulsive as stamping on insects”.
The Long Goodbye (1973)
Nothing says goodbye like a bullet.
When private eye Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) is visited by an old friend, this sets in train a series of events in which he’s hired to search for a missing novelist (Sterling Hayden) and finds himself on the wrong side of vicious gangsters.
So far so faithful to Raymond Chandler, but Robert Altman’s inspired adaptation of the writer’s most personal novel takes his legendary detective and relocates him to the selfish, hedonistic culture of 1970s Hollywood, where he finds that his old-fashioned notions of honour and loyalty carry little weight, and even his smoking (universal in film noir) is now frowned upon.
Widely misunderstood at the time, The Long Goodbye is now regarded as one of Altman’s best films and one of the outstanding American films of its era, with Gould’s shambling, cat-obsessed Marlowe ranking alongside more outwardly faithful interpretations by Humphrey Bogart and Robert Mitchum.
After the box office smash Suspiria comes this second mind scrambling instalment of the ‘Three Mothers’ trilogy, a psychedelic trip into gut wrenching horror.
Join master of terror Dario Argento as he takes you inside a world of surreal fear and bloody violence.
As a brother and sister delve into a series of gruesome New York murders it soon becomes clear that the devil is at work. A coven of witches are abroad and they bring murder, death and escalating insanity with them…
Get fired up for one of the masterpieces of Euro-Horror… Get ready for Inferno.
Manchurian Candidate (1962)
After saving the lives of his platoon during the Korean War, Sergeant Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) is hailed as a bona fide American hero. This couldn’t have come at a better time for his mother (Angela Lansbury) who is hell-bent on boosting the career of his stepfather, a senator straight from the McCarthyite wing of the US political spectrum with designs on the Presidency.
So far so familiar – but why does Shaw’s former captain (Frank Sinatra) have recurring nightmares that suggest that his distinguished comrade-in-arms might not be all that he seems?
Based on the memorably paranoid bestseller by Richard Condon (Prizzi’s Honor), this is one of the greatest of all Cold War suspense thrillers, not least for its alarmingly original take on the notion of “the enemy within”. Angela Lansbury won multiple awards and an Oscar nomination for her performance as one of the most monstrous mothers in screen history, but perhaps the most unnerving thing about the film is the way that its political satire remains so perfectly on target more than half a century later.
Orchestra Rehearsal (1978)
Made in 1978 for Italian television, Orchestra Rehearsal is possibly Fellini’s most satirical and overtly political film.
An allegorical pseudo-documentary, the film depicts an Italian television crew’s visit to a dilapidated auditorium (a converted 13th-century church) to meet an orchestra assembling to rehearse under the instruction of a tyrannical conductor. The TV crew interviews the various musicians who each speak lovingly about their chosen instruments. However, as petty squabbles break out amid the different factions of the ensemble, and the conductor berates his musicians, the meeting descends into anarchy and vandalism. A destructive crescendo ensues before the musicians regroup and play together once more in perfect harmony.
Abounding with its director’s trademark rich imagery and expressive style, Orchestra Rehearsal marks the last collaboration between Fellini and the legendary composer Nino Rota (due to the latter’s death in 1979) who provides one of his most beautiful themes in the film’s conclusion.
The Mystery Of Picasso (1956)
Henri-Georges Clouzot, best known for his classic French thriller Les Diaboliques, took on a different mystery in 1956: the creative process and the essence of an artist, namely Pablo Picasso.
Utilising transparent canvases so the camera of Claude Renoir could directly capture an artwork’s creation, Picasso created 20 artworks for the film. At first, these are simple sketches in marker, but each grows in complexity until the final reel, when The Mystery of Picasso switches to a CinemaScope ratio and bursts into colour.
One of the greatest documentary portraits of an artist of work, this release is accompanied by two other films of Picasso: Paul Haesaerts’ BAFTA-winning A Visit to Picasso from 1949 and a charming ‘home movie’ by fellow artist Man Ray.
The Night Of The Hunter (1955)
This visually ravishing, authentically terrifying Southern Gothic masterpiece is one of the cinema’s great one-offs, not just because it was the only film directed by the actor Charles Laughton.
Robert Mitchum gives a career-best performance as Harry Powell, a self-appointed preacher with LOVE and HATE tattooed on his knuckles who travels to a small town in search of his executed cellmate s stash of cash, under the impression that his two young children know its whereabouts.
But the film’s melodramatic plot plays second fiddle to some of the most extraordinary images ever captured on film. Laughton and cinematographer Stanley Cortez (The Magnificent Ambersons) imbue almost every shot with a luminosity that recalls the great silent masterpieces of F.W. Murnau and Victor Sjöström. A widely misunderstood flop at the time (which put Laughton off ever directing again), it’s now regarded as one of the greatest of all American films.
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
A celebration of youth, friendship, and the everlasting magic of the movies.
A winner of awards across the world including Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, 5 BAFTA Awards including Best Actor, Original Screenplay and Score, the Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival and many more.
Giuseppe Tornatore’s loving homage to the cinema tells the story of Salvatore, a successful film director, returning home for the funeral of Alfredo, his old friend who was the projectionist at the local cinema throughout his childhood. Soon memories of his first love affair with the beautiful Elena and all the high and lows that shaped his life come flooding back, as Salvatore reconnects with the community he left 30 years earlier.
Presented in both the original award-winning cut and the expanded Director’s Cut incorporating more of Salvatore’s backstory, newly restored from original negative materials.
also available in the offer:
Bitter Tears Of Petra Von Kant
Broadway Danny Rose
Cinema Paradiso: 25th Anniversay Remastered Edition
Closely Observed Trains: Subtitled/Czech
Creeping Garden: Blu/Dvd: Bonus Cd
Crimes & Misdemeanors
Early Works Of Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask
Fear Eats The Soul
Fox & His Friends/Chinese Roulette
Hangmen Also Die!: Dual Format
Hannah & Her Sisters
Hard To Be A God
Love & Death
Marriage Of Maria Braun
Merchant Of Four Seasons/Beware Of A Holy Whore
Midsummer Nights Sex Comedy
Miracle In Milan
My Life As A Dog
Night Of The Hunter
Property Is No Longer A Theft
Purple Rose Of Cairo
Spirits Of The Dead
Sweet Smell Of Success