The BFI has revealed the line-up for its upcoming season of films that celebrate the opposite of the regular ‘comfort movie’. Taking place throughout July, Discomfort Movies is packed with challenging films that push our boundaries. They can cause stress, anxiety, and even despair. That being said, many of the titles are among our favourites of all time!

The season kicks off on July 1st with David Lynch’s debut Eraserhead (1977), a film that truly deserves to be seen on the big screen! Other movies being shown across the month include Billy Wilder’s alcoholic nightmare The Lost Weekend (1945), Andrzej Zulawski’s Possession (1981), Michael Haneke’s original version of Funny Games (1997), Takashi Miike’s Audition (1999), David Cronenberg’s Crash (1996) and Julia Ducournau’s Titane (2022). There’s also a screening of the disturbing TV movie Threads (1984), which still built up a cult following and still has the power to terrify.

Kimberley Sheehan, BFI events programmer and curator of the season, commented: “The films included in this season represent some of my most extreme experiences in cinema. I am fascinated by their power, and although the programme I have curated is personal to me, I’m curious about the feeling of discomfort in cinema and what might unsettle others. There seems to be a craving for darker material at this moment and a need to feel extreme emotion. Some may find these films shocking and upsetting, while others will find them oddly comforting. Either way, I hope audiences will allow themselves to be confronted, to tap into those strong visceral emotions and take away some ideas about the more challenging aspects of the human experience. There may even be some catharsis, too.

Tickets for all screenings are available now from the BFI website and box office.

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