On Demand

During our closure period, the choice for On Demand* is growing rapidly. This is now listed as a separate section on this page while our home page continues to show alternative choices by viewing date.
* On Demand is a technology that lets you watch what you like, when you like, over the internet.
Documentary Bonanza!See here

THIS HOUSE (2013) – until Thursday 04 June 2020
NT Live
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It’s 1974 and the corridors of Westminster ring with the sound of infighting and backbiting as Britain’s political parties battle to change the future of the nation, whatever it takes. In this hung parliament, the ruling party holds on by a thread. Votes are won and lost by one, fist fights erupt in the bars, and ill MPs are hauled in to cast their votes. It’s a time when a staggering number of politicians die, and age-old traditions and allegiances are thrown aside in the struggle for power. James Graham’s biting, energetic and critically-acclaimed new play strips politics down to the practical realities of those behind the scenes who roll up their sleeves, and on occasion bend the rules, to manoeuvre a diverse and conflicting chorus of MPs within the Mother of all Parliaments.

NOWHERE BOY (2009) – until Friday 05 June 2020
Channel 4 on demand
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A chronicle of John Lennon’s first years, focused mainly in his adolescence and his relationship with his stern aunt Mimi, who raised him, and his absentee mother Julia, who re-entered his life at a crucial moment in his young life.

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THE LUNCHBOX (2013) – until Sunday 07 June 2020
BBC iPlayer
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A neglected wife hopes to get some appreciation from her husband by making him packed lunches containing love letters and sending them to his workplace. However, the packages are accidentally given to the wrong employee, who responds to the messages and becomes a close and trusted confidante. English and Hindi with English subtitles.

DARKEST HOUR (2017) – until Sunday 07 June 2020
BBC iPlayer
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Screened at the David Lean Cinema during April 2018

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A thrilling and inspiring true story begins on the eve of World War II as, within days of becoming Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill (Academy Award nominee Gary Oldman) must face one of his most turbulent and defining trials: exploring a negotiated peace treaty with Nazi Germany, or standing firm to fight for the ideals, liberty and freedom of a nation. As the unstoppable Nazi forces roll across Western Europe and the threat of invasion is imminent, and with an unprepared public, a skeptical King, and his own party plotting against him, Churchill must withstand his darkest hour, rally a nation, and attempt to change the course of world history.

MOZART’S DON GIOVANNI (2010) – until Sunday 07 June 2020
Glyndebourne Opera House (until 5pm on Sunday)
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Don Giovanni lives a life of debauchery and pleasure, seducing and abandoning women wherever he goes, helped by his faithful servant Leporello. But when a seduction goes horribly wrong, he finally finds himself in a situation he can’t charm his way out of. Don Giovanni, Mozart and Da Ponte’s take on the familiar Don Juan legend, is a work ahead of its time. Colliding comedy and tragedy in a fluid, free-form music-drama, the opera has a breathless energy and impetus that’s impossible to resist – a wild musical ride that takes its audience quite literally to hell and back again. A score of contrasts and extremes includes the beguiling simplicity of Don Giovanni’s serenade and the high-wire virtuosity of Donna Anna’s arias. Gerald Finley stars as the libidinous Don in Jonathan Kent’s sleek, contemporary staging, with Kate Royal as Donna Elvira and Anna Samuil as the vengeful Donna Anna.

TALKING PICTURES – WAR FILMS – until Monday 08 June 2020
BBC iPlayer
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A look back at the great British war films that boosted the nation’s morale in the postwar years and launched the careers of some of our best-loved actors and directors.
Featuring contributions from the likes of Noel Coward, Richard Attenborough, David Lean, Alec Guinness, Kenneth More and John Mills, the programme examines classic films like In Which We Serve, Reach for the Sky, Bridge on the River Kwai and The Dam Busters.
Narrated by Sylvia Syms, this episode also includes her own memories of the making of one of the most enduring films of the genre, Ice Cold in Alex.

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS (2018) – until date unknown
Channel 4 on demand
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In 1980 New York, three young men who were all adopted meet each other and find out they’re triplets who were separated at birth. But their quest to find out why turns into a bizarre and sinister mystery.

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SWEET SIXTEEN (2002) – until Tuesday 09 June 2020
Channel 4 on demand

In Ken Loach’s drama, a boy tries to save his jailbird mother from danger on the streets of a Scottish coastal town, by creating a safe haven where she can escape the grasp of the two men in her life. However, his efforts to raise the necessary funds lead him and his friends into all manner of schemes, and he is soon dangerously out of his depth.

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TALKING MOVIES – FEMALE FILM MAKERS AND THE PANDEMIC – until Wednesday 10 June 2020
BBC iPlayer
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In a special edition of Talking Movies, the focus is on the challenges faced by female film-makers at a critical time in the movie business, caused by the impact of the global pandemic. With a poll showing that more than 96 per cent of women in the UK film and television industry have lost all their income, we look at the ingenious ways in which women in cinema are continuing their movie-making around the world. 
Interviews include a conversation with top Indian film-maker Mira Nair, who is putting the finishing touches on her TV adaptation of the novel, A Suitable Boy, while working remotely with her film editor. We also visit the home of Welsh-Egyptian director Sally El Hosaini to find out how she is juggling motherhood with the challenges of completing a film during the pandemic.

THE BELLES OF ST TRINIANS (1954) – until Wednesday 10 June 2020
BBC iPlayer

BLUE MURDER AT ST TRINIANS (1957) – until Thursday 11 June 2020
BBC iPlayer

THE PURE HELL OF ST TRINIANS (1960) – until Friday 12 June 2020
BBC iPlayer

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A trio of films from British comedy team Frank Launder and Sidney Gilliat based on the cartoons of Ronald Searle, which depicted a girl’s public school populated by sadistic teachers and delinquent pupils.

THE SACRIFICE (1986) – until Thursday 11 June 2020
Channel 4 on demand

As his family gathers to celebrate his birthday and as the threat of nuclear war looms, disillusioned intellectual Alexander tries to strike a bargain with God. Andrei Tarkovsky’s final drama. Swedish/French with English subtitles.

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TEHRAN TABOO (2017) – until Thursday 11 June 2020
Channel 4 on demand

Screened at the David Lean Cinema during November 2018

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Several people living in Tehran find themselves facing a constant struggle against society’s taboos. A mother is forced into prostitution to support her child, a musician finds his work rejected for not upholding Islamic values, and a woman sleeps with another man before her wedding, and seeks an operation to disguise the face that she is no longer a virgin.

WISE CHILDREN (2019) – Until Thursday 11 June 2020
BBC iPlayer
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Director Emma Rice brings her unique, musical and exuberantly impish vision to Angela Carter’s great last novel, in a production that has been seen at theatres across the UK.
A big, bawdy tangle of theatrical joy and pain, Wise Children is a celebration of show business, family, forgiveness and hope. Expect show girls and Shakespeare, sex and scandal, mischief and mistaken identity – and butterflies galore.
Loved by audiences and critics since its premiere at The Old Vic, London, in 2019, Wise Children has been seen by theatregoers across the UK.
With support from The Space, this was filmed live at York Theatre Royal. 

TANGERINE (2015) – until Friday 12 June 2020
Channel 4 on demand
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Comedy-drama starring Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian and James Ransone. A transgender sex worker discovers on Christmas Eve that her boyfriend/pimp has been unfaithful.

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BRIEF ENCOUNTER (1945) – until Saturday 13 June 2020
BBC iPlayer

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Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband. A David Lean classic.

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NOW IS GOOD (2012) – until Sunday 14 June 2020
BBC iPlayer
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Tessa (Dakota Fanning) is seventeen and passionate about life. Diagnosed with a terminal illness, she determines to use every moment, compiling a catalogue of what a normal teenager would experience, including losing her virginity and taking drugs. With the help of her friend Zoey (Kaya Scodelario), she sets the list in motion. While her family deals with fear and grief, each in their own way, Tessa explores a whole new world. Falling in love with Adam (Jeremy Irvine), her new neighbour, wasn’t on the list, but it proves to be the most exhilarating experience of them all.

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR (2019) – until Sunday 20 June 2020
Shakespeare’s Globe
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Double-meanings, disguises and dirty laundry abound as Sir John Falstaff sets about improving his financial situation by wooing Mistress Page and Mistress Ford. But the ‘Merry Wives’ quickly cotton on to his tricks and decide to have a bit of fun of their own at Falstaff’s expense… The Merry Wives of Windsor is the only comedy that Shakespeare set in his native land. This production draws influences from British 1930s fashion, music and dance, and with its witty mix of verbal and physical humour, rejoices in a tradition that reaches right down to the contemporary English sitcom. Directed by Elle White, this production stars Olivier Award-nominated Bryony Hannah as Mistress Ford, Sarah Finigan as Mistress Page and Pearce Quigley as Falstaff.

SPOTLIGHT (2015) – until Saturday 20 June 2020
BBC iPlayer
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Screened at the David Lean Cinema in April 2015

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Oscar-winning fact-based drama. A team of investigative reporters for a Boston newspaper investigate reports of children being molested within the Catholic church. The journalists discover the situation is far worse than it seemed, as they find a conspiracy among the city’s legal, religious and government establishments to cover up decades of abuse.

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE (2008) – until Monday 22 June 2020
Channel 4 on demand

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A teenager in Mumbai goes on the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and answers lots of questions. Who’d want to see a film like that? Well, almost everybody, as it turned out. Danny Boyle’s film, starring the impressive young Dev Patel, is about a lot more than the quiz show. It’s about the two contrasting Indias – the mega-rich and the desperately poor, the law-abiding and the criminal – and how Patel, an orphan born into poverty, survives between the two by petty theft and confidence tricks and, as we learn in flashback, acquires enough knowledge to get himself on the quiz show. Directed by Boyle with verve and panache, this is a terrific film, which deservedly won a hatful of Oscars.

SLOW WEST (2015) – until Monday 22 June 2020
Channel 4 on demand

Screened at the David Lean Cinema during August 2015

A young Scottish man travels across America in pursuit of the woman he loves, attracting the attention of an outlaw who is willing to serve as a guide.

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SUBURBICON (2017) – until Tuesday 23 June 2020
BBC iPlayer

This film seemed to bypass the David Lean programmers when it was released but if you’re a fan of the Coen Brothers black comedy, this is worthy of your attention. It was panned by some critics at the time but this writer believes that they missed the underlying message within.

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‘Suburbicon’ is a peaceful, idyllic suburban community with affordable homes and manicured lawns… the perfect place to raise a family, and in the summer of 1959, the Lodge family is doing just that. However, the tranquil surface masks a disturbing reality, as husband and father Gardner Lodge (Matt Damon) must navigate the town’s dark underbelly of betrayal, deceit, and violence. Directed by George Clooney, and written by George Cloooney, Grant Heslov and the Coen Brothers, Suburbicon is a dark comedy, with a cast that also includes Julianne Moore, Oscar Isaac and newcomer Noah Jupe.

BEAST (2017) – until Saturday 27 June 2020
Channel 4 On Demand

Screened at the David Lean Cinema in June 2018

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A troubled woman living in an isolated community finds herself pulled between the control of her oppressive family and the allure of a secretive outsider suspected of a series of brutal murders.

JULIETA (2016) – Saturday 30 May 2020
BBC iPlayer
Spanish with English subtitles

Screened at the David Lean Cinema during September 2016

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Though it isn’t vintage Pedro Almodóvar by any stretch, this sumptuous saga of love, loss, grief and guilt features enough touchstones to the unconventional Spanish director’s previous repertoire to please his loyal fans. Adapted from three short stories by Nobel Prize-winning writer Alice Munro, it’s another female-centric yarn where a chance encounter with her daughter’s best friend sends Madrid lecturer Julieta (Emma Suarez and Adriana Ugarte at different ages) into an emotional tailspin. This does lack the signature Almodóvar freshness but the film can’t be faulted on visual texture and the performances are classy enough to compensate for the plotting. The wallpaper is vibrant as ever, along with supporting player Rossy de Palma, playing a Galician Mrs Danvers in a sinister romance.

WASTED – until it ends
Southwark Playhouse
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★★★★ ‘A fantastically witty, mischievous and camp musical. Wasted manages to be a lot of fun and gives the Brontë legend a mischievous new spin.’ The Guardian

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Through the lens of a rock documentary, Wasted gives an access-all-areas account of the struggles, heartbreaks and triumphs of the three Brontë sisters Charlotte, Emily, Anne, and their brother Branwell. Brought up in a remote, poverty-stricken town in Yorkshire, without money or opportunity, they fought ill-health, unrequited love and family feuds to write some of the most celebrated literature including Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.
Never afraid to rebel against expectations, the lives behind the pages expose a struggling, squabbling, ferociously driven, drug-fuelled crash and burn trajectory from obscurity to celebrity and ultimately to their untimely deaths. Coupled with a rock score from Christopher Ash (Showstoppers – Oliver Award winner for Best Entertainment), book and lyrics by Carl Miller (Emil and the Detectives, National Theatre), directed by Adam Lenson (Superhero – Off-West End Award for New Musical), the Brontës ask – was it all wasted? This is the Brontës as you’ve never seen them before.
Please note that this production contains flashing lights and strobe effects, loud noises, strong language, and haze (which should be less of an issue as this is a stream but hey, a content warning’s a content warning!)

THE TEMPEST (2013) – until Thursday 23 July 2020
BBC iPlayer
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With a spirit of the supernatural, The Tempest is a story of forgiveness, generosity and enlightenments set on a remote and mysterious desert island. With enchantments and treachery at every turn, will anyone ever make it off? 
Roger Allam brings a fresh perspective to troubled sorcerer Prospero while Colin Morgan is magical as Ariel in this performance of Shakespeare’s late great masterpiece, recorded at Shakespeare’s Globe in London with renaissance costumes and staging.
Twelve years ago, Prospero, formerly the Duke of Milan, was usurped by Alonso, King of Naples, and Alonso’s brother, Sebastian and cast adrift with his t
hree-year-old daughter, Miranda. They now live on an island. Before they were put to sea, Gonzalo, Prospero’s faithful courtier, ensured that he took his magic books with him, and on the island he has used his magic art to reign over the native Caliban and the spirit Ariel.
Desiring revenge, Prospero uses his powerful magic to cause a great storm which shipwrecks his enemies. On the island, the shipwrecked courtiers are separated from Ferdinand, the King’s son, and Alonso believes him drowned. 
But Ferdinand has not drowned; he believes his father has perished in the tempest and meets Prospero and Miranda – with whom he falls in love. Prospero subjects Ferdinand to trials to test him.

THE FALL (2019 Short) – until 22 August 2020
BBC iPlayer
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A mob’s punishment of a lone man proves cruel and unusual in this nightmarish short film.
Written & directed by Jonathan Glazer [director of feature films “Sexy Beast” (2000) and “Under The Skin” (2013)

MACBETH (2018) – Until Sunday 23 August 2020
BBC iPlayer
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Shakespeare’s darkest psychological thriller. Returning home from battle, the victorious Macbeth meets three witches on the heath. Driven by their disturbing prophecies, he sets out on the path to murder. The 2018 Royal Shakespeare Company production directed by Polly Findlay features Christopher Eccleston as Macbeth and Niamh Cusack as Lady Macbeth.

HAMLET (2016) – until Sunday 23 August 2020
BBC iPlayer
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Sent by the ghost of his father to avenge his brutal death, Hamlet’s mission to expose the truth is a perilous journey of madness, murder and lost love. What will ultimately become of a young man sent to kill? Paapa Essiedu plays Hamlet in Simon Godwin’s critically acclaimed 2016 Royal Shakespeare Company production.

OTHELLO (2015) – until Sunday 23 August 2020
BBC iPlayer
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Othello is the greatest general of his age. But he is also an outsider whose victories have created enemies of his own. As they plot in the shadows, Othello realises too late that the greatest danger lies not in the hatred of others, but his own fragile and destructive pride. With Hugh Quarshie as Othello and Joanna Vanderham as Desdemona, Iqbal Khan’s ground-breaking 2015 production was the first by the Royal Shakespeare Company to cast a black actor, Lucian Msamati, as Iago.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING – until Sunday 23 August 2020
BBC iPlayer
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Autumn 1918. A group of soldiers return from the trenches. The world-weary Benedick and his friend Claudio find themselves reacquainted with Beatrice and Hero. 
As memories of conflict give way to a life of parties and masked balls, Claudio and Hero fall madly, deeply in love, while Benedick and Beatrice reignite their own altogether more combative courtship. 
Christopher Luscombe directs Michelle Terry and Edward Bennett as Beatrice and Benedick in this acclaimed Royal Shakespeare Company production

ROMEO AND JULIET (2019) – until Sunday 23 August 2020
BBC iPlayer
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As members of the feuding Capulet and Montague families, Romeo and Juliet should be sworn enemies, but they fall deeply in love and marry in secret. That very day, disastrous circumstances lead Romeo to fight and kill Juliet’s cousin Tybalt, setting off a chain of events that culminate in tragedy. Juliet takes a potion to avoid the love match her parents have set up for her, and Romeo, believing she is dead, poisons himself. When she wakes from her deep sleep, Juliet finds the body of her love and is so distraught that she stabs herself, joining him in death.
Romeo and Juliet is a drama feature film shot on location in Hungary, starring the dancers of the Royal Ballet in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s classic ballet. The film is set to Sergei Prokofiev’s original score for Romeo and Juliet, and is unique in telling this classic story through dance. The score was adapted especially for the film. It was recorded at AIR Studios in Hampstead, London, with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, in early 2019. The 85 players were conducted by the renowned Royal Opera House music director Koen Kessels, and the leader was Vasko Vassilev.

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE – until Sunday 23 August 2020
BBC iPlayer
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In the melting pot of Venice, trade is God. When the gold is flowing all is well – but when a contract between Bassanio and Shylock is broken, simmering racial tensions boil over. A wronged father, and despised outsider, Shylock looks to exact the ultimate price for a deal sealed in blood. Polly Findlay directs this Royal Shakespeare Company production of Shakespeare’s uncompromising play with Makram J. Khoury as Shylock, Patsy Ferran as Portia and Jamie Ballard as Antonio.

PICASSO: LOVE, SEX AND ART (2015)
BBC Documentaries
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At the time of his death in April 1973, aged 91, Pablo Picasso had become one of the 20th century’s most influential and prolific artists. Picasso has been painted as many men – genius, womaniser, egomaniac. His reputation is still fiercely debated. Brought up in the Spanish town of Malaga, he would represent himself as the mythological minotaur – half-man, half-bull. The bull craved the women who would feed his life and his art.
Picasso reconstructed the female form – to the point of total abstraction. Many women would find themselves damaged forever by the experience of being his partner. Now, for the first time, the people who knew him best tell the story of those women, giving a new insight into the artist and his work.

LOVE CRIMES OF KABUL (2011)
HBO Documentary
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An intimate portrait of three young Afghani women accused of committing “moral crimes” such as premarital sex and running away from home. As we follow them from prison to trial, we discover the pressures and paradoxes that women in Afghanistan face today-and the dangerous consequences when they refuse to fit in.

THE ART OF LISTENING (2017)
Independent Documentary
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A documentary about the journey music takes to reach a listener’s ear, from the intent of an instrument maker and composer, to the producers and engineers who capture and preserve an artist’s voice.

A documentary about the journey music takes to reach a listener’s ear, from the intent of an instrument maker and composer, to the producers and engineers who capture and preserve an artist’s voice.