This film list is a comprehensive source of all titles on the OCR Film Studies A-Level syllabus which are currently available to stream on Into Film+ and Into Film+ Premium. The syllabus titles are correct as of July 2023 for the 23/24 academic year and will be updated whenever relevant. All titles listed have accompanying film guides for further discussion.
The titles, and the sections they appear in on the syllabus, are as follows:
Attack the Block (AS Level - Understanding British Film)
Sunrise (Film History, Section A: Film Form in US Cinema - Silent Era)
Singin' in the Rain (Film History, Section A: Film Form in US Cinema - 1930-1960)
Vertigo (Film History, Section A: Film Form in US Cinema - 1930-1960)
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (Film History, Section A: Film Form in US Cinema - 1961-1990)
Do the Right Thing (Film History, Section A: Film Form in US Cinema - 1961-1990)
The 400 Blows (Film History, Section B: European Cinema History - French New Wave)
Breathless (Film History, Section B: European Cinema History - French New Wave)
Pride (Critical Approaches to Film, Section A: Contemporary British Film)
Ex Machina (Critical Approaches to Film, Section A: Contemporary British Film)
The Hunger Games (Critical Approaches to Film, Section A: Contemporary US Film)
Zootropolis (Critical Approaches to Film, Section A: Contemporary US Film)
Man on Wire (Critical Approaches to Film, Section B: Documentary)
Searching for Sugar Man (Content of Critical Approaches to Film, Section B: Documentary)
District 9 (Critical Approaches to Film, Section C: Ideology [Conflict] - English-language, non-US)
Whiplash (Critical Approaches to Film, Section C: Ideology [Conflict] - US Independent)
All of the films below are available to stream via Into Film+ but some of them (labelled) are only available to Into Film+ Premium users. Find out more here.
Attack the Block(2011)
A bunch of South London teenagers find their tower block under attack from deadly aliens, in this fast and funny sci-fi horror film.
This film is on the AS-Level syllabus only, as part of the Understanding British Film component. Joe Cornish’s influential sci-fi comedy combines gritty, urban London settings with genre influences, using action set pieces to great effect.
This visually stunning, classic silent movie is a morality tale about a farmer who becomes torn between his wife and another woman.
This title is on the A-Level syllabus only. One of the titles available in Section A of the Film History component which encompasses films from the birth of cinema through to 1990, F.W. Murnau’s silent era classic, which won two categories at the inaugural Academy Awards for its exploration of romance and morality, is also a cornerstone of the German expressionism movement.
Widely considered the best musical ever made, this tribute to Hollywood is about an actress who can't sing trying to move into sound films.
This seminal musical is one of the options in Section A of the Film History component, exploring classic Hollywood productions between 1930 and 1960. ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ allows for the opportunity to study concepts such as star power, the popularity of the musical, choreography, performance, and the transition from silent cinema into the talkies.
A retired detective suffering from vertigo is hired to follow the wife of a friend but soon finds himself caught up in a web of deceit and lies.
In the same section as ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ as alternate option, Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ was voted the greatest film of all time in 2012 as part of Sight & Sound’s acclaimed once-in-a-decade poll. Students could explore its rich themes, James Stewart’s performance, its implementation of the dolly zoom for the first time, and Hitchcock as an auteur.
This heart-warming family favourite about an alien stranded all alone on earth contains some of the most magical scenes in movie history.
Still in Section A of Film History but now in the period 1961-1990, ‘E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial’ explores a modern auteur in the form of Steven Spielberg. One of the few family films on the syllabus, aimed at younger audiences than others included, it may provide an interesting comparison and contrast with more “serious” works.
Racial tensions run high in Brooklyn on the hottest day of the year.
Another film from 1961-1990, right at the tail end of the period, by another director who has defined his era of filmmaking. Spike Lee has explored Black culture and experiences on film in the mainstream for decades, but arguably never more potently than his sharp and subversive third feature.
An anthem for troubled loners everywhere, this is the deeply moving tale of a cheeky yet vulnerable French schoolboy.
This title is on the A-Level syllabus only, within Section B of Film History focusing on European Cinema History, in this case the French New Wave. One of a number of BFI titles available on Into Film+, François Truffaut’s ‘The 400 Blows’ is an iconic coming-of-age film with experimental aesthetics.
A classic French New Wave film about a petty thief on the run from the law who hides out in Paris with his American lover.
This title is on the A-Level syllabus only, also within the European Cinema History section. It is another title strongly associated with the French New Wave movement that emerged in the late 1950s, with directors like Truffaut and in this case Jean-Luc Godard trialling new approaches to filmmaking aspects such as editing, visuals, and narrative.
Uplifting comedy about an unlikely moment in recent British history when, in 1984, gay rights activists offered to support the striking miners.
This title is on the A-Level syllabus only within Section A of ‘Critical Approaches to Film’: Contemporary British Film. It provides an insight into perspectives on modern British history, highlighting a remarkable true story from 30 years prior to the film’s release exploring intersectional themes around sexuality, class, and identity.
A taut sci-fi thriller exploring the popular debate about whether Artificial Intelligence could ever match humankind's capacity to think and feel.
This title is on the A-Level syllabus only in the same section as ‘Pride’. A three-handed chamber piece, it’s a modern study of artificial intelligence from a modern pioneer of sci-fi, Alex Garland, who has also worked on the likes of ‘28 Days Later’, ‘Never Let Me Go’, and ‘Sunshine’. ‘Ex Machina’ additionally explores themes around technology, ethics, and gender dynamics.
In an unequal post-apocalyptic society, a 16-year-old girl volunteers to take the place of her younger sister in a brutal annual contest.
This title is on the A-Level syllabus only within the ‘Contemporary US Film’ section. ‘The Hunger Games’ is an example of an enormously popular young adult franchise which followed in the footsteps of ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Twilight’, and allows for interrogation of topics such as inequality and celebrity culture, while also demonstrating rich visual filmmaking.
Hugely inventive animated adventure about a rookie bunny cop teaming up with a wily fox to solve a set of mysterious disappearances.
This title is on the A-Level syllabus only in the same section as ‘The Hunger Games’. One of the few children’s films on the curriculum alongside ‘E.T.’, it permits discussions on the advancement of animation; the way in which Disney films more specifically have changed over time; and the film’s subtext of racism within the context of its intended audience and studio release.
Gripping documentary about Phillipe Petit, who in 1974 walked on a tightrope between New York's Twin Towers, without permission from the authorities.
This title is on the A-Level syllabus only in Section B: Documentary. French language film ‘Man on Wire’ is a case study of when documentary filmmaking tackles a subject and character without access to lots of archive footage as is the case with many documentaries since, helmed by the acclaimed British filmmaker James Marsh.
Charming documentary following two fans on their quest to discover what really happened to their folk-rock hero, the mysterious Rodriguez.
Also appearing in the set list for Section B: Documentary, this film follows the remarkable story of how, in the pre-internet age, the songs of a forgotten folk musician from the USA founds their way to South Africa and captured the imagination of the anti-Apartheid movement. The documentary features exquisite examples of the use of animated sequences in factual filmmaking.
An extraterrestrial race has been living on earth for 20 years, segregated from humans and living in slum-like conditions in South Africa.
In Section C of the syllabus which focuses on the topic of conflict within ideology is ‘District 9’, a hugely popular and successful satire on apartheid. Co-produced and also set in South Africa, it provides an example of how mockumentary filmmaking is still able to carry a serious subtext.
Riveting two-hander about a jazz drummer and his demanding tutor.
In the same section as ‘District 9’ but as an example of a US Independent title is ‘Whiplash’. As well as interrogating themes around competition, obsession, and sacrifice – and what the film might be saying about them within the context of its production – students may also wish to analyse elements such as the film’s editing, music, camerawork, and performances.