First Features

First Features

The first time’s a charm for certain filmmakers, a fact attested to by the films gathered together in this collection of distinctive feature film debuts, the works of audacious young talents who came onto their sets with a lifetime of ideas about cinema stored up and ready to be put to the test. A selection of auspicious beginnings that not only show the promise of mature masterpieces to come, but are great films in their own right.

Subscribe Share
First Features
  • 2 Friends

    Directed by Jane Campion | 76 mins | 1986
    A formally daring inquest into a fractured friendship from Campion with a screenplay by novelist Helen Garner, 2 Friends opens with once-inseparable teenage girlfriends who having drifted apart, then moves back through the years to observe the episodes th...

  • A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night

    Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour | 104 mins | 2014
    Amirpour’s atmospheric, entirely original, black-and-white thriller gave an infusion of fresh blood to the venerable vampire movie genre, revolving around the figure of a mysterious, chador-clad female bloodsucker who exercises a powerful pull on a ...

  • Poison

    Directed by Todd Haynes | 85 mins | 1991
    With his first feature, Haynes took his influence from the patron saint of all queer outlaw art, the French writer and director Jean Genet. The result, a landmark of New Queer Cinema, was a trio of intercut, stylistically distinct stories drawn together by...

  • Story of A Love Affair

    Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni | 98 mins | 1950
    The curious kinship between American noir and Italian Neorealism is abundantly evident in Antonioni’s feature debut, inspired by James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice. The film’s lovers, Massimo Girotti and Lucia Bosè, are also co-consp...

  • Unrelated

    Directed by Joanna Hogg | 100 mins | 2007
    Anna (Kathryn Worth) arrives in Tuscany to visit her school friend Verena (Mary Roscoe), Verena’s cousin, and her new husband—but to the dismay of all, 45-year-old Anna seems more interested in spending time with the trio’s teenaged kids (including a youn...

  • Variety

    Directed by Bette Gordon | 100 mins | 1983
    A young woman lands a job as a cashier at a downtown porno theater, and soon finds herself inexorably drawn towards what’s happening onscreen—as well as other troubling fantasies. One of the great independent films of the ’80s, featuring a who’s who of t...

  • O Sangue

    Directed by Pedro Costa | 95 mins | 1989
    Shot when he was 29, Costa’s first feature is a story of two brothers forced to go on the lam after their father’s death. Shot in shimmering black and white, and developing an air of sumptuous fairy-tale enchantment, it stands alone in his oeuvre, worlds a...

  • Sebastiane

    Directed by Derek Jarman | 90 mins | 1976
    Jarman’s feature debut—co-directed with Humfress—makes blatant the latent homoeroticism in artistic renderings of the biblical story of the martyrdom of St. Sebastian, reveling in the male form while recounting a tale of repressed desire turned to sadism ...