Mysterious Object At Noon (PG)

Second Run, £12.99

Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul won the Palme d'Or at the 2010 Cannes film festival with his sixth feature, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. His second and fourth films, Blissfully Yours and Tropical Malady, won the Un Certain Regard and the Jury prizes respectively at the same festival in 2002 and 2004. He is a considerable and consistent talent.

Martin Scorsese certainly thinks so, anyway. This release by Second Run of Weerasethakul's first feature, shot in the late 1990s, has only been made possible thanks to restoration work undertaken by the American director's World Cinema Project, which rescues films it deems lost classics. And Mysterious Object At Noon certainly was lost, at least in its original 16mm version: this version comes from the only existing 35mm blow-up. A cautionary tale, then, from the cusp of the digital era.

Weerasethakul's films are notoriously chewy, unconventional and allegorical and this one is no different. At the heart of the story is the relationship between a wheelchair-bound boy, referred to throughout as “the cripple”, and his teacher. There's also another boy who might be an alien and who seems to have come from the ball which appears under the teacher's skirt. Oh, and the teacher herself ends up being eaten by a tiger – at least in the version of the story served up by a gang of school-children late in the film. They're one of several groups of people interviewed documentary-style and asked to give potential plot twists. At other points we see Weerasethakul himself talking about the script, watch his film crew having lunch or see a child actor complaining that he hasn't been given the KFC he was promised. And the film ends with a wordless 10 minute coda, the At Noon bit of the title, documentary footage of children playing. Like the rest of the film it's baffling, intriguing and mesmerising in equal measure.

Barca Dreams (E)

Metrodome, £6.99

Thanks to a glut of iffy hooligan flicks and heart-warming stories about triumph against the odds, football fans know that good, serious films or documentaries about the Beautiful Game are rarer than goals from overhead kicks. There's The Damned United, of course, as well as Douglas Gordon's Zidane and Next Goal Wins, about the (terrible) American Samoa national side. Other worthy examples include the rarely seen Football As Never Before (90 minutes of George Best filmed at Old Trafford in 1971: a template for Zidane) and Heading For Glory (Johan Cruyff in his pomp in FIFA's official 1974 World Cup film).

Sadly, Barca Dreams is never going to join those films in the pantheon. Cruyff does feature in this documentary about the world's favourite club side, Barcelona FC, but even his lean, sardonic presence fails to lift it above the everyday. In fact it verges on the ridiculous at times: having the club historian talking about the rivalry between Barca and Real Madrid against the background of an exploding volcano is a little over the top. Meanwhile most of the rest of it feels too much like a cheesy promotional video. El classico it ain't.

Talking heads include Gary Lineker, Terry Venables, Xavi, Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique, but the most thrilling moments involve the archive footage: a four-year-old Xavi demonstrating his skills in a school game; Cruyff's Barca destroying Real Madrid five nil at the Bernabéu in February 1974, a seismic defeat for the Castilians; Barca missing all five penalties in the 1986 European Cup Final shoot-out with Steaua Bucharest; and Messi, of course, the Argentine magician who runs rings round even the world's best. He's always worth watching.

Symptoms (15)

BFI, £12.99

This 1974 curio was shot in the UK by Spaniard Jose Ramon Larraz, a director whose horror-sexploitation films tended to involve lesbians, vampires or both. This one, which gestures more towards the first than the second, stars Scottish actress Lorna Heilbron alongside Angela Pleasence, daughter of Donald and seen most recently in BBC hit Happy Valley. Incredibly, it was chosen as the UK's official entry for the Palme d'Or at the 1974 Cannes film festival, losing out to Francis Ford Coppola's masterful The Conversation (funny that). Since then it has acquired a cult appeal which is just about warranted: it's stylishly shot and its story about a brittle and intense young woman (Pleasence) inviting a glamorous friend (Heilbron) to stay in her remote country pile is well-handled as long as it remains in psychological thriller territory. Which is to say for about 60 of its 92 minutes.

As Pleasence casts meaningful looks at Heilbron, strange things start to happen. There are footsteps in the attic, glimpses of an apparently spectral vision (the woman whose framed photograph is everywhere in the house), and a dodgy handyman stalking the grounds. In the film's opening scene we also see a naked body in a lake. It's teasing and atmospheric, at least until the blood starts flowing at which point it loses focus. Still, Pleasence's performance and the amazing-looking Heilbron – short hair, Yves Saint Laurent glasses and preposterous flares – keep it interesting almost to the end. It's released under the BFI's Flipside imprint and among the extras are newly-filmed interviews with Heilbron and Pleasence. If you liked Peter Strickland's The Duke Of Burgundy, you'll find plenty to interest you here.