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Barbican Cinema Dec 23/Jan 24 programme + Poor Things Costume Exhibition and Exclusive Preview Screenings

This December, Barbican Cinema and Searchlight Pictures are delighted to present a free exhibition of the original costumes from Poor Things, as worn by the stars Emma StoneMark Ruffalo and Willem Dafoe. This is curated by the film’s costume designer Holly Waddington and will be on display on Barbican’s Level G Foyer, from 11 Dec to 19 Jan 2024.

To coincide with The Costumes of Poor Things, there will also be two exclusive preview screenings of Poor Things, the highly anticipated new film from Academy Award nominee Yorgos Lanthimos, on Thu 14 Dec, ahead of the film’s general release on 12 January 2024.

  • The Costumes of Poor Things 11 Dec 2023  19 Jan 2024
  • Special Previews: Poor Things – Thu 14 Dec 2023

Exclusive Previews: Poor Things
Ireland/ UK & US, Dir Yorgos Lanthimos, 141 min
Thu 14 Dec, 7.40pm + 7.50pm
Cinema 2+3
Official drinks sponsor: Campari

Based on the acclaimed novel by Alasdair Gray and brought to the screen by the award-winning director of The Favourite and The LobsterPoor Things is the tale of the fantastical evolution of Bella Baxter (Emma Stone), a young woman brought back to life by the brilliant and unorthodox scientist, Dr.Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe). Under Baxter’s protection, Bella is eager to learn. Hungry for the worldliness she is lacking, Bella runs off with Duncan Wedderburn (Mark Ruffalo), a slick and debauched lawyer, on a whirlwind adventure across the continents. Free from the prejudices of her times, Bella grows steadfast in her purpose to stand for equality and liberation.

Poor Things will be released in UK and Irish cinemas on 12 Jan 2024 by Searchlight Pictures

The Costumes of Poor Things
11 Dec 2023 – 19 Jan 2024
Barbican’s Level G Foyer

Holly Waddington, costume designer said, “I'm delighted that these costumes are going to be on display in this great iconic building. I've always been a huge fan of the Barbican – its thrilling architecture and all the wonderful things that go on here. I’m excited for visitors to the Barbican to be able to see these costumes up close.”

Gali Gold, Head of Barbican Cinema said, “We are thrilled to be partnering with Searchlight Pictures to celebrate the cinema release of the magnificent Poor Things. We are always looking for new ways to engage our audiences in the transformative power of film and it’s a huge privilege to be able to showcase Holly Waddington’s extraordinary talent with these daring and irresistible costumes, which really bring the film to life. We’re also delighted to be able to offer our audiences exclusive previews of the film, which is already hailed as a masterpiece.”


January Festivals, Seasons and Special Events

Artists In Residence is a four-part series which takes place across January and February and explores artists’ film and archive material to highlight the unstable relationship between London’s space, art-making, and everyday life through three programmes of rarely seen and new short films, plus a panel discussion.

The popular Silent Film & Live Music strand returns in the New Year with Häxan + Live Score by Nick CarlisleBenjamin Christensen’s legendary silent film blends historical fact and superstition to explore ideas about witchcraft from the medieval period up to 1922, when the film was made.

At the end of January Barbican Cinema presents Visions from the Wake: Grief and its Afterlives in Global Cinema, the first screening from the Emerging Film Curators’ Lab 2023, a career development scheme which gives young people from a range of backgrounds and contexts, a chance to develop socially engaged film events and establish themselves as programmers in the UK cinema exhibition sector. This collection of short films, curated by Lab participant Cici Peng, explores the subject of death and grieving in cinema and looks at alternative ways of mourning.

The year’s first Experiments in Film considers the themes of revolutionary and anti-colonial acts in A Radical Duet, the latest film by award winning artist filmmaker Onyeka Igwe, plus a selection of CLR James 80th Birthday Lectures and Sometimes it was Beautiful by Christian Nyampeta.

This month’s New East Cinema screening is the Ukrainian film How is Katia? and ScreenTalk with director Christina Tynkkevych; this impressive debut is a multilayered psychological drama and an exploration of state corruption’s effects on individuals’ lives.

  • Artists In Residence – Mon 22 Jan  Thu 15 Feb 2024
  • Silent Film & Live Music event: Häxan + Live Score by Nick Carlisle – Sun 28 Jan 2024
  • Emerging Film Curators: Visions from the Wake: Grief and its Afterlives in
    Global Cinema – Tue 30 Jan 2024


Regular Programme strands

  • Senior Community Screenings – Anatomy of a FallMon 8 Jan + Maestro,
    Mon 22 Jan 2024
  • Family Film Club returns after the Holidays on 20 Jan: Puffin Rock and the New Friends – Sun 20 Jan + Preview: Oink – Sun 27 Jan 2024
  • New East Cinema: How is Katia? + ScreenTalk with director Christina Tynkevych – Wed 24 Jan 2024
  • Experiments in Film: A Radical Duet + CLR James 80th Birthday Lectures + Sometimes it was Beautiful, plus ScreenTalk – Mon 29 Jan 2024
  • Relaxed Screenings – one Friday daytime and one Monday evening
  • Pay What You Can Screenings – every Friday


Event Cinema

  • MET Opera Live in HD: Nabucco – Sat 6 Jan
  • NT Live: Dear England – Thu 25 Jan
  • MET Opera Live in HD: Carmen – Sat 27 Jan
  • Royal Opera House Live: Rusalka – Sun 28 Jan

Festivals, Seasons and Special Events

Artists In Residence
Mon 22 Jan – Thu 15 Feb
Cinemas 2 & 3
This creatively curated programme includes archive documentaries profiling Hackney’s Beck Road Collective, and Derek Jarman South of Watford about his occupancy of warehouses in the 1960s and 1970s plus the Premiere of After Time in which the filmmaker Therese Henningsen documents the people and places she encountered watching Stanley Schtinter’s The Lock-In, at ten 'real' pubs across London's East End.

Tickets go on sale and the full programme will be announced on Wed 6 Dec.

Silent Film & Live Music: Häxan (15) + Live Score by Nick Carlisle
Sweden 1922, Dir Benjamin Christensen, 106 min

Sun 28 Jan, 3pm
Cinema 1

A cult film, Häxan is a heady brew: an exploration of the hidden history of witchcraft combining re-enactments and animation.

Häxan advances director Benjamin Christensen’s theory that the medieval women who the church labelled witches would in his own time have been diagnosed as hysterics. A sober lecture-style prologue gives way to a series of dramatic vignettes showing various Satanic debaucheries and profane rituals. The subject-matter is sensational, but it is the stylised and stylish visual presentation that are striking.

With a new score for synthesiser and Mellotron composed and performed live by Nick Carlisle, this is presented in partnership with Queen’s Film Theatre Belfast.

Supported by the BFI Film Audience Network, awarding funds from the National Lottery to bring this project to more audiences across the UK.

Emerging Film Curators: Visions from the Wake: Grief and its Afterlives in

Global Cinema
Dir various, running time approx. 73 min

Tue 30 Jan, 6.30pm
Cinema 3

Loss is a part of life, yet people can often feel isolated in their grief. Curated by  journalist and programmer Cici Peng, the first in the cohort of Emerging Film Curators 2023, these short films give form to these difficult emotions, exploring alternative modes of mourning from filmmakers of the diaspora.

The programme looks at the afterlives of grief and how it returns, moving from a beachside in Dakar, to a Google Maps view of Palestine; each film reveals how profound grief is a symptom of our love and dependence on one another.

Rituals, digital landscapes and ghostly returns explore imaginative ways that people bear witness to loss and forge a new politics of empathy.

Tickets go on sale and the full Emerging Film Curators programme will be announced and go on sale on Wed 13 Dec.

Regular Programme Strands

Senior Community Screenings

Anatomy of a Fall

France 2023, Dir Justine Triet, 152 min
Mon 8 Jan, 11am
Cinema 2

Winner of the Palme d’Or in Cannes 2023, Justine Triet’s crime thriller follows the trial of
a woman (Sandra Hüller) accused of murdering her husband in their remote chalet in the French Alps.

USA 2023, Dir Bradley Cooper, 142 min
Mon 22 Jan, 11 am
Cinema 2

The Barbican is one of the few cinemas to screen this cinematic biography of American composer Leonard Bernstein. Bradley Cooper stars and directs this heart-shaking drama about one of the most renowned musical artists in history. 

Family Film Club  

Puffin Rock and the New Friends (U)
Ireland 2023 Dir Jeremy Purcell 80min
Sat 20 Jan, 11am, Cinema 2
A gentle animation from Cartoon Saloon, ideal for the youngest of film fans, this follows the adventures of pufflings Oona and Baba as they try to bring the last little egg of the season home before a storm hits.

Preview: Oink (U)
Netherlands 2022, Dir Mascha Halberstad, 72min
Sat 27 Jan, 11am, Cinema 2
In this charming stop-motion film from the Netherlands a nine-year old girl gets a pet pig named Oink as a gift from her long-estranged grandfather – who may have ulterior motives!

New East Cinema: How is Katia(12A*) + ScreenTalk with director

Christina Tynkevych
Ukraine 2022, Dir Christina Tynkkevych, 101 mins

Wed 24 Jan, 6.10pm
Cinema 2

Christina Tynkkevych’s impressive debut is a powerful story brought to life with captivating performances (Anastasia Karpenko received the Best Actress at Locarno Film Festival in 2022) and captivating documentary-like cinematography where each scene was shot in one take, How is Katia? cements Tynkevych as one of the strongest young voices in Ukrainian cinema.

Anna (Anastasiya Karpenko), a paramedic, shares a small apartment in Kyiv with her mother, her sister, and her daughter Katia, hoping that her circumstances are about to change. She has just taken on a mortgage, and she and Katia visit a construction site soon-to-be their dream home.

What the two consider a certain future suddenly begins to fade away as an accident turns Anna’s life around. In this new reality, society is at its most corrupt, and Anna is forced to reconsider her own ethical beliefs.

Experiments in Film: A Radical Duet (15*) + CLR James 80th Birthday Lectures + Sometimes it was Beautiful plus ScreenTalk

Mon 29 Jan, 6.30pm
Cinema 2

Experiments in Film presents A Radical Duet, the latest film by award winning artist filmmaker Onyeka Igwe, accompanied by a selection of CLR James 80th Birthday Lectures and Sometimes it was Beautiful by artist Christian Nyampeta, which expand upon the themes of revolutionary and anti-colonial acts.

A Radical Duet

UK 2023, Dir Onyeka Igwe, 28min

A Radical Duet recounts a coming together of two women from different generations fighting against colonialism in the 1940s to put their fervour and imagination into writing a revolutionary play. 

Organised in collaboration with Film London and FLAMIN

Relaxed Screenings
One Friday daytime and one Monday evening per month Barbican Cinema welcome cinema
goers to an environment that is specially tailored for a neurodiverse audience.

Pay What You Can Screenings
Every Friday one of the new release film screenings is priced Pay What You Can. This is for customers where ticket price may be a barrier, or for those who want to help others enjoy a visit to the cinema; audience members are invited to pay between £3-£15.

Event Cinema

MET Opera Live in HD: Nabucco (12A)

Sat 6 Jan, 5:55pm
Cinema 1 

Ancient Babylon comes to life in a classic Met staging of biblical proportions. Daniele Callegari conducts Verdi’s early masterpiece, which features the ultimate showcase for the great Met Chorus, the moving “Va, pensiero.”

NT Live: Dear England (#)

Thu 25 Jan, 7pm
Cinema 2
Joseph Fiennes
 (The Handmaid’s Tale) plays Gareth Southgate in James Graham’s (Sherwood) gripping examination of nation and game. Filmed live on stage at the National Theatre, Rupert Goold (Judy) directs this new play.

MET Opera Live in HDCarmen (12A)

Sat 27 Jan, 5.55pm
Cinema 1

Acclaimed English director Carrie Cracknell makes her Met debut, reinvigorating the classic
story of deadly passion with a staging that moves the action to the present day, amid a band of human traffickers. Daniele Rustioni conducts Bizet’s heart-pounding score.

Royal Opera House Live: Rusalka (12A)

Sun 28 Jan, 2 pm
Cinema 3

This poetic, contemporary new staging of Dvořák’s lyric fairy tale reveals the uneasy relationship with the natural world and humanity’s attempts to own and tame it. Semyon Bychkov conducts an all-star cast featuring Asmik Grigorian (Jenůfa) in the title role.