Saved events

Press room

Barbican Cinema February 2024

New voices and fresh perspectives in the Emerging Film Curators Series 2024

Barbican Cinema begins February with two screenings from the Emerging Film Curators Series 2024: Stims: Towards a Neurodiverse Cinema, developed by Lillian Crawford; and Unseen Avant-Gardes: Women Experimental Filmmakers in Yugoslavia, 1960-90, developed by Teodora Kosanović, cohorts from the 2023 Barbican’s Emerging Film Curators Lab programme.

The Emerging Film Curators Lab (EFCL) is a free development programme designed to give young people a chance to establish themselves in the UK cinema exhibition sector and to widen the range of voices and perspectives on screen.

Alongside the Curators Lab, the Artists In Residence season continues in February with three programmes exploring artists’ film and archive material to highlight the unstable relationship between London’s space, art-making, and everyday life through rarely seen and new short films, plus a panel discussion.

The perennially popular My Twisted Valentine returns in February with Tenderness and Toxicity, a programme of short films which touch on the notion of desire, obsession, and revenge, perfect for those looking for an antidote to the regular Valentine screenings.

Festivals, Seasons and Special Events

Regular Programme strands

  • Family Film Club – every Sat am
  • Senior Community Screenings - On the AdamantMon 5 Feb + Peeping TomMon 19 Feb
  • Relaxed Screenings – The Boy and The HeronMon 12 Feb + Priscilla Fri
    23 Feb
  • Cinema Restored: St. Clair Bourne’s Cinema of Solidarity + ScreenTalk
    Tue 20 Feb
  • Pay What You Can Screenings – every Fri

Event Cinema

  • Pet Shop Boys Dreamworld: The Greatest Hits – Wed 31 Jan
  • National Theatre Encore: YermaTue 6 Feb
  • Royal Opera House Live: ManonSun 11 Feb
  • National Theatre Encore: Romeo & JulietTue 13 Feb
  • National Theatre Live: VanyaThu 22 Feb


February also includes a special event screening of 2023 film Occupied City and live ScreenTalk with the Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen and writer Bianca Stigter, to be broadcast from the Barbican to cinemas nationwide. This is a mesmerising excavation of how the past haunts the present, mirroring it and warning the viewer in plain sight, as it travels in present day Amsterdam to uncover what occurred there between 1940 and 1945.

Further programme highlights include Cinema Restored: St. Clair Bourne’s Cinema of Solidarity + ScreenTalk, a programme of humanistic documentaries by St. Clair Bourne, that shows multi-faceted portrayals of African Americans from the 1960 to the 1990s; and Family Film Club, which screens the nature documentary Earth: One Amazing Day, from BBC Earth Films (with a pre-film workshop), among other favourites.

Festivals, Seasons and Special Events

Artists in Residence
Thu 1 Feb – Thu 15 Feb
Cinema 3  
The second instalment of this creatively curated programme includes three archive documentaries. Derek Jarman South of Watford, about his occupancy of warehouses in the 1960s and 1970s; The New Eastenders which charts the land grab of Shoreditch, following clusters of YBAs, gallerists and estate agents as they go on property sprees – featuring Tracey Emin, Victoria Miro and Tim Noble; and 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.
To view the full press release:

Emerging Film Curators Series:
Stims: Towards a Neurodiverse Cinema (15*) + ScreenTalk with directors Georgia Kumari Bradburn, Sophie Broadgate and Edward Smyth

Relaxed Screening

Sat 10 Feb, 4.15pm

Cinema 3

Stimming is a term used by neurodivergent people to describe the noises and movements they sometimes make to feel calmer. Stims is a collection of eight films by neurodiverse filmmakers who refuse to bow to the norm, celebrating neurodivergent ways of seeing in front of and behind the camera, through comedy, experimenta and animation.

Their films all explore movement and changing environments from an array of neurodivergent perspectives. The event considers what a neurodiverse cinema looks like, and how it can be achieved.

This screening will be followed by a ScreenTalk with directors Georgia Kumari Bradburn, Sophie Broadgate and Edward Smyth, hosted by EFCL curator Lillian Crawford, an autistic writer and co-host of the Autism Through Cinema podcast.

To view the full press release:

Occupied City + ScreenTalk with Steve McQueen + Bianca Stigter
United Kingdom/ Netherlands/ United States 2023, Dir Steve McQueen, 266 min

Sun 11 Feb, 3pm
Cinema 1

The past collides with the precarious present in Steve McQueen’s bravura documentary Occupied City, informed by the book Atlas of an Occupied City: Amsterdam 1940-1945 written by Bianca Stigter.

McQueen creates two interlocking portraits: a door-to-door excavation of the Nazi occupation that still haunts his adopted city, and a vivid journey through the last years of pandemic and protest. What emerges is both devastating and life-affirming; an expansive meditation on memory, time, and where the world is headed.

My Twisted Valentine: Tenderness and Toxicity

Wed 14 Feb, 8.45pm
Cinema 3

In this year’s unorthodox Valentine’s offering Barbican Cinema presents a programme of short films which touch on the notion of sensuality, desire, obsession, and revenge.  

Emerging Film Curators Series:
Unseen Avant-Gardes: Women Experimental Filmmakers in Yugoslavia, 1960-90 (18*) + ScreenTalk with writer Owen Hatherley

Thu 29 Feb, 8.45pm
Cinema 3

An evening of rarely screened shorts from various archives and collections from the former-Yugoslav region, featuring films that frame politics and nationhood as inextricably linked to gender, intimacy, and the urban spaces around us.

Ranging from snapshots of everyday life in Vukica DjilasHome Movies and obsessions with 1960s pop music in Tatijana Ivanišević’s Zemsko, to the seminal portrait of Socialist Yugoslavia in Sanja Iveković’s Personal Cuts, these films take audiences on a journey through a cultural, political and personal history via the lens of trailblazing women artists.

EFCL curator Teodora Kosanović will be joined by writer Owen Hatherley for a discussion following the screening.
To view the full press release:

Regular Programme Strands

Family Film Club

The Jungle Book (U)
US 1967, Dir Wolfgang Reitherman, 78 min
Sat 3 Feb, 11am
Cinema 3

Based on the tales by Rudyard Kipling and featuring some of the best loved songs in the Disney songbook – including the Bare Necessities and I Wanna Be Like You – the adventures of Baloo, Mowgli, Bagheera and Shere Khan are a joyous romp through the jungle. Age recommendation: 4+

Sirocco and the Kingdom of the Winds (U*)
France/ Belgium 2023, Dir Benoît Chieux, 76min
Sat 10 Feb, 11am
Cinema 2

When Juliette and Carmen are sent to stay with their neighbour, they are unexpectedly plunged into a world of mystery and magic in this stunning new animation from director Benoît Chieux.
French with English subtitles. Subtitles read aloud for children via headsets.
Age recommendation: 5+

Wolfwalkers (PG)
Ireland/Luxembourg/France/US 2020, Dir Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart, 103 min
Sat 17 Feb, 11am
Cinema 2

From Cartoon Saloon comes their latest film - an uplifting animation about friendship and loyalty. Wolfwalkers tells the tale of a remote town in 17th century Ireland where hunter Bill Goodfellowe (Sean Bean) and his daughter Robyn (Honor Kneafsey) are sent to deal with increasing wolf attacks. The film is created with mesmerising and beautiful hand-drawn animation, with deep and striking colours. Age recommendation: 7+

Oceans: Our Blue Planet (U*) + Intro from Will McCallum Co-Executive Director of Greenpeace UK + free pre-film workshop
UK 2018, Dir Mark Brownlow, Rachel Butler, 41 min
Sat 24 Feb, 11am
Cinema 2

Family Film Club is delighted to present this stunning documentary filmed by BBC Earth Films. The film takes viewers on a journey around the world’s oceans to meet marine animals in their natural habitat – including acrobatic spinner dolphins and mobula rays with 10ft wingspans. Age recommendation: 6+

Senior Community Screenings
Welcoming 60+ cinema goers to watch the latest new releases every other Monday morning.

On the Adamant (PG)
France 2023, Dir Nicolas Philibert, 109 min
Mon 5 Feb 11:00 am
Cinema 2

On The Adamant portrays the floating structure L'Adamant Day Center, located on the Seine river in Paris. The structure is a special day care centre for the treatment of adults. The film is a touching portrayal of those who use the centre and the work that it does. It won the Golden Bear at the 73rd Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for the Berlinale Documentary Film Award.

Peeping Tom (15)
UK 1960, Dir Michael Powell, 101 min
Mon 19 Feb, 11 am
Cinema 2

Michael Powell's cult classic thriller from 1960 follows a serial killer who uses a portable film camera to document his victims. A chance for senior communities to see this cinema classic back on the big screen.

Relaxed Screenings
Relaxed screenings take place in an environment that is specially tailored for a neurodiverse audience, as well as those who find a more informal setting beneficial.

The Boy and The Heron (12A)
Japan 2023, Dir Hayao Miyazaki, 124 min
Mon 12 Feb, 6.10pm
Cinema 3

A young boy named Mahito yearning for his mother ventures into a world shared by the living and the dead. This is a
semi-autobiographical fantasy about life, death and creation, in tribute to friendship, from Hayao Miyazaki.

Priscilla (15)
US 2023, Dir Sofia Coppola, 113 min
Fri 23 Feb, 12pm
Sofia Coppola
adapts the memoirs of Priscilla Presley, wife of the king of rock and roll, in this stunning feminist drama set in Graceland in the 60s and 70s.

Priscilla and Elvis meet when the former is a teenager, recently having left Tennessee with her family. Elvis, although he could have any woman on the planet, sees something, in Priscilla: a taste of home, an innocence. This is the story of their marriage, of the making of a woman. 

Cinema Restored: St. Clair Bourne’s Cinema of Solidarity (15*) + ScreenTalk
Tue 20 Feb, 6.15pm
Cinema 3   

The transformative documentaries of St. Clair Bourne (1943 – 2007), a Black filmmaker and activist from Brooklyn. Diving into a range of issues from The Troubles in Ireland to race and museums.

This programme brings the UK premiere of the restored The Black and the Green, in which St Clair Bourne traces a group of Black Civil rights activists who travel to Northern Ireland during The Troubles, exploring the parallels between their experiences of racial discrimination in the US, and of Irish Catholic life under the British authorities.

The occasion of the restoration provides an opportunity to showcase the career of Bourne, whose work provides a vital perspective of African American communities between the 1960s to the 1990s, a period taking in the end of the civil rights movement and transition to the Black power movement, and its rise and fall.


To view the full programme:

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

Pet Shop Boys Dreamworld: The Greatest Hits Live at the Royal Arena Copenhagen (12A)

Wed 31 Jan, 8.40pm
Cinema 2

Pet Shop Boys bring their critically acclaimed greatest hits tour, Dreamworld, to movie theatres worldwide for two nights only!

NT Encore: Yerma (#)

Tue 6 Feb, 6.20pm
Cinema 2

A woman is driven to the unthinkable by her desperate desire to have a child in this radical

production of Lorca’s achingly powerful masterpiece.

Royal Opera House Live 23-24: Manon (12A)

Sun 11 Feb, 2pm
Cinema 3

Torn between her desire of a life of splendour and riches and her devotion to her true love Des Grieux, the feckless and capricious Manon pays the ultimate price.

NT Encore: Romeo & Juliet (12A)

Tue 13 Feb, 6.20pm
Cinema 3

This bold new film brings to life the remarkable backstage spaces of the National Theatre in
which desire, dreams and destiny collide to make Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy sing in an
entirely new way.

NT Live: Vanya (#)

Thu 22 Feb, 6.20pm
Cinema 1

Andrew Scott (Fleabag) brings multiple characters to life in Simon Stephens’ radical new version of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya.