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Barbican Cinema: February '23 

  Festivals, Seasons and Special Events:

  • My Twisted Valentine: Crash
  • Emerging Film Curators:  Black Cyclone: Africa and her Diaspora’s Love for the Bicycle

 Regular Programme strands:

  • Science on Screen: Gattaca + Presentation by
    Magdalena Skipper
  • Cinema Restored: Mat Magic + Introduction
  • Experiments in Film: The Plains + ScreenTalk with Director David Easteal
  • Family Film Club
  • Senior Community & Relaxed Screenings
  • Pay What You Can Screenings

  Event Cinema:

  • Royal Opera House: The Barber of Seville
  • National Theatre Live: Othello

In February Barbican Cinema is pleased to continue the Emerging Film Curators Series with Black Cyclone: Africa and her Diaspora’s Love for the Bicycle; this fourth programme (from the 2022 cohort) is a selection of short films curated by Ephraim Webber which explores the myriad ways that cyclists of Colour interact with their communities, surroundings and the wider world on two wheels.

My Twisted Valentine returns with David Cronenberg’s 90’s cult film Crash (starring James Spader, Holly Hunter and Rosanna Arquette) which has been described by the New York Times as ‘an orgy of bent fenders and bent love’.

Three bi-monthly programmes run in February: Science on Screen features Andrew Niccol’s sci-fi thriller Gattaca and a presentation by the geneticist Magdalena Skipper; Cinema Restored screens the classic Malay film Mat Magic, with an introduction from Chew Tee Pao at the Asian Film Archive; and Experiments in Film features The Plains, a striking three-hour film shot in a car at the same time of day – during the evening commute through Melbourne, Australia - for a period of 12 months, followed by a ScreenTalk with director David Easteal.

Event Cinema screenings in February include: Royal Opera House: The Barber of Seville and National Theatre Live: Othello.

Saturday morning Family Film Club continues to show the best in classic and contemporary cinema for younger audiences.

The programme also includes regular Senior Community Screenings, two Relaxed Screenings per month, and Pay What You Can Screenings for one new release film title each Friday.

Festivals, Seasons and Special Events:

My Twisted Valentine: Crash (18)

Canada/UK 1996, Dir David Cronenberg, 100 min digital presentation
Tue 14 Feb 8.45pm, Cinema 3

Always compellingly creepy, James Spader plays James Ballard, a film producer involved in a nasty car crash. The accident kills the other driver and badly injures the driver’s wife Helen (Holly Hunter). It leaves James shaken… yet strangely aroused. Soon he and Helen, along with his wife Elizabeth, drift into a bizarre underground subculture of car crash fetishists.

Both lauded and reviled upon release in 1996, Crash has since taken its place as a key film of the 1990s. Hailed as “hilariously brilliant” by filmmaker-provocateur John Waters, it was also adored by JG Ballard, author of the source novel. 

Emerging Film Curators: Black Cyclone: Africa and its Diaspora’s Love for the Bicycle (U) + Panel Discussion
Tue 21 Feb, 6.45pm, Cinema 3

Black Cyclone: Africa and its Diaspora’s Love for the Bicycle gathers a series of films celebrating Black people and their attachment to cycling. It is curated by Ephraim Webber who worked as a bike messenger for over ten years, and is now the film curator and programmer at Bernie Grant Arts Centre, in Tottenham, North London.

From tales of the Black Foxes, an African-American collective of cyclists meeting for the first time for a ride in the wilds, to Eritrean triumph in the Tour De France, Black Cyclone explores the myriad ways that cyclists of Colour interact with their communities, surroundings and the wider world on two wheels.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion hosted by Ephraim Webber.

The Black Foxes
US 2021, Dir B. Monét, 15 min

The Black Foxes are an international collective of unapologetically Black cyclists reclaiming the freedom and joy of the outdoors. On their first anniversary in June 2021, The Black Foxes gathered to celebrate, reflect and envision the road ahead. Due to the state of the world in 2020, for many of them it was the first-time meeting in person.

In Tandem
US 2022, US, Dirs Charles Frank and Chrris Lowe, 18 min

There’s no team quite like L39ION of Los Angeles. Born from a brotherhood intent on shaking up the cycling scene and creating meaningful change, they’re a team packed full of individuality, but united in more ways than one. Founded by Justin and Cory Williams, intent on driving diversity and inclusion in the sport, the team now boasts three sets of siblings, including Skylar and Samantha Schenider, plus Kendall and Alexis Ryan.

Featuring some home footage and thoughts on the team’s future, this film is an intimate look into the start of their cycling careers and the unique, unspoken closeness that shared experience brings.

King of the Mountains
South Africa 2017, Dir James Walsh, 30 min

On the Horn of Africa, with around 5 million people lies the enigmatic country of Eritrea. How has this small, multi-cultural nation dominated the continent of African cycling … and produced the first Black African cyclists to finish the mighty Tour de France? This is the story of Daniel Teklehaimanot and the giants of Eritrean cycling.

The 2022 Emerging Film Curators Lab, supported by Arts Council England, is a free career 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.

Regular Programme strands:

Science on Screen: Gattaca + Presentation by Magdalena Skipper
USA 1997, Dir Andrew Niccol, 112 min
Tue 7 Feb, 6.10 pm, Cinema 2

This 90s Academy-Award nominated sci-fi thriller takes places in a world where genetics can help or hinder people’s chances of success. Starring Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Jude Law.

Writer/director Andrew Niccol’s crafts a world in which a supposedly genetically inferior man assumes the identity of one whom society deems to be superior, in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel. This was Niccol’s first foray into science-fiction filmmaking, but just one year later his script for The Truman Show (US 1998, Dir Peter Weir) would leave yet another indelible mark on the sci-fi landscape.

Presenting before the screening will be Dr Magdalena Skipper, Editor-in-Chief of the International science magazine Nature. Dr Skipper is a geneticist by training, and over the course of her career she has both conducted and edited genetics and genomics research at the cutting edge. Recalling the early days of her career, which coincided with the wider public interest in genome sequencing and all the opportunities and challenges this entailed, Dr Skipper will explore the manner in which these were captured and depicted in films such as Gattaca.

Cinema Restored: Mat Magic (12A) + Introduction from Film Archivist
Chew Tee Pao

Singapore 1971, Dir Mat Sentul & John Calvert, 96 min
Thu 16 Feb, 6.30 pm, Cinema 2

This classic of Malay cinema, tells the story of Mat, an amateur magician who by chance, encounters the famous American magician John Calvert and invites them to perform on Ghost Island, for the King.

The film is part of a series of films featuring Mat, played by celebrated performer and director Mat Sentul, which was made for Singapore’s Cathay-Keris Studio, a famed studio responsible for 60 films made between 1959 and its closure in 1975.

In order to digitally restore the film, it took 2,650 hours of work to include scratch removal, stabilising, deflickering, and colour correction. Additional audio processing such as noise, clicks, and hum removal also had to be carried out to ensure a better auditory experience.

Experiments in Film: The Plains (12A) + ScreenTalk with Director
David Easteal

Australia 2022, Dir David Easteal, 180 mins
Wed 22 Feb, 6.30 pm, Cinema 2

As he drives home in Melbourne, filmmaker David Easteal captures the everyday reflections and musings of the man, which over the film’s 3-hour running develop into a poetic and intimate portrait of his motivations, and the nature of work, home, family and love.

The Plains, takes place completely within the car, with the camera shooting through the windscreen in order to capture the exterior landscapes and surroundings as we move through the urban space, a labyrinth of interlocked roads and other vehicles, on the journey to suburban Melbourne. Easteal shot at the same time of day, the evening commute, for a period of 12 months.

Senior Community Screenings
Every second Monday 11.45am, Cinema 2

The Barbican welcomes 60+ cinema goers, plus guest to enjoy the latest new releases every second Monday morning. 

These screenings provide a great opportunity to come together and connect with fellow audience members – at a quieter time of the day – and tickets are priced £6.

For up to date programme information:

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, as well as those who find a more informal setting beneficial. Ticket are priced at £6.

For up-to-date programme information:

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 for a ticket.

For up-to-date programme information:

Family Film Club
11am every Saturday, Cinema 2

The best in new releases, international gems, archive classics and specially curated programmes for families every Saturday morning. In February highlights include: Matida: The Musical (UK/ US 2022, Dir Matthew Warchus), the animation from Cartoon Saloon The Song of the Sea (Ireland/ Denmark/ Belgium 2014, Dir Tomm Moore) and a curated shorts programme of animations from all over the world. Young people can also enjoy regular Show and Tell introductions and free monthly workshops.

Event Cinema:
Royal Opera House Live: The Barber of Seville
Sun 19 Feb, 2 pm, Barbican Cinema 3

Running time: 3 hours and 45 minutes (including one interval)
With vocal fireworks, scheming lovers and one very busy barber, Rossini’s comic opera is packed with fun and mischief.

When Rosina falls in love with a mysterious young suitor who calls himself Lindoro, she must use all her cunning – and a little help from her local barber – to outwit her calculating guardian Dr Bartolo.

Gioachino Rossini’s comic opera is a riotously entertaining affair; Rafael Payare makes his Royal Opera House debut conducting an outstanding international cast that includes Andrzej FilończykAigul AkhmetshinaLawrence Brownlee and Bryn Terfel.

National Theatre Live: Othello (12A)
Thu 23 Feb 2023, 7pm, Cinema 3

An extraordinary new production of Shakespeare’s most enduring tragedy, directed by Clint Dyer with a cast that includes Giles Terera, Rosy McEwan and Paul Hilton.

She’s a bright, headstrong daughter of a senator; elevated by her status but stifled by its expectations. He’s refugee of slavery; having risen to the top of a white world, he finds love across racial lines has a cost. 

Wed in secret, Desdemona and Othello crave a new life together. But as unseen forces conspire against them, they find their future is not theirs to decide.  

Filmed live on the Lyttleton stage of the National Theatre.