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Barbican Cinema - January 2020 highlights

Curated by the Barbican:  

  • Alternate Realities
  • Silent Film & Live Music: The Slapstick Home + live accompaniment
    by Guildhall School Jazz Musicians
  • Architecture on Film: Fellini's Roma
  • Forbidden Colours: José + Introduction
  • New East Cinema: End of Season + Screen Talk
  • Preview: The Personal History of David Copperfield + ScreenTalk with Armando Iannucci
  • Queen & Slim + Black British Talent in the US Panel Discussion
  • Family Film Club

Event Cinema:

  • Met Opera Live: Wozzeck
  • Afternoon Arts: The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Royal Opera House Live: The Sleeping Beauty
  • Royal Opera House Live: La Bohème
  • Afternoon Arts: Children of the Sun

Curated by the Barbican:

Alternate Realities
Mon 13 – Sun 19 Jan 2020, Cinemas 3 and Level G

Sheffield Doc/Fest’s pioneering digital art strand returns to the Barbican, with two works from the festival’s Alternate Realities exhibition of interactive and immersive non-fiction.

In the interactive installation Echo, by Georgie Pinn, audiences step into the shoes of another through a virtual mirror, select a shared story and discover layers of themselves echoed back. Winner of the ‘Best Digital Experience Award’ at this year’s Doc/Fest, Pinn's artwork is a deeply personal exploration of human identity and empathy, offering an intense and visually unique experience. The Barbican presentation of Echo features new, intimate stories never shown before. 

Alongside Pinn's work, Rob Eagle’s augmented reality installation Through the Wardrobe playfully invites visitors into a wardrobe where the possibilities of gender are endless. The viewer is invited to explore the belongings of others and play with their own ideas of gender identity.

These installations are accompanied by two screenings: Agostino Ferrente’s Selfie (Italy 2019, dir Agostino Ferrente) and Enrico Masi’s Shelter - Farewell to Eden (Italy/France 2019, dir Enrico Masi), two powerful films that examine identity and depict intensely personal experiences in new and innovative ways.

Alternate Realities is part of Inside Out: a year exploring the relationship between our inner lives and creativity
Alternate Realities is presented by Sheffield Doc/Fest and the Barbican Centre, with support from Arts Council England.

For further information:

The Slapstick Home PG* + live accompaniment by Guildhall School Jazz Musicians
Composer and Musical Director: Carlos Lopez-Real
Silent Film & Live Music
One Week (US 1921, Dir Buster Keaton, Edward Cline 19 min digital presentation)
One AM (US 1916, Dir Charlie Chaplin 26 min digital presentation)
Big Business (US 1929, Dir James W Horne, Leo McCarey 19 min digital presentation)

Sun 19 Jan 3pm, Cinema 1
This programme presents a trio of superlative American slapstick comedies of the 1910s and 20s all revolving around the home.

In One Week (1921), Buster Keaton and his new bride are presented with their new home in flatpack, to be assembled – which they do, with the inevitable wonky results. In One AM (1916), Charlie Chaplin returns a little ‘merry’ from a night out and finds his home transformed into a kind of obstacle course, with a foldaway bed providing the most formidable challenge.

The home as a site of destruction reaches its apogee with Big Business (1929), in which Laurel and Hardy start a row with a suburban homeowner, a fight which escalates to breath-taking heights of gleeful trashing of valuable furniture, priceless objects, even the fabric of the house itself.

Fellini's Roma 15 + Introduction by Alessandro Carrera
(Author of Fellini’s Eternal Rome (Bloomsbury, 2019)
Architecture on Film
1972, Italy/ France, Dir Federico Fellini, 128 min
Mon 20 Jan 8.30pm, Cinema 1

100 years to the day after Fellini’s birth, the UK premiere of Cineteca di Bologna’s new 4K restoration of the Italian director’s lavish, surreal and irreverent portrait of the Eternal City and himself.

José 18* + Introduction
Forbidden Colours
(Guatemala/ USA 2018, Dir Li Cheng, 85 min)
Tue 21 Jan 6.30pm, Cinema 2

Offering a rare representation of gay life in Guatemala, sexually promiscuous José seeks a deeper connection in this moving gay romance – the winner the Queer Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 2018 – set in its capital. Despite poverty and societal homophobia, defiant José is determined to find love, and when he meets Luis, he may have found ‘the one’.

Forbidden Colours is a regular Barbican Cinema strand, which celebrates queer-focused films from countries where LGBTQ+ people still suffer societal oppression, and struggle for human rights.

End of Season 15* + Screen Talk
New East Cinema
2019 Azerbaijan/ Germany, Dir Elmar Imanov, 92 min
Wed 22 Jan 6.20pm, Cinema 2

A family on the verge of falling apart pays a life-changing trip to the beach in this haunting drama from Azerbaijan, directed by debut filmmaker Elmar Imanov.

Preview: The Personal History of David Copperfield PG + Screentalk
with director Armando Iannucci
UK/US 2019, Dir Armando Iannucci, 119 min 
Thu 23 Jan 6.10pm, Cinema 1 

This adaptation of Charles Dickens’ novel from satirist Armando Iannucci (The Thick of It, Veep, The Death of Stalin) breathes new life into the classic tale. A delight from start to finish, these well-known characters are brilliantly portrayed by a truly all-star cast including Dev Patel, Hugh Laurie, Tilda Swinton, Gwendoline Christie, Ben Whishaw and Peter Capaldi, to name but a few.  

Queen & Slim 15 + Black British Talent in the US Panel Discussion
US 2019, Dir Melina Matsoukas, 132 min
Fri 31 Jan 6.10pm, Cinema 1

Black British actors (Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith) star in this hotly awaited US drama about a couple's first date that takes an unexpected turn when a police officer pulls them over.

This panel will explore issues of structural bias within the British film industry, opportunities in the US, and issues of representation across cultures.


Family Film Club
Every Saturday 11am, Cinema 2

For Family Film Club in January and February there will be the chance for younger audiences to catch up with all the new releases and sell-out shows they may have missed over the Autumn; highlights include: A Shaun the Sheep movie: Farmageddon (UK 2019, Dir Will Becher, 87 min) and My Neighbour Totoro (Japan 1988, Dir Hayao Miyazaki, 87 min). There will also be Barbican Cinema’s curated free monthly workshops and Show and Tell introductions.  

Event Cinema

Wozzeck 12A*
Met Opera Live
Sat 11 Jan 5.55pm, Cinema 1

South African artist William Kentridge focuses his extraordinary visual imagination on Alban Berg’s operatic masterpiece, set in an apocalyptic pre– World War I environment.

The Importance of Being Earnest PG
Afternoon Arts
Thu 16 Jan 2pm, Cinema 2

This much-loved masterpiece throws love, logic and language into the air to make one of theatre’s most dazzling firework displays. A brilliantly funny and charming production starring Olivier Award Winner Sophie Thompson.

The Sleeping Beauty 12A*
Royal Opera House Live
Thu 16 Jan 7.15pm, Cinema 3

Tchaikovsky’s enchanting score and Marius Petipa’s original choreography beautifully combine with sections created for The Royal Ballet by Frederick Ashton, Anthony Dowell and Christopher Wheeldon.

La Bohème 12A*
Royal Opera House Live
Wed 29 Jan 7.45pm, Cinema 3

Puccini’s opera of young love in 19th-century Paris is packed with beautiful music, including lyrical arias and a poignant final scene over which the composer himself wept.

Children of the Sun #
Afternoon Arts
Thu 30 Jan 2pm, Cinema 2

Maxim Gorky's darkly comic play, written during the 1905 Russian Revolution, depicts the new middle-class. Foolish but likeable, they yearn for meaning but are blind to their impending doom.

New Releases:
Please note this programme is subject to change:

Jojo Rabbit 12A
US 2019, Dir Taika Waititi, 108 min
From Fri 3 Jan
From director Taika Waititi, this unique comedy-drama tells the story of a lonely Hitler Youth boy who is aided only by his imaginary friend…Hitler.

1917 #
US/ UK 2019, Dir Sam Mendes, 110 min
From Fri 10 Jan
Sam Mendes’ latest film is a World War I epic in which two British soldiers embark on a dangerous mission to save fellow troops from certain doom.

A Hidden Life #
US/ Germany 2019, Dir Terrence Malick, 180 min
From Fri 17 Jan
An Austrian farmer faces the threat of execution for refusing to fight for the Nazis in what he sees as an unjust war, written and directed by Terrence Malick.

The Personal History of David Copperfield PG
US/UK 2019, Dir Armando Iannucci, 119 min
From Thu 24 Jan
Armando Iannucci brings Dickens’ classic tale back to screens with an unforgettable flourish and a phenomenal cast including Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton and Hugh Laurie.

The Lighthouse 15
US 2019, Dir Robert Eggers, 110 min
From Fri 31 Jan
Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson star in this riveting and visceral thriller as isolated lighthouse keepers. Shot in gritty black and white this is a true cinematic experience.

Queen & Slim 15
US 2019, Dir Melina Matsoukas, 132 min
From Fri 31 Jan

This romantic thriller sees Queen and Slim’s first date takes an unexpected turn as they find themselves unwitting outlaws with no choice but to go on the run.