Barbican Cinema: January 2022 highlights
Curated by the Barbican:
- Autism and Cinema: An exploration of neurodiversity On Tour
- screens in Manchester + Glasgow
- The Cinema of Edward Owens
- małni—towards the ocean, towards the shore + ScreenTalk
with filmmaker Sky Hopinka
- Science on Screen: The Conformist + recorded Presentation
- Dear Elnaz + ScreenTalk with Mania Akbari and Javad Soleimani
- Breaking the Silence: Music in Afghanistan + introduction by Simon Broughton and Katherine Schofield
- New East Cinema: Courage + virtual ScreenTalk with director Aliaksei Paluyan
- T A P E Collective presents: But Where Are You
Really From? Call Me By My Name
- Family Film Club
- London International Mime Festival: Abel & Gordon
- Syrian Arts and Culture Festival (SACF)
- Met Opera Live in HD: Cinderella
- National Theatre Live: Leopoldstadt
- Met Opera Live in HD: Rigoletto
- Drive My Car + Rebel Dykes
Barbican Cinema begins the New Year with the launch of a new programme Experiments in Film, a regular bi-monthly series focusing on experimental cinema, which pushes at the boundaries of what film is, and what it can be.
Opening on Thu 13 Jan with The Cinema of Edward Owens – with an introduction from Barbican Cinema Curator Matthew Barrington – each screening offers a rare chance to see experimental films by important artists, from classics to new and exciting emerging work.
This programme offers an opportunity to see all four of Edward Owens’ films together for the first time in the UK. His films are rare examples of a Black queer perspective and viewing them over five decades later, they remain a fascinating portrait of an artist.
Other highlights in January include the final instalment in a three-part series But Where Are You Really From? presented by T A P E Collective, whose co-founders Angela Moneke + Isra Al Kassi, are both alumni of the Barbican Young Progammers’ scheme.
Call Me By My Name is a selection of short films by mixed heritage filmmakers that look at the wider issue of labels and the awkward pronunciation of certain names, as well as definitions of identity and heritage. Dalia Al-Dujaili will lead a creative writing workshop after the screening in a casual setting. Working with prompts, attendees will have the opportunity to explore their cultural heritage and background further.
In 2022 Barbican Cinema will continue to showcase films that campaign for justice and human rights, with a screening of New East Cinema’s Courage + ScreenTalk, an extraordinary documentary that follows three members of Belarus Free Theatre protesting against Alexander Lukashenko’s totalitarian regime; and the award-winning documentary Breaking the Silence: Music in Afghanistan + introduction by Simon Broughton and Katherine Schofield, which screens ahead of Songs of Hope: A Benefit Concert for Afghanistan – taking place in the Barbican Hall on Sat 22 Jan – and was made for the BBC in 2002, just after the fall of the Taliban; this examines the effects of five years of total suppression of music and the thirst for its return.
Marginalised voices are also at the centre of Sky Hopinka’s debut feature małni—towards the ocean, towards the shore, an experimental film about the indigenous practices and philosophies of reincarnation from the Chinookan people in the Pacific Northwest. Barbican Cinema is delighted to welcome Sky Hopinka – one of America’s most promising young filmmakers – for a ScreenTalk after the film.
In Dear Elnaz, Javad Soleimani – whose wife, Elnaz Nabiyi, was killed aboard a flight shot down by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Jan 2020 – reflects and shares his anger. The film follows him through a complex process of mourning and healing, until his sorrow is gradually geared towards a loud cry for justice; this is followed by a ScreenTalk with Javad (live via Zoom) and the film’s director Mania Akbari (in person), hosted by Ben Nicholson.
The London International Mime Festival returns to Barbican Cinema in January with Abel & Gordon & Friends + Q&A, with a programme of slapstick shorts to chase away the post-Christmas blues, from the Brussels-based comedy duo Fiona Gordon and Dominique Abel. Science on Screens also returns with Bernardo Bertolucci’s beautiful masterpiece The Conformist, about a would-be fascist and includes a recorded presentation (via Zoom) by Professor Branko Milanovic, from the London School of Economics.
The Syrian Arts and Culture Festival – a multidisciplinary arts festival showcasing Syria’s vibrant arts and culture – also takes place in the Cinema this month with Omar Amiralay: Sorrow, Time, Silence, a powerful testimony on politics and cinema, and the ideas that led to Omar Amiralay’s illustrious career in Arab non-fiction film; this follows in February with the sharp political satire Stars in Broad Daylight (now banned in Syria) and ScreenTalk.
Family Film Club begins the new year with a focus on the best family films from 2021, with the chance to catch up on popular titles including Ron’s Gone Wrong and Wolfwalkers; there’s also an Encore screening of Barbican Theatre’s hit show Anything Goes, a perfect way to introduce younger audiences to the music of Cole Porter and the joys of theatre.
Theatre and Opera fans are also in for a treat with Event Cinema screenings of Met Opera’s productions of Cinderella and Rigoletto (both live in HD); they can also enjoy Tom Stoppard’s Olivier Award-winning new play Leopoldstadt, a passionate drama of love, family and endurance.
Barbican Cinema’s successful film season, Autism and Cinema: An Exploration of Neurodiversity (which screened in September) will continue its tour to Glasgow Queen’s Film Theatre (Mon 10 Jan – Mon 24 Jan) and then Manchester’s HOME (Sat 15 Jan – Sat 29 Jan).
Barbican Cinema On Demand continues to host thought-provoking and entertaining content, and in January offers the opportunity to catch-up with the hit Drive My Car, Ryusuke Hamaguchi's haunting road movie; and Rebel Dykes, an engaging and refreshing story of UK post-punk dyke culture – and is a mixture of animation, archive footage and interviews – that tells the story, by those who lived it.
Curated by the Barbican:
Autism and Cinema: An Exploration of Neurodiversity On Tour
Glasgow Queen’s Film Theatre, Mon 10 Jan – Mon 24 Jan
+ Manchester’s HOME, Sat 15 Jan – Sat 29 Jan
This Barbican touring programme debates new ideas arising from the relationship between autism and cinema.
Bringing together a diverse selection of films, ranging from documentary to animation, and genre-twisting fiction to experimental filmmaking from within the autistic community, this programme asks how the language of cinema can be challenged and changed by autistic perspectives.
A cinema reflective of autism and the experience of neurodiversity is rare. Yet it has much to offer our understanding of inner and outer life, ushering in new sensory and relational ways of being in the world. All screenings will be Relaxed Screenings.
A Barbican programme, presented in collaboration with the Centre for Film and Ethics at Queen Mary University of London as part of a research project supported by Wellcome.
The Cinema of Edward Owens (12A)
Thu 13 Jan 6.15 pm, Cinema 2
Barbican Cinema is pleased to present Experiments in Film, a new regular bi-monthly series focusing on experimental cinema, which pushes at the boundaries of what film is, and what it can be.
Launching on Thu 13 Jan with The Cinema of Edward Owens – with an introduction from Barbican Cinema Curator Matthew Barrington – each screening offers a rare chance to see experimental films by important artists, from classics to new and exciting emerging work. The Barbican is bringing these films to the foreground, and into the communal space of cinema, where viewing and discussion are so central to the experience of watching them.
Edward Owens (US, 1949-2009) was a queer African American artist who was working in painting, sculpture, and 8mm film at the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1960s.
Encouraged by his teacher, the filmmaker Gregory Markopoulos, Owens moved to New York where he befriended the major artistic personalities of the day including Andy Warhol, Gerard Malanga, Marie Menken, Gregory Battcock and Charles Boultenhouse.
This programme offers an opportunity to see all four of Owens’ films together for the first time in the UK. Owens was a teenager when he created these 16mm works, which reflect some of the purveying trends in late 60s experimental cinema, whilst remaining highly personal accounts of his environment; particularly in Private Imaginings and Narrative Facts (USA, 1966, colour, 6 min) and Remembrance: A Portrait Study (USA 1967, colour, 6 min), his better known works, which are portraits of his mother and her circle of friends.
His films are rare examples of a Black queer perspective and viewing them over five decades later, they remain a fascinating and fleeting portrait of an artist whose filmmaking career ended when he was only twenty years old. In 1970 Edwards left New York and has remained largely forgotten, until rediscovery by the American writer and curator Ed Halter in 2009, two months before he would pass away, age sixty.
For further info:
To view the full press release:
małni—towards the ocean, towards the shore + ScreenTalk
with filmmaker Sky Hopinka (12A)
USA 2020, Dir Sky Hopinka, 82 min
Sat 15 Jan 2022, 2.00 pm, Cinema 2
The debut feature film by filmmaker Sky Hopinka, continues the artist’s exploration of indigenous practices and philosophies of reincarnation.
Spoken in mostly in chinuk wawa, a rare language native to the Pacific Northwest, maɬni (pronounced: moth-nee), this is an intimate film which centres around two expectant parents, both of whom are also close friends of Hopinka (Sweetwater Sahme and Jordan Mercier).
As the pair navigate the landscapes of the Columbia River basin, they ruminate on their own relationship with traditions and engagements with the spirit world.
As a member of the Ho-Chunk nation, Sky Hopinka’s work to date has frequently sought to use cinema to explore his own engagements with the tradition, culture, history and politics of his identity and connection to his tribe.
Hopinka’s oeuvre has inventively looked at subjects such as language, land politics and protest, and his feature debut positions Hopinka as one of the most exciting filmmakers working in America today.
Science on Screen: The Conformist (15) + Recorded Presentation from
Professor Branko Milanovic
Italy 1971, Dir Bernardo Bertolucci, 108 min
Tue 18 Jan 2022, 6.10 pm, Cinema 2
Bernardo Bertolucci’s beautiful masterpiece follows a would-be fascist (Jean-Louis Trintignant) sent to Paris to murder a political dissident.
In 1930s Rome, Marcello Clerici (Trintignant) is desperate to fit in. Keen to find favour with the party, Clerici volunteers to go on a murderous mission: to kill an anti-fascist former colleague.
Featuring eye-catching architecture, Bertolucci's film shows how the immoral protagonist is unable to see further than the constricts of his society, leading him to radical, and yet also cowardly, thoughts and actions.
In a recorded presentation before the film, leading scholar on income equality Professor Branko Milanovic (Centennial Professor at LSE and faculty member at City University of New York) explores the way the film’s story illuminates how we often unquestioningly accept the social values of the societies we live in, and why the wrongness of that choice is revealed only when a society starts to crumble.
Presented in partnership with the London Mathematical Laboratory
Dear Elnaz + ScreenTalk (15*)
Canada/ Iran/ United Kingdom 2020, Dir Mania Akbari, 86 min
Wed 19 Jan 6.15pm, Cinema 3
Like a trauma therapist, the camera accompanies Javad Soleimani whose wife, Elnaz Nabiyi, was killed aboard flight PS752 after missile attacks by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Javad's personal and political memories are interwoven as the camera crew and his friends follow him through the complex labyrinth of healing and mourning. Javad's fury and sorrow is gradually geared towards a loud cry for justice.
Breaking the Silence: Music in Afghanistan + introduction by Simon Broughton and Katherine Schofield
UK 2002, Dir Simon Broughton, 59min
Sat 22 Jan, 4:45pm, Cinema 3
Screening to coincide with Songs of Hope: A Benefit Concert for Afghanistan, taking place in the Barbican Hall on Sat 22 Jan, this award winning documentary was made for the BBC in 2002, just after the fall of the Taliban.
Directed by Simon Broughton and filmed in Kabul, Peshawar (Pakistan), and Geneva (Switzerland), the film examines the effects of five years of total suppression of music and the thirst for its return after the Taliban.
It also charts 25 years of crossfire between music and politics in Afghanistan from before the Soviet occupation to the defeat of the Taliban, largely through interviews with Afghan musicians and music lovers. A ‘remarkable film, full of poignant personal histories’, The Independent.
Now the Taliban are back in power, the output is bleak for the country’s musicians. Director Simon Broughton, editor in chief of Songlines magazine and Katherine Schofield, Senior Lecturer in South Asian Music and History at King’s College London, introduce the film by bringing the story up to date.
New East Cinema: Courage (15*) + virtual ScreenTalk with director Aliaksei Paluyan
Belarus 2021, Dir Aliaksei Paluyan, 90 min
Tue 25 Jan 2022, 8.45 pm, Cinema 2
Three members of the Belarus Free Theatre find themselves at the centre of the 2020 protests against Alexander Lukashenko’s totalitarian regime.
The Belarus Free Theatre was established in 2005 with the sole mission to expose Lukashenko’s oppression through art. Although officially banned by the state and with a theatre director exiled in London, the artists continue to speak truth to power. In August 2020, after Lukashenko secured his sixth term as president in the disputed election, a disillusioned nation took to the streets.
Aliaksei Paluyan’s extraordinary documentary Courage follows the Belarus Free Theatre as they once again demand a fairer future. A film as politically urgent as it is emotionally touching, Courage makes for a convincing case on the power of art in the midst of a crisis.
T A P E Collective Presents: But Where Are You Really From?
Call Me by My Name (15*) + workshop
(film captioned / with a BSL interpreted workshop)
Wed 26 Jan 2022, 6.15 pm, Cinema 2
The final instalment in a three-part series presented by T A P E Collective, whose co-founders Angela Moneke + Isra Al Kassi, are both alumni of the Barbican Young Progammers’ scheme.
This is a selection of short films by mixed heritage filmmakers around themes of identity and heritage, this programme will look at the wider ideas of labels and definitions of identity.
It’s an experience not uncommon within a diaspora to have their name viewed as too foreign or exotic, and subject to either whitewashing or clumsy - and sustained - mispronunciation.
In the documentary short What’s in a Name? (UK 2020, Dir Runyararo Mapfumo ,11 min) Brits explore the challenges they’ve encountered with non-Western names; in But You’re Not Black (Canada 2019, Dir Danielle Ayow, 19 min) a Chinese-Caribbean-Canadian woman tries to embrace her parents’ Trinidadian identity; and tensions mount in 5 Stars (UK 2021, Dirs Remi Itani, Aneesha Lowni 13 min) when, across three Uber journeys, a woman of colour has to explain who she is to people who have already made their mind up; this is a poignant exploration of cultural lines and the desire for connection.
Dalia Al-Dujaili will lead a creative writing workshop after the screening in a casual setting. Working with prompts, attendees will have the opportunity to explore their cultural heritage and background further.
Family Film Club
January’s Family Film Club offers younger audiences the chance to catch up on the best films of 2021, kicking off on Sat 15 Jan with Ron’s Gone Wrong (US 2021, Dirs Sarah Smith & Jean-Philippe Vine, 106min) + Show and Tell with Catherine Last, Research Data Scientist from The Alan Turing Institute. This Disney heart-warmer is a captivating adventure which asks some big questions about how A.I and technology affects our everyday life.
Other FFC treats this month include a chance to catch up with the ever-popular Wolfwalkers (Ireland/Luxembourg/France/US 2020, Dir Tomm Moore) – Sat 29 Jan 2022 – which had two sold-out screenings at the Barbican in 2021 and is a beautiful hand-drawn animation, with deep saturated colours, and is about a family of wolf hunters in 17th century Ireland.
On Sat 29 Jan there’s also the chance to see Barbican Theatre’s five-star production of the hit show Anything Goes, starring Broadway superstar Sutton Foster, Robert Lindsay (My Family) and Felicity Kendal (The Good Life); this is a heart-warming romance with spectacular dance routines and some of Cole Porter’s most memorable songs - and is a great way to introduce young audience members to the joys of theatre.
Ron’s Gone Wrong (PG) + Show and Tell with Catherine Last,
Research Data Scientist from The Alan Turing Institute
(film captioned / intro with live BSL interpretation),
US 2021 Dirs Sarah Smith & Jean-Philippe Vine 106min
Sat 15 Jan 2022, 11am Cinema 2
Age recommendation: 5+
Christina Last is a Research Data Scientist in the Research Engineering Group at the Turing, where she wants to develop AI for socially beneficial outputs, most recently collaborating with UNICEF to predict the effects of air pollution on children in developing countries.
London International Mime Festival:
Abel & Gordon & Friends (12A)*
Total event running-time approximately 95 min
Sun 30 Jan 2pm, Cinema 1
A programme of slapstick shorts to chase away the post-Christmas blues, from long-term friends of LIMF, Brussels-based comedy duo Fiona Gordon and Dominique Abel.
Known to film fans primarily through their recent features, including Lost in Paris (Belgium 2017), this programme brings together three of Abel & Gordon's early shorts.
In Rosita (Belgium, 1997) the pair are a fortune teller and an assistant, working out of a dilapidated caravan; in Merci Cupidon (France, 1994) attraction sparks between two oddball singletons in a strange, out-of-the-way nightspot; and in Walking on the Wild Side (Belgium 2004), an awkward misunderstanding occurs between a man and a cleaning-lady.
Phenomenal physical performers, the duo are steeped in the grand French physical-comedy tradition of Jacques Tati and Pierre Étaix, who are also represented in the programme.
Syrian Arts and Culture Festival
Omar Amiralay: Sorrow, Time, Silence
France / Syria 2021, Dir Hala Alabdalla, 109 min.
French/Arabic with English subtitles
Sun 30 Jan 2:30pm, Cinema 3
Omar Amiralay, widely considered the godfather of Arab non-fiction film, was haunted by Syrian politics and his search for justice. He sadly passed away in 2011, just before the eruption of the still-ongoing war. Part-cinematic letter to an old friend and part-reflection on Syria then and now, Omar Amiralay: Sorrow, Time, Silence is a powerful testimony on politics and cinema, and the ideas that lead to his iconoclastic career. Sharing private moments between veteran filmmaker, Hala Alabdalla's, discussions with Omar, more broadly, it is a reflection about love, life and death.
Syrian Arts & Culture Festival - SACF - is a multidisciplinary arts festival showcasing Syria’s vibrant arts and culture. The festival brings together established, alongside emerging, artists, filmmakers, performers, and musicians to offer London audiences alternative narratives and perspectives on Syria, its people, and culture.
20 Jan – 4th Feb across London venues.
Met Opera Live in HD: Cinderella (12A)
Sat 1 Jan 2022, 5.55 pm, Cinema 1
Laurent Pelly’s storybook staging of Massenet’s Cendrillon is presented with an all-new English translation in an abridged 90-minute adaptation, with mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard as its princess.
Maestro Emmanuel Villaume leads a delightful cast, which includes mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo as Cinderella’s Prince Charming, soprano Jessica Pratt as her Fairy Godmother, and mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe and bass-baritone Laurent Naouri as her feuding guardians.
National Theatre Live: Leopoldstadt (#)
Thu 27 Jan 6.10pm, Cinema 1
Tom Stoppard’s Olivier Award-winning new play Leopoldstadt is a passionate drama of love, family and endurance.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Leopoldstadt was the old, crowded Jewish quarter of Vienna, Austria. But Hermann Merz, a factory owner and baptised Jew now married to Catholic Gretl, has moved up in the world.
We follow his family’s story across half a century, passing through the convulsions of war, revolution, impoverishment, annexation by Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. A company of 40 actors represent each generation of the family in this epic play.
Met Opera Live in HD: Rigoletto (12A)
Sat 29 Jan, 5.55pm, Cinema 1
Tony Award–winning director Bartlett Sher creates a bold take on Verdi’s tragedy, resetting the action in 1920s Europe, with Michael Yeargan's Art Deco sets and Catherine Zuber's elegant costumes.
Baritone Quinn Kelsey, a commanding artist at the height of his powers, brings his searing portrayal of the title role to the Met for the first time, starring alongside soprano Rosa Feola as Gilda and tenor Piotr Beczała as the Duke of Mantua, with leading maestro Daniele Rustioni on the podium.
UK 2021, Dir Harri Shananhan and Siân A. Williams, 92 min
Fri 10 Dec – Fri 7 Jan, Barbican Cinema On Demand
Standard: £8/ Members: £6.40/ Young Barbican: £4
The untold story of a community of women in 1980s post-punk, and how they went on to change their world by becoming artists, performers, musicians and activists.
Rebel Dykes follows a tight-knit group of friends who met at Greenham Common peace camp. A hot, heady, punky, sexy mash-up of animation, previously unseen rare archive footage and new interviews tells the story of a radical scene: squatters,
BDSM nightclubs, anti-Thatcher rallies, protests demanding action around AIDS and the fierce ties of chosen families.
Drive My Car
Japan 2021, Dir Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 179 min
Mon 20 Dec – Mon 17 Jan, Barbican Cinema On Demand
Standard: £10/ Members: £8/ Young Barbican: £4
Adapted from Haruki Murakami’s short story, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car is a haunting road movie travelling a path of love, loss, acceptance, and peace.
Two years after his wife’s unexpected death, Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima), a renowned stage actor and director, receives an offer to direct a production of Uncle Vanya at a theatre festival in Hiroshima. There, he meets Misaki Watari (Toko Miura), a taciturn young woman assigned by the festival to chauffeur him in his beloved red Saab 900.
As the production’s premiere approaches, tensions mount amongst the cast and crew, not least between Yusuke and Koji Takatsuki, a handsome TV star who shares an unwelcome connection to Yusuke’s late wife. Forced to confront painful truths raised from his past, Yusuke begins, with the help of his driver, to face the haunting mysteries his wife left behind.
For the latest information on new release screenings in the Barbican Cinemas and Cinema On Demand please visit the Barbican website.
The Barbican believes in creating space for people and ideas to connect though its international arts programme, community events and learning activity. To keep its programme accessible to everyone, and to keep investing in the artists it works with, the Barbican needs to raise more than 60% of its income through ticket sales, commercial activities and fundraising every year.
Donations can be made here: barbican.org.uk/donate