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Barbican Cinema: July highlights

barbican.org.uk/whats-on/cinema 

Curated by the Barbican: 

  • London Pride Weekend:
    Forbidden Colours: UK Premiere:
    Three Tidy Tigers Tied a Tie Tighter
    + ScreenTalk with Gustavo Vinagre
    + Gateways Grind + ScreenTalk with director Jacquie Lawrence plus guests
  • Science on Screen: The Martian + Presentation by Neil Gershenfeld
  • Architecture on Film: Unguided Tour (aka Letter From Venice) + Introduction by Brian Dillon
  • Jane by Charlotte + ScreenTalk with Jane Birkin
  • The Road to Nowhere magazine presents: Finding Home, Forging Identity + ScreenTalk with Dalia Al-Dujaili 
  • Cinema Restored: Mueda, Memória e Massacre + Introduction by Catarina Simão
  • The Edge of the Centre:
    The Strangeness of Dub: The Last Angel of History & Gangsta
    + Introduction with Edward George
    The Lock-In
  • Maangamizi: The Ancient One + ScreenTalk with Ajabu Ajabu
  • New East Cinema: Assault + ScreenTalk

Event Cinema:

  • National Theatre Live: Prima Facie

  Festivals:

  • SAFAR Film Festival

There’s much for film lovers to enjoy this July at the Barbican, with an eclectic programme of local and international cinema.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of London Pride, the Barbican is screening two queer films over the weekend, and then a further two later in the month as part of the SAFAR Film Festival. On Friday 1 July, and as part of Barbican Cinema’s regular Forbidden Colours programme, is the UK premiere of Gustavo Vinagre’s extraordinary comedy Three Tidy Tigers Tied a Tie Tighter, which won the Teddy Award for the best queer film at the Berlinale, followed by a ScreenTalk with director. On Sunday 3 July, Jacquie Lawrence’s documentary Gateways Grind relives the glory of the Gateways club, London’s longest-surviving lesbian club, with Sandi Toksvig as the guide. The screening will be followed by ScreenTalk with director Jacquie Lawrence and actors Victoria Broom and Lu Corfield.

Two titles in this year’s SAFAR Film Festival - the only UK festival dedicated to showcasing films from the Arab world, which is celebrating its 10th year – also have a queer focus. Eliane Raheb’s Miguel’s War is the story of a gay man who grew up oppressed and shamed during the Lebanese civil war, and in this month’s second Forbidden Colours presentation, Mohammad Shawky Hassan’s Shall I Compare You to a Summer's Day? is a contemporary queer musical, based on the filmmaker's personal love diary and told in the form of a One Thousand and One Nights tale.

Later in the month, Barbican Cinema launches Cinema Restored, a new regular series of restorations of political global art cinema, with Brazilian-Mozambican director Ruy Guerra’s 1979 film Mueda, Memória e Massacre. Also screening in July is Martin Mhando and Ron Mulvihill’s 2001 film, Maangamizi: The Ancient One followed by ScreenTalk with the Tanzanian audio-visual collective Ajabu Ajabu.

Bi-monthly regulars during July include: Architecture on Film presents Susan Sontag’s Unguided Tour (aka Letter From Venice) with an introduction by writer Brian Dillon; Science on Screen examines life on Mars with a screening of The Martian (12A) plus a presentation by Professor Neil Gershenfeld; and New East Cinema, which introduces the most recent and exciting auteur-driven cinema from the New East to the UK, presents Kazakh director Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s Assault followed by a ScreenTalk with a panel of experts specialising in Central Asian/Kazakh cinema. 

As part of the Barbican wide The Edge of the Centre programme, the pioneering work The Black Audio Film Collective will be celebrated with a rare double-bill screening of: The Strangeness of Dub: The Last Angel of History and Gangsta Gangsta; co-founder and writer Edward George will also be in attendance. And throughout the month, Cinema 1 foyer will host The Lock-In, a free video installation featuring every scene filmed in EastEnder’s Queen Victoria pub.

Further highlights include: Jane by Charlotte followed by a ScreenTalk with Jane Birkin, a candid portrait of the actress-singer Jane Birkin; and The Road to Nowhere magazine presents: Finding Home, Forging Identity followed by ScreenTalk with Dalia Al-Dujaili.

Event Cinema screenings this month also includes National Theatre Live: Prima Facie, starring Jodie Komer (Killing Eve).
 

Curated by the Barbican:

50th Anniversary Pride weekend screenings

Forbidden Colours:
Three Tidy Tigers Tied a Tie Tighter (18) + ScreenTalk with director Gustavo Vinagre (live from Brazil)

Brazil 2021, Dir Gustavo Vinagre, 86 min
Fri 1 Jul 2022, 6.20 pm, Cinema 2

Three young LGBTQ+ people drift through São Paulo as a memory-destroying pandemic rages through the city in this wonderful, provocative Brazilian comedy.

In Gustavo Vinagre’s extraordinary comedy, which won the Teddy Award for the best queer film at the Berlinale, three young queer people – Isabella, a student, Pedro, a sex worker and Jonata, Pedro’s HIV-positive nephew – amble through a city plagued by the fourth wave of a pandemic that affects brain and memory.

The everyday merges with the surreal - the gang deface a poster of president Jair Bolsonaro, a boy vomits glitter on to the pavement and comes out as gay to his appalled mother, we witness a quite extraordinary cabaret number…

A plot description cannot do justice to what Vinagre achieves with this off-the-wall film. This is queer cinema at its most radical, its most mischievous, its bravest, its – well, queerest.

Gateways Grind (15) + ScreenTalk with director Jacquie Lawrence and actors Victoria Broom and Lu Corfield

UK 2021, Dir Jacquie Lawrence, 80 min
Sun 3 Jul, 5.45pm, Cinema 2

Jacquie Lawrence’s new film relives the glory of the Gateways club, London’s longest-surviving lesbian club, with Sandi Toksvig as the guide.

Standing outside the site of the legendary lesbian Gateways club, Sandi Toksvig sighs: “I swear this door used to be green. That’s the thing with lesbian landmarks. They literally get painted over.” Jacquie Lawrence’s touching, often very funny documentary revisits the history London’s longest-surviving lesbian club, with testimonies from the women who danced, drank and had the time of their lives there, including artist Maggi Hambling, writer Diana Souhami and poet Trudy Howson.

Science on Screen: The Martian (12A) + Presentation by Professor
Neil Gershenfeld

US 2015, Dir Ridley Scott, 142 min
Tue 5 Jul, 6.30 pm, Cinema 2

Stranded on Mars after being left for dead by his crew, botanist Mark Watney (Matt Damon) must find a way to survive alone on the Red Planet.

Knowing that it may take years to be rescued, if ever, Mark begins to adapt to life alone, growing potatoes and creating video diaries that may never be viewed.  Nuanced, funny and a fascinating exploration of self-sufficiency, this is a touching intergalactic tale that’s ultimately about the human condition.

Barbican Cinema is delighted to welcome Professor Neil Gershenfeld, Director of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms, to show the audience how to go to Mars without any luggage and explain the implications for sustainability of life back on Earth.

Jane by Charlotte (PG) + ScreenTalk with Jane Birkin
France 2021, Dir Charlotte Gainsbourg, 86 min
Thu 7 Jul 6.15pm, Cinema 3

Charlotte Gainsbourg goes beyond Birkin’s celebrity, to look at her instead as a mother, wife and artist – to capture her, as she’s said, ‘with the eye of the daughter.’ Jane by Charlotte is Gainsbourg’s directorial debut; it premiered last year at the Cannes Film Festival.

The film is structured as a series of quiet conversations between the two women, who look back at their lives together. Deliberately eschewing the by-now overly-familiar archive footage of Birkin with Charlotte’s father Serge Gainsbourg, Charlotte gives us the woman as she is today – in concert, backstage, or in intimate family settings, such as her Brittany seaside home.

Barbican Cinema is delighted that Jane Birkin will be with us, in-person, after the film for a special ScreenTalk hosted by film critic Jonathan Romney.

Jane Birkin will then return to the Barbican Hall on Sat 9 July 2022 at 8pm to perform tracks from her most recent album Oh! Pardon tu dormais…

Architecture on Film: Unguided Tour (aka Letter From Venice) + Introduction by Brian Dillon
Italy 1983, Dir Susan Sontag, 71 min
Tue 12 Jul, 7pm, Cinema 1

In writer Susan Sontag’s final film, Venice becomes stage and subject, in dialogue with a lovers’ weekend. Dancer Lucinda Childs stars as a tourist of melancholy, memory and fading romance.

Sontag’s adaption of her story for the screen creates cinema at the intersection of Venice and the narrative, as her protagonist drifts through the end of an affair and ‘a city that even the Italians visit as if they were a foreigner’.

Against the backdrop of a vacation in the floating city and its lingering past unfolds a relationship that will similarly soon be history, as on screen dialogue and off-screen conversation blur the present and future, conjuring a contemplative tourism of both place and the mind.

This will be introduced by writer Brian Dillon (Suppose a Sentence, Essayism, In the Dark Room).

The Road to Nowhere magazine presents:
Finding Home, Forging Identity
(15*) + ScreenTalk with Dalia Al-Dujaili 
Wed 13 Jul, 6.15pm, Cinema 2

Dalia Al-Dujaili curates a selection of eight shorts scrutinising how identities have been shaped by migration, asking what identity really constitutes of and celebrating the global nature of today’s society, followed by a filmmaker ScreenTalk.

In today’s globalised age, ‘home’ can be a confusing notion, ‘identity’ even more so. Migration has enriched the world but has also caused challenges to traditional notions of belonging. The Road to Nowhere is a print magazine which intends to explore these very ideas whilst documenting the joy of being children of immigrants and diaspora through creativity. For issue two, the Barbican welcomed film submissions by first, second and third-generation immigrants and beyond.

Shaymaa dirs. Yosif & Mosa Keshk, 3 min

Homeland Trilogy dir. Asena Ozoyn, 7 min

Photobooth dir. Roxy Rezvany, 8 min

Treasure dir. Kynza K-j, 8 min

Chimera dir. Eileen Yoon, 10 min

A Crow Flies Backwards dir. Jacob Middleburgh, 17 mins

Zimmers of Southall dir. Hark1karan (Harkaran Singh), 9 min

A Connection is Drawn dir. Khadijah Niang, 4 min

Cinema Restored: Mueda, Memória e Massacre (15)
+ Introduction by Catarina Simão
Mozambique 1979, Dir Ruy Guerra
Wed 20 Jul, 6.30 pm, Cinema 2

Mueda, Memória e Massacre launches Barbican Cinema’s new regular series of restorations of examples of political global art cinema. This is a fascinating film from Brazilian-Mozambican director Ruy Guerra. In partnership with the Camoes Institute the evening will re-introduce this important work to London audiences, having been thought lost since 2009, before its restoration in 2017.

The film takes as its focus, an annual performance held in the village of Mueda, Mozambique, where the community stages a re-enactment, with a cast of amateur actors from across the village, of a 1960 massacre which had taken place in Mueda, where victims included villagers who had demonstrated to demand independence from the local Portuguese administrator. The violence which ensued would be the catalyst for the subsequent Mozambican War of Independence. In Guerra’s film the director adopts a documentary-like approach to capture the public performance and reflect how it departs from strict realism and instead becomes more akin to a piece of absurdist political theatre.

The Edge of the Centre

The Edge of the Centre is a public programme of talks, screenings and performances that invites artists, writers and organisations working in the areas surrounding the Barbican to produce events in various venues across the Centre. During July Barbican Cinema 1 and the Cinema 1 foyer host two events:

The Strangeness of Dub: The Last Angel of History & Gangsta Gangsta + Introduction by Edward George
Sat 23 Jul, 4 pm, Cinema 1

The Black Audio Film Collective redefined the documentary genre, chronicling Britain’s multicultural past and present. Co-founder and writer Edward George for this rare screening of two films.

Framed by the fictional story of a time-travelling ‘Data Thief’ played by the film’s writer Edward George, The Last Angel of History (1996) is director John Akomfrah’s hybrid documentary exploring the idea of Afrofuturism and the displacement of Black culture. 

Gangsta Gangsta: The Tragedy of Tupac Shakur (1998) was the last film made by Black Audio Film Collective. Under George’s direction, the biopic of one of the most celebrated rappers in history becomes a mediation on revolutionary nationalism, ideas of a ‘destructive character’ and the intensity of life.

In his own unique way, George delves into the history and music of anti-far right movement Rock Against Racism at a special recording of his Radio programme The Strangeness of Dub at the Barbican on Tuesday 26 July. 

The Lock-In
Fri 1-Sun 31 July 2022, Barbican Cinema 1 foyer

The Lock-In is a video installation celebrating the British pub as it emerges from the challenges of the pandemic.

Trawling through every episode of the iconic soap opera EastEnders, film director Stanley Schtinter spent lockdowns using video editing software to create a 100k-hour loop of every EastEnders scene at the Queen Victoria pub. The Lock-In is a free, unticketed event, presented in Cinema 1 foyer throughout July.

For details about the full programme for The Edge of the Centre see press release here.

Maangamizi: The Ancient One + ScreenTalk with Ajabu Ajabu
Tanzania 2001, Dir: Martin Mhando, Ron Mulvihill, 112 min

Sat 30 Jul, 2.30 pm, Cinema 1

Upon release at the turn of the century, Maangamizi: The Ancient One somewhat disappeared from relevance, becoming the latest in a long line of African films which, despite their artistic and cultural value, have failed to find an audience and fallen from circulation.

The film tells a vital story of the relationship three women and how African spiritual consciousness provides deep connections between them and reflects on the ways in which ideas of African identify expands and functions across the wider diaspora.

In presenting the film here, Barbican Cinema celebrates its re-emergence by inviting Tanzanian audio-visual collective Ajabu Ajabu, to share their experience of helping to build audiences for the film across Africa and their work in community exhibition in Tanzania.

New East Cinema: Assault (15) + ScreenTalk
Kazakhstan 2022, Dir Adilkhan Yerzhanov, 90 min
Tue 26 July, 6.15pm, Cinema 2

New East Cinema presents award-winning Kazakh writer-director Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s 12th feature Assault, which premiered at Rotterdam Film Festival earlier this year. This is the second New East presentation of Kazakhstan’s most prolific director’s work at the Barbican, following last year’s screening of A Dark, Dark Man on Barbican Cinema On Demand.

Set in the outskirts of a fictional rural village in Kazakhstan, Assault is an absurdist, chilling look at the maddening hopelessness of living in a corrupted society. 

 When an anonymous group of masked gunmen storms a rural school and local authorities prove useless, an unlikely rescue squad takes matters into their own hands.

 World-weary maths teacher Tazshy, skilfully embodied by Azamat Nigmanov, and his determined ex-wife Lena (Aleksandra Ravenko) lead the self-organised rescue team. They give themselves 36 hours to prepare an attack but, as is often in Adilkhan Yerzhanov’s films their inadequacy and self-obsession prove to be the real obstacle.

 The screening will be followed by a ScreenTalk with a panel of experts specialising in Kazakh/Central Asian cinema.

Event Cinema

National Theatre Live: Prima Facie
Thu 21 Jul, 7pm, Cinema 1

A young, brilliant barrister who loves to win comes face to face with unexpected forces when the patriarchal power of the law, burden of proof and morals diverge.

Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) makes her West End debut in the UK premiere of Suzie Miller’s award-winning play, which takes us to the heart of where emotion and experience collide with the rules of the game. 

Festivals

SAFAR Film Festival
Tue 5 Jul –Fri 15 Jul, Cinema 2

The SAFAR Film Festival is the only festival in the UK dedicated to cinema from the Arab world, this year’s theme The Stories We Tell in Arab is curated by Rabih El-Khory and explores the devices used by Arab filmmakers to push cinematic boundaries, reclaim overlooked histories, and present new perspectives to audiences both at home and abroad. This year 10th anniversary edition is, for the first time, expanding to screen in 7 other UK cities alongside its flagship London festival.

Fertile Memory + ScreenTalk
Palestine, Belgium, Germany 1980, Dir: Michel Khleifi, 99min, Arabic with English Subtitles
Wed 6 Jul, 6pm, Cinema 2

The first full length film to be shot within the West Bank, Fertile Memory is the feature debut of Michel Khleifi, acclaimed director of the Cannes Film Festival triumph, Wedding in Galilee. Lyrically blending both documentary and narrative elements, Khleifi skilfully and lovingly crafts a portrait of two Palestinian women whose individual struggles both define and transcend the politics that have torn apart their homes and their lives. Whether in a tearful lullaby or a sensuously performed lover's lament, the women of Fertile Memory lend tender and powerful voices to their people's chorus of outrage. Fertile Memory puts a distinctively feminine expression on the ordinarily violent and male dominated face of Palestinian resistance.

SAFAR Futures Shorts Programme + ScreenTalk with filmmakers
Fri 8 Jul, 6pm, Cinema 2

SAFAR Futures is a programme of short films by emerging UK-based Arab filmmakers, curated by Imane Lamime, Alaa Nouasri and Theo Panagopoulos who are taking part in SAFAR’s new mentorship scheme for early-career Arab film programmers. The films, all directed by emerging UK based filmmakers, were selected through an open call and they present a diversity of nationalities, identities, and language. In connection with this year’s festival theme “The Stories We Tell”, their selection showcases the distinctive ways filmmakers are telling their own stories through different styles, ranging from science fiction and intimate documentaries, to animation and experimental filmmaking.

A Tale of Love and Desire
France 2020, Dir Leyla Bouzid, 103mins, Arabic, French with English Subtitles, Captioned for the D/deaf and HOH
Sat 9 Jul, 6pm, Cinema 2

Ahmed, 18, French of Algerian origin, grew up in the suburbs of Paris. At the university, he meets Farah, a young Tunisian girl, full of energy, who has just arrived in the city. While discovering a corpus of sensual and erotic Arabic literature he never imagined existed, Ahmed is torn between his physical urges, his cultural values and his poetic ideas of love.
Presented in partnership with Birds Eye View.

Miguel’s War + ScreenTalk
Lebanon, Germany, Spain 2021, Dir Eliane Raheb, 128 mins, Arabic, Spanish, English, French with English Subtitles
Thu 4 Jul, 6pm, Cinema 2

Miguel’s War is the story of a gay man who grew up oppressed and shamed during the Lebanese civil war. Raised by a conservative Catholic father and an authoritarian Syrian mother, teenage Miguel was inhibited by a deep inferiority complex and was incapable of asserting himself. In 1983 the deeply sensitive boy, desperate to prove he "exists” and can act like “a real man” joined the fighting as part of an armed faction. But his experience was a failure. Traumatized he immigrates to Madrid, Spain, where he seeks to liberate himself through debauchery.

Thirty-seven years after leaving Lebanon, Miguel feels ready to face his trauma and the ghosts of his past. Using intertwining cinematic forms, melding documentary, animation, theatre and archive, and filmed on location in Lebanon and Spain, this feature film hopes to offer an experience of self-confrontation, awareness and catharsis.

Miguel’s War won the prestigious Teddy Award for Best Feature Film focusing on LGBTQ topics and the second audience award after premiering during the 2021 Berlinale. 

Shall I Compare You To A Summer’s Day? + ScreenTalk
Egypt, Lebanon ,Germany 2022, Dir Mohammad Shawky Hassan, 66 mins
Fri 15 Jul, 6pm Cinema 2

Presented here in partnership with Barbican Cinema’s Forbidden Colours, Mohammad Shawky Hassan’s Shall I Compare You to a Summer's Day? is a contemporary queer musical taking Arab folktales as its formal reference, and Egyptian pop music as its primary sonic material. It is based on the filmmaker's personal love diary and told in the form of a One Thousand and One Nights tale, where stories playfully unfold through conversations between Scheherazade, a narrator who never comes into view, and ghosts of former lovers.

Mohammad Shawky Hassan is an Egyptian filmmaker and video artist living and working in Berlin since January 2019. His last film And on a Different Note premiered at the Berlinale - Forum Expanded, and was acquired by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York as part of its permanent collection.

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