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Barbican Cinema: May 2022 highlights

Barbican Cinema
May 2022 

Curated by the Barbican: 

  • Eighth Grade: with Live soundtrack
  • The Godfather Part II - 4k restoration + Introduction by
    Adrian Wootton
  • Science on Screen: Arrival + Presentation by Caroline Newton
  • Architecture on Film: Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles + Roads to El Dorado: A Journey with Reyner Banham + ScreenTalk
  • New East Cinema: Reflection
  • Family Film Club
  • Experiments in Film: When I'm With You* + ScreenTalk with Katharine Fry
  • Lise + ScreenTalk with renowned soprano Lise Davidsen, hosted by Huw Humphreys, Barbican’s Head of Music

Event Cinema:

  • RSC: The Winter’s Tale
  • MET Opera Live: Turnadot
  • MET Opera Live: Lucia di Lammermoor
  • ROH: Swan Lake
  • National Theatre Live: Straight Line Crazy


  • Queer East Film Festival

Barbican Cinema is pleased to offer a rich and diverse programme in May, with something for all tastes. This includes the third Experiments in Film programme, with the world premiere of When I'm with You + ScreenTalk with Katharine Fry, a new video work by this London based artist, which fuses live action and animation in a subversive fairy tale of femininity.

After his sold-out presentation on The Godfather, Adrian Wootton, Film London CEO and Coppola aficionado, resumes the story of these masterpieces with a new talk on The Godfather Part II, in a 4k restoration. This epic crime thriller was produced and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, stars Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton and Robert De Niro, and won six Academy Awards on its release in 1974.

Architecture on Film returns in May with a focus on the renowned architectural critic and writer Reyner Banham, with two pioneering works of radical television: Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles and Roads to El Dorado: A Journey with Reyner Banham. This will be followed by a ScreenTalk about Banham's work.

The Queer East Film Festival also returns to the Barbican with the best in queer cinema from East and Southeast Asia. Highlights include screenings of Cambodian drama Coalesce + ScreenTalk with director Jessé Miceli; and Thai gay romance/horror The Blue Hour + ScreenTalk with Anucha Boonyawatana.

Classical music fans will be able to enjoy LISE, a hybrid between recorded concert and film – with the celebrated soprano Lise Davidsen, the Norwegian National Opera Orchestra and conductor Edward Gardner (this is part of the Lise Davidsen Artist Spotlight). This is preceded by a ScreenTalk with Lise Davidsen and Huw Humphreys, Barbican Head of Music.

In May opera enthusiasts will also be able to enjoy MET Opera Live Event Cinema screenings of Turnadot and Lucia di Lammermoor.

Another musical highlight is a screening of Bo Burnham’s 2018 debut feature-length Eighth Grade, featuring the score by composer Anna Meredith, performed live for the first time.

This month’s New East Cinema screening features the urgent Ukrainian film Reflection directed by Valentyn Vasyanovych, in which a Ukrainian military surgeon is captured by the Russian army in this compelling drama set in 2014. 

Science on Screen features the American sci-fi drama Arrival, with a presentation by Dr Caroline Newton; and Family Film Club screens a programme of international films for young fans and their families.

Other cultural highlights in May include Event Cinema screenings of: RSC: The Winter’s Tale, National Theatre Live: Straight Line Crazy and the Royal Opera House’s recent production of Swan Lake.

Curated by the Barbican:

Eighth Grade: Live soundtrack (15)

USA 2018, Dir Bo Burnham, 93 min
Sun 1 May, 3 pm + additional screening at 5pm, Cinema 1

As wannabe YouTuber, thirteen-year-old Kayla (Elsie Fisher), navigates the awkwardness of teen life, Anna Meredith’s score – performed live for the first time – highlights the angst of her world. Electronic synths ring out, with pulsing drum-beats bolstered by dynamic bass sounds. Like the film itself, the music is at times increasingly tense, at others joyful and radiant.

Produced by the Barbican in association with Parallel Lines

The Godfather Part II – 4k restoration + Introduction by Adrian Wootton
USA 1975, Dir Francis Ford Coppola, 202 min
Sun 8 May 1.30pm, Cinema 1

This compelling sequel continues the saga of a young Vito Corleone growing up in Sicily and in New York during the 1910s and then follows Michael Corleone in the 1950s as he tries to expand the family business.

Science on Screen: Arrival + Presentation by Caroline Newton
USA 2016, Dir Denis Villeneuve, 114 min
Tue 10 May 6.05 pm, Cinema 2

Dr Caroline Newton, a clinical linguist at UCL, will explore questions about the relationship between language and thought before a screening of this modern sci-fi tale from Denis Villeneuve (Dune).

Architecture on Film: Reyner Banham Double Bill (PG) (LC) + ScreenTalk
Tue 17 May 7pm, Cinema 1

Two pioneering works of radical television from the mind of the iconoclastic architecture critic Reyner Banham.

The writings and thinking of Reyner Banham, born 100 years ago this year, came to define and create architectural culture. His hugely innovative and engaging analyses of architecture, the city, culture and its artefacts continue to mark generations.

Banham’s trademark formal and intellectual wit, invention and creative critique found a perfect home on TV.

In the first episode he drives the streets of his beloved LA, aided by an Alexa-like technological tour guide. In the second, he departs from there for Las Vegas, finding his own personal jackpot in the desert landscapes on route.

This screening will be followed by a ScreenTalk about Reyner Banham's work and use of television, with special, to be announced, guests.

Reyner Banham Loves Los Angeles
(UK 1972 Dir Julian Cooper 52 min)

Roads to El Dorado: A Journey with Reyner Banham
(UK 1979 Dir Julian Cooper 52 min)

With thanks to the BFI National TV Archive
Curated by the Architecture Foundation []

New East Cinema: Reflection (18*)
Ukraine 2021, Dir Valentyn Vasyanovych, 125 min
Wed 18 May, 6.10 pm, Cinema 2

A Ukrainian military surgeon is captured by the Russian military forces in the Donbass region. Navigating between Kyiv and Eastern Ukraine, Reflection pays equal attention to war’s horrific devaluation of human life, and to the trauma inflicted on the survivors’ psyche. Frames-within-frames, often shaped as screens, populate almost every shot in the film, filling it with striking metaphors and provoking the spectator to accept the role of a witness.

Experiments in Film:
When I’m With You
(15*) + ScreenTalk with Katharine Fry

UK 2022, Dir Katharine Fry, time tbc
Wed 25 May, 6.30pm, Cinema 2

Barbican Cinema presents the world premiere of a new video work by artist Katharine Fry, fusing live action and animation in a subversive fairy tale of femininity.

Margot has been waiting in her house for 40 years. Her waiting morphs into desperate attention seeking. But she does not wait alone. Marie is becoming. Malleable, she tries to fit, slipping through her body and sliding around corners, picking up cues of who and how to be. Marjorie shines effortlessly.

Her dream life, her golden exterior, her pretty performance, prove impossible and impermanent. Mother Flower is everything, the beginning and the end. Hers is a body of pure bounty, longed for, nourishing, sheltering.

The four women are joined by a chorus of body parts, hands and tongues, mouths and babies, across grandiose performances, staged death scenes, fledgling steps, and displays of fertility and futility, as they reveal how hard it is to be (in) a body.

After the film, Katharine Fry will speak with curator and lecturer Helen De Witt. 

For further information:

LISE (12A*) + ScreenTalk with Lise Davidsen and Huw Humphreys,
Barbican Head of Music

Part of the Lise Davidsen Artist Spotlight
Tue 31 May 2022, 6:30 pm, Cinema 3

Viewers get to experience the soprano Lise Davidsen in the roles of three strong women from Richard Strauss’ operas: the Marschallin (from Der Rosenkavalier), Arabella and Ariadne, all created by the composer who is particularly famed for his writing for the soprano voice.

The three women are at different stages of life, but all reflect on who they are, where they are going, and what they have become: ‘This I still must find: the young woman that I was’ says the mature Marschallin, while the young Arabella wonders what or who she is really longing for and Ariadne longs to lose herself in order to find what has been lost.

The screening will be preceded by a conversation between Lise Davidsen and Huw Humphreys, Barbican Head of Music.

Family Film Club
Every Saturday 11am, Cinema 2

Family Film Club continues to screen the very best in international cinema, for young people and their families, every Saturday in Barbican Cinema 2. Please check for programme details.


Event Cinema

RSC: The Winter’s Tale

Sun 1 May, 2pm, Cinema 3

Set between the 1953 coronation of Elizabeth II and the 1969 moon landings, this production imagines a world where the ghosts of fascist Europe collide with horrors reminiscent of The Handmaid’s Tale, before washing up on a joyful seashore.

MET Opera Live: Turnadot (12A)
Sat 7 May, 3pm, Cinema 1

Soprano Liudmyla Monastyrska stars as Puccini’s icy princess. Tenor Yonghoon Lee is the bold prince determined to win Turandot’s love, in Puccini’s stirring opera.

MET Opera Live: Lucia di Lammermoor
Sat 14 May, 5.55pm, Cinema 1

Soprano Nadine Sierra takes on the haunted heroine of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, in an electrifying new staging by Australian theatre and film director Simon Stone, conducted by Riccardo Frizza.

ROH: Swan Lake (12A)

Sun 22 May, 2 pm, Cinema 2

This classic fairy-tale is beautifully staged, as the magic of the lakes, forests and palaces is brought to life with glittering designs, as well as a sublime score by Tchaikovsky.

National Theatre Live: Straight Line Crazy

Thu 26 May, 7pm, Cinema 2

Ralph Fiennes (Antony & Cleopatra) leads the cast in this live broadcast from the Bridge Theatre in London, of a new play directed by Nicholas Hytner.

For forty uninterrupted years, Robert Moses exploited those in office through a mix of charm and intimidation. Motivated at first by a determination to improve the lives of New York City’s workers, he created parks, bridges and 627 miles of expressway to connect the people to the great outdoors.

Faced with resistance by protest groups campaigning for a very different idea of what the city should become, a battle is played out between democracy and the charisma of one powerful individual.  


Queer East Film Festival
19-23 May, Cinema 2

The LGBTQ+ festival that showcases rarely-seen queer cinema from East and Southeast Asia returns to the Barbican screen. This year’s programme features:

Coalesce + ScreenTalk with director Jessé Miceli
Cambodia/ France 2022, Dir Jessé Miceli, 83 min
Thu 19 May 6.15pm, Cinema 2

Three young Cambodian men – an introverted teen, a taxi driver and a host in a gay bar – follow their dreams in Phnom Penh.

Artists’ Moving Image Programme + ScreenTalk
Sun 22 May 6pm, Cinema 2

A selection of shorts by Asian LGBTQ+ artists around the world which push the boundaries of the concept of ‘queer’, followed by a ScreenTalk with some of the filmmakers.

The Blue Hour + ScreenTalk with Anucha Boonyawatana
Thailand 2015, Dir Anucha Boonyawatana, 97 min
Mon 23 May 6.10pm, Cinema 2

Tam, a bullied loner, finds solace in the arms of Phum, a boy he meets at a haunted swimming pool, in Thai director Anucha Boonyawatana’s supernatural love story.

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.  
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