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Barbican Cinema - October 2019 highlights

Curated by the Barbican:  

  • Hidden Figures: Euzhan Palcy
  • Dance Umbrella: Sunday Shorts
  • Nightlife: Ourselves, Our Spaces on Film
  • Marjorie Prime + Rick Edwards & Dr Michael Brooks of Science(ish)
  • Forbidden Colours: Several Conversations about a Very Tall Girl + ScreenTalk
  • Adrian Wootton’s Hollywood Legends: David Bowie
  • Absolute Beginners + Intro by Adrian Wootton
  • Family Film Club

Also Screening at the Barbican:

  • Cyberfeminism on Film: Gender, Sexuality, Technology

Event Cinema:

  • Roger Waters: Us + Them
  • Exhibition on Screen: Degas
  • Met Opera Live in HD 19/20: Turandot
  • Royal Opera House Live: Don Giovanni
  • National Theatre Live: A Midsummer Night’s Dream
  • Afternoon Arts: Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake
  • Royal Opera House Live: Don Pasquale
  • Met Opera Live in HD 19/20: Manon


Curated by the Barbican:

Hidden Figures: Euzhan Palcy  
6 Oct–26 Oct

Despite winning the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival, directing Marlon Brando to an Oscar nomination, and having created a rich and diverse range of acclaimed dramas that explore race and liberation across the world, Euzhan Palcy’s work remains neglected in the UK, and her films are rarely shown.

The Barbican’s Euzhan Palcy season, featuring introductions and discussions, includes her feature debut, Sugar Cane Alley (Martinque/ France 1983) which Palcy filmed in her homeland Martinique, and remains one of cinema’s great coming-of-age films, about a mischievous orphan and his indomitable grandmother. Palcy subtly criticises French colonial rule throughout the film.

Palcy’s 1989 drama A Dry White Season (USA), about the fall-out from a massacre in Apartheid-era South Africa, stars Donald Sutherland and Brando, in his best late-career performance. Her documentary series Aimé Césaire: A Voice For History (Martinque/France 1994) offers privileged access to the Martinique poet, author and politician, who co-founded the négritude literature movement.

These screenings are in partnership with HOME in Manchester who will also be showcasing Euzhan Palcy’s films in October as part of their year-long Celebrating Women in Global Cinema season.

Read the press release.

Sunday Shorts
Dance Umbrella
13, 20 & 27 Oct 3.30pm, Cinema 3

Three programmes of shorts by directors and choreographers, curated by Dance Umbrella Featured Artist Oona Doherty, Dance Umbrella Guest Programmer Freddie Opoku-Addaie, and independent programmer Gitta Wigro.

Nightlife: Ourselves, Our Spaces on Film 
15 Oct – 29 Oct

From 15-29 October Barbican Cinema presents Nightlife: Ourselves, Our Spaces on Film, a season exploring the allure and glamour of night club culture.

This season takes cinema goers on a journey of passion, transgression and joy through a selection of curated films from around the world. Beginning in London - on Tue 15 Oct - with Queer Erasure? London’s LGBTQ+ Nightlife on Film + ScreenTalk, an evening of rarely screened archive film extracts drawn from the BFI National Archive (by BFI Curator Simon McCallum) that celebrate the capital’s most cherished LGBTQ+ venues (including amazing footage of The Gateways Club, The Royal Vauxhall Tavern and the Black Cap) many now long gone due to urban redevelopment.

After the programme, Simon McCallum and London’s Night Czar Amy Lamé, will discuss the films and consider what the future holds for London’s queer spaces.

The season continues with the story of New York’s legendary night club Studio 54 – and its array of eccentric punters – in 54: The Director’s Cut (US 1998) Mark Christopher’s film about sex, drugs and debauchery on the dance floor.

Berlin’s wild side is revealed in Berlin Bouncer (Germany 2019, Dir David Dietl), which tells the story of the city’s transformation from divided city - to European party metropolis - through three night club bouncers from very different sides of the divide.

Taipei’s neon-lit nightlife is deftly captured by Hou Hsiao-hsien in the hypnotic Millennium Mambo (Taiwan/ France 2001); and the season closes with a screening of the Mexican cult classic Los Caifanes (aka The Outsiders) (1967).

Nightlife: Ourselves, Our Spaces on Film is programmed in association with the Barbican Art Gallery exhibition Into the Night: Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art.

Read the press release:

Marjorie Prime (12A) + Rick Edwards & Dr Michael Brooks
(US 2017, Dir Michael Almereyda, 98 min)
Mon 21 Oct 6pm, Cinema 2

When Marjorie, an 85 year old widow, exhibits the first signs of Alzheimer's, her family gift her a hologram service called Prime which creates life-like projections of deceased family members. But as she feeds stories into the hologram of her dead husband, Walter, embellishments and discrepancies creep into the narrative and her family become increasingly worried about the effects. Starring Louis Smith as Marjorie and John Hamm, Geena Davis and Tim Robbins as her family, this intimate film is an intelligent exploration of the relationship between human memory, mortality and technology.

Following the screening we are delighted to welcome Rick Edwards and Dr. Michael Brooks – presenters of the hit podcast Science(ish) and authors of Science(ish): The Peculiar Science Behind the Movies – to discuss the issues raised.

Part of Life Rewired

Forbidden Colours: Several Conversations about a Very Tall Girl (15*) + ScreenTalk
Romania 2018 Dir Bogdan Theodor Olteanl, 70 min
22 Oct 2019, 18:30, Cinema 2

Two young women – one out and proud, the other less confident in her sexuality – begin a tentative affair in this sensitive Romanian drama.

In Bogdan Theodor Olteanu’s intimate drama, a confident lesbian filmmaker (Florentina Nastase) and a shy woman (Silvana Mihai) realise they have an ex-girlfriend in common and, after communicating online, start to date each other.

Although LGBTQ+ rights in Romania have improved in recent years, it remains a conservative society; Nastase’s character recalls a violent hate crime, the other woman is plagued by shame and internalised homophobia.

This is part of Barbican Cinema’s regular Forbidden Colours strand celebrating queer-focused film from places where LGBTQ+ people still struggle for equality.

Adrian Wootton’s Hollywood Legends: David Bowie
Members’ event
Wed 23 Oct 6.45pm, Cinema 2

Songwriter, rock star, fashion icon and actor, David Bowie was one of the most influential artists of the last century. Film London CEO Adrian Wootton explores Bowie’s dazzling life and career.

Absolute Beginners (15) + Intro by Adrian Wootton
Adrian Wootton’s Hollywood Legends
UK 1986, Dir Julien Temple, 108 min
Wed 23 Oct 8.35pm, Cinema 3

David Bowie is an ad man in this 1950s tale, directed by Julien Temple, about a young photographer aiming for the big time, to impress the beautiful Crepe Suzette (Patsy Kensit).

Also Screening at the Barbican: 

Cyberfeminism on Film: Gender, Sexuality, Technology
5–8 Oct, Cinema 2

Cyberfeminism on Film: Gender, Sexuality, Technology - curated by author So Mayer, takes author Donna Haraway’s The Cyborg Manifesto as a starting point to explore still radical ways of thinking about gender, sexuality and technology. Featuring animation, experimental film and video, documentary and science-fiction,

These films offer a variety of genres and creative ideas for thinking about modern cyborgs and the technological world we live in.

Highlights include Conceiving Ada (US 1999, Dir Lynn Hershman Leeson) starring Tilda Swinton, a tribute to the late Barbara Hammer, plus Monika Treut’s Gendernaughts: A Journey Through Shifting Identity.

Event Cinema

Roger Waters: Us + Them (15)
Wed 2 Oct 6.10pm, Cinema 2

Featuring state-of- the-art visuals and sound, this concert from Roger Waters’ Us+ Them tour features songs from Pink Floyd albums (The Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, Animals) and newer solo material.

Afternoon Arts: Exhibition on Screen – Degas (12A)
Thu 10 Oct 2pm, Cinema 2

From the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge, to Paris and Italy, this film explores the formative years of painter Edgar Degas’ life.

Met Opera Live in HD 19/20: Turandot (12A)
Sat 12 Oct 5.55pm, Cinema 1

Franco Zeffirelli’s spectacular production returns to cinemas with powerhouse soprano Christine Goerke taking on the titular role of the sharp Princess, sworn never to be possessed by a man.

Royal Opera House Live: Don Giovanni (12A)
Sun 13 Oct 2pm, Cinema 2

The new Royal Opera Season begins with Mozart’s engaging masterpiece, which follows Don Giovanni, the women he serially seduces, and the vengeance that finally catches up with him.

Afternoon Arts: Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake (PG)
Thu 24 Oct 2pm, Cinema 2

This thrilling and witty production is perhaps still best known for replacing the female corps-de-ballet with a menacing male ensemble, which shattered convention and took the dance world by storm.

Royal Opera House Live: Don Pasquale (12A)
Thu 24 Oct 7.30pm, Cinema 2

This witty story of a middle-aged man and his much cleverer younger wife has long delighted and surprised audiences; this production by Damiano Michieletto is no exception.

Met Opera Live in HD 19/20: Manon (12A)
Sat 26 Oct 5.55pm, Cinema 1

Laurent Pelly’s production, starring soprano Lisette Oropesa in the title role, with tenor Michael Fabiano as the besotted Chevalier des Grieux, explores the devastating consequences when excess and passion collide.

New Releases

Joker #
(US 2019, Dir Todd Phllips, 122 min)
From Fri 4 Oct
Joaquin Phoenix relishes this major DC role as Batman’s nemesis. Also starring Zazie Beets, Marc Maron and Robert De Niro.

Judy (12A)
(US/ UK 2019, Dir Rupert Good, 118 min)
From Fri 4 Oct
In this new biopic, Renee Zellweger takes on the tumultuous life of film and music icon Judy Garland, directed by Rupert Goold.

The Day Shall Come #
(US/UK 2019, Dir Chris Morris, 88 min)
From Fri 11 Oct
Director Chris Morris brings us his first feature film since Four Lions. Starring Anna Kendrick, this political satire about the FBI is both funny and heart-breaking.

Official Secrets #
(US/UK 2019, Dir Gavin Hood, 112 min)
From Fri 18 Oct
When a translator discovers a compromising government secret, she must decide between country and self. Keira Knightley stars in this 2003-set British thriller.

Farming #
(UK 2019, Dir Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, 102 min)
Fri 18 Oct
This hard-hitting debut feature by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje follows a young black man who joins a white skinhead gang in 1980s Essex.

Black and Blue #
(US 2019, Dir Deon Taylor, 104 min)
From Fri 25 Oct
Naomie Harris and Tyrese Gibson star in this police thriller, about a young officer who captures body-cam footage of an unlawful murder and must go against her own for justice.

Terminator: Dark Fate #
(US 2019, Dir Tim Miller, 124 min)
From Fri 25 Oct
Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong and Arnold Schwarzenegger reprise their roles in this new fight for the future, directed by Tim Miller.


Barbican Family Film Club 

Mary and the Witch’s Flower (U) + Show and Tell with So Mayer
Sat 5th Oct 11am, Cinema 2

When Mary follows her neighbour Peter’s cats, she finds a flower that grants her magical powers.

This charming animation from Studio Ghibli’s Hiromasa ‘Maro’ Yonebayashi, adapted from Mary Stewart’s children’s book The Little Broomstick, is a gentle and timely film about using power responsibly and taking care of the planet – and each other.
Barbican Cinema is delighted to welcome So Mayer for our Show and Tell before the screening. 

The Wizard of Oz (U)
US 1939 Dir Victor Fleming 102 min
Sat 12th Oct 11am, Cinema 2

A classic film in all its colourful glory in the cinema. Follow the yellow brick road with Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion as they journey to the Emerald City to find the elusive Wizard of Oz, followed by the dastardly Wicked Witch of the West.

My Neighbour Totoro (U)
Japan 1988 Dir Hayao Miyazaki 86 min (dubbed)
Sat 19th Oct 11am, Cinema 2

When young sisters Satsuki and Mei move to the countryside with their dad, they soon make friends with the furry seven foot ‘Totoro’ who lives in the tree by their house, where their magical journey begins.

The Flight of Dragons (U) + Free workshop before film at 10am. 
US 1982 Dir Arthur Rank Jr and Jules Bass 95 min
Sat 28th Oct 11am, Cinema 2

A young board game enthusiast, Peter Dickinson, is transported from his life in present day (1980s Boston), to a magical realm of elemental wizards, knights, princesses, forest outlaws and – of course – dragons. Once there, he must join a quest to retrieve the Red Wizard Ommadon’s crown before humankind is destroyed.

Parent and Baby Screenings
Specially tailored screenings of the best new films every Monday and Saturday mornings for parents and carers with babies of twelve months and under.