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Barbican Cinema: October 2022

October 2022 

      Curated by the Barbican: 

  • Storm Damage + ScreenTalk led by Dr Clive Nwonka with primary cast members
  • My Neighbour Totoro
  • What About China + ScreenTalk with Trinh T. Minh-ha
  • UK Premiere: The Blue Inmates + Live Virtual ScreenTalk
  • Carolee Schneemann Film Series: Intimacy and the Body + Introduction by Dr Elena Gorfinkel
  • Family Film Week
  • Family Film Club
  • Experiments in Film: The Films of Andy Warhol + ScreenTalk with John G.Hanhardt 
    + Dr. Elena Gorfinkel
  • Forbidden Colours: Nigerian Shorts + ScreenTalk with Director Olive Nwosu and Producer Pamela Adie
  • Carolee Schneemann Film Series: Interrogating the Image + Introduction by Kenneth White
  • Australian Chamber Orchestra: River
  • Silent Film & Live Music: Clare Hammond: Ghosts and Whispers

       Event Cinema:

  • Royal Opera House Live: Madama Butterfly
  • Royal Opera House Live : Mayerling
  • NT Live: Jack Absolute Flies Again
  • Royal Opera House Live: Aida
  • Met Opera Live: Medea
  • Royal Opera House: La bohème


  • Doc’n Roll Film Festival
  • Oska Bright presents…Halloween themed shorts…Something Twisted

Younger audiences are in for a treat this October with Barbican Cinema’s Family Film Week, which returns in its second year – with a packed week of films, workshops and events (over half-term) – for young people and their carers; and this year looks at the joy of discovery, adventure  on screen. There’s also the regular Family Film Club running throughout the month.
The five-part Carolee Schneeman Film Series, which celebrates the radical American artist, also continues in October with two programmes: Intimacy and the Body plus introduction by Dr Elena Gorfinkel and Interrogating the Image plus introduction by Kenneth White. This is part of the public programme of events complementing the exhibition Carolee Schneemann: Body Politics (8 Sep 2022 – 8 Jan 2023) in the Barbican Gallery.

This month also includes Experiments in Film: The Films of Andy Warhol + ScreenTalk with John G.Hanhardt + Dr. Elena Gorfinkel; which focuses on Warhol’s creative output between 1963 - 1965, when he would first begin to work with film and created multiple seminal works; this provides a rare opportunity to see a number of the films on 16mm.

Further October highlights include: Birds Eye View: UK Premiere: The Blue Inmates plus Live Virtual ScreenTalk; Storm Damage plus ScreenTalk led by Dr Clive Nwonka with primary cast members; and What About China plus ScreenTalk with Trinh T. Minh-ha.

To celebrate the RSC’s production in the Theatre this month of My Neighbour Totoro, the Barbican screens the original Studio Ghibli 1998 film.

The perennially popular Silent Film and Live Music strand returns in the autumn with Clare Hammond – Ghosts and Whispers; the internationally renowned pianist (Hammond) adds live accompaniment to an eerie set of specially conceived images by the Quay Brothers. There’s also Australian Chamber Orchestra: River, the Orchestra’s acclaimed cinematic collaboration with BAFTA nominated filmmaker Jennifer Peedom; this is a cinematic and musical odyssey, which explores the remarkable relationship between humans and rivers and is narrated by Willem Dafoe.

Forbidden Colours in October screens Queer Nigerian Shorts plus ScreenTalk with Director Olive Nwosu and Producer Pamela Adie, a selection of shorts focusing on LGBTQ+ lives in Nigeria.

Culture lovers are in for a treat this month with four Royal Opera House Live screenings: Madama Butterfly, Aida, La bohème and Mayerling. Other highlights include: Met Opera Live: Medea and an NT Live screening of Jack Absolute Flies Again, the hit summer show starring Caroline Quentin and Kelvin Fletcher.

Festivals in October include the ninth edition of the Doc’n Roll Film Festival; and Oska Bright Presents…Something Twisted, a selection of unexplained, unexpected and experimental shorts.

Curated by the Barbican:

Storm Damage (15) + ScreenTalk led by Dr Clive Nwonka with primary cast members
UK 2000, dir Cellan Jones, 95 min

Sat 1 Oct, 8.15 pm, Cinema 1

An emotionally powerful film from 2000, that portrays the experiences of young people living in a care home in Brixton's Angel Town. Plus a ScreenTalk led by Dr Clive Nwonka with primary cast members.

The story follows the idealistic Black teacher turned care worker Danny (Adrian Lester) and his battle to redirect the home’s primary delinquent Stefan (Ashley Walters) away from the negative and potentially fatal influences of local gangster Boniface (Lennie James).

Storm Damage beautifully frames the individual set of social and cultural identities formed by the young residents of the care home and the experiences of everyday warmth that captures the multiracial specificities of Angel Town. As well as their struggle to develop emotionally against the backdrop of familial breakdown and youth violence displayed not just by the home’s youths, but equally, its adults.

Screening for the first time since its one and only broadcast on BBC Two in early 2000, and its first ever theatrical showing. 

My Neighbour Totoro (U)
Japan 1988, Dir Hayao Miyazaki, 86 min Japanese with English subtitles
Sat 15 Oct, 2.30pm, Cinema 1

To celebrate the RSC’s production in the Theatre this month, the Barbican screens the original Studio Ghibli film. When young sisters Satsuki and Mei move to the countryside with their dad, they soon make friends with the furry seven foot ‘Totoro’ and a magical journey begins.

On sale members: Wed 31st Aug / public booking Thurs 1st Sept

What About China (15*) + Screentalk with Trinh T. Minh-ha
2022 United states & China, Dir Trinh Minh-ha, 135 min
Mon 17 Oct, 7pm, Cinema 2

The latest work by Trinh Minh-ha sees the filmmaker draw from material shot in the mid-1990s from villages of Eastern and Southern China, to explore the vast and contradictory histories of China, through a mixture of film, photography, text and voice.

Minh-ha’s filmmaking draws from a multitude of voices and perspectives, through montage and experimental uses of video, to create a complex picture of how the idea of harmony functions within China. These range from reflections on ancient Chinese beliefs to the impact of China’s Great Uprooting, a 12 year plan where 250 million rural residents would be moved into the country’s many cities and newly developed urban spaces.

The film is a fascinating combination of the filmmaker’s use of footage of rural residents, and the multi-layered commentaries which are at times poetic, informative, reflective and critical, resulting in a contemporary example of her continued interest in countering the euro-centric nature of ethnographic traditions.

Birds Eye View: UK Premiere: The Blue Inmates + Live Virtual ScreenTalk
Lebanon 2021, Dir Zeina Daccache, 75 min
Wed 19 Oct, 6.20pm, Cinema 3

The film follows inmates from Roumieh Prison in Lebanon as they produce a play about their fellow prisoners who suffer from mental illness and are thus filed under ‘mad and possessed’ by the penal code and forgotten behind bars for life.

Turning her lens to a very significant ongoing injustice in The Blue Inmates, director Zeina Daccache, who has dedicated her life to defending the rights of inmates, takes another significant step towards making life in Lebanon fairer. Depicting that which is not seen with her camera, the director delivers a strong documentary that challenges injustice.

Carolee Schneemann Film Series: Intimacy and the Body (18) (LC) + Introduction by Dr Elena Gorfinkel
Thu 20 Oct, 6.45pm, Cinema 1, 82min approx.

Dyketactics, US 1974, Dir Barbara Hammer, 4 min, digital, sound 

Multiple Orgasm, US 1976, Dir Barbara Hammer, 6 min, 16mm, silent 
Fever Dream, US 1979, Dir Chick Strand, 7 min, 16mm, sound 
Moons Pool, US 1973, Dir Gunvor Nelson, 15 min, digital, sound 
Water Sark, Canada 1964-5, Dir Joyce Wieland, 14 min, 16mm, sound 
Orange, US 1970, Dir Karen Johnson, 3 min, 16mm, sound 
Iris, Austria/US 1971, Dir Maria Lassnig, 10 min, digital, sound  
Crocus, US 1971, Dir Suzan Pitt, 7 min, 16mm, sound  
Bath, US 1968, Dir Penelope Spheeris, 6 min, 16mm, sound 
Mann & Frau & Animal, Austria 1970-3, Dir Valie Export, 8 min, digital, sound  

This programme assembles work from the 1960s and 70s by experimental women filmmakers, contemporaries of Carolee Schneemann, taking as their subject women’s bodies, sexuality and desire. 

Defying conventional ideas of decorum, from the early 1960s Carolee Schneemann began using her own naked body in her work.

Many of her pieces challenged dominant interpretations of women’s sexual expression and experience. Her film Fuses (1964-66) (showing in the Cinema as part of “The Autobiographical Trilogy” on 23 Sep, and in the Gallery exhibition) was ground-breaking: a critique of the objectification of the female body and the evasion of sexuality in American cinema, and a radical attempt to render her own erotic experience through moving image.  

 Schneemann was a pioneer, but also one of a generation of experimental women filmmakers in the 1960s and 1970s who made body-centred films that sought to release their experiences of sexuality from the taboos of depiction.

The Barbican presents a selection here, addressing nudity, erotic fantasy, masturbation, lesbian sexuality and more, by filmmakers including Joyce Wieland, Maria Lassnig and Chick Strand.  

Family Film Week
22 – 29 Oct

Barbican Cinema’s annual festival of family films returns to the Barbican during half term, this time celebrating the joy of discovery and adventure on screen – featuring inventors, imagineers and innovators. With live introductions, in cinema events, free crafts, activity sheets, workshops, flash film quizzes and more.  Other highlights include three specially curated shorts programmes for young audiences, celebrating stories from all over the world.

Family Film Club
Every Saturday 11am, Cinema 2

Family Film Club continues to screen the very best icinema, for young people and their families, every Saturday in Barbican Cinema 2. This month, there are screenings of new releases including The Railway Children Return (UK 2022, Dir Morgan Matthews), alongside classic family favourites such as Kirikou and the Sorceress (France/ Belguim 2001, Dir Michel Ocelot) and My Neighbour Totoro (Japan 1998, Dir Hayao Miyazaki).

Please check for full programme details.

Experiments in Film: The Films of Andy Warhol + ScreenTalk with John G.Hanhardt + Dr. Elena Gorfinkel
USA 1963-1965, Dir Andy Warhol
Mon 24 Oct, 6.30 pm, Cinema 1

This special event coincides with the announcement of The Films of Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonne - 1963-1965 being awarded the 2022 Kraszna-Krausz Book Award for best Moving Image Book.

Across the important period of 1963 - 1965, when Warhol would first begin to work with film, he created multiple seminal works that would rank among his most celebrated films. This event provides a rare opportunity to see a number of these on 16mm and includes: Jill and Freddy Dancing (US 1963), Eat (US 1964) and Restaurant (US 1965).

After the screening curators and writers John G. Hanhardt  and Dr. Elena Gorfinkel will take part in a ScreenTalk to discuss the creative approaches and conceptual innovations which this period of Warhol’s career was characterised by. Following this conversation, audience members will be invited to the cinema foyer for a wine reception.

This event is a collaboration with the Kraszna-Krausz Foundation.

Forbidden Colours: Queer Nigerian Shorts (15*) + ScreenTalk
with Director Olive Nwosu and Producer Pamela Adie
Wed 26 Oct, 6.30pm, Cinema 2

A selection of shorts focusing on LGBTQ+ people in Nigeria, including Ìfé (Nigeria 2020), a romance set entirely in one woman’s apartment, and Egúngún (Nigeria & UK 2021), in which a woman reconnects with her past in Lagos.

These two very different shorts explore the romantic lives of queer women in Nigeria. Uyaiedu Ikpe-Etim’s passionate Ìfé (meaning ‘love’ in Yoruba), produced by activist Pamela Adie, explores the burgeoning romance between two women across 3 days. In Olive Nwosu’s beautifully acted short Egúngún ((‘Masquerade’), a woman returns from the UK to Lagos, beginning a path of healing and reconciliation.

This screening will be followed be a ScreenTalk with director Olive Nwosu and producer Pamela Adie (live from Nigeria), hosted by curator and writer Tara Brown (in person).

Carolee Schneemann: Interrogating The Image (18) (LC) + introduction by Kenneth White
Fri 28 Oct, 6.45pm, Cinema 3, 83min approx

Viet-Flakes, US 1962-7, Dir Carolee Schneemann, 9 min, digital, sound 

Inextinguishable Fire, Ger 1969, Dir Harun Farocki, 25 min, digital, sound 
Perfect Film, US 1965/1985, Dir Ken Jacobs, 22 min, 16mm, sound  
Report, US 1963-67, Dir Bruce Conner, 13 min, digital, sound 
Marilyn Times Five, US 1968-73, Dir Bruce Conner, 13 min, digital, sound 

Beginning with Schneemann’s own Viet-Flakes (1962-67), this programme brings together a selection of found footage films that critique, challenge and subvert the power of images produced and distributed by the media. 

Over a period of five years, Carolee Schneemann clipped photos of the Vietnam War from international newspapers and magazines, images of violence and suffering so shocking that many of them never appeared in print in America. Spreading them out in an arc on her studio floor, she panned over and zoomed into these images with her 8mm camera, travelling into and ‘animating’ them. The resulting film, Viet-Flakes, is a powerful protest against the Vietnam War, reflecting on the ethics, and politics, of witnessing the destruction of war at a remove, through photographs.  

Viet-Flakes is paired here with four other celebrated experimental films from the late-1960s/early-1970s, all reflections on the use of documentary images in the media sphere. Three – Inextinguishable Fire directed by Harun Farocki, Perfect Film directed by Ken Jacobs and Report directed by Bruce Conner – relate to contemporary political events – the Vietnam War, the assassinations of JFK and Malcolm X – and one, Marilyn Times, again directed by Bruce Conner, obliquely, to a news item belonging to the world of celebrity – the death of Marilyn Monroe.  

Australian Chamber Orchestra: River

Fri 28 Oct, 7.30pm, Barbican Hall,

In this latest fusion of sound, image, and primal awe, the Australian Chamber Orchestra River, the Orchestra’s acclaimed cinematic collaboration with BAFTA nominated filmmaker Jennifer Peedom, to the Barbican Hall. A cinematic and musical odyssey, written by writer Robert Macfarlane and narrated by actor Willem Dafoe, the film, screened in the Barbican Hall with live music, explores the remarkable relationship between humans and rivers. With an epic orchestral soundtrack curated by ACO Artistic Director Richard Tognetti and performed live by the ACO, River includes music by Jonny Greenwood and Radiohead alongside works by Vivaldi, Bach and Tognetti himself.

This performance is supported by the Australian Government as part of the UK/Australia Season 2021-22
Produced by the Barbican
Find out more

Silent Film and Live Music: Clare Hammond – Ghosts and Whispers (PG) (LC)
Sun 30 Oct, 7pm ,Cinema 1
Film run time 58 min

The ghosts and ghouls come out to play as pianist Clare Hammond adds live accompaniment to an eerie set of specially conceived images by the Quay Brothers.

Over the course of an hour, Hammond performs an unbroken sequence of fragments, last thoughts, elegies and absences by Schubert, Mozart, Wagner, Janáček, Stravinsky, Jacquet de la Guerre and Schumann, interwoven with movements from John Woolrich's Pianobooks. Hammond and the stop-motion animators the Quay Brothers will distort reality with a succession of shadows, illusions and broken promises that slide into darkness, erasure, and death.

Event Cinema:

Royal Opera House Live: Madama Butterfly
Sun 2 Oct, 2pm, Cinema 3
Running time: 3hrs and 10 minutes (including one interval)

Set in 19th-century Japan, Puccini's heart-rending opera tells the tale of Cio-Cio-San, a young geisha who falls in love with an American naval officer – and pays the ultimate price.

With a score that includes Butterfly’s aria, 'Un bel dì, vedremo' (‘One fine day’) and the ‘Humming Chorus’, Giacomo Puccini’s opera is entrancing and ultimately heart-breaking. Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s exquisite production takes inspiration from 19th-century European images of Japan.

Royal Opera House Live: Mayerling
Sun 9 Oct, 2pm, Cinema 3
Running time: 3 hours and 25 minutes (including two intervals)

Live on screen, dangerous desires, family secrets and political intrigues – a true story told through ballet.

Inspired by dark and gripping real life events, this Royal Ballet classic depicts the sexual and morbid obsessions of Crown Prince Rudolf leading to the murder-suicide scandal with his mistress Mary Vetsera. The oppressive glamour of the Austro-Hungarian court in the 1880s sets the scene for a suspenseful drama of psychological and political intrigue as Rudolf fixates on his mortality.

Kenneth MacMillan’s 1978 ballet remains a masterpiece of storytelling and this revival marks 30 years since the choreographer’s death.

NT Live: Jack Absolute Flies Again
Tue 11 Oct, 7pm, Cinema 2
Running time approx. 180 min

A rollicking new comedy by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors) and Oliver Chris (Twelfth Night).

After an aerial dog fight, Pilot Officer Jack Absolute flies home to win the heart of his old flame, Lydia Languish. Back on British soil, Jack’s advances soon turn to anarchy when the young heiress demands to be loved on her own, very particular, terms.

Royal Opera House Live: Aida
Sun 16 Oct, 2 pm, Cinema 3
Running time: approx. 3 hours 25 minutes (including one interval)

Love and duty collide and nations clash in Verdi’s political drama, starring Elena Stikhina and conducted by Antonio Pappano.

In this new production, director Robert Carsen situates Verdi’s large-scale political drama within a contemporary world, framing its power struggles and toxic jealousies in the apparatus of a modern, totalitarian state. Royal Opera Music Director Antonio Pappano conducts Verdi’s glorious, monumental score.

Met Opera Live in HD: Medea
Sun 22 Oct, 5.55 pm, Cinema 1

Having triumphed at the Met in some of the repertory’s fiercest soprano roles, Sondra Radvanovsky stars as the mythic sorceress who will stop at nothing in her quest for vengeance

Joining Radvanovsky in the Met-premiere production of Cherubini’s rarely performed masterpiece is tenor Matthew Polenzani as Medea’s Argonaut husband, Giasone; soprano Janai Brugger as her rival for his love, Glauce; bass Michele Pertusi as Medea’s father, Creonte, the King of Corinth; and mezzo-soprano Ekaterina Gubanova as Medea’s confidante, Neris. 

Royal Opera House Live: La bohème
Sun 23 Oct, 2 pm, Cinema 3
Running time approx. 3 hours

Puccini's opera of passion, friendship and heartbreak features a star-studded cast, conducted by Kevin John Edusei.

Paris, 1900. Penniless writer Rodolfo believes that art is all he needs – until he meets Mimì, the lonely seamstress who lives upstairs. So begins a timeless love story that blooms, fades, and rekindles with the passing seasons.

Richard Jones’s production evokes the vivid contrasts of fin de siècle Paris, from Bohemian apartments to glittering arcades.


Doc’n Roll Film Festival
27 Oct – 13 Nov, Cinemas 1 & 3

The ninth edition of Doc’n Roll Film Festival, returns to the Barbican with a compelling line-up of  documentaries about music, musicians and the worlds they inhabit. Highlights confirmed so far include Alain Gomis’ Rewind & Play (France/ Germany 2022), which focuses on the infamous Q&A with Thelonious Monk, where the jazz legend faced down a disrespectful interviewer.

Tickets and full programme available from Mon 19 Sep:

Oska Bright
Mon 31 Oct, 6.30pm, Cinema 3

Haunted scarecrows, menacing wolves and indescribable space creatures abound in this Halloween themed programme of weird and wonderful shorts, that definitely take a walk on the wild side, curated by Oska Bright, the leading learning disability film festival.

This selection features horror, sci-fi, experimenta and a couple of dark comedies. From hypnotic Icelandic ink-based visuals in
Life Like Colour (2019 Dir Birkir Sigurðsson), to America (2019 Dir George ve Gänæaard & Horia Cucută), a Romanian satire on US paranoia; to the shock, fear and anxiety found in Bad News (UK 2022, Dir Miriam Fox); this programme has something for everyone….if they dare! 

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: