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Barbican Cinema: ScreenTalks & Live Events highlights April 2023

Throughout April, Barbican Cinema hosts ScreenTalks and Live Events connected to programmes across the building, including The Edge of the Centre which[AO1]  invites artists and organisations working in the surrounding areas to curate events at the Barbican; talks responding to the latest Gallery exhibition Alice Neel: Hot Off the Griddle, and two bi-monthly cinema series, Cinema Restored, which brings fresh restorations of global art cinema to London audiences, and Experiments in Film, which focuses on vibrant cinema and pushes at the mainstream boundaries of what we think film is, and what it could be.

In April the Cinema will also host the opening night of the London Bengali Film Festival attended by director Muhammad Quayum who will take part in a ScreenTalk following the UK premiere of The Golden Wings of Watercocks.


The Edge of the Centre

Stewart Home's Occasional Barbican Film Club: Decoder (15*) + introduction by Stewart Home
West Germany 1984, Dir Muscha, 87 mins
Sat 8 Apr, 3.30pm, Cinema 1

Inspired by the names of the Barbican Estate, this time Lauderdale Tower, Stewart Home and special guests will introduce Decoder, a cyberpunk and counter-cultural film based on the writings of William S. Burroughs, who also has a supporting role in the film.

Decoder blends arresting visuals, urban industrial aesthetics, science fiction, conspiracy theory and documentary footage of street violence, with a searing attack on consumerist culture. Co-starring punk icon Christiane Felscherinow and pandrogeny activist Genesis P. Orridge, the soundtrack also features Soft CellThe The and Einstürzende Neubauten.


Experiments in Film

Realism & Reverie: Alice Neel’s New York on Film (15) + Introduction by
Larne Abse Gogarty

Pie in the Sky, US 1934, Dir NYKINO, 22 mins (SD Digital file)
Flaming Creatures, US 1963, Dir Jack Smith, 45 mins (16mm)
Thu 13 Apr, 6.30pm, Cinema 2

These films explore Alice Neel's leftist bohemianism: from the Communist cultural front of the 1930s to the Beats to queer communities in the 1960s. Neel's commitment to realism as a mode to capture suffering, poverty and oppression was marked by a belief that representing those conditions could assist in re-making the world. 

Pie in the Sky 
(1934) involved members of the Group Theater, including Elia Kazan, and captured the dynamic between the reality of the Depression, and daily fantasies of success and pleasure.

Flaming Creatures (1963) is a classic of American queer experimental cinema. Paired together we can begin to picture the social and political landscapes Neel journeyed through in her career.

Larne Abse Gogarty is Lecturer in History and Theory of Art at the Slade School of Fine Art. This event is part of the
public programme for Alice Neel: Hot Off The Griddle in the Barbican Art Gallery, Thu 16 Feb to Sun 21 May.


Cinema Restored

Losing Ground (12) [35mm] with Introduction from Dr Terri Francis

USA 1982, Dir Kathleen Collins, 85 min

Mon 17 Apr, 6.35pm, Cinema 2

A masterpiece from the late Kathleen Collins, this is a rare example of a Black independent film depicting the ennui of a Black middle class, focusing on a community of professional well-educated artists. Made all the more poignant by the premature passing of both Kathleen Collins and Bill Gunn (who starred in the film), these are two artists whose short careers were important examples of refusing to be subsumed by the limitations of the film industry at the time, and who both played a role in developing networks for independent Black creative spaces.


The film was restored in 2022 having received a preservation grant from the Film Foundation and the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation which enabled the creation of a new digital master from the original 16mm film, a new 35mm film negative, and a restored 35mm optical soundtrack, which will be showing at this screening. Restored by the Yale Film Archive and The Film Foundation.


London Bengali Film Festival 2023

UK Premiere: The Golden Wings of Watercocks (15*) + ScreenTalk with director Muhammad Quayum

Bangladesh 2022, Dir Muhammad Quayum, 117 min

Wed 26 Apr, 8:10pm, Cinema 2

Kicking off the 6th edition of London Bengali Film Festival, Muhammad Quayum’s poignant debut feature on the livelihoods and struggles of the peasants living in the ‘Haor’ (marshland) regions of Bangladesh.

Historically trapped in poverty formed by the confluence of social exploitation and climate injustice, the rice farmers survive the most devastating calamities in the backdrop of Bangladesh’s rich folk tradition and cultural heritage. 64-year-old Quayum's directorial debut shared the Best Film Award at the Kolkata International Film Festival (India).

The film’s director Muhammad Quayum will attend a ScreenTalk following the screening.


Box office:  


ScreenTalk prices:

Standard                                 £13 - £14.50

Barbican Members                 £9.60

Corporate Members               Varied discount

Concessions/Students            £11

Under 18s                               £6

Young Barbican                      £5