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Barbican Cinema: September 2022 highlights

Barbican Cinema
September 2022 

Curated by the Barbican: 

- Architecture on Film: Preview - Riotsville, USA

- Preview: The Fire Within: Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft + Live Virtual ScreenTalk with Werner Herzog

- Hidden Figures: the films of Idrissa Ouédraogo

- Carolee Schneemann Film Series

- Adrian Wootton presents… Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone

- Cinema Restored: The Last Supper + introduction by Michael    Chanan

- The Edge of the Centre: Stewart Home’s Occasional Film Club – Ireland Behind The Wires

- New East Cinema: Feature Film About Life + ScreenTalk

- Preview – A Story of Bones + ScreenTalk

- Family Film Club

Event Cinema:

- NT Live: Much Ado About Nothing

- Glyndebourne: La bohème

- RSC Live: Richard III 


- Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest

This September the Barbican presents a bold and varied programme. The five-part Carolee Schneeman Film Series celebrates the radical American artist who addressed urgent topics, from sexual expression and the objectification of women, to human suffering and the violence of war. Although known primarily as a performance artist, Carolee Schneemann’s (1939-2019) artistic expression was properly interdisciplinary, spanning painting, sculpture, writing and moving image.

This series is part of the public programme of events surrounding the exhibition Carolee Schneemann: Body Politics (8 Sep 2022 – 8 Jan 2023) in the Barbican Gallery.

Hidden Figures – which celebrates filmmakers who have been neglected in the canon of world cinema – highlights the work of the pioneering Burkina Faso director Idrissa Ouédraogo (1954-2018). This programme is curated by Awa Konaté/Culture Art Society (CAS) in partnership with Barbican Cinema.

Barbican Cinema also presents two previews in September The Fire Within: Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft + Live Virtual ScreenTalk with Werner Herzog, which tells the tragic story of two French volcanologists, Katia and Maurice Krafft; and A Story of Bones + ScreenTalk, about the campaign for the proper memorialisation of an estimated 9,000 formerly enslaved Africans.

Architecture on Film presents Riotsville, USA, about the American civil unrest of the late 60s, when cities were ablaze with protest; and the second instalment of the Cinema Restored highlights the Cuban film The Last Supper, with an introduction by Michael Chanan. This month’s New East Cinema screening is Feature Film About Life, including a ScreenTalk with first first-time writer/director Dovile Sarutyte from Lithuania.

As part of The Edge of the Centre programme, the cinema is hosting Stewart Home’s Occasional Barbican Film Club – inspired by the names of the Barbican Estate buildings – which launches with a rare screening of Ireland Behind The Wires, made in 1974 by The Berwick Street Film Club Collective, and introduced by Stewart Home.

As the evenings draw in culture lovers can also enjoy three Event Cinema screenings in September which include: NT Live: Much Ado About Nothing, in which Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd) and John Heffernan (Dracula) lead the cast in Shakespeare’s rom-com of sun, sea and mistaken identity; and fresh from Festival 2022, is Glyndebourne’s new five-star production of the perennially popular La bohème. Also screening this month is RSC Live: Richard III, a darkly comic analysis about the exercise of power, as young Richard of Gloucester uses the chaos of war to begin his unscrupulous climb to power.

Family Film Club also returns after the summer break and presents the best in classic and contemporary cinema for families to enjoy.

Festivals in September include Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest, which is back at the Barbican with the best new queer cinema from around the world.

Curated by the Barbican:

Architecture on Film: Riotsville, USA (PG) 
USA 2022, Dir Sierra Pettengill, 91 mins
Tue 13 Sep, 8.30pm, Cinema 1, 

Late 1960s USA: Cities are ablaze with civil unrest, fuelled by protest and racial injustice. Archive footage charts a nation choosing to wage war on its people, despite a rare chance to fix old wounds.

Following violent uprisings in Watts, Chicago, Detroit and 150 more cities over the ‘long, hot summer of 1967’, the US government built model ‘Riotsvilles’ to train its troops against urban disorder. 

Departing from unearthed military footage of exercises in these fictive towns, explosively framed by a web of broadcast TV, Pettengill artfully gives acerbic voice to archival materials, to illustrate a turning point in US history.

A tale of violent policing, systemic racism and polarisation, and the tragic consequences of paths untaken, that finds startling resonances with present day realities.

Curated by the Architecture Foundation

Preview: The Fire Within: Requiem for Katia and Maurice Krafft + Live Virtual ScreenTalk with Werner Herzog
UK, France, Switzerland + US 2022, Dir Werner Herzog, 81 min
Wed 14 Sep, 6.15pm, Cinema 2

Legendary director Werner Herzog’s latest film takes place in June ’91, when French volcanologists and filmmakers, Katia and Maurice Krafft, tragically lost their lives chasing an obsession.

Hidden Figures: The films of Idrissa Ouédraogo
15-29 Sep, Cinema 2

Born in 1954, and after completing his training at the now defunct African Institute for Cinema Studies (INAFEC), Idrissa Ouédraogo was a mentee of the renowned director Gaston Kaboré – who’s considered to be the father of film in the west African country – and his work evokes an illustrious group of filmmakers who illustrate what African cinema stands for.

Ouédraogo’s films portrayed the rural labourers and working-class people of Burkina Faso in a sensitive and empathetic way, with values and a spirit of resistance; and his work aimed to subvert the legacy of colonialism and its negative representations of African people. 

The season opens with Tilaï (The Law) (Burkina Faso, 1990), which will be introduced by the series curator Awa Konaté; set in a village of the pre-colonial past, a forbidden love affair shakes a rural community in Idrissa Ouédraogo’s searing drama, considered by many critics to be the director’s masterpiece. The film won the Jury Grand Prize at the 1990 edition of the Cannes Film Festival; this will screen with his 1997 short film Les Parias du Cinéma (The Outcasts of Cinema) in which Ouédraogo reflects on the state of African cinema.

In Yaaba (Burkina Faso, 1989) two young children befriend a woman accused of witchcraft, in this touching parable with a great central performance from a young Noufou Ouédraogo. 

The programme concludes with Samba Traoré, (Burkina Faso 1993), about a man who has committed a robbery and returns to his village to start a new life.His wealth raises questions amongst the villagers and soon the guilt and lies of his past begin to haunt him; the film won the Silver Bear at the 43rd edition of the Berlin International Film Festival in 1993. This rare screening will be followed by a ScreenTalk (guests to be announced).

Hidden Figures is a regular Barbican Cinema strand which celebrates filmmakers who, despite directing ground-breaking films, have been neglected in the canon of world cinema.

To view the full press release:  

Carolee Schneemann Film Series
17 Sep – 10 Nov 
Cinemas 1&3 

This five-part Carolee Schneemann Film Series offers the chance to view, in a cinema space, Schneeman’s four remarkable short film works, alongside Breaking The Frame, an unconventional, impressionistic portrait of Schneemann, plus other films by her contemporaries that approach similar themes – sexuality, the taboos around women’s bodies, and the experience of viewing human suffering through mediated images.  

Her landmark film, Fuses (1964-67), receives a rare cinema screening, on a newly-struck 16mm print, as part of “The Autobiographical Trilogy”; this is a self-shot portrait of Schneemann and her partner James Tenney having sex, with the cat Kitch as witness and companion. This radical piece, made over the course of three years, celebrated heterosexual pleasure and set out to question, expand and complicate representations of the female body and sexuality, offering a new proposal for the expression of erotic experience. 

Also screening in the same programme are: Plumb Line (1968-1971) which chronicles the dissolution of an intimate relationship, and the ongoing war in Vietnam, and Kitch’s Last Meal which documents domestic life in upstate New York with her then-partner, the artist Anthony McCall, as seen through the eyes of her elderly cat, Kitch.  

Her short Viet-Flakes (1962-7), which screens in Interrogating The Image (28 Oct), features photos of the Vietnam War from international newspapers and magazines, clipped by Schneemann over a five-year period, of violence and suffering so shocking that many of them never appeared in print in America.

To view the full press release:

Adrian Wootton presents...The Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone (15)
US 1990, Dir Francis Ford Coppola, 162 min
Sun 18 Sep, 1.50 pm, Cinema 1 

This is a screening of Francis Ford Coppola's 2020 directors cut of the final film in his iconic trilogy, preceded by a special presentation from Adrian Wootton.

Now in his 60s, Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) seeks to end his family's criminal empire, following a deep realisation. He chooses his nephew as his successor, however, the mob refuses to let him go.

Also starring Diane Keaton, Andy Garcia, Sofia Coppola and Talia Shire. Adrian Wootton, CEO of Film London and Coppola aficionado, returns to explain and explore more about this epic end of this iconic cinematic trilogy.

Cinema Restored: The Last Supper (15) + Introduction by Michael Chanan
Cuba 1976 dir Tomás Gutiérrez Alea 120 min
Tue 20 Sep, 6.30 pm, Cinema 2

The second title in Barbican Cinema’s programme of restorations of political global art cinema, Cinema Restored, is the incendiary film by legendary Cuban director Tomás Gutiérrez Alea.

The Last Supper (Cuba 1976), centres on a delusional Cuban plantation owner who, on Easter Sunday, decides to host his own version of the Biblical Last Supper with himself in the position of Jesus Christ, and his plantation slaves as Christ’s disciples.

The film is politically loaded, mixing absurdist humour with a biting satirical commentary of colonialism and the Catholic Church, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea infuses the film with repeated pictorial allusions to depictions of The Last Supper, adopting an allegorical mode throughout the film which creates parallels between the period of the 18th century, in which the narrative takes place, and notions of contemporary state violence, both in the moment it was shot, and with the present day.

Stewart Home’s Occasional Barbican Film Club: Ireland Behind the Wire + introduction by Stuart Home
UK 1974, dir Berwick Street Film Collective, 110min
Sat 24 Sep, 4pm, Cinema 1

This event, which is part of The Edge of the Centre programme, is the beginning of a screening series presented by the artist, writer and activist Stuart Home - inspired by the names of the Barbican residential blocks – opening with Ireland Behind The Wire (1974), a radical work of moving image that captures Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles, mediated through the Berwick Street Collective’s reflexive, oppositional filmmaking.

New East Cinema: Feature Film About Life (15*) + ScreenTalk with Dovile Sarutyte
Lithuania & USA 2021, Dir Dovile Šarutyte, 100 min
Tue 27 Sep 6.15pm, Cinema 2

Dovile’s life is shaken by her father’s death, but there is no time to mourn as she must urgently organize the funeral. 

Trying to make it perfect, Dovile takes care of every detail and finds herself in increasingly curious situations. Her childhood memories are chasing her up as she tries to keep the image of him as a decent person.

Written and directed by Lithuanian director Dovile Sarutyte in her first feature film, nominated for the Golden Tulip award at the Istanbul International Film Festival.

Preview: A Story of Bones # + ScreenTalk
UK 2022, Dirs Joseph Curran + Dominic Aubrey de Vere, 95 min
Fri 30 Sep, 6.15pm, Cinema 2

This riveting documentary, supported by BFI Doc Society, follows Annina Van Neel and African American preservationist Peggy King Jorde as they fight for the proper memorialisation of an estimated 9,000 formerly enslaved Africans.

Family Film Club 
Every Saturday 11am (from 10 Sep)

Family Film Club returns after the summer break in September and features a line-up of modern classics and international gems. Highlights include new titles families may have missed on the big screen including Lightyear (USA 2022, Dir Angus MacLane). The regular Show and Tell introduction will be a Pixar themed talk and flash film quiz; and there will also be a free pre-film-workshop at 10 am on Sat 24 Sep. 

Event Cinema: 

NT Live: Much Ado About Nothing (12A)
Thu 8 Sep, 7pm, Cinema 2

The legendary family-run Hotel Messina on the Italian Riveria has been visited by artists, celebrities and royalty. But when the owner’s daughter weds a dashing young soldier, not all guests are in the mood for love.

A string of scandalous deceptions soon surround not only the young couple, but also the adamantly single Beatrice and Benedick.

Following the award-winning success of National Theatre Live’s Romeo & Juliet and Twelfth Night, director Simon Godwin returns with this irresistible comedy, broadcast live from the National Theatre stage.

Glyndebourne: La bohème
Sun 11 Sep, 2pm, Cinema 3

Fresh from Festival 2022, Glyndebourne’s new five-star production is ‘a masterpiece in monochrome’ (The Arts Desk). With a ‘megawatt Mimì’, director Floris Visser delivers a ‘fresh take' on one of the greatest operas of all time (The Times).

When seamstress Mimì meets the struggling writer Rodolfo they are instantly drawn together. But Paris is a city of hardship as well as love, as the two young Bohemians and their friends soon discover.

RSC Live: Richard III #
Wed 28 Sep, 7pm, Cinema 2

Young Richard of Gloucester uses the chaos of the Wars of the Roses to begin his unscrupulous climb to power in this classic Shakespearean history of a king in the throes of jealousy and murder

Despite being manifestly unfit to govern, he overcomes each obstacle in his way to seize the crown, as King Richard III. But as those around him turn against him, and as his plans begin to unravel, where else can he turn as the Lancastrian opposition returns to drag the country into battle once more and put an end to Richard’s tyrannical rule. Richard III is a savagely comic analysis of the exercise of power, reminding us of the dangers of tyranny and the duty not to let it go unchecked.


Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest 
21-24 Sep, Cinema 2

The Film Festival returns with the best and boldest new queer cinema from around the world. This year’s programme  includes Neptune Frost (USA & Rwanda 2021), the directorial debut from poet-musician Saul Williams and actor-playwright Anisia Uzeyman, an exhilarating anti-capitalist sci-fi musical entirely shot in Rwanda.

The full programme will be announced shortly.