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Outdoor Cinema

Outdoor Cinema 2021 - lead image

Barbican Outdoor Cinema Screening, photography credit Anton Rodriguez

Tue 24 Aug – Sun 29 Aug 2021
Barbican Sculpture Court

www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/series/outdoor-cinema

Barbican Cinema is delighted to present a late summer programme of evening Outdoor Cinema screenings, bringing together all the Barbican art forms – cinema, music, theatre, dance and visual art – in the dramatic setting of the Barbican Sculpture Court.

The programme will open on 24 August with Pina (Germany 2011), Wim Wenders’ extraordinary tribute to the late choreographer Pina Bausch, whose unique creations transformed the language of modern dance.

Breath-taking cinematography captures some of Bausch’s most celebrated performances in this Oscar-nominated documentary. It follows the legendary ensemble out of the theatre and into the streets of Wuppertal, Germany, which was the home and centre for Bausch’s creativity for 35 years.

The season continues with a double bill of films from Floating Points – the pioneering electronic music composer – including the European premiere of Promises: Through Congress (USA 2021, Dir Trevor Tweeten) a collaboration between Julie Mehretu, electronic music composer Floating Points, and filmmaker Trevor Tweeten. The film features Mehretu’s expansive painting Congress (2003) and Promises, the acclaimed album from Floating Points and jazz titan Pharoah Sanders, featuring the Barbican’s Resident Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra.

Screening in the same programme is Reflections – Mojave Desert, a short film directed by Anna Diaz Ortuño (USA 2017, Dir Anna Diaz Ortuño), including a sound-track by Floating Points; ambient sounds creep into the recording, with bird calls and the sound of wind captured by microphones placed in the desert.

Inclusive Tomorrows (Dirs various) is a curated evening of artist films and sound works considering the complex relationship between ecology, futurism and ecofeminism. Incorporating mythology, poetry and performance, each film seeks to imagine alternative ways of thinking about landscape drawing from indigenous reference points and non-human perspectives, to visualise new models of sustainability, solidarity and community.

Highlights include the Mexican Colectivo Los Ingravidos’ politically charged short Itzcóatl (2016), which uses the iconography of the snake to reflect on the history of Aztec’s first Emperor; and Himali Singh Soin’s sound piece Subcontinentment (2020), which explores the artist’s interest in ecological loss and the radical nature of love.

Outdoor Cinema continues over the weekend with Sally Potter’s enchanting love story Orlando (UK/Russia/Italy/France/Netherlands 1992). Starring Tilda Swinton, this is the life journey of an aristocrat whose fortunes - and sex - change over the course of four centuries.

This visionary masterpiece is as fresh and prescient as ever. The visuals are stunning, and both the striking sets and Sandy Powell’s exquisite costumes were Oscar-nominated. Witty, constantly surprising and very moving, it’s a remarkable achievement that, ultimately, celebrates love in all its forms.

In Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (USA 1958), James Stewart and Kim Novak star in this classic film about what happens when love turns into haunting obsession. From Bernard Herrmann’s dramatic score to Robert Burks’ glorious cinematography, Vertigo is a delicious feast for the senses; the perfect film to see against a backdrop of the City night sky and the towering heights of the Barbican buildings.

The season concludes on Sun 29 Aug with Summertime (UK 1955), an overlooked masterpiece from celebrated British director David Lean. Shot in stunning Technicolour and starring the legendary Katharine Hepburn, in one of her finest performances, the film follows a fleeting romance between American tourist Jane Hudson (Hepburn) and Venetian florist Renato de Rossi (played by a seductive Rossano Brazzi). 

Gali Gold, Head of Barbican Cinema comments:

It is an exciting moment when we can bring together the Barbican’s celebrated art forms, and this time rather than under one roof we are under one sky, in the special setting of the Sculpture Court. This unique encounter with film is an opportunity for audiences to enjoy a stunning line-up celebrating love, beauty and our planet through music, dance, visual arts and the language of cinema.

Screenings

Pina (U)
Germany 2011, Dir Wim Winders, 103 min
Tue 24 Aug, 8.30 pm, Barbican Sculpture Court

Wenders’ visually stunning documentary is an extraordinary tribute to the late choreographer Pina Bausch, whose unique creations transformed the language of modern dance.

Breath-taking cinematography captures some of Bausch’s most celebrated performances in this Oscar-nominated documentary from acclaimed German director Wim Wenders (Paris, Texas and The Buena Vista Social Club). This follows the legendary ensemble out of the theatre and into the streets of Wuppertal, Germany, which was the home and centre for Bausch’s creativity for 35 years.

Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch have been a much-admired highlight in the Barbican’s Theatre and Dance programme over the years.

Floating Points: Reflections - Mojave Desert
+ Promises Through Congress (12a)

Reflections - Mojave Desert - USA 2017, Dir Anna Diaz Ortuño, 27 min
Promises Through Congress - USA 2021, Dir Trevor Tweeten, 46 min
Wed 25 Aug, 8.30 pm, Barbican Sculpture Court

Promises: Through Congress is a collaboration between visual artist Julie Mehretu, electronic music composer Floating Points, and filmmaker Trevor Tweeten. The 46-minute film features Mehretu’s expansive painting Congress (2003), filmed at contemporary art museum The Broad in Los Angeles, and Promises, the acclaimed album from Floating Points and jazz titan Pharoah Sanders featuring the Barbican’s Resident Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra.

Reflections – Mojave Desert, a 27-minute film directed by Anna Diaz Ortuño and soundtracked by Floating Points, was filmed in the Mojave Desert in 2016 while prepping for their US tour. Ambient sounds creep into the recording, with bird calls and the sound of wind captured by microphones placed in the desert.

Promises: Through Congress will also be available to stream online for 48 hours – between 25 & 27 Aug – on Barbican Cinema on Demand

Inclusive Tomorrows (12a*)
Dirs Various
Thu 26 Aug, 8.30 pm, Barbican Sculpture Court

A curated evening of artist films and sound works considering the complex relationship between ecology, futurism and ecofeminism.

Incorporating mythology, poetry and performance, each film seeks to imagine alternative ways of thinking about landscape drawing from indigenous reference points and non-human perspectives, to visualise new models of sustainability, solidarity and community.

The Mexican Colectivo Los Ingravidos politically charged short Itzcóatl, uses the iconography of the snake to reflect on the history of Aztec’s first Emperor; and Himali Singh Soin’s sound piece Subcontinentment (2020), continues the artist’s interest in ecological loss and the radical nature of love.

Projected within the Barbican’s sculpture court increases the immersive nature of these works, illuminating each artist’s depictions of natural spaces, against the backdrop of the night sky.

Orlando (PG)
UK/Russia/Italy/France/Netherlands 1992, Dir Sally Potter, 89 min
Fri 27 Aug, 8.30 pm, Barbican Sculpture Court

Sally Potter’s beautiful love story stars Tilda Swinton as an aristocrat whose fortunes – and sex – change over the course of four centuries.

Tilda Swinton plays Orlando, who we first encounter in the company of Elizabeth I, played by Quentin Crisp in one of the film’s many delightful, mischievous touches. Elizabeth I bequeaths the young man a fortune, with a key condition: “Do not fade. Do not wither. Do not grow old.” Across four centuries, we witness key moments in Orlando’s epic quest for love, including the beautiful scene where the young aristocrat awakens to discover that they have transformed into a woman.

Sally Potter’s visionary masterpiece, a dazzling interpretation of Virginia Woolf’s novel, is as fresh and prescient as ever. The visuals are stunning, and both the ravishing sets and Sandy Powell’s exquisite costumes were Oscar-nominated. Witty, constantly surprising and very moving, it’s an astonishing achievement that, ultimately, celebrates love in all its forms.

Vertigo (PG)
USA 1958, Dir Alfred Hitchcock, 122 min
Sat 28 Aug, 8.30 pm, Barbican Sculpture Court

James Stewart and Kim Novak star in Hitchcock’s stone-cold classic about what happens when love turns into haunting obsession.

John 'Scottie' Ferguson (Stewart) is a retired police detective with vertigo; a result of a tragic rooftop chase in which another office fell to his death. After retirement, he’s hired as a private investigator by an old acquaintance from college, who believes his wife Madeleine (Novak) may be a danger to herself and asks Scottie to follow her. After spending time together, Scottie soon falls for Madeline, but this is not your average love story. What follows is a twisting, turning mystery based on a love which has transformed into deep, dark obsession.

From Bernard Herrmann’s dramatic score to Robert Burks’ glorious cinematography, Vertigo is as iconic as they come; with unforgettable melodies and images that will haunt viewers long after the credits have rolled.

The film is an utterly delicious feast for the senses; the perfect title to see against a backdrop of the City night sky and the towering heights of our Barbican buildings.

Summertime
UK 1955, Dir David Lean, 99 min
Sun 29 Aug 2021, 8.30 pm, Barbican Sculpture Court

Summertime is an overlooked masterpiece from celebrated director David Lean. Shot in glorious Technicolour and starring the legendary Hollywood actress Katharine Hepburn in one of her finest performances, the film centres around a fleeting romance between American tourist Jane Hudson (Hepburn) and Venetian florist Renato de Rossi (played a seductive Rossano Brazzi).

Far from depicting another short-lived tryst, as he did in his most iconic film, Brief Encounter, here Lean, focuses on the character of Jane as she wanders the streets of Venice alone, using the holiday as an opportunity to compensate for a lifetime of indecision and missed opportunities as an unmarried, middle aged woman in 1950s America. The film’s depiction of the romanticism of Hepburn’s character is at times both tragic and poignant, as it marries her idealism and at times naivety, with a world weariness indicated by subtle knowing looks and throwaway gestures.

Box office: 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: barbican.org.uk/donate
 

ENDS