Saved events

Press room

Outdoor Cinema 2024

Barbican Outdoor Cinema

Film nights under the city lights

Wed 21 Aug – Sun 1 Sep 

Barbican Sculpture Court

The Outdoor Cinema 2024 is supported by Associate Partner Mastercard and Destination Partner Culture Mile BID. 

Barbican’s Outdoor Cinema series returns this summer with a sparkling programme of films to watch under the city’s stars, set in the cinematic surroundings of the iconic Barbican Sculpture Court, complete with a selection of street food vendors and bars. 

As ever Barbican cinema curators have created an outdoor programme like no other, inspired by the sweeping vision of some of cinema’s most original storytellers, among them Wes Anderson, Sofia Coppola, Vincente Minnelli, Kamal Amrohi, Michel Gondry, Dee Rees, Hayao Miyazaki, and Ingmar Bergman, alongside the work of two of music’s most inventive artists, Prince and Björk.

The films in Barbican’s Outdoor Cinema series sing with colour and movement, demanding to be seen on the big screen. On 21 August the programme opens with the 10-year anniversary screening of the darkly hilarious and much-loved The Grand Budapest Hotel featuring a familiar Anderson ensemble cast, including Ralph Fiennes on spectacular form. Twelve days later the projector will close to the end credits of Vincente Minelli’s Technicolor drenched, jazz infused, Hollywood musical An American in Paris starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron.

 In between, the line-up promises treats for all film fans, including: the 20th-anniversary screening of Michel Gondry’s inventive breakout film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, starring Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey; Sofia Coppola’s luscious tale of excess Marie Antoinettestarring Kirsten Dunst; and Kamal Amrohi’s classic of Indian cinema, the epic musical Pakeezah, starring Meena Kumari. Also screening are: Dee Rees’ semi-autobiographical film debut Pariah, a landmark film which beautifully portrays a Black queer experience; and Ingmar Bergman’s masterful Scandinavian road-movie Wild Strawberries, full of unforgettable moments.

Two stunning concert films that need to be experienced on the big screen are also in the programme: the stunning visuals and sublime performance of Björk: Biophilia Live, filmed at Alexandra Palace in 2013, is a thrilling document of a landmark show; and a rare screening of one of the best concert movies ever made, Sign O’ the Times, the electrifying film of Prince’s 1987 tour. 

Marking the 70th anniversary of everyone’s favourite Japanese monster, is the wildly inventive Godzilla Vs. Hedorah; and for gentler souls, audiences young and old can come together for Studio Ghibli’s latest, Hayao Miyazaki’s fantastical The Boy and the Heron, opening a portal to a fluid, magical world in stark contrast to the unyielding concrete of the Barbican architecture. 

Gali Gold, Head of Barbican Cinema says: “The Barbican Outdoor Cinema programme, taking place in the spectacular setting of the Sculpture Court, is when we get to literally bring into the open the eclectic, stimulating and joyful experience of our year-round international film programme.

“The breadth of the line-up, from Prince and Bjork concert films, through to the popular Indian cinema gem Pakeezah, back to Bergman’s Wild Strawberries and onto Dee Rees poignant cinematic take on Black Queer experience, make us spoilt for choice and excited with anticipation.

“I can’t wait for this summer highlight at the heart of London where we celebrate life and films with fellow viewers through this unique experience of cinema under the stars”.




The Grand Budapest Hotel (15)

USA 2013, dir Wes Anderson, 95 min, captioned.

Wed 21 Aug, 8.30pm

Barbican Sculpture Court

This darkly hilarious farce, expertly crafted with the distinct visual aesthetic we’ve come to know and love from Wes Anderson, will look spectacular against the backdrop of the iconic Barbican architecture.

The ensemble cast is as starry as you’d expect, but Ralph Fiennes is an utter delight as the concierge M. Gustave who watches over the Grand Budapest hotel with total dedication and immense care. After longstanding hotel guest Madame D (Tilda Swinton) returns to her home, she suffers a mysterious and terrible fate. As a result, M. Gustave and his new lobby boy (Tony Revolori) become embroiled in a plot which could prove fatal to them both. 


Björk: Biophilia Live (U)

UK 2014, dir Nick Fenton, Peter Strickland, 96 min

Thu 22 Aug, 8.30pm

Barbican Sculpture Court

Recorded live at Alexandra Palace in 2013, this is a concert film like no other, as Björk performs songs from her eighth album alongside stunning visuals of natural phenomena.

A thrilling document of a landmark show, Björk: Biophilia Live is co-directed by Nick Fenton and Peter Strickland (Berberian Sound Studio, The Duke of Burgundy), who do full justice to the extraordinary nature footage that accompanies the music, from thunder and lightning and fiery volcanoes to astral bodies and alien-like jellyfish.

Björk’s performance is typically sublime, performing tracks from her Biophilia album with Icelandic women’s choir Nobili and some of her best songs from her back catalogue, including “Possibly Maybe”, “Hidden Place” and the ferocious “Declare Independence”. The orchestra use a range of instruments, some traditional, some digital, some indescribable.


Marie Antoinette (12A)

USA/France/Japan 2006, dir Sofia Coppola, 118 min

Fri 23 Aug, 8.30pm
Barbican Sculpture Court

A dreamy historical drama from Sofia Coppola, starring Kirsten Dunst as a queen who spends her days shopping and her nights partying, all against a backdrop of the stunning palace of Versailles.

Marie Antoinette (Dunst) moves to France to marry eccentric Prince Louis XVI (Jason Schwartzman) and soon becomes Queen. She’s afforded every comfort and luxury one could imagine, but restlessness quickly begins to creep in. The antidote? Heavy doses of lavish food and alcohol, shopping trips for extravagant jewels and gowns and of course, decadent nightly parties. 

The outdoor cinema experience doesn’t get much better than this. Coppola’s dreamily shot tale of excess is a visual marvel. Luscious landscapes, candy-coloured costumes and of course, the breathtaking grounds at Versailles. With a vibrant modern soundtrack, including New Order’s “Ceremony” and Siouxsie and the Banshees’ “Hong Kong Garden”, Coppola breathes new life into the period drama. 


The Boy and the Heron (12A) 

Japan 2023, dir Hayao Miyazaki,124 min, in Japanese with English subtitles

Sat 24 Aug, 8.30pm
Barbican Sculpture Court

This beautiful tale from the animation masters at Studio Ghibli follows a boy who journeys to a dreamlike world, in a film as magical as you would expect from writer/director Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away). 

Filmmaking legend Miyazaki (My Neighbour Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle) received yet another Academy Award for this recent work, in which a young boy moves to the countryside and is lead into a magical world by a talking crane. 

Touching on themes in his earlier films; unimaginably fantastical worlds, visits from strangers, and children attempting to process grief, The Boy and The Heron will be adored equally by die-hard Miyazaki fans and those exploring Studio Ghibli's work for the first time. 

Stunning vistas, quirky characters and extraordinary beings are all animated to perfection and paired with a beautiful score from Ghibli regular Joe Hisaishi. 


Godzilla Vs. Hedorah (PG)

Japan 1971, dir Yoshimitsu Banno, 85 min

Sun 25 Aug, 8.30pm
Barbican Sculpture Court

Also known as Godzilla Vs. The Smog Monster, this bonkers cult film shows the Japanese monster movie genre at its most inventive, blending kaiju carnage, psychedelics and an eco-friendly message.

The eleventh Godzilla movie is one of the most exhilarating and imaginative in the whole franchise. Here, everyone’s favourite monster battles Hedorah, an alien life form that arrives on Earth and steadily grows by feeding on industrial waste. The film was intended to address the crisis levels of pollution in postwar Japan but despite its serious message, the film is never preachy, instead delivering an hour and a half of monster mayhem, ecological horror and psychedelia.

Critic Roger Ebert cited Godzilla Vs. Hedorah as his favourite Godzilla film. The Japanese Godzilla films seldom get to be seen in UK cinemas, so don’t miss this chance to see Toho’s most iconic kaiju stomping through urban Japan in the Sculpture Court in the heart of the City of London.


Sign O’ the Times (15)
USA 1987, dir Prince, 85 min
Mon 26 Aug, 8.30pm
Barbican Sculpture Court

Prince and his band bring his Grammy-nominated album Sign O’ the Times to life, capturing Prince at the peak of his musical powers. In front of a crowd at the Rotterdam Music Hall, Prince’s breathtaking performance is complemented by the talents of drummer Sheila E., saxophonist Eric Leeds and trumpeter Atlanta Bliss.

Over 35 years later, it’s still a dazzling experience, featuring immaculate performances of songs from arguably his greatest album, including "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man", “If I Was Your Girlfriend” and, of course, the haunting title number. A rare screening of this exhilarating film and party with Prince once again. You know it’s gonna be a beautiful night…


Wild Strawberries (PG)

Sweden 1957, dir Ingmar Bergman, 91 min

Tue 27 Aug, 8.30pm
Barbican Sculpture Court,

Ingmar Bergman’s masterpiece stars Victor Sjöström as a grumpy professor who embarks on a nostalgic road trip through Swedish countryside with his daughter-in-law.

Released the same year as The Seventh Seal (1957), Wild Strawberries is one of Ingmar Bergman’s warmest films, featuring a superb performance Victor Sjöström as an academic who travels with his daughter-in-law (Ingrid Thulin) from Stockholm to Lund to accept an award. The journey triggers memories – some joyous, some poignant – in the old man, who attempts to make peace with the past.

Wild Strawberries is a film of unforgettable moments – the haunting dream sequences, the encounter with the enchanting young student (Bibi Andersson) who reminds him of his youth, the final, emotional shot. It remains a beautiful portrait of introspection and redemption, with excellent performances throughout.


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (15)
USA 2004, dir Michel Gondry, 108 min

Wed 28 Aug, 8.30pm
Barbican Sculpture Court

This inventive, brilliantly observed and painfully bittersweet romance from writer Charlie Kaufman explores an age-old question through the limitless possibilities of science fiction.

Joel (Jim Carrey) and Clementine (Kate Winslet) were a couple, until Clementine erased Joel from her memory, causing a heartbroken Joel to have the same procedure, involving his memories of Clementine being deleted one by one, starting with the most recent. As the audience enter Joel’s brain and experience their relationship, we’re prompted to ask the eternal question; is it better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all? 

Carrey and Winslet are on superb form, with stellar support from Elijah Wood, Tom Wilkinson, Kirsten Dunst and Mark Ruffalo. Full of beautiful and imaginative visuals, the film is a surreal and uncanny way to explore the joy and the pain of what it means to be human. Best experienced with 650 of your closest friends, on the iconic Barbican Sculpture Court.


Pariah (15)
USA 2011, dir Dee Rees, 86 min

Thu 29 Aug, 8.30pm
Barbican Sculpture Court

Dee Rees’ beautiful debut film stars Adepero Oduye as a teenage lesbian living in Brooklyn, who falls hard for a girl in her church group and struggles with her relationship with her family.

One of modern cinema’s great debuts, Pariah is a heartfelt portrait of Black lesbian life, whose importance and legacy has increased in the years since its release. Adepero Oduye gives an excellent performance as Alike, the young poet who finds much-needed support from her best friend Laura (Pernell Walker), a butch lesbian who is far more confident. Alike struggles in her relationship with her unhappy mother (Kim Wayans, excellent), but escape is offered through a close relationship with another girl and a potential college opportunity.

Boasting beautiful cinematography and an excellent screenplay, Pariah is a landmark queer film that marked the arrival of an exciting new director. Rees went on to make the Oscar-nominated Mudbound (2017), becoming the first African American woman to be nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar.


Pakeezah (PG)

India 1972, dir Kamal Amrohi, 147 min

Fri 30 Aug, 8.15pm
Barbican Sculpture Court

Poet and writer Kamal Amrohi’s beautiful epic is quite simply one of the most extraordinary musical melodramas ever made and a classic of Indian cinema.

Meena Kumari gives a bravura performance as Sahibjaan, the daughter of a famed courtesan who falls in love with a man she cannot marry. The tale of the star-crossed lovers is at the centre of this tale of forbidden passion, with stunning locations and exquisite set design.

Many of the musical sequences have become classics, especially Kumari’s performance of “Chalte Chalte”, while an attack on a riverboat by rampaging elephants heightens the drama further. The film at times feels like a beautiful, surreal dream – seen on the big screen, it is an extraordinary viewing experience.

With thanks to Tajdar Amrohi and Nasreen Munni Kabir


An American in Paris (U)
USA 1951, dir Vincente Minnelli, 113 min

Sun 1 Sep, 8.30pm
Barbican Sculpture Court

This 1950s Hollywood musical from Vincente Minnelli (Meet Me in St Louis) stars Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, and features Gershwin classics like “‘S Wonderful”, “I Got Rhythm”, and “Love is Here to Stay.”

Jerry (Kelly) came to Paris to become a successful artist. Little did he know he would meet and fall in love with Lise (Caron), who already had a suitor in the form of French singer Henri (Georges Guétary). The course of true love never did run smooth, not even on the streets of Paris. 

Choreographed by Kelly, full of lively musical numbers, endlessly inventive set design and positively dripping in Technicolor, this spectacular production won 6 Academy Awards, including Best Picture. In 1951, the New York Times gushed, ‘Count a bewitching French lassie by the name of Leslie Caron and a whoop-de-do ballet number, one of the finest ever put upon the screen, as the most commendable enchantments… it is the wondrously youthful Miss Caron and that grandly pictorial ballet that place the marks of distinction upon this lush Technicolored escapade’. 


Mastercard ticket package

From 10am Monday 20 May until 10am on Thursday 23 May 2024 Mastercard cardholders have access to a presale window to purchase priceless Mastercard ticket packages via The ticket package includes premium seating, a complimentary popcorn, drink, and £18 food voucher to enjoy.  Limited packages available. Terms and conditions apply.