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ScreenTalks & Live Events – April & May 2024

Upcoming at Barbican Cinemas is a vibrant programme of ScreenTalks and live events, featuring among others the Love Lies Bleeding director Rose Glass (Saint Maud) and co-writer Weronika Tofilska for a post-screening discussion about this hotly anticipated romantic thriller.

ScreenTalks during April also include renowned writer/director Alex Garland in conversation with Barbican curator Sonia Zadurian for Civil War; director and visual artist Melanie Manchot, actor Michelle Collins and subject of the film Ste Giddings in conversation with film critic Ben Nicholson about Stephen; The Observer’s chief film critic Wendy Ide introduces the bold French animation Chicken for Linda; and director Rob Falconer presents the unseen cut of The Gay Man’s Guide to Safer Sex.

In May, the Barbican marks the centenary of James Baldwin’s birth with a season of films – The Devil Finds Work, James Baldwin Through Film – including discussions exploring Black representation in modern cinema including multi-award-winning playwright and screenwriter Enda Walsh (Hunger); Associate Professor of African Anthropology at UCL Hélène Neveu Kringelbach (35 Shots of Rum); scholar, poet and critic Dr Janine Bradbury (If Beale Street Could Talk); artist filmmakers Rhea Storr and Ayo Akingbade in conversation with the film critic Ellen E Jones (The Devil Finds Work shorts programme). The Devil Finds Work: James Baldwin Through Film is curated by Dr Clive Chijioke Nwonka.

Also in May, Iranian filmmaker Ehsan Khoshbakht joins for a Q&A about his masterfully crafted documentary Celluloid Underground, with lecturer and film critic Rebecca Harrison. Georgian director Tinatin Kajrishvili and producer Lasha Khalvashi are in conversation following a New East Cinema screening of their black and white drama Citizen Saint.



Family Film Club

Chicken for Linda! + Live intro from Wendy Ide intro[SH1] 

Italy/France 2023, Dir. Sébastien Laudenbach & Chiara Malta, 76min[SH2]

Sat 20 Apr, 11am

Cinema 2
This month, Barbican’s regular Saturday morning for film fans under 18 includes an introduction from film critic Wendy Ide to Chiara Malta & Sébastien Laudenbach’s Chicken for Linda, and a programme of experimental shorts programmed for young people, created in partnership with Open City Documentary Festival, preceded by a free workshop in the Beech Street cinema café.

Civil War (15) + New Release ScreenTalk with director Alex Garland
USA 2024, Dir Alex Garland, 109min[SH3] 
Sun 21 Apr 2024, 5.30pm
Cinema 1
Barbican Cinema welcomes seasoned writer/director Alex Garland for a conversation with Barbican Cinema Curator Sonia Zadurian, to discuss his latest film, an American dystopian thriller set in the near future during a devastating US Civil War.

This box-office success sees Kirsten Dunst as a photojournalist, Cailee Spaeny (Priscilla) and Nick Offerman as US President. With a personal canon including 28 Days Later, Annihilation, The Beach and Ex Machina, Alex Garland's work is known for its sociological depths, slick shots, and humanistic approach to potential dystopian futures. 

Preview: Stephen (15*) + ScreenTalk

UK 2023, Dir Melanie Manchot, 78min

Thu 25 Apr, 6.25pm

Cinema 1
Following an exclusive preview screening of this striking documentary, director Melanie Manchot, actor Michelle Collins and subject of the film Ste Giddings join a conversation with film critic Ben Nicholson.

Visual artist Melanie Manchot works with a recovery group in Liverpool, who take up roles in a semi-fictional film-within-a-film that explores addiction and mental health from multiple perspectives. It is centred around Stephen, a character who has lived experience of addictions in himself and in his family. References to the first police crime reconstruction, filmed in Liverpool in 1901, are a reminder that addiction has long existed within the fabric of our culture.

Gay Men’s Guide to Safer Sex 97 – Director’s Cut (18*) + ScreenTalk with director 

Rob Falconer and special guests, hosted by Selina Robertson

UK 1997 (Director’s Cut, 2024), Dir Rob Falconer, 55 min

Tue 30 Apr, 6.30pm
Cinema 1
Five years after David Lewis’ ground-breaking The Gay Man’s Guide to Safer Sex made in 1992, director Rob Falconer made Gay Men’s Guide to Safer Sex 97 as so much new information had become available since the original guide’s release. This later film includes expert advice from medical consultant Mike Youle, fearlessly honest interviews with gay men talking about their sex lives and groundbreaking sex scenes, some featuring adult performer Aiden Shaw.

From kissing tips to full-on intercourse, this frank and sex-positive guide was a refreshing celebration of gay sex at a time when many LGBTQ+ people were pressured into feeling fear and shame. It is an invaluable snapshot of queer life in the 90s, too, backed by a pulsating techno soundtrack courtesy of electro combo Angel.

Screening with: 
Sleeping Dragon
UK 2024, Dir Rob Falconer, 12 min
World premiere of a new short film by Rob Falconer – a moving tribute to artist, writer and long-term HIV/AIDS survivor George Hodson (1949-2023).

Celluloid Underground (12A) + ScreenTalk with Ehsan Khoshbakht 

UK / Iran 2023, Dir Ehsan Khoshbakht, 80min 

Sat 4 May, 3.45pm 

Cinema 1 
Celluloid Underground is a captivating exploration of film culture's resilience in the face of oppression, masterfully crafted by Ehsan Khoshbakht. Through the lens of two passionate cinephiles, Khoshbakht and his late friend Ahmad Jurghanian, the film honours cinema as a potent form of resistance.

Set against a backdrop of state violence, the documentary intertwines the journeys of Khoshbakht and Ahmad, united in their mission to preserve 35mm film prints in Iran. Their dedication is palpable as they navigate the risks of imprisonment and torture to safeguard banned films hidden beneath Tehran's streets.

As the narrative unfolds, Khoshbakht's lyrical storytelling and evocative imagery immerse viewers in the sensory richness of cinema. Yet, amidst the romance lies a sobering acknowledgment of cinema's complex history, touching upon themes of exploitation and colonialism.

New East Cinema: Citizen Saint (15*) + Screentalk with director Tinatin Kajrishvili and producer Lasha Khalvashi
Georgia 2023, Dir Tinatin Kajrishvili, 100mins

Tue 7 May, 6.15pm
Cinema 2 
In a Georgian mining town, the statue of a crucified saint hovers over the mines, blessing the locals. One day, the saint disappears, and when a mysterious young man comes to town, a series of small miracles create more chaos than good.

Filmed on location and with a mixed cast of miners and actors, Tinatin Kajrishvili's third feature film blends realism and religious allegory to pose questions about ethics' place in faith. Following the locals' destinies, many of which were marked by a pit accident a decade ago, Citizen Saint explores how much of the world humans are willing to sacrifice in the name of personal salvation.

Citizen Saint premiered in Karlovy Vary in 2023 and subsequently became Georgia's submission for the Academy Awards. The film's captivating black and white cinematography, created by Bulgarian Director of Photography Krum Rodrigue, received a Spotlight Award nomination from the American Society of Cinematographers.

Love Lies Bleeding (15) + ScreenTalk with director/co-writer Rose Glass & co-writer Weronika Tofilska

USA/UK 2024, dir Rose Glass

Tue 7 May, 6.30pm

Cinema 1

Set in 1989, Love Lies Bleeding chronicles the relationship between a reclusive gym manager (Kristen Stewart) and an ambitious bodybuilder (Katy O’Brian) hitch-hiking her way to a competition in Las Vegas. In a role that which allows her to flourish in fantastic new ways, Stewart is electrifying in this steamy, punchy, nostalgic thriller. O’Brian is utterly transformed and a powerful onscreen presence throughout.

Followed by a ScreenTalk with director/co-writer Rose Glass (Saint Maud) and co-writer Weronika Tofilska.

The Devil Finds Work: James Baldwin Through Film 

Thu 2 May - Wed 22 May 

Marking the centenary of the birth of James Baldwin – one of the most influential writers and activists of the 20th century – Dr Clive Chijioke Nwonka curates a season exploring Black representation in modern cinema through the ideas in Baldwin’s 1976 seminal book The Devil Finds Work, with a selection of inspiring contemporary films and fascinating conversations with guest speakers.

If Beale Street Could Talk (15*) + recorded intro by Barry Jenkins + ScreenTalk withscholar, poet and critic Dr Janine Bradbury.

US 2018, Dir Barry Jenkins, 117 min 
Thu 2 May, 6pm, Cinema 2 

This screening will be shown with closed captions.

Hunger (15*) + ScreenTalk with playwright/ screenwriter Enda Walsh and scholar, poet and the lecturer Dr Lola Boorman, hosted by Dr Clive Nwonka.

UK/Ireland 2008, Dir Steve McQueen, 96 min 
Wed 8 May, 6.20pm, Cinema 2 

The Devil Finds Work shorts programme (15*) + ScreenTalk with filmmakers Ayo Akingbade and Rhea Storr, hosted by the journalist and broadcaster Ellen E Jones:
A protest, A Celebration, A Mixed Message, UK 2018, Dir Rhea Storr, 11 min
Junkanoo Talk, UK 2017, Dir Rhea Storr, 12 min

+ Fire in my Belly, UK 2021, Dir Ayo Akingbade, 11 min 

Dear BabylonUK 2019, Dir Ayo Akingbade, 21 min 

So They Say, UK 2019, Dir Ayo Akingbade, 11 min 

Sun 12 May, 3.20pm, Cinema 2 

35 Shots of Rum (12A) + ScreenTalk with Dr Hélène Neveu Kringelbach Associate Professor of African Anthropology at University College London, hosted by Dr Clive Nwonka.

France/Germany 2009, Dir Claire Denis, 100 min
Wed 22 May, 6.15pm, Cinema 1

John Deakin: Pariah Genius + The Falconer + Q&A

Experiments in Film

Thu 30 May, 6pm 
Cinema 1
Marking publication of celebrated London chronicler Iain Sinclair's new book Pariah Genius, John Deakin & The Soho Court around Francis Bacon, The Biography of an Afterlife (Cheerio Publishing), this special event presents the world premiere of a new artist's film of the same name (2024, 25 mins) made in response to Deakin's life by remarkable talents - Emma Matthews, Chris Petit, Susan Stenger and Sinclair himself - all in conversation with Gareth Evans after this unique double-bill screening.

Barbican Cinema’s ScreenTalks web page is updated with the latest announced ScreenTalks with important voices in the cinema industry and beyond, as well as recordings of previous ScreenTalks.