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ScreenTalks & Live Events – Jan & Feb 2024

Barbican Cinema kicks off 2024 with a must-see line-up of ScreenTalks and Live Events including an exclusive ScreenTalk with Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan for Maestro (Weds 24 Jan, 6:30pm, Cinema 1), an absolute cinematic and musical treat, playing out deliciously on the big screen with humour, beauty, and grace.

Bradley Cooper directs, stars in, writes and produces this heart-shaking cinematic meditation on American conductor-composer Leonard Bernstein (West Side Story), one of the most renowned musical artists in history, produced by Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Kristie Macosko Krieger. Detailing the life and trials of one of the most renowned musical artists in history and his complex relationship with stage and screen star Felicia Montealegre Bernstein (played by Carey Mulligan), Maestro offers up an emotionally epic love letter to art and life.

Also in January, Ukrainian director Christina Tynkevych will discuss her award-winning feature debut How is Katia? (Wed 24 Jan, 6:10pm, Cinema 2) via Zoom. Screening as part of New East Cinema, this multilayered psychological drama is an exploration of state corruption’s effects on individuals’ lives.

Following popular demand, there will be a second screening of Häxan (Sat 28 Jan, 3pm and 5.20pm, Cinema 1) which screens as part of Barbican Cinema’s popular and long-standing Silent Film & Live Music strand. Featuring a new score for synthesiser and Mellotron composed and performed live by Nick Carlisle, Benjamin Christensen’s legendary silent film blends historical fact and superstition to explore ideas about witchcraft from the medieval period up to 1922, when the film was made.  

In February, as part of the season Artists In Residence, Morgan Quaintance (filmmaker), Anna Minton (writer and journalist), and Andrew Harris (Associate Professor in Geography and Urban Studies at UCL) join a panel discussion for Work, Play and Protest (Thu 8 Feb, 6:15pm, Cinema 3), following a screening of three films exploring the relationship between artists and the city at different points in time and across a variety of distinct moving image approaches. 

A special event screening of Occupied City + live Q&A ScreenTalk with Steve McQueen and Bianca Stigter (Sun 11 Feb 2024, 2pm, Cinema 1) will be broadcast from the Barbican to cinemas nationwide. This is a mesmerising excavation of how the past haunts the present, mirroring it and warning the viewer in plain sight, as it travels in present day Amsterdam to uncover what occurred there between 1940 and 1945. 

Film programmer and founder of The Film Desk Jake Perlin will be in conversation with Barbican cinema curator Matthew Barrington following St. Clair Bourne’s Cinema of Solidarity (Tue 20 Feb, 6:15pm, Cinema 2), which showcases the transformative documentaries of St. Clair Bourne (1943 - 2007), a Black filmmaker and activist from Brooklyn. This programme of humanistic documentaries presenting multi-faceted portrayals of African Americans from the 1960-1990s is part of Barbican’s Cinema Restored series. 

Emerging Film Curators Film Series (Tue 30 Jan - Sun 24 Mar 2024) 

As part of Barbican Cinema’s Emerging Film Curators Labs, there are three programmes taking place in January and February from up-and-coming curators on a range of global topics: 

Visions from the Wake (Tue 30 Jan, 6:30pm, Cinema 2) opens with an introductory reading from Curator Cici Peng; a 10-minute guided meditation led by musician and artist Rieko Whitfield; and a reading by writer and editor Suyin Haynes, followed by a selection of short films exploring alternative modes of grief and mourning from filmmakers of the diaspora. 

Stims: Towards a Neurodiverse Cinema + Filmmaker ScreenTalk (Sat 10 Feb 2024, 4:15pm, Cinema 3), involves a relaxed screening of eight short films by five neurodiverse directors, spanning animation to documentary, followed by a ScreenTalk with directors Georgia Kumari Bradburn, Sophie Broadgate, Edward Smyth, and Alex Widdowson, hosted by event curator Lillian Crawford, an autistic writer and co-host of the Autism Through Cinema podcast.  

For Unseen Avant-Gardes: Women Experimental Filmmakers in Yugoslavia, 1960-90 + ScreenTalk (Thu 29 Feb, 8:45pm, Cinema 2), curator Teodora Kosanović joins writer Owen Hatherley for a discussion following a selection of rebellious and poetic experimental short films made by women filmmakers during a culturally significant period in former Yugoslavia.