La Cage aux Folles (15) + introduction by Brian Robinson

Comedy Couples

La Cage aux Folles

Michel Serrault and Ugo Tognazzi embrace high camp in this delightful, bawdy farce, later remade as The Birdcage.

In this uproarious comedy, which won the Golden Globe for best foreign language film, a gay couple – a nightclub owner and a drag queen – attempt to hide their relationship when they find themselves hosting their conservative future in-laws.

For many years the most successful foreign-language film at the US box office, La Cage aux Folles spawned two sequels, a Broadway musical and a hugely successful American remake (1996’s The Birdcage, starring Nathan Lane and Robin Williams).

Its most enduring legacy, though, is its moving depiction of a loving and supportive gay relationship, more than three decades before France legalised same-sex marriage. Ugo Tognazzi is the perfect straight man (no pun intended) to Michel Serrault’s flamboyance, and the pair remain one of modern cinema’s great comedy double acts.

France 1978 Dir Édouard Molinaro 91 min

Curated by the Barbican as part of Comedy Genius, a nationwide celebration of comedy on screen, led by BFI, the Independent Cinema Office and BFI Film Audience network, supported by funds from the National Lottery. For more screenings go to bficomedy.co.uk #bficomedy

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About the speaker

This screening will be introduced by Brian Robinson. Brian is currently a programmer for BFI Flare: London LGBTQ+ Film Festival and has contributed to publications such as Sight & Sound, The Guardian, Attitude and Little Joe. He was recently a juror for the Queer Lion award at the Venice Film Festival. 

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