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UK Premiere: Free Time (U*) + intro by Will Jennings

Return to the City

three boys play with sticks in the middle of the city

1950s footage of New York comes alive in this beautifully restored city symphony from celebrated filmmaker Manfred Kirchheimer.

In his latest work, Manfred Kirchheimer has meticulously restored and constructed 16mm black- and-white footage that he and Walter Hess shot in New York between 1958 and 1960. Free Time captures the in-between moments—kids playing stickball, window washers, Manhattanites reading newspapers on their stoops—and the architectural beauty of urban spaces, set to the stirring sounds of Ravel, Bach and Count Basie.

The footage was shot in several distinct New York neighbourhoods, including Washington Heights, the Upper West Side, and Hell’s Kitchen, and features evocative stops throughout the city, making time for an auto junkyard in Inwood and a cemetery in Queens.

This screening is introduced by Will Jennings, a visual artist and writer interested in architecture, politics, history and how built form interacts with wider culture and society.

Tagged with: Cinema Return to the City

US 1960/2020 Dir Manfred Kirchheimer 61 min Digital presentation

From 17 May (and unless guidance changes) six people or two households of any size can visit together as a group. Until guidance changes, we’ve created socially-distanced seating clusters. Please only sit directly beside someone from your household or support bubble, and avoid moving seats when you arrive, so we can keep a safe distance between you and other groups.

Barbican Cinema has been supported by the Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas in England which is administered by the BFI, as part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund supporting arts and cultural organisations in England affected by the impact of Covid-19. #HereForCulture.

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