The March programme at BFI Southbank includes the culmination of its Barbara Stanwyck season and a major retrospective of one of the most original filmmaking duos of the 20th century, Jean-Marie Straub and Daniele Huillet.
In March, BFI Southbank visitors will get the chance to enjoy the culmination of its Barbara Stanwyck season. Looking ahead, a major new season devoted to Stanley Kubrick will run between April and May.
ONSTAGE AT BFI SOUTHBANK:
WRITER AND BROADCASTER MARK KERMODE, ACTORS KATHERINE KELLY AND TOM GOODMAN-HILL, WRITER GABY HULL AND DIRECTOR LOUISE HOOPER (CHEAT), BROADCASTER EDITH BOWMAN, DIRECTOR TRACY HEATHER STRAIN (LORRAINE HANSBERRY: SIGHTED EYES/FEELING), COMEDIAN DEBORAH FRANCES-WHITE (THE GUILTY FEMINIST), ACTOR ANNEKE WILLS (DOCTOR WHO – THE MACRA TERROR), ALL 4’S WALTER PRESENTS‘ WALTER IUZZOLINO, ACTOR CHERIE LUNGHI
Film previews and premieres: SAUVAGE (Camille Vidal-Naquet, 2018), HAPPY AS LAZZARO (Alice Rohrwacher, 2018), LORRAINE HANSBERRY: SIGHTED EYES/FEELING HEART (Tracy Heather Strain, 2017), GIRL (Lukas Dhont, 2018), THE WHITE CROW (Ralph Fiennes, 2018) SCREWDRIVER MAFAK (Bassam Jarbawi, 2018), FACING THE DRAGON (Sedika Mojadidi, 2018), ROLL RED ROLL (Nancy Schwartzman, 2018), THE SWEET REQUIEM KYOYANG NGARMO (Ritu Sarin, Tenzing Sonam, 2018), LORDS OF CHAOS (Jonas Åkerlund, 2018)
TV previews: CHEAT (ITV-Two Brothers Pictures, 2018)
DVD previews: DOCTOR WHO – THE MACRA TERROR (1967, Courtesy of BBC Studios)
New and Re-Releases: RAY & LIZ (Richard Billingham, 2018), ALIEN (Ridley Scott, 1979), SHAKESPEARE WALLAH (James Ivory, 1965), HEAT AND DUST (James Ivory, 1983)
Friday 25 January 2018, London.
Ahead of the return of BFI FLARE: LONDON LGBTQ+ FILM FESTIVAL from 21-31 March, the first three weeks of the month at BFI Southbank will see the culmination of STARRING BARBARA STANWYCK, a major season dedicated to one of Hollywood’s most popular and successful actors. Running from 1 February the season will include a BFI re-release of one of Stanwyck’s best-loved films The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941). During March the season will highlight the breadth and depth of Stanwyck’s characters, whether in classics or in less familiar, rarely screened titles such as The Mad Miss Manton (Leigh Jason, 1938), The Miracle Woman (Frank Capra, 1931) and Sorry, Wrong Number (Anatole Litvak, 1948). As part of the Goethe-Institut London’s complete retrospective of Straub-Huillet presented across various London venues (Mar – Jun 2019), BFI Southbank will host THE FILMS OF JEAN-MARIE STRAUB AND DANIÈLE HUILLET, a major season dedicated to one of the most original filmmaking duos of the 20th century, whose films collectively form a celebration and interrogation of Europe’s cultural and political heritage.
As the debate continues on Britain’s relationship with Europe, EUROPEAN CONNECTIONS will be a season looking back at the great European classics on British TV and how our TV represents Europe today; guests will include All4’s Walter Presents supremo Walter Iuzzolino and actor Cherie Lunghi, who will join a panel will exploring European TV drama. With the 91st Academy Awards just around the corner, our BIG SCREEN CLASSICS series in February and March will take the opportunity to celebrate, with the benefit of hindsight, the films that have stood the test of time but were overlooked for an Oscar. The series – AND THE ACADEMY AWARD DIDN’T GO TO… – will include films such as To Kill a Mockingbird (Robert Mulligan, 1962), Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992) and Singin’ in the Rain (Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen, 1952). Extended runs during March will include Richard Billingham’s Ray & Liz (2018), winner of the IWC Schaffhausen Filmmaker Bursary Award at the BFI London Film Festival, a 40th anniversary 4K re-release of Ridley Scott’s masterly Alien (1979) and a pair of Merchant Ivory classics Heat and Dust (James Ivory, 1983)and Shakespeare Wallah (James Ivory, 1965).
There will be film previews of BFI LFF 2018 titles including the winner of the First Feature Competition Girl (Lukas Dhont, 2018), Jonas Åkerlund’s bracingly unconventional biopic Lords of Chaos (2018), Ralph Fiennes’ intoxicating portrait of Rudolf Nureyev The White Crow (2018) and the Best Film nominated Happy as Lazzaro (Alice Rohrwacher, 2018) which will recieve a special International Women’s Day screening on Friday 8 March. Also screening for International Women’s Day will be new documentary Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart (Tracy Heather Strain, 2017) about Lorraine Hansberry, whose play Raisin in the Sun was the first by a black woman to be produced on Broadway. A passionate artist, she was also a committed activist who waged an outspoken and defiant battle against injustice in 20th-century America. The screening will be followed by a Skype Q&A with the director Tracy Heather Strain.
Also screening will be a TV preview of brand-new psychological thriller Cheat (ITV-Two Brothers Pictures, 2018), from the producers of Fleabag and The Missing; the preview will be followed by a Q&A with actors Katherine Kelly and Tom Goodman-Hill, writer Gaby Hull and director Louise Hooper. Ahead of a new DVD release there will be a preview of Doctor Who – The Macra Terror (Animated) (1967, Courtesy of BBC Studios), followed by a Q&A with actor Anneke Wills. This story from the Patrick Trouhgton era, although long-thought lost, has been recreated using a complete audio recording and a new animation for audiences to enjoy over 50 years since it was first broadcast. To mark the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web the BFI and BBC have partnered to search for emerging filmmakers and artists, to produce short films that showcase the creativity and diversity of the next generation of film talent in the UK today. These shorts will explore what it means to be Born Digital, and will recieve a UK premiere on Tuesday 12 March, on the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web. There will also be a complementary Born Digital season in April at BFI Southbank, with further details being announced soon.
The Human Rights Watch Film Festival (HRWFF) returns to London at venues including BFI Southbank from March 14-22. There will be four UK premieres at BFI Southbank beginning with Screwdriver Mafak (Bassam Jarbawi, 2018), the debut feature film from award-winning Palestinian director Bassam Jarbawi, and Facing the Dragon (Sedika Mojadidi, 2018) which sees Afghan-American filmmaker Sedika Mojadidi follow two awe-inspiring women on the front lines as the United States withdraws from Afghanistan and the Taliban regains their hold. Also screening will be Roll Red Roll (Nancy Schwartzman, 2018) a true-crime thriller which cuts to the heart of debates around engrained rape culture and The Sweet Requiem Kyoyang Ngarmo (Ritu Sarin, Tenzing Sonam, 2018) about Dolkar, who lives in a Tibetan refugee colony in Delhi, where an unexpected encounter with a man from her past awakens long-suppressed memories, propelling her on an obsessive search for the truth. Completing the events line up in will be regular live events with broadcasters Mark Kermode (Mark Kermode Live in 3D at the BFI), Edith Bowman (Soundtracking with Edith Bowman) and Deborah Frances-White (The Guilty Feminist Live).
STARRING BARBARA STANWYCK
Running from Friday 1 February – Wednesday 20 March, STARRING BARBARA STANWYCK will be a season dedicated to one of the most successful and memorable Hollywood actors of all time, whose career spanned more than four decades. The season will include an extended run of Preston Sturges’ The Lady Eve (1941), which will be re-released in selected cinemas by the BFI on Friday 15 February, while during March, the season will highlight the breadth and depth of Stanwyck’s characters, whether in classics or in less familiar, rarely screened titles.
Stanwyck adapted to any genre, be it comedy, melodrama or thriller, with natural wit and raw emotion, but it was the western that became increasingly important as her career progressed. She made 12 in all, and in the three screening in March she plays resourceful, confident women holding their own in a male-dominated world. Her first western Annie Oakley (George Stevens, 1935) was based on the life of ‘Little Miss Sureshot,’ one of the most famous sharpshooters in American history; Stanwyck oozes confidence in her portrayal of the determined and spirited protagonist. Cecil B. DeMille brought a characteristically epic sense of scale to the western with Union Pacific (1939), about the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad. Mixed in with the historical elements is a love triangle between a troubleshooter, a gambler, and a train engineer’s daughter played by Stanwyck. The director was mesmerised by her performance, and she became one of his favourite stars. In Forty Guns (Samuel Fuller, 1957), a late-career highlight for Stanwyck, she portrays a wealthy landowner exerting influence over an Arizonian township by commanding a staff of 40 men. Beautifully shot and packed with psychosexual subtext and directed with bravura, Samuel Fuller’s western influenced a generation of filmmakers, including Godard and Leone.
In the delightful screwball-mystery-romance The Mad Miss Manton (Leigh Jason, 1938), a scatty but canny heiress (Stanwyck), whose claims to have discovered a murder are dismissed by the police, enlists a working-class journalist to help prove her case. Ball of Fire (Howard Hawks, 1941), follows a nightclub dancer who needs to lie low, and a house shared by eight professors provides the ideal hideout. Inspired by the story of Snow White and boasting razor-sharp dialogue and perfect Hawksian comic timing, Ball of Fire is another classic screwball comedy. Written by a master of screwball – Preston Sturges – Remember the Night (Mitchell Leisen, 1940) sees a New York attorney (Fred MacMurray) take pity on a shoplifter he’s prosecuting. He gets her out on bail and invites her to his family home for Christmas – which somewhat complicates their relationship. There is genuine chemistry between Stanwyck and MacMurray in their first film together, an amusing and affecting blend of courtroom drama, road movie and romance. The pair reunited for another tale of adulterous temptation There’s Always Tomorrow (Douglas Sirk, 1955); he’s a toy manufacturer feeling neglected by his family, and she is the ex-employee whose return to Pasadena reignites illicit passions.
A pair of Frank Capra films will screen in March – in The Miracle Woman (1931) Stanwyck plays a minister’s daughter who, following the death of her father, teams up with a conman to stage evangelical shows in which she performs ‘miracles’. Meanwhile Meet John Doe (1941) sees her play a journalist who invents a story about a tramp planning to commit suicide in protest of the state of the world. The resulting interest forces her paper to get someone to fit the role and the man they find (Gary Cooper) instantly becomes a celebrity – and a political pawn. Completing the season will be screenings of Sorry, Wrong Number (Anatole Litvak, 1948), a noir thriller adapted by Lucille Fletcher from her acclaimed radio play, focusing on a wealthy, rather complacent, bedridden woman who overhears a conversation involving a planned murder.
THE FILMS OF JEAN-MARIE STRAUB AND DANIÈLE HUILLET
- MON 4 MAR, 18:15 – TALK: The Intensive Materialism of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub / Onstage: artist and theorist Kodwo Eshun
- SAT 16 MAR, 15:50 – DISCUSSION: History lessons: Brecht, Straub-Huillet and the British context / Onstage: academics Martin Brady, Ian Christie, Nicolas Helm-Grovas and Laura Mulvey, hosted by Erica Carter
From 2 – 20 March BFI Southbank will host a season dedicated to the work of filmmaking duo Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet. The films Straub-Huillet made together, until Huillet’s death in 2006, collectively form a celebration and interrogation of Europe’s cultural and political heritage. Almost every one of their films would build from direct quotations of an original text, making them adapters by trade – and, paradoxically, among the most original filmmakers of the latter half of the 20th century.
Highlights of the season, part of a complete retrospective of Straub-Huillet organised by the Goethe-Institut London presented across various London venues (Mar – Jun 2019), will include landmark film Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach (1967), The Bridegroom, the Comedienne and the Pimp (1968), which features members of the Munich Action-Theater including Hanna Schygulla and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and a pair of films which engage with the work of iconoclastic composer Arnold Schoenberg. Their work will be explored and contextualised in discussions and events, including an introductory lecture from artist and theorist Kodwo Eshun and a roundtable discussion – History lessons: Brecht, Straub-Huillet and the British Context – exploring how Bertolt Brecht’s work influenced both Straub-Huillet’s films and British cinema, plus the impact of Straub-Huillet‘s work on British film culture in the 1970s, and their legacy today. A number of screenings during the season will also be introduced by leading academics including Laura Mulvey and Martin Brady.
Further titles in the season will include Machorka-Muff (1962), in which a former colonel of the Third Reich gloats of his easy lot in the new Federal Republic of Germany and Not Reconciled… (1965), which shuttles between the authoritarian rule of the Kaiser and the 1950s boom years, discovering both the early underpinnings of Nazism and the aftermath of National Socialism in contemporary culture. Straub-Huillet engage with the radical mind of the Italian anti-fascist author Cesare Pavese in From the Cloud to the Resistance (1978), here drawing from his Dialogues with Leucò, grounded in Greek mythology, and his final novel, The Moon and the Bonfires, which focused on the murder of Italian partisans during World War Two. Class Relations (1983) is a beautiful black-and-white film, based on Franz Kafka’s incomplete novel Amerika, while Every Revolution is a Throw of the Dice (1977) was filmed in Père Lachaise cemetery Paris, where free verse remembers those gunned down in the Paris Commune in 1871. The rigorous, disciplined cinema of Straub-Huillet is defined by a simple beauty and fierce political passion.
Part of a complete retrospective (Mar – Jun 2019) of Straub-Huillet, including many restorations, organised by Goethe-Institut London with BELVA Film, ICA, Italian Cultural Institute, Institut Français, Birkbeck, University of London, Close-Up, Whitechapel Gallery, King’s College London, and German Screen Studies Network goethe.de/uk
EUROPEAN CONNECTIONS: CLASSIC PLAYS FROM EUROPE BROUGHT TO LIFE ON BRITISH TV
- TUE 5 MAR, 18:15 – DISCUSSION: European Connections Today / Onstage: discussion with All4’s Walter Presents Walter Iuzzolino, actor Cherie Lunghi and producer John Wyver
As the debate continues on Britain’s relationship with Europe, BFI Southbank look back at the great European classics on British TV and how our TV represents Europe today. From the 1950s to the 1990s, British TV, and in particular the BBC, acted as a window to European culture by producing not only great classic adaptations of the European novel, but also single TV plays by major authors such as Sartre, Pirandello, Lorca and Schnitzler. Acutely aware of the Reithian principle to educate as well as entertain, these plays – viewed by millions – were often people’s first introduction to the works of important European writers. EUROPEAN CONNECTIONS, running from 1 – 19 March, will present a selection of the finest of these European plays, as well as a panel discussion that delves into representation of Europe on British TV. The panel – European Connections Today – will welcome guests including All4’s Walter Presents supremo Walter Iuzzolino, actor Cherie Lunghi and producer John Wyver, who will explore European TV drama from influential series like Heimat and Das Boot to modern favourites like Deutschland ’83.
Arthur Schnitzler’s controversial 1897 play of sexual manners La Ronde (BBC, 1982) did not receive its first production until 1920. With a clever structure that unites all the classes through sex and comments on the nature of society’s pretensions, the BBC production which will screen during the season features music by Carl Davis (sung by Kiri Te Kanawa), a superb cast and exquisite designs. As with his better-known Six Characters in Search of an Author, in Henry IV (BBC, 1959) playwright Luigi Pirandello addresses the blurring of fantasy and reality – and in this case, the very nature of insanity. Federico García Lorca’s powerful play of sexual repression and sibling jealousy The House of Bernarda Alba (BBC, 1976) stars Mary Morris, who captures the full force of Bernarda, a woman determined to control her daughters and uphold the tyrannical traditions by which she and her community have always lived.
Frank Houser’s BBC adaptation of Jean-Paul Sartre’s play Huis Clos – Vicious Circle (1985) attracted a stellar cast. Three totally incompatible people locked in a room torment each other about their pasts, and gradually come to realise that they’re dead and condemned to spend eternity in each other’s company. Sartre’s clever conceit gives perfect dramatic expression to the terrible notion that ‘hell is other people’. Completing the season is Time Remembered (BBC, 1961) in which Edith Evans gives a remarkable performance in Jean Anouilh’s sparkling comedy of manners. When a Count loses the woman he loves, his aunt recreates the special places of their romantic meetings and hires a local shop girl to play the part of his lover. With many overtones of Pygmalion, the girl comes to win the Count’s heart by learning to simply be herself.
EVENTS, PREVIEWS AND REGULAR STRANDS
- FRI 1 MAR, 20:45 – MEMBER EXCLUSIVE: Member Pick: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (John Hughes, 1986)
- TUE 5 MAR, 11:00 – SENIORS’ FREE TALK: Ozu’s Children
- TUE 5 MAR, 14:00 – SENIORS‘ FREE MATINEE: An Autumn Afternoon Sanma no aji (Yasujirô Ozu, 1962)
- WED 6 MAR, 18:15 – TV PREVIEW + Q&A: Cheat (ITV-Two Brothers Pictures, 2018) / Onstage: actors Katherine Kelly and Tom Goodman-Hill, writer Gaby Hull and director Louise Hooper
- THU 7 MAR, 18:15 – PROJECTING THE ARCHIVE: The Lost People (aka Cockpit) (Bernard Knowles, Muriel Box, 1949) / Onstage: intro by BFI Curator Josephine Botting
- THU 7 MAR, 20:20 – MEMBER EXCLUSIVE: Member Salon: Alien
- THU 7 MAR, 20:50 – FILM PREVIEW: Sauvage (Camille Vidal-Naquet, 2018)
- FRI 8 MAR, 20:15 – INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY PREVIEW: Happy as Lazzaro Lazzaro felice (Alice Rohrwacher, 2018)
- SAT 9 MAR, 14:00 – INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY UK PREMIERE: Lorraine Hansberry: Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart (Tracy Heather Strain, 2017) / Onstage: intro by Dr. Althea Legal-Miller, FHEA, Canterbury Christ Church University + Skype Q&A with director Tracy Heather Strain
- SUN 10 MAR, 13:20 – SILENT CINEMA: Outside the Law (Tod Browning, 1920) / Onstage: intro by BFI Curator Bryony Dixon
- MON 11 MAR, 18:30 – SPECIAL EVENT: Mark Kermode Live in 3D at the BFI / Onstage:
- MON 11 MAR, 20:30 – FILM PREIVEW: Girl (Lukas Dhont, 2018)
- TUE 12 MAR, 15:30 – UK PREMIERE + Q&A: Born Digital / Onstage: BBC Four’s Cassian Harrison and BFI’s Rhidian Davis
- WED 13 MAR, 18:30 – EXPERIMENTA: Experimenta Mixtape #3
- WED 13 MAR, 20:15 – FILM PREVIEW: The White Crow (Ralph Fiennes, 2018)
- FRI 15 MAR, 18:20 – SPECIAL EVENT: Soundtracking with Edith Bowman
- FRI 15 MAR, 20:30 – HRWFF 2019: UK Premiere: Screwdriver Mafak (Bassam Jarbawi, 2018)
- SAT 16 MAR, 12:00 – DVD PREVIEW + Q&A: Doctor Who – The Macra Terror (Animated) (1967, Courtesy of BBC Studios) Onstage: actor Anneke Wills
- SAT 16 MAR, 18:10 – HRWFF 2019: UK Premiere: Facing the Dragon (Sedika Mojadidi, 2018)
- SAT 16 MAR, 20:30 – HRWFF 2019: UK Premiere: Roll Red Roll (Nancy Schwartzman, 2018)
- SUN 17 MAR, 12:30 – FAMILY FUNDAY: Mary Poppins Returns (Rob Marshall, 2018) – preceded by a free children’s animation workshop for ticketholders at 11:00
- SUN 17 MAR, 17:50 – HRWFF 2019: UK Premiere: The Sweet Requiem Kyoyang Ngarmo (Ritu Sarin, Tenzing Sonam, 2018)
- MON 18 MAR, 18:20 – SPECIAL EVENT: The Guilty Feminist Live! / Onstage: comedian Deborah Frances-White, plus special guests to be announced
- TUE 19 MAR, 20:30 – FILM PREVIEW: Lords of Chaos (Jonas Åkerlund, 2018)
- EVERY SAT FROM 2 MAR TO 6 APR – FAMILIES: Saturday Film Clubs – our weekly film clubs cover everything from animation and adverts to sci-fi and special effects for young people aged 8-15
NEW AND RE-RELEASES
- FROM FRI 1 MAR: Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979) – 40th anniversary 4K re-release. Screening in selected double bills with Aliens (James Cameron, 1986)
- FROM FRI 8 MAR: Ray & Liz (Richard Billingham, 2018)
- FROM FRI 8 MAR: Shakespeare Wallah (James Ivory, 1965)
- FROM SAT 9 MAR: Heat and Dust (James Ivory, 1983)
BIG SCREEN CLASSICS: THE TIMELESS FILMS WE URGE YOU TO SEE
With the 91st Academy Awards happening on 24 February, our daily classic programme takes the opportunity to affectionately turn back the clock and – with the benefit of hindsight – pinpoint the films that were overlooked. So let us roll out the red carpet again, and revisit some cast-iron classics that didn’t take home the coveted golden statue. A film from BIG SCREEN CLASSICS: AND THE ACADEMY AWARD DIDN’T GO TO… will screen every day for the special price of £8:
- The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)
- To Kill a Mockingbird (Robert Mulligan, 1962)
- City Lights (Charles Chaplin, 1931)
- The Color Purple (Steven Spielberg, 1985)
- Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992)
- Singin’ in the Rain (Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen, 1952)
- Le Crime de Monsieur Lange (Jean Renoir, 1936)
- High Noon (Fred Zinnemann, 1952)