March 2014 at BFI Southbank

March 2014 at BFI Southbank

Seasons celebrating Al Pacino and Derek Jarman conclude, Focus on filmmaker Clio Barnard & TV documentary-maker Mira Hamermesh, TV Preview: The Worricker Trilogy & International Women’s Day

The 28th London Lesbian & Gay Film Festival returns to BFI Southbank from 20 – 30 March 2014 to present the best in queer cinema from around the world.

Part Two of Queer Pagan Punk Jarman and the New Queer Cinema will focus on Jarman’s innovative ways of representing gay culture and the Aids crisis. This season marks the 20th anniversary of Jarman’s death and is the largest retrospective of his films ever mounted in the UK.

This definitive career retrospective of Al Pacino will conclude with an Extended Run of The Godfather Part II (1974) – screening in a 4K Digital restoration until 6 March – alongside screenings of his later films including Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Carlito’s Way (1993) and Heat (1995).

25 Frames Talk: Clio Barnard in Conversation will focus on one of the most significant new filmmakers in British cinema, as part of Film and Video Umbrella’s anniversary programme ‘25 Frames’. The BIFA winner and BAFTA nominated director of The Selfish Giant (2013) and The Arbor (2010) will also discuss her short films Dark Glass and Road Race (screening) during this event on Thursday 6 March.

TV Preview: The Worricker Trilogy presents two new films from writer and director David Hare: Turks & Caicos and Salting the Battlefield – completing his trilogy about Johnny Worricker, MI5’s most admired intelligence analyst, on Saturday 1 March.

Exclusive previews from BFI London Film Festival 2013 will screen this month with Under the Skin (2013) on Thu 13 March – starring Scarlett Johansson, and nominated for four BIFAs and the Golden Lion at Venice 2013 – followed by a Q&A with director Jonathan Glazer, plus Half a Yellow Sun (2013), on Mon 17 March, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) and Thandie Newton.

Extended Runs include a new 4K restoration of Roberto Rossellini’s neo-realist masterpiece Rome, Open City (1945), in cinemas across the UK on 7 March, while Stanley Donen’s Funny Face (1957), starring the luminous Audrey Hepburn, continues at BFI Southbank until 13 March.

TV Focus: Mira Hamermesh is a tribute to one of the most gifted documentary makers of her generation, with a focus on women facing oppression around the world. Her seminal film exploring apartheid, Maids and Madams + Q&A with Sir Jeremy Isaacs, will feature. Held in association with BAFTA.

This year International Women’s Day takes place on 8 March, and to mark it Future Film and Birds Eye View present a series of new shorts from emerging British female film-makers Kick-Ass Women, followed by the official launch of the Birds Eye View 2014 and a screening of Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines (2012) which traces the evolution and legacy of the Wonder Woman figure from 1940s comic books to today.

Discover Arab Cinema continues with the theme Thrillers and screenings of The Land of Fear by Daoud Abdel Sayed (1999) and Last Night by Kamal El Sheikh (1963) starring Faten Hamama, known as ‘The Lady of the Arabic Screen’.

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LEAD SEASONS AND EVENTS:

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AL PACINO:

The second installment of the BFI’s retrospective of one of America’s best loved and most respected stars concludes in March. After his remarkable first decade in film, the 1980s had been a comparatively quiet time for Pacino in terms of movie roles, not least because the response to Revolution led him to focus on theatre for several years. But with his warmly welcomed return to the screen in 1989’s Sea of Love, followed by a scene-stealing cameo in Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy (for which he was nominated for the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor), his movie career was soon back on track. Part two of the season focuses on his high profile roles, most notably an ageing Michael Corleone in the final instalment of the Godfather trilogy in 1990. There was another Academy Award nomination for Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), then, belatedly, a Best Actor win for Scent of a Woman (1992); still more encouraging, arguably, were meaty roles in Michael Mann’s Heat in 1995 (where he finally got to appear on screen with his co-star from The Godfather Part II, Robert De Niro) and The Insider (1999), in Mike Newell’s Donnie Brasco (1997) and Christopher Nolan’s Insomnia (2001). Many of Pacino’s most memorable performances have been in crime movies or dramas with a strong sense of risk, violence and vulnerability. He’s well suited to the nervy mood of noir – David Thomson has written that the actor ‘cannot rid himself of that faint edge of the sinister’ – and he was seductively Satanic in The Devil’s Advocate (1997). Ambiguity and instability are core to his best work: he excels at playing characters who, like Heat’s Vincent Hanna, may shift in a second from relatively ‘normal’ behaviour to a scary, near-manic intensity; or characters like Insomnia’s Will Dormer, fundamentally good yet profoundly flawed. This recognition of the complexity of individuals is echoed in the actor’s abiding love of Shakespeare, given most eloquent expression in Looking for Richard (1996). As the years have passed, the energy in Pacino’s early work has remained gloriously in evidence.

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DEREK JARMAN:

The second part of Queer Pagan Punk Jarman and the New Queer Cinema will focus on Jarman’s engagement with new ways of representing gay culture and the Aids crisis from 1987 onward. Jarman contracted HIV in 1986, and in attempt to dispel anger and fear he publicly discussed what it was like to live and work with this new controversial virus. Speaking with profound power and charisma, he became a noted public figure. Highlights of part two of the season will include screenings of War Requiem (1989), a film version of Benjamin Britten‘s musical treatment of Wilfred Owen‘s war poetry starring Laurence Olivier in his last film role. Edward II (1991), a bold and visually arresting version of Christopher Marlowe‘s Elizabethan drama, merging a pop video aesthetic with bravura story-telling revealing the doomed king as a homosexual martyr, bullied by Isabella (a magnificent portrayal by Tilda Swinton) and murdered by his courtiers.This return to more narrative forms continued in Jarman’s next tour de force, Wittgenstein (1993), a stylishly theatrical and provocative film based on the biography of gay Viennese philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. The Last of England (1986) is a dreamily, downbeat mosaic of super8 footage (Jarman’s own and that of his father, a former airforce pilot who fought in the Second World War) and a meditation on the state of the Thatcherite nation. The Garden (1989) also has an elegiac quality, reflecting Jarman’s sense of his own mortality, and its despair leavened with an irrational hope. The climax of the season will be a one-off screening of Jarman’s Blue in the breath-taking vastness of the BFI IMAX cinema. Blue (1993) is Jarman’s last work, but it is as bold and daring as anything he ever made, a film made with one block of colour (inspired by Klein’s blue paintings) with music and text from some of his most trusted collaborators, as he explores his own experience of living and dying with the Aids virus.

FOCUS ON CLIO BARNARD:

As part of Film and Video Umbrella’s anniversary programme ‘25 Frames’, we are delighted to welcome Clio Barnard to BFI Southbank on 6 March to discuss her award winning work taking in artist’s video, installation and feature films. Screenings in the season will include her audacious debut The Arbor (2010) which explores the world of playwright Andrea Dunbar through interviews with those who knew her, their words lip-synched by actors, and Barnard’s widely acclaimed second feature The Selfish Giant (2013), one of the breakthrough films of last year. Barnard’s earlier short films Dark Glass (2006), shot in a single take on a mobile phone and Road Race (2004), which explores a little known British tradition of horse and cart races on public Highways, will also be shown as part of the season and gives an insight into the progress of a versatile and constantly evolving British talent.

TV FOCUS: MIRA HAMERMESH:

Mira Hamermesh (1923-2012) was one of the most gifted television documentary makers of her generation. Born in Lodz, Poland, she came to Britain in 1947. After studying film at the Polish National Film School she returned to the UK to make documentary films for British television during the 70s and 80s. A passionate feminist, her main subject was women, especially women living under extreme circumstances: the Indian caste system; apartheid South Africa; and the Middle East. Maids and Madams (Channel 4, 1986), screening at BFI Southbank on 6 March, is a richly ironic picture of white housewives and black housemaids in wealthy Johannesburg, and was awarded the Prix Italia. This screening will be followed by a Q&A with Sir Jeremy Issacs, Channel 4’s founding Chief Executive, who will pay tribute to Hamermesh’s work. Two of Hamermesh’s documentaries will be shown as a double bill on 4 March – Talking to the Enemy (Channel 4, 1987) and Loving the Dead (BBC2, 1991). Talking to the Enemy tackles the great issue in the Middle East, Palestine, and follows a chance meeting on neutral ground in Washington D.C. between Muna Hamzeh, a young Palestinian journalist, and Chaim Shur, an older Israeli editor. Widely regarded as her masterpiece, Loving the Dead is a deeply personal film and sees Hamermesh return to her homeland to find her mother’s grave and explore the legacy of the Holocaust in post-war Poland.

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TV PREVIEW: THE WORRICKER TRILOGY:

Following the success of Page Eight (BBC, 2011), BFI Southbank is proud to present two new films, Turks & Caicos (BBC, 2014) and Salting the Battlefield (BBC, 2014) from writer and director David Hare that complete his trilogy about Johnny Worricker, MI5’s most admired intelligence analyst. Turks & Caicos features a stellar cast including Bill Nighy as Worricker, Winona Ryder, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Christopher Walken. Worricker is hiding out from his work at MI5 on the tax-exile islands, but an encounter with a CIA agent forces him into the company of some ambiguous American businessmen. The third part Salting the Battlefield sees Worricker and Margot Tyrrell (Bonham-Carter) on the run together across Europe. Worricker knows his only chance of resolving his problems is to return home and confront his nemesis – the UK Prime Minister Alec Beasley (Fiennes). We hope to welcome David Hare and cast members for a panel discussion on 1 March after the screenings. Please check the BFI website for final confirmations.

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BFI SOUTHBANK EVENT LISTINGS FOR MARCH:

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Half a Yellow Sun + Q&A

Nigeria-UK 2013. Dir Biyi Bandele. With Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Anika Noni Rose 106 min. Digital

Courtesy of Soda Pictures

An epic love story set amidst the Nigerian civil war of the late 1960s. Twins Olanna (Thandie Newton) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose) are wealthy, beautiful, independent young ladies – fresh from gaining their Oxbridge degrees – who embark on markedly different romances with Odenigbo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Richard (Joseph Mawle). As the civil war comes to crisis point, their fractious sibling rivalry must be set aside as in order to survive the violence.

Mon 17 Mar 18:00 NFT1 Tickets £15, concs £11.50 (members pay £1.50 less)

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Under the Skin + Q&A with Jonathan Glazer

UK 2013 Dir Jonathan Glazer. With Scarlett Johansson, Antonia Campbell-Hughes, Paul Brannigan. 107min

Courtesy of STUDIOCANAL

Visually and aurally audacious, and as slippery in form as its central character, Jonathan Glazer’s (Sexy Beast, Birth) elliptical sci-fi is a brilliant amalgam of fantasy and reality. Shot in Scotland, with an outstanding, discordant string and synth score, Glazer has created an entirely distinctive film – both creepy and luminous in its metaphysical precision. Johansson is nothing short of spectacular as the alien creature who stalks down human prey.

Thu 13 Mar 20:20 NFT1 Tickets £15, concs £11.50 (members pay £1.50 less)

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Page Eight

A Heyday Films / Runaway FridgeTV / Carnival Films / Masterpiececo-production in association with NBC Universal for BBC 2011. Dir David Hare. With Bill Nighy, Ralph Fiennes,Michael Gambon, Rachel Weisz 105min

Johnny Worricker (Bill Nighy) is MI5’s most admired intelligence analyst. When his boss Benedict Baron dies suddenly he leaves behind a contentious file which exposes all the contradictions and excesses of the war on terror.

Sat 1 Mar 13:30 NFT1 Joint ticket available with the two previews: £15,concs £11.50 (members pay £1.50 less)

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Turks & Caicos + Panel discussion

A Carnival Films / Heyday Films /Beaglepug / Masterpiece co-production in association with NBC Universal for BBC 2014. Dir David Hare. With Bill Nighy,Helena Bonham Carter, Winona Ryder,Christopher Walken. 95min

Johnny Worricker is hiding out from his work at MI5 on the tax-exile islands Turks & Caicos. But an encounter with a CIA agent forces him into the company of some ambiguous American businessmen who claim to be on the islands for a conference on the global financial crisis.

We hope to welcome David Hare and cast members for a panel discussion. This screening is followed by an interval.

Salting the Battlefield A Carnival Films / Heyday Films /Beaglepug / Masterpiece co-production in association with NBCUniversal for BBC 2014. Dir David Hare. With Bill Nighy,Helena Bonham Carter, Judy Davis,Ralph Fiennes. 92min

Johnny Worricker and Margot Tyrrell (Helena Bonham Carter) are now on the run together across Europe. But Worricker knows his only chance of resolving his problems is to return home and confront his nemesis – the UK Prime Minister Alec Beasley (Ralph Fiennes).

Sat 1 Mar 15:30 NFT1 Joint ticket available with Page Eight

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Maids and Madams + Q&A with Sir Jeremy Isaacs

Dir Mira Hamermesh. 52min Channel 4 1986.

Shot in South Africa, the subtly understated Maids and Madams examines the tragedy of apartheid through the emotional relationship between the black household worker and the white employer. Winner of the Prix Italia, it shows how apartheid begins at home – where white-aproned black maids tend the children of their white madams, while their own children stay neglected, jealous and without prospects in crumbling, remote townships.

Thu 6 Mar 18:10 NFT3

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Talking to the Enemy – Voices of Sorrow and Rage

Channel 4 1987. Dir Mira Hamermesh. 55min Hamermesh was a Zionist who believed in justice and dialogue, and this film demonstrates these beliefs perfectly. It follows a chance meeting on neutral ground in Washington D.C. between Muna Hamzeh, a young Palestinian journalist, and Chaim Shur, an older Israeli editor. When Chaim suggests Muna visit Israel and come to his family’s home at their kibbutz in the Negev, Hamermesh follows. The two talk, and in observing this dialogue Hamermesh’s film truly makes us think.

+ Loving The Dead

BBC2 1991. Dir Mira Hamermesh. 55min

After South Africa and India, Hamermesh returned to her homeland to find her mother’s grave and explore how Poles co-exist with the ghosts of their missing Jewish neighbours. Widely regarded as her masterpiece, this deeply personal film sees Hamermesh traveling all over Poland to find traces of the vanished Jewish presence.

 Tue 4 Mar 18:10 NFT3

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BAFTA Masterclass: Consolata Boyle on Costume Design

Consolata Boyle is an Irish costume designer whose credits include TheQueen, The Iron Lady and Angela’s Ashes. In 2007 she was nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA for her costume design on The Queen. In 2013 Boyle teamed up with Stephen Frears once again, on the critically acclaimed Philomena. Boyle’s ability to evoke drama, authenticity and performance through her costumes is evident from her impressive list of credits, and we’re pleased to welcome her to the BFI to share her wealth of experience.

Thu 13 Mar 18:10 NFT3

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Future Film and Birds Eye View Present: Kick-Ass Women

Join us for a double celebration of International Women’s Day. First off, we’ll be showcasing the work of some of the most talented emerging British female filmmakers in documentary, animation and fiction filmmaking. Our shorts programme will then be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers, and a chance to find out about the challenges and opportunities they face in the rapidly changing British film industry.

Sat 8 Mar 16:00 NFT2 Tickets £6 (only for 15-25 yr olds) Tickets also entitle the holder to attend the launch of the Birds Eye View Film Festival with a screening of ‘WonderWomen! The Untold Story of American Superheroines’.

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Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines

USA 2012. Dir Kristy Guevara-Flanagan. With Lynda Carter, Jane Espenson, Kathleen Hanna. 79min

Directed by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and produced by Kelcey Edwards, Wonder Women! offers an informative and entertaining counterpoint to the male-dominated superhero genre, and is the perfect film to celebrate both International Women’s Day, and the official launch of the 2014 Birds Eye View Film Festival. Wonder Women! traces the fascinating birth, evolution and legacy of the Wonder Woman figure, from the 1940s comic book heroine to the blockbusters of today, and introduces us to a dynamic group of fictional and real life superheroines who are fighting for positive role models for girls – both on screen and off. This screening will be preceded by the Birds Eye View Film Festival launch, which includes a sneak peek at one of the short films in the festival selection.

Sat 8 Mar 18:30 NFT1

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25 Frames Talk: Clio Barnard in Conversation

With a particular focus on Dark Glass (UK 2006. 8min. Digital. Commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella. Supported by Arts Council England), Clio Barnard will discuss her work with Jonathan Romney.

Akin to The Arbor in its exploration of the relationship between sound, image and memory, Dark Glass was shot in a single take on a mobile phone, and re-enacts a hypnosis session in which Barnard retrieved her childhood memories. Plus Road Race (UK 2004. 13min). Originally a two-screen digital/16mm installation, Road Race explores a little known British tradition of horse and cart races on public highways.

Thu 6 Mar 18:30 NFT1

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The Arbor

UK 2010. Dir Clio Barnard. With Christine Bottomley, Manjinder Virk, Monica Dolan, Natalie Gavin 90min Digital 15

On Bradford’s Buttershaw estate, where she lived, the late Andrea Dunbar found the inspiration for a series of plays that, in the 70s and 80s, represented a powerful, and highly personal, development in British stage realism. Barnard’s audacious film explores Dunbar’s world through interviews with those who knew her, their words lip- synched by actors. The result is an intensely revealing depiction of an exemplary real-life family tragedy – and the portrait of a community and its struggles.

Sun 2 Mar 18:00 NFT2, Tue 11 Mar 20:40 NFT2

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The Selfish Giant

UK 2013. Dir Clio Barnard. With Conner Chapman, Shaun Thomas, Sean Gilder 90min. Digital. 15

Arbor and Swifty – played by remarkable newcomers Chapman and Thomas – are two Bradford boys who look for an escape from the poverty trap by illicitly trading scrap metal, in a pact with exploitative local dealer Kitten. Barnard mixes realism with surprising visual lyricism in a tough but moving drama that derives some of its eerie undertow from its unlikely subtext – the eponymous fairy tale by Oscar Wilde.

Mon 3 Mar 20:40 NFT2, Wed 12 Mar 18:40 NFT2

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King’s Key Scholars in Film Studies: Stella Bruzzi

In the latest in this lecture series, presented with King’s College London, we welcome Stella Bruzzi, Professor of Film and Television Studies at the University of Warwick. A scholar of incredible range, her research explores areas of gender, fashion and documentary. This lecture will draw on her influential work in the latter area (her previous publications include ‘New Documentary’ and a BFI Television Classic on Seven Up!), and will coincide with our focus on Clio Barnard and her award-winning documentary The Arbor.

Mon 10 Mar 18:20 NFT3 Tickets £6

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Derek Jarman Gets Medieval

Edward II is Derek Jarman’s most obviously ‘medieval’ film, but his broader interests in the Middle Ages are less well known. In this talk, Robert Mills (author of ‘Suspended Animation: Pain, Pleasure and Punishment in Medieval Culture’) asks why Jarman turned repeatedly to this period as a source of inspiration. Taking in pop promos and paintings, as well as Jarman’s best-known features, Mills argues that the filmmaker was able, through his encounters with medieval art and literature, to dream up desirable alternatives to aspects of modernity.

Mon 17 March 18:30 Tickets £6 BFI Reuben Library

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Discover Arab Cinema – Inspiring contemporary and classic films from the Arab region The Last Man

Le dernier homme France-Lebanon 2006. Dir Ghassan Salhab. With Carlos Chahine, Raia Haidar, Faek Homaissi. 101min. EST

Each morning Beirut awakens to a new murder seemingly committed by a serial killer, with victims found emptied of their blood. At the same time a doctor, Khalil, begins to experience strange symptoms that destabilise him and transform his life. A connection slowly emerges that seems to link Khalil to these victims. Salhab’s body of films have come to narrate the state of Lebanon – and Beirut in particular – during and after the civil war, and this film is no exception.

Mon 3 Mar 18:20 NFT2, Sat 8 Mar 20:40 NFT2

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London River

Algeria 2009. Dir Rachid Bouchareb. With Brenda Blethyn, Sotigui Kouyaté, Francis Magee. 88min. 12A

Two strangers from contrasting backgrounds come to London looking for their missing daughter and son, worried that they have been unable to reach them since the 7 July 2005 bombings in London. They discover that their children had been a couple who were living together at the time of the attacks. The daughter and her boyfriend of African Muslim origin, vacillate equally convincingly between being suspected by their parents and the authorities of being either perpetrators or victims of the London bombings.

Tue 11 Mar 18:20 NFT2, Sun 16 Jan 16:00 NFT2

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