Programme Notes

BFI Southbank

The Hidden Fortress (Relaxed Screening)

+ intro and discussion. See the film that George Lucas drew inspiration from for the original trilogy in the Star Wars saga, in the first of two relaxed screenings in our Kurosawa season. At a t...

Berberian Sound Studio

The screening on Sunday 29 January will be introduced by Mark Jenkin and Peter Strickland. This is a great example of an untrustworthy film – a feeling that you’re in unsafe hands and not everyth...

Requiem for a Village

It may be nearly half a century old, but this melancholic portrait of loss seems more relevant than ever. I was intrigued by this film when I heard about the dead rising from their graves sequence,...

Guillermo del Toro in Conversation - Animation for All

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio had its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival and has gone on to receive huge critical acclaim and awards attention. We are delighted to welcome Guillermo de...

Sanjuro

Akira Kurosawa’s Sanjuro ends with what must surely be the briefest, and most breathtaking, duel in all cinema. Two samurai swordsmen face up to each other, motionless, gazing into each other’s eye...

Nolly

+ Q&A with writer Russell T Davies, cast Helena Bonham Carter, Mark Gatiss and Augustus Prew, exec producer Nicola Shindler and director Peter Hoar. Chaired by Boyd Hilton. Academy Award-nomin...

Andrei Rublev

Among filmmakers, one of the paradigmatic cases of indomitable entrepreneurial spirit was Andrei Tarkovsky. For each of his films he had conflicts with the Soviet State Committee for Cinematography...

The Bad Sleep Well

Introduced by season co-curator Ian Haydn Smith (Sunday 29 January only). SPOILER WARNING The following notes give away the film’s ending. Tangentially a version of Hamlet, Kurosawa’s rebuttal to...

Tár

Lydia Tár (Blanchett) is widely considered one of the greatest living composer-conductors. An EGOT winner who guest teaches at Juilliard; she is also the first female chief conductor of the Berlin ...

Sansho the Bailiff

Never do the years pass so sadly on screen as they do in Kenji Mizoguchi’s Sansho Dayu. In this period tragedy set in 11th-century Japan, the reunion of a kidnapped brother and sister with their he...

The Hidden Fortress

If Kurosawa had proven himself skilled at subverting the conventions of Japanese genre filmmaking, with this hugely entertaining film he not only proved he could embrace a straightforward adventure...

The Spirit of the Beehive

Set in a small village in the aftermath of the Spanish civil war, Erice’s bewitching portrait of innocence, the perils of adulthood and the power of cinema is a truly sensory experience. Illuminate...

High and Low

SPOILER WARNING The following notes give away some of the plot. Among his collaborators and crew, Akira Kurosawa was known as kaze-otoko – ‘wind man’. (The nickname tenno – ‘emperor’ – was wished ...

Kurosawa Season Introduction

Season co-programmers Asif Kapadia and Ian Haydn Smith will be joined by a guest speaker for this introduction event to discuss the key themes structuring the Kurosawa season and the films screenin...

Darren Aronofsky in Conversation

Academy Award®-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky was born and raised in Brooklyn. Aronofsky heads Protozoa Pictures, based in Chinatown NYC. His upcoming film The Whale for A24 stars Brendan Fr...

A Brighter Summer Day

Measured, elliptical and understated, Yang’s riveting account of growing up in Taiwan in the early 1960s focuses on a boy’s on-off involvement in gang rivalry and violence and his experience of you...

Dodes’ka-den

After five years’ absence, Kurosawa returned to the cinema with his first colour feature. It was also his first following the end of his collaboration with Toshiro Mifune and the archetypal superma...

Bait

I always wanted to make a film about the fishing industry. 16mm, black & white, dirty, full of grain, faces, working hands, the rough edges, warts and all, wild, tangible, real. It actually en...

Two Years at Sea

The screening on Saturday 14 January will feature an intro and Q&A with Mark Jenkin and Ben Rivers. It’s the aesthetic, the grain, the flicker, the texture that draws me in. But it’s the comp...

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed is an epic, emotional and interconnected story about internationally renowned artist and activist Nan Goldin told through her slideshows, intimate interviews, groun...