Programme Notes

BFI Southbank

The Horse Boy

Before the film we will screen a short pre-recorded discussion between Rupert Isaacson (Producer/narrator) and Benjamin Brown, series curator. Reaching the end of their tether, Texas couple Rupert...

A Prairie Home Companion

‘Somewhere there’s another land, different from this world below… We shall never find that lovely land of might have been…’ So goes one of the Ivor Novello songs that make up the soundtrack, and th...

Pinocchio

What’s it about? When a wooden puppet is brought to life he must find his way in a world of strange creatures, with dangers at every turn. Acclaimed director Matteo Garrone turns his hand to the ...

Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue

Jia Zhangke on ‘Swimming Out Till the Sea Turns Blue’ When you made Dong and Useless more than ten years ago, you spoke about making a trilogy of films about China’s artists. Is Swimming Out the t...

Lilting

Lilting – the debut feature by Cambodian-born, UK-based Hong Khaou – is a tender, low-key examination of grief, fractured communication and the inherent emotional danger of building one’s whole lif...

Diary for My Loves
(Napló szerelmeimnek)

Juli (Zsuzsa Czinkóczi) is determined to be a film director and wants to engage with the new society. This second, inspirational entry in Márta Mészáros’ triumphant Diary trilogy tells of her life ...

Diary for My Father and Mother
(Napló apámnak, anyámnak)

‘Why do we have to lie?’ Juli asks friends in Moscow. Initially prevented from returning to Budapest during the 1956 uprising, she urgently wants to connect with those she loves. Márta Mészáros’ c...

Diary for My Children
(Napló gyermekeimnek)

+ pre-recorded extended intro by Márta Mészáros (Saturday 24 July only) Rejected by Communist censors for many years, this first part of the Diary trilogy shows Márta Mészáros expertly weaving bet...

My Blueberry Nights

Wong Kar Wai on ‘My Blueberry Nights’ What was the primary impulse behind the film? I was in New York, doing some research for Lady from Shanghai, a project I have with Nicole Kidman, and I someh...

Mandabi (The Money Order)

Hearing of the difficulties faced by the BFI and the Cineteca di Bologna as they attempted to digitise the work of the great filmmaker Ousmane Sembène, Martin Scorsese was prompted to action. ‘It w...

Girlfriends

One of the key unsung films of ‘second wave’ 70s feminism, Claudia Weill’s spare, funny and vividly authentic study of Manhattan best friends severed by a sudden marriage, was a breath of indie fre...

The Hand

Like In the Mood for Love, The Hand is set in the hazy Hong Kong of the 1960s, but its characters couldn’t be more different from the earlier film’s restrained, haunted lovers. Originally conceived...

Born in Flames

We are delighted to present a pre-recorded post-screening discussion with film programmer and academic Karen Alexander as well as film writer and curator So Mayer, hosted by film critic and program...

The Grandmaster
(Yi dai zong shi)

Wong Kar Wai on ‘The Grandmaster’ There have been numerous films made about Ip Man, by Wilson Yip, Herman Yau and others. Did you feel they had failed to capture some aspect that your own approach...

The Heiresses (Örökség)

SPOILER WARNING The following notes give away some of the plot. Based on a true story, The Heiresses is the first time Mészáros used a period setting. Isabelle Huppert plays Irén, a quiet Jewish s...

What Will People Say

In Norway 16-year-old Nisha is kidnapped and taken to Pakistan by her parents after they catch her in bed with a boy. Based on the director’s own experience, this film (Norway’s entry to the 2019 A...

The Girl

Once a major European cinema name, but comparatively neglected since the early 1990s, Márta Mészáros has long been overdue a revival. If the upcoming 90th birthday retrospective at BFI Southbank in...

Deerskin (Le Daim)

Deerskin is the story of a man morbidly – and murderously – fixated on a second-hand tasselled jacket. So what is Quentin Dupieux’s film really about? Delusional narcissism? Obsessional fetishism? ...

2046

Five years in production, at least intermittently, 2046 presents itself as Wong Kar Wai’s magnum opus. It’s set in the Hong Kong of the late 1960s, but includes flashbacks to the protagonist’s earl...

The Two of Them
(Ők ketten)

SPOILER WARNING The following notes give away some of the plot. Both compromised by inadequate marriages, two women become entangled in a friendship that transcends age and social class. Monori an...