Rock ‘n’ Roll Cinema

Since teenagers ripped up the seats to Bill Haley and his Comets at screenings of Rock Around the Clock in 1956, cinema and pop music have been instrumental in disaffected and rebellious youths discovering their tribes. Post-punk, the Scala cinema staged live gigs and turned its music-loving audience on to style-driven arthouse films. This event, part of our Scala season, looks at the vital relationship between sound and vision.

We are delighted to announce that musician and Scala!!! composer Barry Adamson, actor and director Caroline Catz, musician Douglas Hart, music producer and DJ Mark Moore and musician Jah Wobble will join this discussion hosted by writer and journalist Cathi Unsworth.

Barry Adamson rose to prominence as the bass player in post punk legends, Magazine. His establishment as a solo artist came after a three-year stint with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and heralded the release of his seminal first solo album, Moss Side Story. Having released nine studio albums, including the 1992 Mercury Music Prize nominated Soul Murder, Adamson has continued to tour globally with his talents being in as much demand by new generations of artists, as he was after his first solo release.

In 2018 Memento Mori was released, a compilation which celebrated 40 years as an artist, with his debut memoir Up Above the City, Down Beneath the Stars published in 2021, by Omnibus Press. 2024 is setting up to be an exciting year for Adamson with the release of the acclaimed movie length documentary – Scala!!!, a brand new studio album and much anticipated live shows.

Caroline Catz is an actor/director/screenwriter. Her work and artistic collaborations seamlessly navigate the gamut from mainstream television to independent filmmaking. Originally from Manchester, Caroline moved to London in late ’80s to train at RADA. Caroline has worked extensively across television, theatre, film and radio. As a director, her film, Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and the Legendary Tapes, which she also wrote and starred in, had its acclaimed premiere at the BFI London Film Festival ahead of a BBC broadcast. The film has won several prestigious awards including the SXSW-Special Jury Prize: The Adam Yauch Hörnblower award. Catz’s other films include A Message to the World: Whatever Happened to Jesse Hector, a documentary portrait of under-appreciated music legend Jesse Hector of The Hammersmith Gorillas, and Tapestry Goes West, a short documentary about a music festival in a wild west town in Cornwall.

Douglas Hart is founder and former member of the Jesus & Mary Chain, and a filmmaker who has directed 200 music videos over the course of the last 25 years for the likes of My Bloody Valentine, The Horrors, The Libertines, Mystery Jets and more, as well as concert videos for The Stone Roses. He has also made several short films.

Mark Moore is a Music Producer, DJ and Writer who is deeply ingrained in the history of UK Club culture.

Playing a key part in the rise of House Music in the UK, Mark’s idea to form S’Express was a natural progression from DJing on the club scene. Swept along on a wave of excitement for acid and rave culture he hit the number one spot around the world with his band.

Mark has also worked with a plethora of artists including Prince, Seal, Carl Craig, William Orbit, Divine, The B-52s, Philip Glass, Malcolm McClaren (they had a US Billboard number 1 with ‘Deep in Vogue’ which sampled the movie Paris Is Burning), and many more.

Jah Wobble was born John Wardle in 1958 – renamed by Sid Vicious who at the time struggled to pronounce his name correctly – and is an English bassist, singer and composer. He began his astounding 45+ year career in music as a founding member of Public Image Limited in 1978 with Keith Levene and former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon and quickly became known for his distinctive and trailblazing bass, combining elements of dub, funk and world music. During his time with PiL, he played on the band’s acclaimed albums First Issue and Metal Box and collaborated with Keith Levene and Martin Atkins on a variety of side projects.

In 1980 he left PiL to pursue a solo career, releasing his debut album
The Legend Lives On … Jah Wobble in Betrayal, followed over the years by a succession of acclaimed solo albums and collaborations with the likes of Holger Czukay from Can, The Edge from U2, Chris Connelly from Ministry, Geordie Walker from Killing Joke, Brian Eno, Sinead O’Connor and Bjork. His work showcased his unique style and his interest in world music, particularly that of Africa and the Middle East, and his innovative playing ability to blend diverse styles into a cohesive whole continues to receive accolades.

Wobble is also a prolific writer and author, having published books on music, politics and spirituality, and is renowned for his interest in Eastern philosophy having written extensively on the subject. As a musician and artist he remains highly influential and has made a significant impact on the world of music and beyond, making him a truly original and important figure in the history of the arts.

Host: Cathi Unsworth began her career on the music weekly Sounds at the age of 19. She is the author of six pop-cultural noir novels, including Weirdo and Bad Penny Blues; and the co-author of Defying Gravity, the life and times of punk pioneer Jordan Mooney. Her latest book, Season of the Witch: The Book of Goth was a 2023 Times, Waterstones and MOJO book of the year.

Basket Case
Mon 1 Jan 15:20; Thu 25 Jan 20:40
Pink Flamingos
Mon 1 Jan 18:20; Fri 19 Jan 18:20; Fri 26 Jan 20:50 (+ intro by Mark Moore and Tasty Tim)
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Tue 2 Jan 18:20; Thu 18 Jan 21:00 (+ intro by film scholar and writer Virginie Selavy)
Taxi zum Klo
Wed 3 Jan 20:50; Mon 8 Jan 20:40 (+ intro by Vic Roberts, Scala usher)
The Warriors
Sat 6 Jan 18:15; Sun 14 Jan 12:00; Wed 17 Jan 20:55 (+ intro by SCALA!!! co-director Ali Catterall)
Sat 6 Jan 20:00; Sun 14 Jan 14:10
The Evil Dead
Fri 5 Jan 20:45 (+ intro by Graham Humphreys, freelance illustrator and designer of the original UK marketing for The Evil Dead); Tue 30 Jan 18:10
Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom
Salò o le 120 giornate di Sodoma
Tue 9 Jan 20:35 (+ intro by season curator Jason Wood, BFI Executive Director of Public Programmes & Audiences); Tue 23 Jan 18:10
Sight and Sound Presents: Scala Spirit 1993-2023
Thu 11 Jan 18:20
Thu 11 Jan 21:00; Sun 21 Jan 15:20
Pee-wee’s Big Adventure
Fri 12 Jan 18:10 (+ intro by Ben Roberts, BFI CEO); Wed 31 Jan 18:20
Pink Narcissus + Un chant d’amour
Fri 12 Jan 20:40; Thu 25 Jan 18:20
The Saint: Teresa + intro by Dick Fiddy, Archive TV Programmer + The Avengers: A Touch of Brimstone
Sat 13 Jan 14:30
Looking for Mr Goodbar + Dick
Sat 13 Jan 17:45 (+ intro by season curator Jane Giles); Mon 22 Jan 20:10
The Thing
Sat 13 Jan 20:40; Mon 29 Jan 20:45
The Beast La Bête
Tue 16 Jan 20:45; Tue 23 Jan 20:50
Surprise Film + intro by season curator Jane Giles
Sat 20 Jan 17:10
A Clockwork Orange
Sun 21 Jan 18:00; Wed 31 Jan 20:25
Shock, Horror! The Scala All-nighter: An American Werewolf in London; The Creature from the Black Lagoon – 3D; Videodrome; The Incredible Shrinking Man; A Nightmare on Elm Street
Sat 27 Jan 22:30 BFI IMAX

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Programme notes and credits compiled by Sight and Sound and the BFI Documentation Unit
Notes may be edited or abridged
Questions/comments? Contact the Programme Notes team by email