Programme Notes

BFI Southbank

Electricity

+ intro and discussion. Like an ‘Electrical storm that starts in my skull’… Those are the words Lily (Deyn), a young woman with epilepsy, uses to describe the sensations experienced from sporadi...

Commemorating Marikana

Join us for a day of films and talks as we reflect on the tragic 2012 massacre of mineworkers in Marikana, South Africa. Co-chairs from Marikana Solidarity are: Amanda Latimer (Kingston University)...

Kurt Vonnegut
Unstuck in Time

When he was younger, enthralled by his novel Slaughterhouse-Five, Robert Weide wrote a letter to Kurt Vonnegut, proposing to make a documentary on the author. Surprisingly, Vonnegut agreed, and the...

The Big City

Based on a short story by Narendranath Mitra, The Big City tells a relatable story about fear and courage, with a loveable protagonist offering a female point-of-view on issues such as money, labou...

Elvis

There must be lights burning brighter somewhere Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue If I can dream of a better land Where all my brothers walk hand in hand Tell me why, oh why, oh why ...

The Stranger

After the heart attack that interrupted filming on The Home and the World, Satyajit Ray completed only three more films before his death. His Ibsen adaptation, An Enemy of the People, was disappoin...

The Mirror Has Two Faces

+ intro by BFI Events Programmer Kimberley Sheehan Rose (Streisand), an unlucky-in-love college professor, is at the end of her tether with dating. Thanks to her sister’s meddling she’s thrown tog...

The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-up Zombies!!?

+ live experimental music introduction by The Howling. Set around a series of murders connected to a creepy sideshow fortune teller, The Incredibly Strange Creatures is an unusual, unpredictable r...

Eve's Bayou

Kasi Lemmons began her career as an actor, appearing in films such as School Daze (1988), The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Candyman (1992), before moving into directing with the short Dr. Hugo (...

The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha

Ray on ‘The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha’ In your fairytale The Adventures of Goopy and Bagha , did American musicals provide you with any models? No, I don’t think so. Goopy Gyne was completely...

The Maids

Jean Genet’s The Maids is an outstanding example of the French avant-garde wave of playwriting that flowered after World War II and produced such other major dramatists as Ionesco and Beckett. The ...

Satyajit Ray
His Home and the World

Join us for an afternoon of talks and discussions offering different approaches to appreciating Satyajit Ray, and looking at his influences and legacy. Expert speakers will trace key themes in his ...

Mandabi

Money – its prospect or absence – is the root of all misfortune in Sembene’s debut feature, a darkly satirical fable in which a man, complacently lording it over his two wives, is sent a money orde...

Alice in the Cities

SPOILER WARNING The following notes give away the film’s ending. Wim Wenders’ first road movie contrives a situation whereby an emotionally detached photojournalist ends up chaperoning a precociou...

Stevie

‘Stevie Smith is the lady in the corner of Twentieth Century verse in English, the one with the ghastly floral hat and knitting. Only when you look closer do you notice that those flowers are real ...

The Piano

SPOILER WARNING The following notes give away some of the plot. Long before The Power of the Dog, Campion explored the relationship between sexuality and power with this Palme d’Or-winning tale of...

In the Black Fantastic introduction + Touki Bouki

In the Black Fantastic: a conversation with Ekow Eshun In the Black Fantastic is curator Ekow Eshun’s two-pronged exploration of Black speculative arts and fiction, with an exhibition at Hayward Ga...

Scarlet Empress

+ intro by Geoff Andrew, Programmer-at-Large (Wednesday 13 July only). Arguably the finest of the Dietrich-Sternberg collaborations, this offers a magnificently ornate, gleefully excessive account...

Company Limited

Satyajit Ray on ‘Company Limited’ Did you consciously set out with the idea that Days and Nights in the Forest , The Adversary and Company Limited would form a new trilogy? I didn’t think of it d...

The Romantic Englishwoman

Joseph Losey on ‘The Romantic Englishwoman’ You made some changes from Thomas Wiseman’s novel. What interested me most about it were the various points of view – the fantasy of the husband about ...