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Barbican Cinema: What London Watches

What London Watches is a brand new short season of films chosen by almost 400 Londoners (ranging in age from six to eighty) – and an advisory panel chaired by Adrian Wootoon, CEO Of Film London, which will be screened from 6th to 13th April 2017 as part of the Film in Focus series scheduled across 2017 at the Barbican.

Opening with one of the greatest musicals of all time, Cabaret, the season also includes early features by Pedro Almodóvar and Jane Campion, a classic Studio Ghibli anime, the film dubbed ‘The Godfather of Bollywood‘, a powerful feminist documentary, a timeless, romantic film noir, a fictional account of the effects of a nuclear attack, a rare on-screen portrayal of life from the perspective of four African-American women in 90s L.A. and Charlie Chaplin’s first talkie.

CABARET (US 1972) LIZA MINNELLI
CABARET (US 1972) LIZA MINNELLI
CABARET (US 1972) LIZA MINNELLI
CABARET (US 1972) LIZA MINNELLI

THE GREAT DICTATOR [US 1940] CHARLIE CHAPLIN
THE GREAT DICTATOR [US 1940]
CHARLIE CHAPLIN
THE GREAT DICTATOR [US 1940] [L-R] JACK OAKIE, CHARLIE CHAPLIN
THE GREAT DICTATOR [US 1940]
JACK OAKIE, CHARLIE CHAPLIN
Beginning the What London Watches season is a true classic of 20th Century cinema: Cabaret. Starring Liza Minnelli and winner of 8 Oscars, Bob Fosse took the genre to new heights by weaving darkly comic Weimar Cabaret numbers around a deadly storyline documenting the rise of Nazism in 1930s Berlin. It will be on screen on 6th April, at 7pm.

A landmark of queer cinema, Pedro Almodovar’s Law of Desire will be on at Cinema 2 on 7th April, at 8.45pm. This film is a tale of a love-triangle-turned-deadly set in the 1980s that launched the little-known Spanish Oscar-winning director Pedro Almodóvar onto the international film scene.

LAW OF DESIRE (SP 1987) LA LEY DEL DESEO ANTONIO BANDERAS
LAW OF DESIRE (SP 1987) LA LEY DEL DESEO. ANTONIO BANDERAS

LA LEY DEL DESEO [SPAIN 1987] LAW OF DESIRE. ANTONIO BANDERAS
LA LEY DEL DESEO [SPAIN 1987]
LAW OF DESIRE. ANTONIO BANDERAS
On Saturday, 8th April, at 2pm Japanese Hayao Miyazaki’s Kiki‘s Delivery Service will be on show. This film is one of Studio Ghibli’s best-loved films, and the first to be distributed by The Walt Disney Company. This heart-warming parable follows the adventures of Kiki, a headstrong young witch who is trying to make her way in the world. Universally lauded upon its release, and with the US-dubbed version featuring the voices of Kirsten Dunst and the late, great Debbie Reynolds, Kiki marked a pivotal point in Western appreciation of Japanese anime cinema.

Kiki's Delivery Service © 1989 Eiko Kadono - Nibariki
Kiki’s Delivery Service © 1989 Eiko Kadono – Nibariki

Dubbed The Godfather of Bollywood films, Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay topped the Indian box office for an incredible 19 years following its original release in 1975. Opening with one of the most memorable action sequences in film history, this breathless action-adventure has left an impact on Indian cinema like no other; it will be shown on Saturday, 8th April, at 7pm.

SHOLAY (IND 1975)
SHOLAY (IND 1975)

The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter, directed by Connie Field, is a timely historical documentary that faces issues still on the social agenda: sexual and racial discrimination. Focussing on the experience of female factory workers during World War II, this documentary is a moving tribute to the power of collective action. It’ll be on screen on Sunday, 9th April, at 4.15pm.

This will be followed by another classic film of all times: Casablanca, at 6pm. This timeless, romantic film noir directed by Michael Curtiz will be on screen at Cinema 2. Casablanca is indeed still one of the world’s favourites, enduring repeated viewing and endless imitation. We’ll always have London to watch Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman’s unforgettable love story again.

CASABLANCA [US 1942] INGRID BERGMAN, HUMPHREY BOGART
CASABLANCA [US 1942]
INGRID BERGMAN, HUMPHREY BOGART
CASABLANCA [US 1942] PAUL HEINREID, INGRID BERGMAN, HUMPHREY BOGART
CASABLANCA [US 1942]
PAUL HEINREID, INGRID BERGMAN, HUMPHREY BOGART
Directed by Mick Jackson, classic BBC drama Threads, will be on screen on Monday, 10th Aprill, at 8.45pm. Nominated for a total of seven BAFTA awards on its release in 1984, it is a devastating fictional account of the effects of a nuclear attack at the outset of World War III.

THREADS [BR 1984] REECE DINSDALE
THREADS [BR 1984]
REECE DINSDALE
THREADS [BR 1984]
THREADS [BR 1984]
An Angel at My Table is an early, engrossing feature from celebrated director Jane Campion that adapts the autobiography of acclaimed New Zealand author Janet Frame. This moving, captivating film will change your outlook on, and awareness of, mental health issues will be on screen on Tuesday, 11th April at 8.15pm.

AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE [AUSTRALIA / BR / NEW ZEALAND 1990 KAREN FERGUSSON
AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE
[AUSTRALIA / BR / NEW ZEALAND 1990
KAREN FERGUSSON
AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE [AUSTRALIA / BR / NEW ZEALAND 1990] KAREN FERGUSSON
AN ANGEL AT MY TABLE
[AUSTRALIA / BR / NEW ZEALAND 1990]
KAREN FERGUSSON
Set It Off, on Wednesday, 12th April, at 8.45pm, is a rare on-screen portrayal of life from the perspective of four African-American women in 1990s L.A. A classic heist caper with a backbone of social commentary, Set It Off proved a critical and commercial success, grossing almost 5 times its original budget at the box office.

Set it off_lead

Closing the What London Watches season at the Barbican, Charlie Chaplin’s greatest commercial hit The Great Dictator will be screened on Thursday, 13th April, at 6.30pm. This classic film was a 1940’s tragi-comic satire, his first ‘talkie’ and the last outing for his famous Little Tramp persona. Brave, funny, noble and whip-smart, Chaplin’s film is perhaps best remembered for its closing speech: one of the most heart-felt odes to humankind committed to celluloid.

Barbican Centre
Silk Street
London
EC2Y 8DS

Seen this week

Categories DesignPosted on

Sculpture in the City, Art for Everyone

SEEN thoroughly enjoyed a preview of the 18 new artworks around the financial district’s square mile. Set up by The City of London in 2010, this excellent initiative expands its footprint every year, improving the area and proving that when people are happy, they work better.

Categories ArtPosted on

Alex Evans at the Foundry Gallery, Chelsea Quarter: LDF17

The astute reader will have noticed that SEEN loves art about London. There are many artists in this city who draw (pun intended) their inspiration from it, none more so than Alex Evans whose fractal renderings hint at the entropic nature of urban life and perhaps also our anxieties and isolation in the 21st century. His latest exhibition ‘Invisible Systems’ can be seen at the Foundry Gallery, tucked away off the King’s Road until 26th October.