April 2022 at BFI Southbank

This April at BFI Southbank audiences will be able to explore the incredible world of ANIME with a programme presenting a number of anime classics alongside work by contemporary auteurs. The season will run throughout April and May, celebrating uniquely Japanese-authored stories from past and present including ASTROBOY (Tezuka Osama, 1980), COWBOY BEBOP: THE MOVIE (Shinichirō Watanabe, 2001), BELLE (Mamoru Hosoda, 2021), which premiered at last year’s BFI London Film Festival, and a variety of Studio Ghibli favourites to revisit on the big screen.  As part of the season, there will be previews of INU-OH (Masaaki Yuasa, 2021) and BUBBLE (Tetsurō Araki, 2022). Also running throughout April will be a season celebrating the work of Norwegian actor, writer and director LIV ULLMANN, which coincides with her being awarded an Honorary Oscar® this year. Programmed by Sarah Lutton, and in cultural partnership with the Norwegian Embassy and the Embassy of Sweden, London, the season will explore Ullmann’s career in front of and behind the camera, with screenings of iconic titles including PERSONA (Ingmar Bergman, 1966), CRIES AND WHISPERS (Ingmar Bergman 1972), which is released in selected cinemas UK-wide by the BFI on 1 AprilSCENES FROM A MARRIAGE (Ingmar Bergman, 1973), FAITHLESS (Liv Ullmann, 2000) and MISS JULIE (Liv Ullmann, 2014). Liv Ullmann will discuss her extraordinary career in person at a special In Conversation event on 8 April, as well as introduce screenings of some of her best-loved films on 8 and 9 April including PERSONAAUTUMN SONATA (Ingmar Bergman, 1978) and FAITHLESS.

A centenary celebration of screenwriter NIGEL KNEALE, titled NIGHTMARES AND DAYDREAMS, will take place in conjunction with Picturehouse to commemorate Kneale’s contribution to adult drama and tense thrillers with a sci-fi or horror slant on British TV; his writing went on to influence the likes of John Carpenter, Stephen King and Ben Wheatley. Often enthralling and terrifying, Kneale’s visionary work showing on the big screen includes the restored version of the famous BBC adaptation of NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR (Rudolph Cartier, 1954) starring Peter Cushing, celebrating its release on BFI Blu-ray on 11 April. The screening is followed by a panel discussion looking at the legacy of Kneale and his influential adaptation of Orwell’s masterpiece. Also screening in the season are titles including FIRST MEN IN THE MOON (Nathan Juran, 1964), QUARTERMASS AND THE PIT (Roy Ward Baker, 1967), THE YEAR OF THE SEX OLYMPICS (Michael Elliott, 1968) and THE WOMAN IN BLACK (Herbert Wise, 1989). There will also be a special table reading of OUT OF THE UNKNOWN: THE CHOPPER, as part of the BFI’s Missing Believed Wiped programme.

Woman With A Movie Camera will present a preview of SMALL BODY (2021), followed by a Q&A with director Laura Samani on 6 April. The film received a special commendation in the First Feature Competition at the 2021 BFI London Film Festival and includes a captivating performance by Celeste Cescutti as a woman from 1900s north-east Italy, devastated by the loss of her baby. Desperate to have her child baptised, she embarks on a perilous journey to a distant mountain where she believes a miracle might be waiting and explores her grief along the way.

Special events in April will include the world premiere of GERRY ANDERSON: A LIFE UNCHARTED, on 9 April ahead of its Britbox broadcast on 14 April, known to fans as ‘Gerry Anderson Day’. Gerry Anderson and his teams produced a collection of groundbreaking and internationally loved sci-fi adventure shows and films – including THUNDERBIRDS (1965) and CAPTAIN SCARLET (1967) – that continue to enthral successive generations decades after their first transmission. But what really inspired and drove him to become such a prolific creator? Using previously unseen and unheard interviews, combined with cutting-edge technology, this new documentary maps Anderson’s previously uncharted journey: from a poverty stricken childhood to becoming a puppetry pioneer and legendary producer. The premiere will be followed by a Q&A with the film’s director & producer Benjamin Field, and producer Jamie Anderson, Gerry Anderson’s youngest son.

With renewed interest in Worzel Gummidge thanks to Mackenzie Crook’s re-imagining of the stories, BFI Southbank will host a special WORZEL GUMMIDGE RESTORATION SCREENING, followed by a discussion,on 10 April. The eventwill debut three newly restored episodes of the much-loved late-70s ITV series starring Jon Pertwee and Una Stubbs that have been pristinely restored from the original negatives prior to a Blu-ray release from Fabulous Films.

The BFI’s monthly AFRICAN ODYSSEYS event will be a screening of COLD CASE HAMMARSKJÖLD (Mads Brügger, 2019) on 9 April followed by a discussion about the documentary. The film depicts the death of Dag Hammarskjöld in the 1961 Ndola United Nations DC-6 crash; with the case still unsolved over 50 years later, journalist-filmmaker-provocateur Mads Brügger and private investigator Göran Björkdahl attempt to reveal the conspiracy behind the tragic death of this outspoken opponent of colonialism.

BFI Southbank regular, critic and broadcaster Mark Kermode returns on 11 April for the latest instalment of MARK KERMODE LIVE IN 3D AT THE BFI, where Kermode is joined by surprise guests from across the film industry to explore, critique and dissect current and upcoming releases, cinematic treasures and industry news, with guests to be announced soon. BUG, the long running, much loved showcase of the best of music video creativity, presented by ADAM BUXTON, makes a triumphant return to BFI Southbank on 29 April for a special 15th anniversary edition.

FURTHER PROGRAMME INFORMATION FOR EARLY APRIL

Health and safety measures continue at BFI Southbank, with up- to- date guidance available on the BFI website.

ANIME

In a two-month season, BFI Southbank will present ANIME, a celebration of breath-taking visuals, fantastical worlds and at its heart, emotional storytelling. The programme will include a number of classic works such as ROYAL SPACE FORCE: THE WINGS OF HONNÊAMISE (Hiroyuki Yamada, 1987), PATLABOR: THE MOVIE (Mamoru Oshii, 1989) and COWBOY BEBOP: THE MOVIE (Shinichirō Watanabe, 2001) as well as key films and TV shows in the development of the art form such as  ASTROBOY (Tezuka Osama, 1980), MOMOTARO’S DIVINE SEA WARRIORS (Mitsuyo Seo, 1945) and BELLADONNA OF SADNESS (Eiichi Yamamoto, 1973), which will include an intro from Helen McCarthy, founder of Anime UK (later Anime FX).

The season will launch with EXPLORING ANIME: PANEL DISCUSSION, a chance to explore what Anime is, its history and origins, and how it’s viewed both within Japan and internationally. Hosted by the season’s programmer Justin Johnson, guest experts will highlight key themes from the season, including the history of anime and emerging female voices, while also foregrounding a few of the classic titles screening. Emerging female voices in anime development will be explored and include screenings of LIZ AND THE BLUE BIRD (Naoko Yamada, 2018), THE ANTHEM OF THE HEART (Tatsuyuki Nagai, 2015) and MAQUIA: WHEN THE PROMISED FLOWER BLOOMS (Mari Okado, 2018), all of which offer thought provoking and beautifully characterised work that’s taking the form in a different direction.

Audiences will also be able to explore Anime on the UK’s biggest screen with screenings at BFI IMAX including the beautifully animated and disturbingly prophetic, GHOST IN THE SHELL (Mamoru Oshii, 1995) and the recently released BELLE (Mamoru Hosoda, 2021) an outstanding tale following a socially awkward girl who transforms herself into a megastar within a virtual world, which screened at last year’s BFI London Film Festival. The season would be incomplete without some of the enchanting work of STUDIO GHIBLI, the studio that has created some of the most influential and beloved animated movies of all time. Studio Ghibli classics screening in April will include MY NEIGHBOUR TOTORO (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988), SPIRITED AWAY (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001) and WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE (Hiromasa Yonebayashi, 2014). Further screenings and events as part of the season will be announced soon.

LIV ULLMANN: FACE TO FACE

In the year Norwegian actor, writer and director LIV ULLMANN is awarded an Honorary Oscar® for her exceptional contribution to the art of film, BFI Southbank will celebrate her achievements on screen and behind the camera. Ullmann will be onstage at BFI Southbank on 8 April for a talk to discuss her extraordinary career in film and television and the performances that have seen her recognised as one of Europe’s greatest actors. Ullmann is often known for her collaborations with Ingmar Bergman, a creative partnership she called her ‘happiest dance’; screenings of their work together will include PERSONA (Ingmar Bergman, 1966) alongside an intro from Ullmann on 8 April, SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE (Ingmar Bergman, 1973), FACE TO FACE (Ingmar Bergman, 1976) and many more. Their work together in CRIES AND WHISPERS (Ingmar Bergman, 1972), which features stunning cinematography from Sven Nykvist, will also be back on big screens UK-wide, with a BFI Distribution re-release from 1 April for its 50th anniversary.

As an actor, Ullmann creates a wonderful alchemy with a range of performers – her collaborations with Bibi Andersson in THE PASSION OF ANNA (Ingmar Bergman, 1969) and Max von Sydow in THE NEW LAND (Jan Troell, 1972), which are included in the season are a fantastic introduction to her creative dynamism. Other films in the season will highlight Ullmann’s ability as a director to nurture distinctive performances from others in films such as FAITHLESS (2000) which includes an extended intro from Ullmann on 9 April ahead of a BFI Blu-ray release of the film 11 April, and MISS JULIE (2014) – starring Jessica Chastain and Colin Farrell – which Ullmann adapts and directs, relocating August Strindberg’s 1888 play to County Fermanagh.

In cultural partnership with the Norwegian Embassy and Embassy of Sweden

NIGHTMARES & DAYDREAMS: A CENTENARY CELEBRATION OF SCREENWRITER NIGEL KNEALE

Born the same year the BBC launched in 1922, NIGEL KNEALE found this to be the first outlet for his considerable talents as a visionary writer who enthralled and terrified audiences. In April’s centenary celebration in conjunction with PICTUREHOUSE,(see below for details of a day-long event at PICTUREHOUSE CROUCH END), Kneale’s work will be explored; from adult drama to tense thrillers, often with a sci-fi or horror slant that also brought him to the attention of Hammer Film Studios.

The season, programmed by the BFI’s Dick Fiddy, begins with a screening of BBC’s WUTHERING HEIGHTS (Rudolph Cartier, 1962) in one of Kneale’s many collaborations with producer-director Rudolph Cartier. A showing of the newly restored famous BBC adaptation of NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR (Rudolph Cartier, 1954) starring Peter Cushing will be followed by a panel discussion on the film, Kneale’s career, and his influential adaption of George Orwell’s enduring dystopian masterpiece, illustrated with rare clips – some of which are extras on the new BFI Blu-ray release of the film, out on 11 April. Also playing in the season are THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN (Val Guest, 1957) – which is also available on BFI PlayerTHE YEAR OF THE SEX OLYMPICS (Michael Elliott, 1968), FIRST MEN IN THE MOON (Nathan Juran, 1964) and THE WOMAN IN BLACK (Herbert Wise, 1989). There will also be a special table reading of OUT OF THE UNKNOWN: THE CHOPPER, as part of the BFI’s Missing Believed Wiped programme.

PICTUREHOUSE CROUCH END will be hosting a day-long event on 23 April featuring expert panellists and members of cast and crew looking at Kneale’s film and TV work and his influence and legacy. Events include a live reading of ‘lost’ 1942 radio play YOU MUST LISTEN, and screenings of several of Kneale’s classic works, including THE QUATERMASS EXPERIMENT: CONTACT HAS BEEN ESTABLISHED (Rudolph Cartier, 1953), THE STONE TAPE (Peter Sasdy, 1972), AGAINST THE CROWD: MURRAIN (John Cooper, 1975) and LATE NIGHT STORY: THE PHOTOGRAPH (1978) starring Tom Baker.

REGULAR PROGRAMME STRANDS

BFI Southbank’s regular EXPERIMENTA strand will this month feature a screening of ILLUMINATING THE WILDERNESS (Kate Adams, Tim Corrigan, 2018) alongside a discussion with artists and makers from Project Art Works. The film offers a window onto the experiences of a group of neurodiverse artists, filmmakers, families and carers as they explore Glen Affric in the Scottish Highlands.

This month’s PROJECTING THE ARCHIVE screening on 5 April will be LITTLE FRIEND (Berthold Viertel, 1934) alongside an intro by the BFI National Archive’s Rosie Taylor. This rediscovered feature is a psychological drama with expressionistic and surrealist visual sequences about a young girl pushed to the brink amid the scandal and chaos of her parents’ bitter divorce. Screening in our SILENT CINEMA strand this month is FORBIDDEN PARADISE (Ernst Lubitsch, 1924) staring the great Polish star Pola Negri as Catherine the Great. The melodrama is available to enjoy in its most complete version in almost 100 years, with a new digital restoration by the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Foundation, with funding by the George Lucas Family Foundation, and is the Closing Night Gala of Kinoteka Film Festival, complete with a live score by Marcin Pukaluk.

BIG SCREEN CLASSICS

BFI Southbank’s ongoing BIG SCREEN CLASSICS series, where we screen essential titles on a daily basis for just £8, will this month be themed around A QUESTION OF FAITH – these filmsdeal with questions of Christianity, faith, and inevitably doubt, since they often co-exist in uneasy symbiosis. Screenings will include THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1964), THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST (Martin Scorsese, 1988), LOURDES (Jessica Hausner, 2009), BLACK NARCISSUS (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, 1947), SEBASTIANE (Derek Jarman, Paul Humphress, 1976), UNE FEMME DOUCE (Robert Bresson, 1969), STALKER (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979) and more. In addition to our £8 ticket offer for BIG SCREEN CLASSICS, audience members aged 25 and under are able to buy tickets for BFI Southbank screenings (in advance or on the day) and special events and previews (on the day only), for just £3, through our ongoing ticket scheme for young audiences.

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