January at the BFI with Oliver Stone and Ricky Gervais

The BFI will kick off 2022 with a celebration of iconic French filmmaker FRANÇOIS TRUFFAUT, with a major two month season at BFI Southbank, BFI Distribution re-releases of THE 400 BLOWS (1959) and JULES ET JIM (1962) and more.

Also in January will be BOWIE: STARMAN AND THE SILVER SCREEN, a month-long season dedicated to actor and performer DAVID BOWIE, coinciding with what would have been his 75th birthday; includes screenings of THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (Nicolas Roeg, 1976), MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE (Nagisa Ōshima, 1983), THE HUNGER (Tony Scott, 1983) and many more.

Plus in January, the BFI will present an epic ode to the spirit of adventure and to the achievements of explorers – TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH: EXPLORATION AND ENDURANCE ON FILM; the season marks 100 years since the death of Anglo-Irish explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, and the symbolic close of the ‘heroic age’ of Antarctic exploration.

On 14 January BFI Southbank will welcome Academy Award-winning director, screenwriter and producer Oliver Stone for a special In Conversation event, where he will discuss his memorable and thought-provoking work such as PLATOON, JFK, NIXON, WALL STREET and BORN ON THE FOURTH OF JULY. Regular event MARK KERMODE LIVE IN 3D AT THE BFI, in which critic and broadcaster Mark 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, will this month take place on 17 January, with guests to be announced soon.

BFI Southbank will host a pair of must-see TV comedy events in January. Firstly, there will be a preview of the third season of Ricky Gervais’ poignant comedy AFTERLIFE (Netflix/Derek Productions, 2022) on 6 January. This event will include a preview of the first two episodes from the final season, as well as a chance to hear from Ricky Gervais and the cast, who will take part in a Q&A following the screening. From its first episode, FRESH MEAT broke new ground thanks to its cripplingly self-aware yet heartfelt portrayal of university life, shaped loosely by writer-creators Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain’s own experiences together in Manchester. On 15 January, BFI Southbank will mark the 10th anniversary of the show with a special event featuring archive clips and a Q&A with actors Jack Whitehall, Zawe Ashton, Joe Thomas, Kimberley Nixon, Greg McHugh and Charlotte Ritchie, as well as the writer-creators Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain.

Film previews in January will include BFI-backed THE SOUVENIR PART II (Joanna Hogg, 2021), in which film student Julie is picking up the pieces in the aftermath of her tumultuous relationship with the enigmatic Anthony. Beautifully expanding on Julie’s personal and creative coming-of-age journey, THE SOUVENIR PART II is an exquisite, sensational concluding chapter that also stands alone as a singular piece; the preview on 17 January will be followed by a Q&A with director Joanna Hogg.

There will also be a Woman with a Movie Camera powered by Jaguar preview of Romola Garai’s directorial debut AMULET (2020) on 21 January followed by a Q&A with writer-director Romola Garai; this moody, intensely unsettling horror-thriller is bursting with haunting imagery and gruesome scares, and stars Carla Juri, Imelda Staunton and Alec Secareanu.

Also in January, BFI AFRICAN ODYSSEYS present the UK Premiere of A BRUDDAH’S MIND (2020) on 22 January, followed by a Q&A with director Déo Cardoso. Based on real events, this political drama follows a Black student, Saulo, inspired by the Black Panthers, who challenges his school in the largely white city of Fortaleza. Despite a calm and articulate demeanour, Saulo’s teachers describe him as a delinquent and try to expel him, but he isn’t alone in his struggle against racism and fascism in Brazil. Also returning in January will be the LONDON SHORT FILM FESTIVAL (LSFF), the programme for which will be announced soon.

FURTHER PROGRAMME INFORMATION FOR JANUARY

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

FRANÇOIS TRUFFAUT: FOR THE LOVE OF FILMS

The BFI will celebrate one of the most influential filmmakers of his generation, film critic-turned-director, FRANÇOIS TRUFFAUT (1932 – 1984), from January – February 2022. This major retrospective will include BFI Distribution re-releases of THE 400 BLOWS (1959) on 7 January and JULES ET JIM (1962) on 4 February, a two-month season at BFI Southbank, a collection of films available on BFI Player, partner seasons at cinemas including Edinburgh Filmhouse and Ciné Lumière, and BFI Blu-ray releases later in spring 2022. The BFI Southbank season – FRANÇOIS TRUFFAUT: FOR THE LOVE OF FILMS – is programmed in four themes: The Antoine Doinel Cycle, The Renoir Truffaut, The Literary Truffaut and The Hitchcock Truffaut.

BFI Southbank’s ongoing BIG SCREEN CLASSICS series – where we screen great films daily for the special price of £8 – will this month focus on THE FILMS IN TRUFFAUT’S LIFE. A lifelong cinephile, this month’s screenings of classics feature some of the films and directors Truffaut particularly admired. Titles include LA GRANDE ILLUSION (Jean Renoir, 1937), CITIZEN KANE (Orson Welles, 1941), SHADOW OF A DOUBT (Alfred Hitchcock, 1943), GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (Howard Hawks, 1953), SMILES OF A SUMMER NIGHT (Ingmar Bergman, 1955), TWELVE ANGRY MEN (Sidney Lumet, 1957) and many more. In addition to our £8 ticket offer for BIG SCREEN CLASSICS, audience members aged 25 & under are able to buy tickets for BFI Southbank screenings in advance, and special events on the day, for just £3, through our ongoing ticket scheme for young audiences.

Truffaut spent a number of years working as a film critic at publications such as Cahiers du Cinéma, where he became renowned for his scathing reviews and a 1954 essay in which he criticised certain trends in French cinema. Along with peers like Jean-Luc Godard and Éric Rohmer, he became one of the most significant directors of the French New Wave of the 1950s and 1960s. This seminal movement, which revolutionised filmmaking with its preference both for a playful approach to narrative and for shooting on location, would go on to influence the ambitions and practice of many filmmakers of the 60s, 70s and beyond, while countless filmmakers, from Steven Spielberg and Bong Joon-ho to Greta Gerwig and Wes Anderson, continue to hold Truffaut’s work in high esteem. A full press release for FRANÇOIS TRUFFAUT: FOR THE LOVE OF FILMS is available on the BFI website.

BOWIE: STARMAN AND THE SILVER SCREEN

BFI Southbank will kick off 2022 with BOWIE: STARMAN AND THE SILVER SCREEN, a month-long season celebrating actor and performer David Bowie, coinciding with what would have been his 75th birthday. Running from 1-30 January, the season’s mixture of feature films, television and documentaries will show that, whether a bit-part, starring role, or being just himself, David Bowie was always magnetic on screen. Films screening in the season will include THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (Nicolas Roeg, 1976), MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE (Nagisa Ôshima, 1983) CHRISTIANE F. (Uli Edel, 1981), THE HUNGER (Tony Scott, 1983) and LABYRINTH (Jim Henson, 1986), while documentaries, concert films and TV work will include ZIGGY STARDUST & THE SPIDERS FROM MARS (DA Pennebaker, 1979), BAAL (Alan Clarke, 1982), BOWIE AT GLASTONBURY 2000 (BBC, 2000) and a collection of rare TV material from the BFI National Archive.

As a composer, innovator and concept artist, Bowie’s fascination for film fed an insatiable creative drive which the season will also explore, via a selection of titles that influenced him. HOOKED TO THE SILVER SCREEN: BOWIE AT THE MOVIES will feature a range of titles, from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) and THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (Robert Wiene, 1920) to QUERELLE (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1982) and TAXI DRIVER (Martin Scorsese, 1976). The season will also special events, such as BUG Special: David Bowie hosted by Bowie aficionado and comedian Adam Buxton, which will be a fan’s journey through the career of an artist whose influenceon modern popular culture will continue tobe felt for decades, featuring musicvideos, rare clips, animation and comedy.

Some key Bowie titles, including THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH (Nicolas Roeg, 1976) and MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. LAWRENCE (Nagisa Ōshima, 1983), and a number of the films from HOOKED TO THE SILVER SCREEN series will also be available for audiences across the UK to watch on BFI Player throughout January as well. It can be hard to look beyond Bowie ‘the star’ to appreciate the characters he portrayed, but six years on from his passing, Bowie’s star still sparkles brightly. A full press release for BOWIE: STARMAN AND THE SILVER SCREEN is available on the BFI website.

TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH: EXPLORATION AND ENDURANCE ON FILM

Also in January, the BFI will present TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH: EXPLORATION AND ENDURANCE ON FILM. On 5 January 1922, the ‘heroic age’ of Antarctic exploration drew to a symbolic close with the death of Anglo-Irish explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. Marking this centenary, and that of Britain’s first attempt to summit Mount Everest, this season tells a connected story about human endurance, our relationship with and impact on the natural world. The programme, which includes archive re-releases, short films, documentary features and special talks, will be announced soon.

REGULAR PROGRAMME

BFI Southbank’s regular programme strands have something for everyone – whether audiences are into silent treasures, horror cinema, experimental works or want to bring the kids to family-friendly fun. This month’s RELAXED SCREENING on 31 January is L’ENFANT SAUVAGE (François Truffaut, 1969), part of our major François Truffaut season, presented for those in the neuro-diverse community and their carers and assistants. This landmark film about difference and social acceptance is based on real events from 1798; informed by research, it tells of a doctor’s project to educate a non-verbal boy found living alone in the forest. This month’s PROJECTING THE ARCHIVE screening is HOFFMAN (1969), introduced by its director Alvin Rakoff on 13 January. A young secretary played by Sinéad Cusack is blackmailed into spending a week at the flat of one of her bosses, who has uncovered her fiancé’s criminal activity. Peter Sellers was ideal casting for Benjamin Hoffman, and gives his customary immersive performance, while Cusack – headlining for the first time – holds her own in a difficult role. Based on a story by HG Wells, who went on to co-write the script, this month’s SENIORS’ FREE MATINEE on 24 January is HG WELLS’ THE MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLES (Lothar Mendes, 1936), a delightful romantic comedy that imagines a world in which celestial beings try an experiment to see how a humble shop assistant would behave if he had miraculous powers.

Family friendly fun in January will include screenings of LABYRINTH (Jim Henson, 1986) as part of our DAVID BOWIE season; SPACE JAM (Joe Pytka, 1996) in which Michael Jordan teams up with the Looney Tunes when they’re challenged to a game of basketball by a team of space aliens; and Ken Loach’s seminal film KES (1969) about a boy whose life changes for the better when he starts looking after a young kestrel. Our FUNDAY PREVIEW for the month will be SING 2 (Garth Jennings, 2021) on 23 January, preceded by a free workshop for ticketholders in the Foyer. In the sequel to the 2016 hit film, Buster Moon and his friends must persuade reclusive rock star Clay Calloway to join them for the opening of a new show. Returning in January will be the BFI’s popular weekly courses for young aspiring filmmakers, including the MINI FILMMAKERS SATURDAY CLUB (for 8 to 11-year-olds), the YOUNG FILMMAKERS SATURDAY CLUB (for 12 to 16-year-olds) and VIRTUAL YOUNG FILMMAKERS CLUB (held online for 12 to 16-year-olds).

BFI Southbank’s new ART IN THE MAKING series, which celebrates diverse artistic forms, movements and makers, this month features work by director Lawrence Moore and artist Keith Critchlow, while the EXPERIMENTA series presents four surviving film works by ground-breaking Polish avant-garde filmmakers Franciszka and Stefan Themerson, all held at the BFI National Archive. Their legendary anti-fascist film EUROPA (1931), looted by the Nazis, was recently discovered in the Bundesarchiv, Berlin and donated to the BFI National Archive. The film was restored at Fixafilm in Warsaw and screened publicly for the first time in nearly 90 years in the 2021 BFI London Film Festival. Finally BFI Southbank’s monthly TERROR VISION screening in January will be Marc Evans’ criminally underrated shocker MY LITTLE EYE (2002), introduced by Mike Muncer, host of The Evolution of Horror podcast. Twenty years after its original release, it remains an essential entry in the found-footage film cannon.

NEW RELEASES

New releases on extended run will include Julia Ducournau’s provocative Palme d’Or winner TITANE (2021) from 1 January. This twisted exploration of avant-garde body-horror is vibrant, extreme cinema, but it’s also delicately woven with surprisingly tender themes of gender and sexuality, and a deliciously wry humour. Screening from 14 January will be Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s beautifully immersive film MEMORIA (2021). While visiting her sister in Colombia, Scottish botanist Jessica, played by Tilda Swinton, is awoken in the early hours of the morning by haunting, echoey boom; she can’t find the source or an explanation for the noise, but soon finds herself on a slightly obsessive mission to recreate it – sending her on sonic pursuit that unravels a much greater mystery. Finally, opening on 28 January will be Pedro Almodóvar’s comedy-drama PARALLEL MOTHERS (2021) starring Penélope Cruz and Milena Smit as two expectant single mothers who meet in a maternity ward as they prepare to give birth. Despite a significant age gap, and differing views on their impending accidental births, they bond over the experience as they move like sleepwalkers along the hospital corridors, and find their lives irrevocably connected as a result.

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