Barbican presents EXPERIMENTS IN FILM (from 13 JAN 2022).

Barbican presents a series focusing on vibrant cinema that pushes at the mainstream boundaries of what we think film is, & what it could be.

Submitted by Barbican Cinema

Each screening offers a rare chance to see experimental films by important artists, from classics, to new and exciting emerging work. We’re bringing these films (which are often forgotten and swept aside into the margins) to the foreground, and into the communal space of the cinema, where viewing and discussion are so central to the experience of watching them.

Whether you’re a film aficionado, or just keen to learn and enjoy more about cinema as a medium, this programme is for you.


Working in the late 60s, Edward Owens created a series of films which were largely forgotten until re-discovery in 2009. This is the first chance to see all four of Owens’ films together in the UK.

Owens was a teen living in New York when he created these 16mm works, which reflect some of the purveying trends in late 60s experimental cinema. They remain highly personal engagements with his environments, particularly Private Imaginings and Narrative Facts and Remembrance: A Portrait Study, his strongest works, which are portraits of his mother and her circle of friends.

As a queer African American filmmaker, working in the 60s, his films are rare examples of a Black queer voice and viewing them over five decades after they were created, they remain fascinating, fleeting glimpses of an artist whom, by 1970, would leave New York, leave film behind and remain largely forgotten, until rediscovery by curator Ed Halter in 2009, two months before he would pass away aged 60.


A landmark work from the filmmaking pioneer Jonas Mekas.

In his second diary film, Mekas reflects on his life through footage shot across three distinct moments, largely structured around his time in America and Lithuania. In an intensely personal manner, Mekas uses voiceover and text to share memories on his initial arrival in America from Lithuania 1950–1953, filmed on his Bolex camera.

The second section was shot in 1971 in Semeniškiai, the village in Lithuania where Mekas was born. The footage making up these sequences was shot during his first return to his family’s hometown, after a gap of 25 years. The third part of the film is marked by parentheses, showing a camp in Hamburg where the artist was held following the Second World War, before concluding with sequences shot with artists and critic friends, across Austria. A moving reflection on the role of artmaking as a mode of self-care.




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*THE SMALL PRINT: Opinions author’s own. // As accurate as we could make it. Apologies for any errors. Updates & corrections will be made to the online version only. // Event dates/times/formats are subject to change by the venue/organiser. Events may already be sold out at the time of posting, so please click quickly. // We try to list as many original format screenings as we can (8 to 70MM), but sometimes formats change due to age of the print, availability, logistics etc, so please check ahead with your venue if the format is your thing. // All images are used in the spirit of fair use for reporting & review – no ownership is implied or intended / unless otherwise credited to RADIANT CIRCUS as the original rights holder. We will remove any images immediately upon request – just get in touch. // We don’t filter our listings by age/certification: all readers & subscribers should therefore be 18+. // Finally, we always try to follow The Carny Code by “not screwing up anyone else’s game”, but everyone can make mistakes… If something does go wrong, we will always do our best to put it right. //.