With a title that seems both factual & hopeful, Barbican has announced a new season of film screenings focussed on re-discovering the (lost…?) cities of the world.
You can’t help but feel they must really mean that title… with cities and financial centres seemingly hit hardest by the decline in footfall from the pandemic, the 6 films at the heart of Barbican’s film season Return To The City will take you on a global reunion tour of the metropolis.
Of course, cityscapes aren’t neutral environments and Barbican’s season includes some films that “celebrate the majesty and excitement of the metropolis while others consider the prejudices faced by marginalised communities within the city”. It’s a really great selection including essay-style symphonies, documentary and drama.
Partly because our lives have been devoid of spectacle for the last 13 months, and partly because we love an exhibition gimmick, we’re most excited to see Bi Gan’s LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT which explores the city of Kaili in south-east China in glorious 3D. But here’s the full list of events:
- FREE TIME (d. Manfred Kirchheimer, 1960/2020) + Intro by Will Jennings // “1950s footage of New York comes alive in this beautifully restored city symphony” (08 JUN 18:15).
- LIMA SCREAMS (d. Dana Bonilla, Ximena Valdivia, 2018) // “A pulsing and immersive city symphony dedicated to Peru’s capital city, pumping with the sounds of punk, psychedelia and experimental electronica” (10 JUN 18:20).
- LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT 3D (d. Bi Gan, 2018 – main featured image) // “A search for a lost love animates this sensuous, dream-like drama set in the city of Kaili in south-east China” (13 JUN 14:30).
- NATIONALITÉ: IMMIGRÉ (d. Sidney Sokhona, 1975) // “Mauritanian filmmaker Sidney Sokhona blends fiction with documentary in a staggering and radical account of African migrants at the margins of Parisian society in the 1970s” (15 JUN 18:20).
- QUEEN OF DIAMONDS (d. Nina Menkes, 1991) // “An alienated blackjack dealer is at the centre of this slantwise portrait of Las Vegas” (19 JUN 18:15).
- CAIRO STATION (d. Youssef Chahine, 1958) // A disabled newspaper vendor falls obsessively in love with an engaged drinks seller in Youssef Chahine’s thrilling study of passion, sexuality and violence (27 JUN 15:00).
Return To The City screens at Barbican in Cinema 1 from 08 to 27 JUN 2021 and is booking now. The full season will then be available to stream from Barbican On Demand in July.
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