January

The Films in Truffaut’s Life

A lifelong cinephile, François Truffaut first attracted attention as a critic. Besides writing reviews for Cahiers du cinéma and Arts-Lettres-Spectacles, he famously attacked le cinéma de papa, developed la politique des auteurs and, after turning to filmmaking, produced a book of his interviews with Alfred Hitchcock. This month’s daily screenings of classics feature some of the films and directors he particularly admired.

Geoff Andrew, season programmer

 

La Grande Illusion

Renoir’s classic about WWI prisoners of war repeatedly trying to escape boasts an extraordinary cast.

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Citizen Kane

Welles’ masterpiece about the complex contradictions in the life and character of a controversial media tycoon.

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Shadow of a Doubt

Hitchcock’s tale of a young woman beginning to wonder whether her favourite uncle might have a dark side...

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Rome, Open City

Rossellini’s powerful drama about resistance, resignation and betrayal in Rome under the German Occupation.

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Rome, Open City + intro by lecturer and writer Dr Julia Wagner

Rossellini’s powerful drama about resistance, resignation and betrayal in Rome under the German Occupation.

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Letter from an Unknown Woman

Max Ophuls’ brilliant, bittersweet film about a young woman’s misbegotten infatuation with a concert pianist.

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Les Enfants terribles

Melville’s meticulous adaptation of Cocteau’s novel about siblings retreating into a private world of erotically charged games.

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Casque d’or

Simone Signoret is courted by rival suitors in Becker’s classic blend of crime movie and romance.

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Casque d’or + pre-recorded intro by film critic and historian Pamela Hutchinson

Simone Signoret is courted by rival suitors in Becker’s classic blend of crime movie and romance.

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Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Monroe and Russell star as gold-digging cabaret artists attracting widespread attention on a transatlantic liner.

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Smiles of a Summer Night

Bergman’s acerbic comedy brings together several couples at a country house in 1900 for a roundelay of sexual intrigue and discovery.

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Bigger Than Life

James Mason is excellent as a mild-mannered teacher monstrously transformed by his addiction to cortisone.

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Bigger Than Life + intro by Geoff Andrew, Programmer-at-Large

James Mason is excellent as a mild-mannered teacher monstrously transformed by his addiction to cortisone.

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Twelve Angry Men

Henry Fonda heads a remarkable cast in Lumet’s single-set drama about jurors debating the evidence of a murder trial.

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February

LGBT History Month

February’s Big Screen Classics celebrates LGBT History Month and takes over BFI Southbank from early February in preparation for BFI Flare festivities. For this programme we’ve included recent and contemporary titles due to the problematic nature of historical depictions of the LGBTQIA+ community in film, however there are still delicious nuggets of queer joy from our textured past.

Rico Johnson-Sinclair, BFI Race Equality Lead
With thanks to Emma Smart, Geoff Andrew and Justin Johnson

 

Mädchen in Uniform

A student falls in love with her kind-hearted teacher in this pioneering film from 1931.

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Rope

Hitchcock’s thrilling tale of two men who hope to get away with murder.

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Victim

Dirk Bogarde stars as a closeted lawyer risking his career to bring his blackmailer to justice.

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Desert Hearts

This 1950s set love story remains one of the most sensual and beautifully shot lesbian films of all time.

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Desert Hearts + intro by BFI Head Librarian Emma Smart

This 1950s set love story remains one of the most sensual and beautifully shot lesbian films of all time.

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My Beautiful Laundrette

Two lovers attempt to open a glamorous laundromat in a racially charged Britain.

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Maurice

After his lover rejects him, Maurice struggles to come to terms with his class and sexuality.

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Young Soul Rebels

Isaac Julien directs a tale of two young DJs attempting to uncover the truth about a friend’s murder.

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Young Soul Rebels + intro by BFI Race Equality Lead Rico Johnson-Sinclair

Isaac Julien directs a tale of two young DJs attempting to uncover the truth about a friend’s murder.

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My Own Private Idaho

Scott and Mike hustle their way across the US in order to find Mike’s estranged mother.

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My Own Private Idaho + intro by BFI Race Equality Lead Rico Johnson-Sinclair

Scott and Mike hustle their way across the US in order to find Mike’s estranged mother.

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Go Fish

This much-loved 90s film finally centred the narrative around modern lesbian lives in all their messy, romantic glory.

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To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar

Three drag queens are left stranded in a small town when their car breaks down.

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The Watermelon Woman

Cheryl attempts to uncover the truth about a 1930s actor dubbed ‘The Watermelon Woman’.

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Beautiful Thing

Jamie and Ste’s struggles at school and at home bring them closer together in this hard-hitting drama.

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Happy Together

Wong Kar Wai’s emotive and beautifully shot drama about a turbulent relationship.

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All About My Mother

Manuela loses her only son in a tragic car accident and sets off on a journey to find his estranged father.

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Happy Together + intro by Yi Wang, Queer East

Wong Kar Wai’s emotive and beautifully shot drama about a turbulent relationship.

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Brokeback Mountain

Two young men become emotionally entangled during long days and nights herding sheep on the mountains of Wyoming.

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Brokeback Mountain + intro by BFI Race Equality Lead Rico Johnson-Sinclair

Two young men become emotionally entangled during long days and nights herding sheep on the mountains of Wyoming.

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Rent

A group of New Yorkers struggle with life and love during the AIDS crisis.

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Moonlight

Chiron and Juan’s blossoming connection leaves a lasting impression on them both as they navigate growing up as people of colour in Miami.

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The Handmaiden

A Japanese heiress is eased into a complex web of deceit by her handmaid.

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A Fantastic Woman

Daniela Vega stars in this acclaimed drama about a trans woman navigating grief.

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