BFI events

The BFI and Radio Times TV festival is back in May

And here’s the press release.

The press release

The BFI & RADIO TIMES TELEVISION FESTIVAL, the biggest, most exciting public television festival in the UK, featuring the very best TV shows and a star-studded line up, is returning to BFI Southbank and BFI IMAX from Friday 20 May to Sunday 22 May 2022

Over the course of three jam-packed days, the BFI & RADIO TIMES TELEVISION FESTIVAL will preview some of the most hotly anticipated shows of the year, including the BBC’s new adaptation of Sally Rooney’s award-winning novel CONVERSATION WITH FRIENDS and the first chance for members of the public, worldwide, to see Sir David Attenborough’s groundbreaking series for AppleTV+ PREHISTORIC PLANET. Executive produced by actor and filmmaker Jon Favreau and legendary natural history producer Mike Gunton, PREHISTORIC PLANET uses cutting-edge science, world class natural history filming and the very latest CGI to transport audience back 66 million years to the last great dinosaur era. 

The Festival will also reunite the cast and crew from some of the biggest dramas of the last year; including Russell T Davies’ masterly IT’S A SIN, which has just picked up an extraordinary 11 BAFTA nominations, Channel 5’s charming new take the classic on ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL, the BBC’s epic adaptation of Philip Pullman’s HIS DARK MATERIALS, starring Ruth Wilson, and the beloved long-running BBC One drama series CALL THE MIDWIFE

There will be sessions dedicated to some of the best comedy series of the past year, including Stephen Merchant introducing a preview screening from the second series of his BBC hit comedy thriller THE OUTLAWS, which is returning soon, Matt Berry and Arthur Mathews will discuss their hilarious comic creation Stephen Toast, who recently returned to screens in TOAST OF TINSELTOWN, and Rose Matafeo will appear to talk about her pitch-perfect millennial romcom STARSTRUCK, which just aired its second season. 

Family favourite MALORY TOWERS, returning for a third season this year, will also be previewed, while the Festival’s much-loved sessions that draw on rarely-seen material from the BFI National Archive, this year celebrates a bona-fide musical superstar, with PRINCE: PURPLE PASSION AND POMP

In addition to the stars appearing live on stage to talk about their hit shows, there will be directors, producers and writers giving audiences the inside track and an exclusive look behind the scenes of some of televisions biggest shows. Names to look out for include: 

  • IT’S A SIN – writer and executive producer Russell T Davies, executive producer Nicola Shindler, actors Omari Douglas and Callum Scott Howells
  • CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS – actors Alison Oliver and Joe Alwyn, director Lenny Abrahamson, executive producer Emma Norton and series producer Catherine Magee
  • STARSTRUCK – creator and star Rose Matafeo, actor Emma Sidi and writer and actor Nic Sampson
  • CALL THE MIDWIFE – creator and writer Heidi Thomas, executive producer Pippa Harris and key cast members (TBC)
  • THE OUTLAWS – creator and star Stephen Merchant, co-stars Eleanor Tomlinson (TBC), Gamba ColeClare PerkinsDarren Boyd and Jessica Gunning
  • TOAST OF TINSELTOWN – writer and star Matt Berry, writer Arthur Mathews, director Michael Cumming, actors Doon Mackichan and Harry Peacock
  • ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL – actors Nicholas RalphCallum WoodhouseRachelShenton and Anna Madeley, executive producer Melissa Gallant
  • MALORY TOWERS – actors Ella BrightDanya GriverSienna Arif-Knights and Beth Bradfield

More than 20 sessions will take place throughout the weekend, with around half of them being announced today, and the remaining events announced on 26 April. Co-programmed by the BFI and Radio Times, the festival draws on the expertise of both organisations, for a broad range of audiences from telly addicts and boxset-bingeing aficionados, to those who love to discover archive gems and people who love nothing more than coming together to watch the latest prime-time entertainment. 

BFI events

Unexpectedly, there’s a Russian Film Festival and no one told me

Firstly, a huge – just immense – apology to all TMINE readers for my absolute and complete failure to review any movies over the past few weeks. I’m so, so sorry! My boss is on holiday, and I’ve had zero time to do anything except do his and my job this whole time.

I hope I’ll have some time this week to review the new movies I’ve watched, but if I don’t, here are some one-line reviews so that you get a sense of whether they’re worth watching or not, IMHO:

  • The Harder They Fall (2021) (available on Netflix): Western featuring Black characters who really did exist, even if the story is made up. It tries hard to be a Quentin Tarantino movie, just without the N word, and has some very literate dialogue and great performances. It’s just not very interesting. Or maybe I just don’t like Westerns? 🤷‍♀️
  • Red Notice (2021) (available on Netflix): Ryan Reynolds is an art thief, the Rock is an FBI profiler who catches him, but they have to team up to capture the world’s best art thief, Gal Gadot. It’s hugely expensive and has a simply fabulous pedigree in virtually every regard, from the cast through to the writer/director and the amazing locations they go to. There’s also a great twist. It’s big problem? It’s just so formulaic, it feels like the plot came from the pull out page at the back of a GCSE revision aid.
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) (in cinemas): first good sequel to the original Ghostbusters (1984). It’s a little bit too much of a sequel for its own good, retreading too much of the first movie, but it’s surprisingly good and even had me crying at the end. It’s also as much a retread of Goonies (1985), as it is Ghostbusters.

Russian Film Festival 2021

Talk about low key! BFI Player has apparently been running a Russian Film Festival for the past two weeks and didn’t bother to tell me. What are the BFI and Roskino’s marketing people thinking? No press releases or anything! Look at my name! Look at my job! And I only found out about it at the weekend.

Fortunately, it runs until 10 December, so there’s still plenty of time to watch everything and if you sign up for the free trial and subscribe using the code they give you, you get an extra month free (it’s only £4.99 a month anyway), so you can watch them all for nothing! Isn’t that the best thing?

The Siege of Leningrad, the Bolshoi Theatre, Leo Tolstoy and Konstantin Stanislavski may all be familar elements from Russian culture and history, but their representations amid these startling ten features are anything but. This collection of new features – many of which only played Russian cinemas as recently as this year – showcase the impressive range and originality of contempoary Russian filmmaking. While festival favourites like Aleksey Fedorchenko and Andrey Zaitsev may be known names to some, there are number of notable debut features here from prodigious new talents, waiting to be discovered.

Russian Film Festival 2021 runs from 12 November – 10 December 2021 and is organised in collaboration with ROSKINO, a state organisation representing the Russian audiovisual content industry internationally with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation and the Russian Cinema Fund.

Here’s the rundown:

  • Masha (2021)
  • A Siege Diary (2021)
  • Tell Her (2021)
  • Last ‘Dear Bulgary’ (2021)
  • The Story of an Appointment (2018)
  • The Conscience (2021)
  • The Bolshoi (2017)
  • Doctor Liza (2020)
  • The Humorist (2019)

I’ll be watching all of these and hopefully covering them in the TMINE Multiplex, in their own post or even individually, since December should be lovely and work-light for me – yes, I will be reviewing things again (yay!) – but for obvious reasons (look at my hair, look at my age), I had already seen Masha, which is a lovely and quite simple piece told in flashback about a young girl growing up in Russia in the 90s and discovering that the friends and family who’ve been looking after her are the new wave of gangsters that have emerged since the end of communism. It’s a mix of violence and coming-of-age story that’s deceptively uncomplicated, yet packed with emotion and shows the gradual decline into lawlessness over the period. The young star, Polina Gukhman, gives a wonderfully expressive performance and steals the movie. Loved it!

BFI events

January at the BFI will include Truffaut and Bowie seasons

Look all these lovely things! What a great way to start the new year!

With special guests including director Oliver Stone (PLATOON, JFK), director Joanna Hogg (THE SOUVENIR PART II), Ricky Gervais and cast of AFTERLIFE, the cast and crew of FRESH MEAT, writer and director Romola Gari (AMULET), director Déo Cardoso (A BRUDDAH’S MIND), critic and broadcaster Mark Kermode, comedian and broadcaster Adam Buxton and more

BFI Southbank begin 2022 with seasons dedicated to Francois Truffaut and David Bowie

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 75thbirthday; 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. Also 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 WhitehallZawe AshtonJoe ThomasKimberley NixonGreg 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. 

Continue reading “January at the BFI will include Truffaut and Bowie seasons”
BFI events

What TV’s on at the BFI in December 2021? Including The Tourist and The Mezzotint

Whenever it can, TMINE lets you know what TV the BFI will be presenting at the South Bank in London

I’m not going to pretend that I’m going to be doing this as often as I used to, particularly since the last one of these was in November 2020, but I will when I can. And if there’s not much on.

This December, there’s a showing of Doctor Who‘s City of Death, previews of The Tourist, the Ghosts Christmas special and this year’s Ghost Story for Christmas (The Mezzotint), and a collection of Christmas specials past, as well as some slightly odd music-related treats. Plus more!

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Dirk Bogarde
BFI events

December 2021 at the BFI, including Jack Clayton and Dirk Bogarde at 100

Yay! Details of the BFI’s showings in December! Here’s the press release.

December at BFI Southbank – featuring BFI JAPAN, the work of JACK CLAYTON, screenings of classic Christmas films, BUSTING THE BIAS, Dirk Bogarde at 100 and much more

With special guests including director Mark Gatiss (THE MEZZOTINT), the cast and crew of GHOSTS (guests TBC), actors Jamie Dornan, Danielle Macdonald and Shalom Brune-Franklin (THE TOURIST), director Sharon Maguire (BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY), singer and performer Patti Boulaye, broadcaster and critic Mark Kermode, directors Markus Hansen and Jean-Marie Boulet (BILLY BANG LUCKY MAN)

The BFI today announces the programme for December at BFI Southbank including the culmination of BFI JAPAN 2021: 100 YEARS OF JAPANESE CINEMA, the BFI’s major UK-wide celebration of Japanese film. This month’s programme features work by radical independent directors like Seijun Suzuki and Nagisa Ōshima, as well as more recent popular and art house Japanese cinema by filmmakers such as Shunji Iwai, Hirokazu Kore-eda and Naomi Kawase. Also in December, BFI Southbank mark the centenary year of one of the most intriguing voices in post-war British cinema, JACK CLAYTON, with a full retrospective including THE INNOCENTS (1961), ROOM AT THE TOP (1959) and THE PUMPKIN EATER (1964). The season will be accompanied by a free display in BFI Southbank’s Mezzanine Gallery of material draw from the extensive collection held by the BFI National Archive of Clayton’s scripts, stills, posters and letters. Also drawing on material from the BFI National Archive, our TV season for December, THE PRECIOUS THINGS, will be a feast of weird and wonderful curios from the archives that feature a host of famous faces, from Vincent Price and Basil Brush to Terry Jones and Tina Turner – brilliant, baffling, idiosyncratic footage often unseen since its original transmission.  

It wouldn’t be December at BFI Southbank without a feast of Christmas entertainment, led this year by a BFI re-release of one of the most charming romantic comedies of all time, Ernst Lubitsch’s THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940), in selected cinemas UK-wide on 3 December. In the hectic run-up to Christmas, two ambitious rivals on the gossip-ridden sales floor of a Budapest emporium – played by James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan – are conducting an anonymous romance with each other by letter. This classic comedy has been often remade, including into the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan comedy YOU’VE GOT MAIL, but the original film remains unsurpassed, and perfect seasonal fare. 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 CHRISTMAS ON SCREEN. Titles include MEET ME IN ST LOUIS (Vincente Minnelli, 1944), IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (Frank Capra, 1946), MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (George Seaton, 1947), GREMLINS (Joe Dante, 1984), THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL (Brian Henson, 1992), TOKYO GODFATHERS (Satoshi Kon, 2003), A CHRISTMAS TALE (Arnaud Desplechin, 2008), CAROL (Todd Haynes, 2015) and 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. 

For those wanting to get a preview of some hotly anticipated Christmas specials for 2021, BFI Southbank will have TV Previews of THE MEZZOTINT (BBC, 2021), the GHOSTS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL (BBC, 2021) and TERRY PRATCHETT’S THE ABOMINABLE SNOW BABY (Channel 4, 2021). Laced with MR James’ trademark terror, THE MEZZOTINT, starring Rory Kinnear, is the latest ghost story for Christmas directed by Mark Gatiss, who will take part in a post-screening Q&A on 7 December. On 9 December, BFI Southbank will welcome members of the cast and crew of GHOSTS for a Q&A following a screening of this year’s Christmas Special. This hugely popular comedy from the makers of HORRIBLE HISTORIES has become a firm favourite since it premiered in 2019 and this event will also feature a screening of an episode voted for by fans of the show. There will be a FUNDAY PREVIEW of the wonderfully festive animation, TERRY PRATCHETT’S THE ABOMINABLE SNOW BABY on 4 December; prior to the screening, ticket holders will also be able to join a family workshop in the main foyer to design their own member of the Abominable Snow Baby family. 

To mark the 20th anniversary of BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY (Sharon Maguire, 2001) Woman with a Movie Camera powered by Jaguar will present a special screening of the film on 16 December, followed by a Q&A with director Sharon Maguire. After a painful festive party 30-something Bridget Jones, played to perfection by Renée Zellweger, decides to set some New Year’s resolutions: she’s going to lose weight, cut out the cigarettes and keep well clear from all the wrong men. Co-starring Colin Firth, Hugh Grant and a who’s who of British acting talent, BRIDGET JONES’S DIARY is one of the best-loved romantic comedies of the last 20 years, and this anniversary screening offers audiences a chance to hear from director Sharon Maguire about bring this iconic character to the big screen. 

Also in December will be BUSTING THE BIAS, a series of screenings, talks and presentations taking place from 3-5 December, showcasing disabled practitioners’ work while creating ongoing discourse for improved access for disabled talent to work in the screen industries, and advocating for authentic on-screen representation and leadership off-screen (the full programme will be announced soon). There will also be a TV preview of THE TOURIST (BBC, 2021) starring Jamie Dornan as a British man who finds himself in the Australian outback being pursued by a vast tank-truck trying to drive him off the road. The screening of the first episode of the series, written by Harry and Jack Williams (THE MISSING, LIAR) on 7 Decemberwill be followed by a Q&A with actors Jamie DornanDanielle Macdonald and Shalom Brune-Franklinalongside other members of the creative team. 

Other highlights this month will include a special screening on 5 December of the Tom Baker-era story DOCTOR WHO: CITY OF DEATH, which was co-written by the great Douglas Adams; monthly star-studded event MARK KERMODE LIVE IN 3D AT THE BFI on 6 December; and Patti Boulaye in Conversation on 12 December, during which the singer and performer will talk about her life and television career on the occasion of the publication of her memoirs. Completing the events programme will be new regular programme strand, THIS KIND OF THING, in which we explore video games and beyond at BFI Southbank – from consoles and VR to AI and wearables. The first event on 10 December will be a unique live event where audiences talk, listen, eat, drink and play their way through the evening, exploring just what a video game is in 2021, and beyond. This month’s event complements BFI JAPAN, exploring the country as one of the engine rooms of the past, present and future of video game culture, creativity and play.

Finally, to mark the centenary year of DIRK BOGARDE, we screen a selection of work featuring the British star who shook off the mantle of the matinee idol to gain respect, not just as an accomplished actor but also as a writer of considerable talent. Screenings will include HUNTED (Charles Crichton, 1952), in which a boy finds a corpse in a bombed-out building and is taken hostage by the killer; I COULD GO ON SINGING(Ronald Neame, 1963) about a stage star (Judy Garland, in her final film) who is reunited with her estranged son; the darkly comic tale of a nightmarish butler who exploits the weakness of his lazy, entitled employer THE SERVANT (Joseph Losey, 1963), screening in a recent 4K remaster; and SO LONG AT THE FAIR (Terence Fisher, Anthony Darnborough, 1950), a perfectly formed period mystery. 

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