BFI Southbank June 2023 Programme


Tuesday 18 April 2023, London.

BFI Southbank today announce the programme for June 2023, beginning with a season dedicated to the tough-talking, single-minded and impeccably dressed women who starred in the films of Howard Hawks. RAZOR SHARP: THE FABULOUS WOMEN OF HOWARD HAWKS will be a month-long season celebrating the screen legends who brought these women to life, from Carole Lombard in TWENTIETH CENTURY (1934) and Katharine Hepburn in BRINGING UP BABY (1938) to Rosalind Russell in HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940) and Lauren Bacall in THE BIG SLEEP (1946). Also taking place in June, MICHEL PICCOLI: A FEARLESS TALENT will celebrate the long and prolific career of undoubtedly one of the finest actors of modern times. The season will demonstrate how Piccoli was prepared to play any character, however disreputable or unsympathetic, in any kind of film, however potentially controversial – as long as the role held artistic worth. Films screening will include a BFI Distribution re-release of LE MÉPRIS (Jean- Luc Godard, 1963), as well as BELLE DE JOUR (Luis Buñuel, 1967), VINCENT, FRANÇOIS, PAUL ET LES

BFI Southbank June 2023 Programme

AUTRES (Claude Sautet, 1974), PASSION (Jean-Luc Godard, 1982) and HABEMUS PAPAM (Nanni Moretti, 2011) along with many more. This month will also see the inaugural BFI FILM ON FILM FESTIVAL, from 8-11 June, the programme for which will be revealed at a press launch on 21 April.

Special events taking place at BFI Southbank in June will include Dexter Fletcher in Conversation on 4

June. As he celebrates over fifty-years in the business, and the release of his latest directorial outing GHOSTED (Dexter Fletcher, 2023), Fletcher will talk about his rich and varied career. A screening of the explosive, high-octane, big-budget treat GHOSTED starring Chris Evans, Ana de Armas and Adrien Brody, will take place on 4 June, and will be preceded by an introduction from the filmmaker.

A love letter to Black British music, CHAMPION (BBC One, 2023) is a celebration of a sound that has long been the beating heart of our culture. The show, which is the first TV project from the bestselling author of Queenie, Candice Carty-Williams, features an album’s worth of original music, written and produced by some of the UK’s leading artists, from singer-songwriter Ray BLK to grime pioneer Ghetts. A preview of episode one takes place on 19 June and will be followed by a Q&A with Candice Carty- Williams and members of the cast.

On World Refugee Day, 20 June, there will be a preview of the forthcoming BFI Distribution release NAME ME LAWAND (Edward Lovelace, 2022), in cinemas on 7 July, followed by a discussion with director Edward Lovelace and Steve Crump, OBE, founder and chair of Deaf Kidz International. This powerful documentary, which was backed by the BFI Doc Society Fund awarding National Lottery money and premiered at last year’s BFI London Film Festival, follows a Kurdish family who, convinced of the potential of their deaf son Lawand, leave Iraq and arrive in Derby, where he joins the Royal School for the Deaf Derby. Empowered with British Sign Language, Lawand reveals himself to be a witty and popular student, while his family navigate a new common language and fight to remain in the community that has embraced them. The event is presented in partnership with Counterpoints Arts, who produce and co-ordinate Refugee Week UK which runs 19-25 June 2023. Also taking place in Refugee Week is the UK premiere of the arresting and mysterious cinematic experience, THE WOODMAN (2021), on 19 June; Koutaiba Al-Janabi’s latest feature is an allegory about the universal experience of otherness and the fearful plight displaced peoples so frequently experience.

WEEKENDER (Wiz 1992), the seminal and innovative music video for indie band Flowered Up’s track of the same name, is an eighteen minute long portrait of the British acid house and rave scenes of the late 80s and early 90s. Its provocative depiction of drug taking and the euphoric escape from the banal realities of life, earned the film a UK wide ban from mainstream television, but it became a touchstone for a generation and is now widely acknowledged as an important cultural artefact. Now fully restored from the original negative, Wiz’s film is the subject of a new feature length documentary, I AM WEEKENDER (Chloé Raunet, 2023), which charts the making of WEEKENDER and explores its enduring impact. Presented as part of the BFI’s ongoing Sonic Cinema series, a special preview on 15 June will

be followed by a Q&A and live DJ set to launch the BFI Blu-ray release of both films on 19 June. Other previews this month include WAR PONY (Gina Gammell, Riley Keough, 2022) on 7 June. This beautiful and blistering portrait of young Native American life was developed out of co-directors Keough and Gammell’s involvement on Andrea Arnold’s 2016 film AMERICAN HONEY, during which they connected with extras whose own lives informed their screenplay for this film.

The LONDON INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL, the UK and Europe’s largest South Asian film festival, returns to BFI Southbank over two parts this year. The first runs from 22-29 June and includes previews of international festival successes alongside the ever-popular Too Desi Too Queer and new Brit-Asian Shorts programmes. A highlight among the Q&As and discussions is a 100th birthday conversation with Pam Cullen, who has dedicated her life to championing Indian cinema. The festival’s second part will return in September and full details of the June programme will be announced soon.

BFI Southbank’s monthly event, Mark Kermode Live in 3D at the BFI, will take place on 5 June. A conversation between the audience and one of the nation’s favourite and most respected film critics, Mark Kermode will be joined by surprise guests from across the film industry to explore, critique and dissect current and upcoming releases, cinematic treasures, industry news and more.




Behind every group of emotionally stunted cowboys, aviators or detectives lies a wise-cracking woman, or so it seems in the films of Howard Hawks, where we find some of early Hollywood’s boldest heroines, played by the legends of the era including Katharine Hepburn, Carole Lombard, Barbara Stanwyck, Rosalind Russell, Lauren Bacall, Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe and many more. RAZOR SHARP: THE FABULOUS WOMEN OF HOWARD HAWKS will be a month-long season at BFI Southbank celebrating an archetype of femininity created by Howard Hawks and his collaborators; tough-talking, single-minded and impeccably dressed, the ‘Hawksian woman’ is worldly and forthright, daring us to keep up in a rapid war of affectionate insults and double entendre. Infiltrating Hawks’ world of macho camaraderie with ease, she never caves under pressure, meeting pointed guns with a raised eyebrow and a withering comeback. Programmed by the BFI’s Ruby McGuigan, the season will kick off with

RAZOR SHARP: THE HAWKSIAN WOMAN REVISITED on 1 June – this panel discussion will dig into the ‘Hawksian woman’ trope, examine its legacy and question what it really means to be ‘one of the boys’.

Titles screening in the season will include TWENTIETH CENTURY (1934), the film that launched the career of Carole Lombard and set the screwball standard; BARBARY COAST (1935), in which a sophisticated New Yorker arrives in gold-rush era San Francisco to find her fiancé dead and her options limited; and the breathlessly chaotic classic BRINGING UP BABY (1938), which sees Katharine Hepburn’s trademark disregard for authority (and gender roles) in full effect as she drags Cary Grant’s bumbling archaeologist into her absurdist world, while skewering the upper classes, law enforcement and clinical sciences along the way.

Short lifespans and short drinks unite a devoted fraternity of mismatched aviators, led by an emotionally unavailable Cary Grant in ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (1939). He stars opposite Jean Arthur’s droll, resolute showgirl, who is tasked with melting the most cynical of hearts, surrounded by matter-of-fact acceptance of danger and death. Snow White trades purity for one-liners and innuendo in BALL OF FIRE (1941), a madcap comedic update of the classic fairy tale; while hiding from the police, Barbara Stanwyck’s Sugarpuss O’Shea educates a group of stuffy professors on the ways of the world while assisting on their encyclopaedia of slang.

In HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940) ‘Newspaperman’ Hildy Johnson, played by Rosalind Russell, attempts to escape the biz – and her ex-husband (Cary Grant) – in favour of settling down. But her plans are thwarted by an escaped murderer and the lure of a big scoop. Russell’s sharp wits and sharper tongue help make this the ultimate comedy of re-marriage, packed with breakneck dialogue, sexual tension and surreptitious social commentary. BFI Southbank’s regular PHILOSOPHICAL SCREENS event series, which explores cinema through a philosophical lens, will focus on HIS GIRL FRIDAY on 29 June, with film philosophers Lucy Bolton, Ben Tyrer and Catherine Wheatley considering what the film can teach us about marriage as repetition, the battle of the sexes and the ethics of bickering.

Lauren Bacall’s magnetic turn as ‘Slim’ in TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT (1944) made her a star and seduced a generation. First role nerves couldn’t be less evident as she encounters Humphrey Bogart’s reluctant smuggler with unshakeable cool and a wry smile. Bacall also stars opposite Bogart in THE BIG SLEEP (1946), based on Raymond Chandler’s classic noir, about a wealthy family steeped in secrets, who hire a jaded private eye to uncover their daughter’s blackmailer. In the deliciously spiky enemies- to-lovers tale, I WAS A MALE WAR BRIDE (1949), an American lieutenant must smuggle her new

husband (Grant, in debonair drag) home from post-war Germany. A highly spirited Ann Sheridan relishes her role as groom, wielding her wit as a weapon throughout.

Adapted from a story by John W. Campbell and the precursor to John Carpenter’s visceral 1982 remake, THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (1951) is an atmospheric blend of sci-fi and horror that sees a group of scientists and members of the US Air Force band together to survive a monster unleashed at their remote outpost. Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe play joyful havoc with a series of clueless men in the classic satire GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953). Playfully parodying the stars’ off-screen reputations, cynical Dorothy and gold-digger Lorelei hijack the fetishizing gaze of those around them in search of financial security (and, more importantly, a good time). Completing the season is RIO BRAVO (1959); skipping with ease between drama, comedy and (briefly) musical, this lilting ensemble piece finds John Wayne and his motley crew of richly drawn characters defending the local jail and forging unshakeable bonds in the process. Angie Dickinson’s self-assured saloon girl ‘Feathers’ meets Wayne toe-to-toe, teasing him about underwear and repression over whiskey shots, ultimately imbuing the film with a frank, memorable charm.

Spanning multiple genres and brought to life by screen legends of the era, who all inform their take on the archetype with a sly, knowing wink, Hawks may be the unifying factor to these women, but each has an identity of her own, remaining both relatable and intimidating almost a century after their creation.


Also taking place in June, MICHEL PICCOLI: A FEARLESS TALENT will celebrate the long and prolific career of Michel Piccoli – undoubtedly one of the finest actors of modern times. Programmed by the BFI’s Geoff Andrew, the season will kick off with an introductory event, BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL: THE DISCREET CHARM OF MICHEL PICCOLI, on 5 June. In this survey of Piccoli’s remarkable career as a film actor, season programme Geoff Andrew will introduce a range of clips to illustrate the qualities that made him such a distinctive and memorably magnetic on screen personality. Dr Catherine Wheatley of King’s College London will also offer her own perspective on Piccoli’s cinematic work.

After appearing regularly on screen in the 1950s, Piccoli attained international fame with LE MÉPRIS (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963) – re-released by BFI Distribution this month and playing at BFI Southbank from 2 June. Visually dazzling, it is among the darkest and most serious of Godard’s early films and one of his greatest. Behind Raoul Coutard’s elegant camerawork – all gorgeous blues and reds in Rome and

Capri – and Georges Delerue’s sumptuous score, lies a piercingly perceptive study of a relationship on the rocks. The assured, imaginative mix of classicism and modernism produces a very special masterpiece.

Other films in the Michel Piccoli season include another Godard classic, PASSION (Jean-Luc Godard, 1982), as well as a trio of Luis Buñuel pictures – LA MORT EN CE JARDIN (Luis Buñuel, 1956), a piercing critique of Christian dogma; THE DIARY OF A CHAMBERMAID (Luis Buñuel, 1964), in which Piccoli excels as a neurotic, lecherous master-of-the-house; and Buñuel’s adaptation of BELLE DE JOUR (Luis Buñuel, 1967), which sees the director eschewing sensationalism for cool discretion.

Piccoli offers an understated but highly expressive performance in LES CHOSES DE LA VIE (Claude Sautet, 1970), the first of two Sautet collaborations playing, along with VINCENT, FRANÇOIS, PAUL ET LES AUTRES (Claude Sautet, 1974), in which he brings an impressive ambivalence to the disillusioned François. There will be a rare screening of Bertrand Tavernier’s drama SPOILED CHILDREN (1977) about a filmmaker who rents a flat away from his family to work on a script, only to become involved – emotionally and politically – with a neighbour protesting against spiralling rents.

Set during a Nantes dockers’ strike in 1955, Jacques Demy’s extraordinarily dark, moving, UNE CHAMBRE EN VILLE (1982) is an all-sung tale of doomed love between a dissatisfied young wife and her mother’s lodger, that boasts a supremely inventive score by Michel Colombier, expressive colour- coded sets and costumes, and heartfelt performances. In what is arguably Demy’s most personal masterpiece, Piccoli’s role is relatively minor, but unforgettable for its sheer intensity and formally imaginative (and shocking) climax. Claude Chabrol’s bizarre, baroque mystery TEN DAYS’ WONDER (1971), sees a partly amnesiac, guilt-ridden young sculptor, played by Anthony Perkins, invite his former professor (Piccoli) to the family mansion, seemingly kept in the 1920s by the domineering patriarch played by Orson Welles.

Reminiscent of Godard’s early genre movies, Leos Carax’s second feature MAUVAIS SANG (1986) combines a semi-parodic crime fable about rivals seeking to steal a vaccine for a new virus, a faltering romance between innocents trapped in an adult world, and the director’s evident delight in conspicuous cinematic artifice and whimsy. Set during the strikes and uncertainty of May ’68, Louis Malle’s gentle comedy MILOU EN MAI (1990) follows an extended family as they gather at the run- down Midi mansion inhabited by the sexagenarian Milo (Piccoli) for the funeral of his mother and reading of the will. Conflicts inevitably ensue, with Malle poking affectionate fun at the absurdities and

indiscretions of the bourgeoisie; thanks to Piccoli, however, the unworldly protagonist never loses his charm. Piccoli was perfect casting for Cardinal Melville in Nanni Moretti’s HABEMUS PAPAM (2011), selected by the Vatican conclave as the new pope but so unsure of his adequacy for the post that he hesitates to accept the appointment. Piccoli brings enormous warmth, wit and humanity to a character riven by doubt and indecision.

Michel Piccoli worked – often more than once – with countless major directors, notably Buñuel, Godard, Chabrol, Rivette, Demy and Sautet, plus many more whose films could not be squeezed into this brief survey of his massive output. Clearly, those filmmakers valued not only Piccoli’s talent, versatility and professionalism, but his fearlessness in taking on any kind of character, however disreputable or unsympathetic, in any kind of film, however potentially controversial, provided it had artistic worth.


New releases screening on extended run at BFI Southbank will include the BFI Distribution feature PRETTY RED DRESS (Dionne Edwards, 2022) from 16 June. Dionne Edwards’ film, which is backed by the BFI Film Fund with National Lottery money and received its World Premiere at last year’s BFI London Film Festival, crafts an uplifting family drama soundtracked by Tina Turner hits that will instantly fall into the canon of iconic London films. After Travis (Natey Jones) is released from prison, he discovers that everything has changed while he’s been away. Girlfriend Candice (played by singer Alexandra Burke, in her first acting role) is auditioning to star in a musical, daughter Kenisha is struggling in school and her relationship with her mum is tense. So when Travis buys Candice her dream dress, rather than smoothing over the family’s problems, it ends up creating even more. As secrets and desires left unsaid threaten to spill out, Travis is forced to re-examine who he is and how he wants to be perceived in the world. A skilful exploration of Black masculinity and family structures, the screening on 16 June will be followed by a Q&A with director-writer Dionne Edwards, producer Georgia Goggin and other members of the filmmaking team.

Also screening from 12 June is the smart, scintillating single-shot delight MEDUSA DELUXE (Thomas Hardiman, 2022), which is backed by the BFI Film Fund with National Lottery money. Scandal is afoot at a hairdressing competition: one of the competitors has been found scalped. The event is shut down and the venue locked, leaving rival stylists and models to dramatically speculate and squabble on who is guilty, why they did it and which one of them might be the next victim. Fabulous costumes and spectacular hair create a visual feast, while the hilarious and dedicated ensemble cast don’t miss a snip.

As well as the previously mentioned BFI Distribution release of LE MÉPRIS (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963), which opens from 2 June, BFI Southbank celebrate the 50th anniversary of THE WICKER MAN (Robin Hardy, 1973), the chilling British horror that just gets better with age, with screenings from 30 June courtesy of a new re-release from Studio Canal. Five decades after its first release, this story of a Police Sergeant investigating a missing schoolgirl on the Hebridean island of Summerisle continues to thrill. Its plausibility is what makes the film so unsettling, while its eccentricities and folklore roots provide a chilling delight.


BFI Southbank’s regular programme strands have something for everyone – whether audiences are looking for silent treasures, experimental works or archive rarities.

There will be a RELAXED SCREENING for those in the neurodiverse community, their assistants and carers, of UNDER THE SKIN (Jonathan Glazer, 2013) on 26 June with an intro and discussion hosted by Benjamin Brown of Citizen Autistic – The London Autism Film Club. In this loose adaptation of Michel Faber’s acclaimed 2000 novel, Scarlett Johansson’s character expropriates the body of a young woman and prowls Scotland’s winding back roads and city streets in search of fresh meat. Shooting on location, director Jonathan Glazer invites the audience to watch from the outsider’s perspective and relate to their struggle to comprehend a foreign people in a foreign land.

Celebrating a turning point in building modern Britain and sparking a wider conversation about the past, present and future of our multi-ethnic society, BFI Southbank mark Windrush 75 this month with screenings as part of the ongoing AFRICAN ODYSSEYS series. Screening on 24 June will be A CHARMED LIFE (Patrick Vernon, Ros Gihan Williams, 2009) and HANGING OUT CARIBBEAN STYLE (Lorna Holder, Yvonne Deutschman, 2012), followed by a Q&A with directors and special guests. These two films explore the contribution of post-war Caribbean migration to life in the UK, with veteran airman Eddie Noble telling his real-life story for A CHARMED LIFE, while Holder’s film vividly highlights youth culture in the 1960s, which took the country by storm. Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Molly Dineen is reunited with charismatic reggae producer and community pillar Blacker Dread for BEING BLACKER (Molly Dineen, 2018), this month’s Senior’s Free Archive Matinee on 19 June. Responding to a request from him to film his mother’s funeral, Dineen picks up her camera to record this fascinating documentary portrait, which unfolds at a time of great personal crisis for Blacker. The pair will join

Arike Oke, Executive Director of Knowledge and Collections at the BFI, for a Q&A post-screening.

Celebrating diverse artistic forms, movements and makers, ART IN THE MAKING will screen THE SOUL OF STAX (Philip Priestley, 1994) on 13 June with an intro by journalist and broadcaster Kevin Le Gendre. Featuring music by an impressive roster of stars, including Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes and Carla Thomas, this acclaimed film charts the history of Stax Records as these performers’ rise through the industry and popular culture, the role played by many of them in the Civil Rights movement, and the label’s eventual decline.

A rare chance to see rediscovered British features from the BFI National Archive, THE RETURN OF THE FROG (Maurice Elvey, 1938) is this month’s PROJECTING THE ARCHIVE title on 20 June and includes an introduction by film historian Jonathan Rigby. Despite being defeated by Inspector Elk in THE FROG (1937), the infamous underworld gang resumes its nefarious activity in this sequel. Armed only with his trusty umbrella, Elk must uncover the identity of the Frog, this time joining forces with Lila and a Chicago cop. Thrills come thick and fast as the film journeys through secret passages and delivers a smorgasbord of explosions and poison-gas attacks, in true Edgar Wallace style.

On 22 June, BFI Southbank’s ongoing Experimenta programme offers up EXPERIMENTA MIXTAPE S02E03 CURATED BY MARK LECKEY. A kind of left-field, shamanic sociologist, artist Mark Leckey excavates and collages the anxious remnants of different British and internet cultures across visionary, uncanny films, objects and installations. Drawn to the tensions that exist between the material and the dematerialised, his work exists across the gallery and YouTube, referencing memory, magic, rave, pop culture, the ontology of objects, evocation and banishment, fashion and transcendence. The event will also see Leckey in conversation with novelist Sheena Patel, author of I’m A Fan.

Screenings for families in June will include PUSS IN BOOTS: THE LAST WISH (Joel Crawford, 2022) on 25 June. Puss in Boots’ nine lives are running out and his ex, Kitty Softpaws, in back in his life as they both search for a map that reveals the location of a wishing star. This hilarious, Oscar nominated follow up to 2011’s original has been widely praised for its animation style and its edgy script. Meanwhile, SAFETY LAST! (Fred Newmeyer, 1923) finds Harold Lloyd dangling precariously from the hand of a clock up a 12-storey building. It is one of the most famous images from the silent film days, but how did he get there? Find out on 4 June, as Lloyd’s bespectacled sales clerk becomes embroiled in the mother of all pickles, in this endearing, laugh-out-loud and timeless comedy.


For June and July BFI Southbank’s ongoing BIG SCREEN CLASSICS series, where we screen essential titles on a daily basis for just £9, will feature films in which place plays a central role. June highlights movies set in cities – though not in London, which has been covered previously – while July will transport us to other kinds of resonant settings. Screenings in June will include BICYCLE THIEVES (Vittorio de Sica, 1960), THE BIG LEBOWSKI (Joel Coen, 1998), BOYZ N THE HOOD (John Singleton, 1991), CLEO FROM 5 TO 7 (Agnès Varda, 1962), DON’T LOOK NOW (Nicolas Roeg, 1973), LA DOLCE

VITA (Federico Fellini, 1963), LA HAINE (Mathieu Kassowitz, 1998), OF TIME AND THE CITY (Terence Davies, 2008), TAXI DRIVER (Martin Scorsese, 1976), THE LONG GOODBYE (Robert Altman, 1973) and more. In addition to our £9 ticket offer for BIG SCREEN CLASSICS, audience members aged 25 and under are able to buy tickets for BFI Southbank screenings (in advance or on the day) and special events and previews (on the day only), for just £3, through our ongoing ticket scheme for young audiences.

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