May at the NFT
This month, the NFT traces the history of the American Western - from John Ford's seminal Stagecoach to the genre's recent reinvention in Brokeback Mountain - in Tales from the Big Country: Classic Westerns. Also in May, more lost gems of Silent Comedy, a tribute to brilliant Z-Cars TV writer John Hopkins, and the conclusion of the retrospective of French New Wave master Jacques Rivette, including an extended run of his entrancing examination of the nature of film-making, Céline and Julie Go Boating.
The Projecting the Archive strand in May celebrates absurdist artist and film-maker Bruce Lacey. There are also interviews with Elmore Leonard, Eli Wallach and South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, and the return of monthly Blacktronica club night, after a screening of urban drama On the Outs.
Tales from the Big Country: Classic Westerns
For 50 years Westerns formed the bedrock of American film production, and the legacy of the genre is astonishingly rich. This season features 22 great westerns, including The Searchers, Johnny Guitar, High Noon, Heaven's Gate, The Last of the Mohicans, and Brokeback Mountain. This is your chance to see these films as they were meant to be seen, on the big screen.
Jacques Rivette: A Cinema of Paradox
The second half of the Rivette season takes us down familiar paths, but with some surprising detours, including an adaptation of Wuthering Heights. Highlights include an extended run of Céline and Julie Go Boating, his most perfectly performed film, and Va savoir, Rivette's third 'hit' which brought him a new generation of admirers 41 years after Paris nous appartient.
John Hopkins was a writer of brilliant dramas tempered by sensitive characterisation and acute observation, finding his voice on the hugely popular Z-Cars. Time and again Hopkins returned to particular themes in his work, one being the question of race. His 1965 Wednesday Play, Fable, spun the Apartheid controversy by having a British white underclass controlled by a ruthless black dictatorship. The following year, with his four-part Theatre 625 contribution Talking to a Stranger, Hopkins delivered what has been described by George Melly as "the first authentic masterpiece written directly for television".
Watch these comedies and ask yourself why so little has been written about these amazing people. We have read about Clara Bow and W C Fields, and Charley Chase is becoming more celebrated, but have you even heard of Charley Bowers? He was a slapstick Willis O'Brien - featuring a beetle in a matchbox rather than a gorilla on a skyscraper. Wonderful and enchanting and very funny! Other stars include Beatrice Lillie and Jean Durand.
Céline and Julie Go Boating 14 - 27 April
Jacques Rivette's most successful combination of his themes of theatricality, paranoia and la vie parisienne, all wrapped up in an extended and entrancing examination of the nature of film-making (and film-watching).
France 1974 Dir Jacques Rivette
PROJECTING THE ARCHIVE
Projecting the Archive: The Lacey Rituals
Bruce Lacey is a veteran artist/absurdist, film-maker and inventor who transcends both genre and reason. This evening's event, hosted by Lacey himself, examines a lifetime's work within a dizzying number of artistic traditions. Films include the astounding family production and ultimate home movie, The Lacey Rituals (1973).
Tue 9 May, 6.20PM, NFT2
Bruce Lacey and the Art of Demonstration
Not content with his inventions and performances in galleries, Lacey has pursued an equally idiosyncratic career as a film-maker. Here, the NFT presents his more experimental work: Head In Shadow (1952), Double Exposure (1976), and How to Have a Bath (1971). All introduced by Bruce Lacey himself.
Tue 16 May, 6.20PM, NFT2
SPECIAL PREVIEWS & EVENTS
Short Course: Winning the Spurs
A five week course exploring images of masculinity in the Western and other genres.
Wed 3 to 31 May, 6.30-8pm, NFT Study Room
3:10 to Yuma + Elmore Leonard In Conversation
To celebrate the release of his complete collection of Western stories, the NFT welcomes the acclaimed writer Elmore Leonard to the NFT to discuss his extraordinary career. Preceding the interview, a screening of Delmer Daves' classic psychological western.
USA 1957 Dir Delmer Daves
Tue 9 May, 6.15PM, NFT1
The Man Who Would Be King + Oswald Morris In Conversation
John Huston's The Man Who Would Be King is an epic adventure starring Michael Caine and Sean Connery. It is the eighth film that Huston shot with Oscar-winning cinematographer Oswald Morris, who will be discussing his career and forthcoming memoir, Huston, We Have a Problem (Scarecrow Press, hardback, £19.99).
USA 1975 Dir John Huston
Sun 14 May, 3.00PM, NFT1
Seminar: Jacques Rivette
Ginette Vincendeau, Professor of Film Studies at King's College, London, explores the work of the director in a two part seminar.
Mon 15 May 6.30PM, NFT Study Room
Mon 29 May 6.30PM, NFT Study Room
The Skillset Masterclass with Matt Stone & Trey Parker
South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker explore the art of creating political satire, getting inspiration from Bruckheimer to Thunderbirds, the merits of puppet versus cell animation, and the idea of absolute creative freedom and how far is too far.
Mon 15 May, 7.00PM, NFT1
Educating the Next Generation II: Film
This debate is part of a series of events with key figures in London's cultural and creative industries and higher education looking at the fundamental question, 'How should we educate the next generation to sustain our industry?'
Wed 17 May, 6.20PM, NFT2 - free
On the Outs
Based on the real life events of a New Jersey detention centre witnessed by the film's directors and actress Paola Mendoza, On the Outs dramatises the struggles of three young women born into a crushingly hopeless environment, and the raw realities of crack addiction, the drug economy and the complexities of teen parenthood.
USA 2004 Dir Lori Silverbush, Michael Skolnik
Fri 19 May, 8.45PM, NFT1
Following On the Outs, the Blacktronica club night continues its monthly residency in the NFT Film Café. DJ Charlie Dark and co. return for a night of music without borders, from Carl Craig to Coltrane and everything in between.
Fri 19 May, 10.00PM, NFT Film Cafe
Older Women In Film
This study day marks the culmination of a joint project between the bfi and the University of the Third Age on older women in film, and celebrates the launch of a new bfi online research guide.
Tue 23 May, 11.00AM, NFT1
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly + Eli Wallach In Conversation
Eli Wallach is one of Hollywood's most recognisable and accomplished actors and comes to the NFT for an on-stage interview. Prior to the interview, a screening of Sergio Leone's classic The Good, the Bad and the Ugly which features one of his most memorable roles: the lying, two-faced, bandit Tuco.
Italy 1966 Dir Sergio Leone
Sat 27 May, 3.00PM, NFT1
V for Vendetta at the bfi IMAX
A story of tyranny, oppression and revolution set in a futuristic totalitarian Britain, V for Vendetta stars Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving and is the latest film from the Matrix Trilogy team. See it in spectacular IMAX format on the biggest screen in Britain at the bfi London IMAX Cinema. Find out more at www.bfi.org.uk/vendetta
Modernism: Designing a New World 1914 - 1939 is the first in-depth exhibition that looks at the key movement of 20th century design, which revolutionised the world around us and the way we live. Modernism still influences the buildings we inhabit, the chairs we sit on and the graphic design that we see today.
NFT Booking Details
BOX OFFICE 020 7928 3232 | BOOK ONLINE www.bfi.org.uk/nft