Formerly the National Film Theatre, this much-loved four-screen venue on the South Bank in Waterloo became the BFI Southbank in 2007. For film lovers who know their Kubrick from their Kurosawa, this is London's best cinema. Certainly, it's the city’s foremost cinema for director retrospectives and seasons programmed to showcase international work or films of specific genres or themes. It’s the flagship venue of the British Film Institute and plays home each year to the BFI’s London Film Festival and to the BFI’s seasons, such as 2014’s celebration of sci-fi. BFI Southbank also regularly hosts Q&As with some of the world’s leading filmmakers. The venue itself is a hot spot, with two bar-restaurants (one overlooking the river, nestled under Waterloo Bridge), a bookshop (good for DVDs too) and a library.
|Venue name:||BFI Southbank|
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- Despite the dread MOR dirges given to Harper's crooning ingenue, arguably De Palma's finest film. A highly inventive updating of the Phantom of the Opera story to the rockbiz world - complete with borrowings from Faust and The Picture of Dorian Gr...Read more
- British filmmaker Lynne Ramsay’s third feature after ‘Ratcatcher’ (1999) and ‘Morvern Callar’ (2002) is an adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s best-selling book of the same name, but there’s nothing remotely literary about Ramsay’s long-awaited comebac...Read more
- The source book of Orson Welles, and still a marvellous movie. Thematically less resonant than some of Welles' later meditations on the nature of power, perhaps, but still absolutely riveting as an investigation of a citizen - newspaper tycoon Wil...Read more
- The tiny changes in human behaviour that occur when faced with loss is a theme that Japanese director Hirokazu Koreeda has consistently explored in his films. 1998’s ‘After Life’ speculated on how people come to terms with the loss of their own li...Read more
- Where others see freakshows, Werner Herzog finds poetry and wonder. These days, the German’s best films are documentaries. Earlier in his career, he made dramas with all the immediacy and sense of exploration of his later, now more familiar non-fi...Read more
- ‘Nothing but a Man’, originally released in 1964, set out to do something rarely before seen in American cinema – portray multi-dimensional, complex black characters. The plot follows railroad worker Duff (Ivan Dixon) as he falls in love with teac...Read more
- Although this rarely achieves the heights of classics like Snow White and Dumbo, it still has its moments. Typical Disney elements abound: polished if sometimes stodgy animation; sugary soundtrack based on Tchaikovsky; a delicate, vapid princess, ...Read more
- Kubrick's film exploited the current debate on the validity of aversion therapy in the context of a working lad's freedom to choose violence as his form of self-expression. A sexless, inhuman film, whose power derives from a ruthless subordination...Read more
- Car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (Macy) hires low-lifes Carl and Gaear (Buscemi and Stormare) to kidnap his wife, hoping that her wealthy father will pay a ransom from which Jerry can cream a share. The abduction goes according to plan, but the kidna...Read more
- Characteristically Kubrick in both its mechanistic coldness and its vision of human endeavour undone by greed and deceit, this noir-ish heist movie is nevertheless far more satisfying than most of his later work, due both to a lack of bombastic pr...Read more
Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
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Absolute love the BFI - events, movies, the place is always buzzing, has a convenient scooter parking and a great program as well as a great location
There's simply no rival in London if you're looking for a cinema that specialises in retrospectives and special seasons on directors or themed work or work from a particular country. Their special events (Q&As etc) are strong, and the venue has massively improved in recent years in terms of being a place to eat and drink before or after a film. Many people now simply use it as a place to hang out without even seeing a film.
The home of London cinema. It is a place where you can feel part of a community of film lovers, young and old, rich and poor, of every background. There is no bigger thrill than seeing your cinematic icons where they belong: on the big screen in front of a packed house. Seeing 'It's a Wonderful Life' at the BFI should be a London rite-of-passage.
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