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.
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- Lucky McKee’s attempted feminist subversion of co-scriptwriter Jack Ketchum’s nasty pulp novel makes for a confused, controversial horror movie. It must be stressed that the most extreme sexual violence perpetrated against Pollyanna McIntosh’s cap...Read more
- Celebrated for the way Rodgers and Hammerstein (in 1943) integrated them into the dramatic narrative, ‘Oklahoma’s’ songs were already treasured standards when Zinnemann’s likeable, upbeat but hokey film was released in 1955. And it’s undoubtedly t...Read more
- The scurrilous movie that marked a turnaround in Fassbinder's film-making practice, following the disbandment of his 'stock company' of actors as a theatre troupe. The familiar faces are still around, this time distorted by pebble glasses, pustul...Read more
- Arguably Sirk's bleakest film - perhaps because it was shot in greyish monochrome rather than luridly stylised colour - and one of his finest, this adaptation of Faulkner's Pylon reassembles the three principles from Written on the Wind for a pr...Read more
- Powell and Pressburger’s glorious 1943 epic is back on screens after a dazzling digital restoration overseen by Martin Scorsese and Powell’s widow, Thelma Schoonmaker. The film’s compassionate detailing of the adult life of Clive Candy (Roger Live...Read more
- Mordantly funny and unexpectedly poignant, Lenny Abrahamson’s Dublin-set debut feature about two hapless junkies in search of a fix benefits greatly from his confident, low-key direction. There is some nicely judged acting, too, from Tom Murphy an...Read more
- ‘Would you like me to tell you the story of right hand, left hand? The story of good and evil?’ It’s hard to think of a film which cuts so clear a line between innocence and depravity as 1955’s ‘The Night of the Hunter’, British actor Charles Laug...Read more
Average User Rating
4.7 / 5
- 5 star:12
- 4 star:2
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:0
- 1 star:0
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
Wonderful place, I found the seats extremely comfortable but verything is expensive (food, drink, merchandise) except the cinema ticket price but what a great atmosphere and comfortable seating area. Worth considering membership at £40 pa for priority booking, discounts on tickets, food, drink & merchandise.
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.