The British Film Institute Southbank, the iconic London movie theater on the South Bank of the Thames River, is set for a Sept. 1 reopening with a host of health and safely measures in place.
The measures include social distancing throughout the venue, face coverings as standard for all visitors and staff, increased frequency of deep cleans, e-ticketing, and scheduling of staggered screenings.
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The venue’s programming will include “Redefining Rebellion,” a season of films that share the spirit of Matthew Kassovitz’s seminal “La Haine,” that will also feature in-conversation events with Kassovitz and Riz Ahmed, who lists the film as a major influence, and a 4K rerelease of the film from Sept. 11. Other rereleases include “Ema,” “Clemency” and “Parasite: Black-and-White Edition.”
A Federico Fellini season will feature “I vitelloni,” “Nights of Cabiria,” “La dolce vita,” “8 1/2” and “Juliet of the Spirits.” Following a successful pivot to an online edition due to the pandemic, the Bagri Foundation London and Birmingham Indian Film Festival returns to the BFI Southbank, its flagship venue, in September.
The month will also see a selection of classics being screened, including “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” “Jaws,” “Monty Python’s Life of Brian,” “Boyz N The Hood,” “Casablanca,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Pulp Fiction,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “Moonlight.”
“We are happy to be re-opening the doors to BFI Southbank, to be able to come back together again in the cinema, even if in a socially distanced way,” said BFI creative director Heather Stewart. “Opening with ‘Redefining Rebellion,” an exploration of the cinematic influence of ‘La Haine,’ we think our program fits with the mood of the time, with COVID-19 having exposed, in the raw, the social inequalities in our society, and yet again people having had to take to the streets to expose everyday racism.”
“I hope with our film program people can take time out to enjoy films back on the big screen, but also that we can foster debate about the kind of society we want to live in,” Stewart added. “Film and television have the power to let us see and reflect on ourselves and the world around us, to learn about each other, and to breathe and think like someone else. We will be celebrating this when we open our doors to the public.”
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