A Fantastic Festival of Film confirmed at the Royal Albert Hall

Bad Seed Barry Adamson, presenter and pianist Neil Brand, and Matt Johnson – frontman of The The, will join the likes of Michael Giacchino and James Newton Howard at the Royal Albert Hall’s Festival of Film in October.

Events confirmed in this eclectic, unmissable season – which brings movie music centre-stage – include Adamson discussing his work on Lost Highway as part of a celebration of David Lynch, Brand’s new silent comedy show for kids, and Johnson in conversation with Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy – digging into what makes a truly great score.

Movie producer Mia Bays, meanwhile, will present ‘The Many Faces of Marilyn’ – an exploration of Marilyn Monroe’s legacy, with a panel discussion and the chance to see Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot and the blistering film noir, Clash by Night, on the big screen.

Mehdi Aoustin-Sellami, Head of Programming at the Royal Albert Hall, said: ““There is even more to choose from at this year’s Festival of Film, both on our famous main stage, and beyond. These fantastic shows will add to your love – and understanding – of some of the greatest movies ever made, and celebrate the music that gives them so much of their power and emotion, in the company of some of the most important voices in cinema today.”

The Festival of Film, running from 7 October to 3 November is headlined by Film in Concert presentations of Jaws, Fantasia and The Addams Family, alongside a celebration of the legendary James Horner (TitanicAliensAvatar), and world premiere career retrospectives of Michael Giacchino and James Newton Howard – featuring the composers themselves.

Giacchino is an Oscar, Emmy, BAFTA and Golden Globe-winner, whose work can be heard in two of the summer’s biggest films – Spider-Man: Homecoming and The War for the Planet of the Apes­ – as well as LostRogue One, the rebooted Star Trek series, and Pixar’s Up and The Incredibles. James Newton Howard worked with the likes of Elton John and Diana Ross before embarking on a big screen career that has immeasurably enhanced the likes of The Sixth SenseThe Dark Knight, The Hunger Games series and Fantastic Beasts.

The season comprises 25 events across seven spaces, including a special Late Night Jazz date starring Robert Habermann and dedicated to movie musicals, a soundtrack silent disco in the venue’s underground Loading Bay, and Ali Hood from The Shark Trust trying to debunk a few myths about his subject, ahead of Jaws.

Opera Holland Park’s new ‘Opera and the Silver Screen’ show will explore arias used in popular films like The Untouchables and The Shawshank Redemption, with the help of some extraordinarily talented singers, while

Family events including Neil Brand’s Silent Laughter, a new, hour-long clip show especially for kids, featuring fast and furious comedy from the likes of Laurel & Hardy and Buster Keaton – all accompanied by the fastest piano fingers in the business – as well as Patrick Monahan’s Film Quiz for Kids, the interactive Heroes and Heroines concert from Albert’s Band, and a Fun DMC Film Special, with special guest DJ Yoda.

The Celebrating David Lynch evening will feature a double-bill of the new documentary portrait, The Art Life, and the director’s 1997 masterpiece, Lost Highway, and include a post-film Q&A with composer Barry Adamson, while Matt Johnson – frontman of The The and a big screen composer – will discuss what it takes to make a great film score, in a revealing chat with Classical Album Sundays founder, Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy. Johnson has scored feature films Tony and Hyena, and the documentaries Moonbug and The Inertia Variations.

The Festival of Film tour, running throughout the season, will take you on a fascinating journey through the Hall’s history on the big screen, from the films of Alfred Hitchcock and Michelangelo Antonioni to Spice World, via Julie Andrews, Michael Caine and Woody Allen.

For a full list of events, or to buy tickets, go to www.royalalberthall.com


Belle of the Hall: Disney in Concert: Beauty and the Beast confirmed for iconic London venue

One of this year’s most popular movies will get the ‘Films in Concert’ treatment at the Royal Albert Hall in December, as Disney’s Beauty and the Beast comes to the iconic London venue with full accompaniment from the Philharmonia Orchestra.

The live-action musical, starring Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the beastly Prince, will be screened in full and with the stars’ memorable vocals intact, as the entire musical score is performed live by on stage by a full symphony orchestra.

The event on Saturday 9 December follows other smash-hit musical movie experiences for all the family at the Hall, including Frozen Sing-Along and Ratatouille in Concert, with Disney Fantasia: Live in Concert coming up in October.

Lucy Noble, Artistic Director at the Royal Albert Hall, said: “The Films in Concert series has become a genuine phenomenon: a chance for audiences to experience a movie in a whole new way. Beauty and the Beast is an instant classic with everything we look for when staging these events: an enthusiastic following, a great story on a large scale, and a simply unforgettable score.

“We’re so honoured to host the European premiere of the film as a live concert experience, bringing Alan Menken’s remarkable music to centre stage, where it truly belongs.”

Beauty and the Beast, released in March, is a live-action musical extravaganza based on Disney’s 1991 animated classic. Directed by Bill Condon, it stars Watson, Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.

It tells the story of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman taken prisoner by a Beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realise the kind heart of the true Prince within.

Alan Menken – who won two Oscars (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the animated film – wrote the score, which included new recordings of the original songs he wrote with lyricist Howard Ashman, as well as three new songs created alongside Tim Rice.

It is one of the most successful films ever made, having grossed $1.2bn in just three months, following acclaim from the likes of Empire, the Telegraph, Rolling Stone and the New Yorker.

Beauty and the Beast will screened at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 9 December.

Tickets for December’s stunning cinematic event at the Royal Albert Hall go on sale at 10am on Friday, priced £30-60, from www.royalalberthall.com

Musical fans can experience Singin’ In The Rain Live on-screen with 60 piece orchestra at the London Palladium

One of the most iconic musicals of the golden era of Hollywood will be brought to life as never before this November 12th, as Singin’ In The Rain will be projected onto a huge 40ft screen, accompanied by full live orchestra for a matinee performance at the London Palladium.

Singin’ in the Rain is frequently described as one of the best films ever made, topping the American Film Institute’s 100 Years of Musicals list and ranking 5th in its updated list of the greatest American films ever made, testament to the relevance that the film still has on audiences 60 years later.

Featuring award-winning on-screen performances by Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds, and of course, Gene Kelly – who also co-directed and choreographed the musical to Nacio Herb Brown’s stunning original songs, and Arthur Freed’s renowned lyricism, there is little question that this is one of Hollywood’s most revered pictures.

Accompanying the film and illustrating the spellbinding music of Singin’ In The Rain will be the Novello Orchestra, conducted by David Mahoney. Having previously performed a sell out London performance of The Jungle Book Live with Orchestra, The Novello Orchestra and David Mahoney will also embark on a September tour of La La Land Live with Orchestra, proving them the leading film with live orchestra combination.

If you ever wanted to experience one of the greatest movie musicals of all time while a live orchestra performs all that unforgettable music, your time has come!

Singin’ in The Rain will be at the London Palladium on 12 November

World Premiere Screening of Touching the Void with live orchestra comes to the Barbican Hall

The Bafta Award-winning film Touching the Void will return to the big screen on Sunday 18 June for one night only. A world premiere, composer Alex Heffes, a long-time collaborator of director Kevin Macdonald, will bring his brilliant and dramatic score to life in a live presentation of the whole film with a 60-piece orchestra at the Barbican Hall in London.

In an exclusive Q&A before the event, author and legendary climber Joe Simpson, director Kevin Macdonald and composer Alex Heffes will be reunited on stage to discuss the background and making of the film; a unique chance for the audience to hear, directly from the filmmakers, how Simpson’s book was brought to the screen.

In 2003, Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald (One Day In SeptemberThe Last King of Scotland) adapted Joe Simpson’s book into a drama-documentary film, featuring interviews with Simpson and his climbing partner Simon Yates, together with dramatised scenes of the events. Touching the Void won Best British Film at the 2004 Bafta Awards after opening to critical acclaim; critic Roger Ebert described it as “an unforgettable experience… enthralling, fascinating, terrifying” and Time Out proclaimed it to be “a meditation on extreme human endeavour, character, friendship…”

Alex Heffes says: “Its a thrill to be performing my music to Touching the Void live to picture. Its a wonderful chance to bring this amazing film to a new audience and for me to revisit it with my long-time friend and great director Kevin Macdonald.

Joe Simpson says: “It will be great to see the film on the big screen again and thrilling to hear Alex’s score played live, as well as discuss the story and film in front of an audience at the Barbican.

Touching the Void tells the extraordinary story of two British climbers, Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, who attempt the west face of Siula Grande in Peru. Hampered by snowstorms on their descent, Simpson fell through a hole masked by a snow drift and, still attached to Yates by rope and with a severely broken leg, was hanging in mid-air over a precipice. Yates cut the rope so at least one of them would survive. Simpson, by some miracle, also survived and, despite terrible injuries, crawled to safety. The story, of life-changing decisions and incredible survival against the odds, captivated the world and Simpson’s book on his experience became a best-seller.

This vivid and pulsating film, enhanced by Heffes’ original music played live promises to be a unique presentation of this incredible tale of survival and human endurance.

Touching the Void will be at the Barbican Hall on 18 June

Casino Royale accompanied by live symphonic score for first time ever at the Royal Albert Hall

This September, at the Royal Albert Hall, Casino Royale will be screened for the first time with the score performed live by a full symphony orchestra, as part of the venue’s ‘Films in Concert’ series.

Daniel Craig as James Bond 007 in Casino Royale

Casino Royale composer, David Arnold, who has scored five Bond films, will discuss his collaboration with the 007 franchise in a pre-concert question-and-answer session.

Lucy Noble, Artistic Director at the Royal Albert Hall, said: “With the success of our Films in Concert series, we’ve been asked countless times when a Bond film will get the full orchestral treatment. We’re delighted today to announce the first ever Bond-film-in-concert: the 2006 blockbuster,Casino Royale, with David Arnold’s thrilling score performed live. Following the world premieres of Die Another DaySkyfall and Spectre at the Hall, this promises to be another unforgettable event featuring these two iconic British institutions.”

Grammy and Emmy award-winning composer David Arnold added: “It is a constant privilege to be a part of the James Bond universe. I’ve loved the series since childhood and, more significantly, I’ve loved the music.  I couldn’t be more excited to be presenting the score to Casino Royale live to picture. It was a labour of love – as were all my Bond scores – and I’m looking forward to sharing it at this iconic venue.”

Casino Royale, directed by Martin Campbell, is the 21st Bond film in the series, and the first starring Daniel Craig, with an international cast that includes Eva Green, Mads Mikkelsen, Jeffrey Wright and Judi Dench.

Casino Royale in Concert is the first installment in a brand new James Bond Concert Series, produced by Film Concerts Live!, in association with EON Productions and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (MGM).

Casino Royale in Concert Casino is at the Royal Albert Hall on Saturday 30 September, 2:30pm and 7:30pm

Tickets priced £35-80 go on sale at www.royalalberthall.com from 9am on Thursday 18 May.

Harry Potter Film Concert Series will return to the Royal Albert Hall to unlock the Chamber of Secrets

As six sold-out screenings of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone™ in Concert come to a close at the Royal Albert Hall, the venue has delighted fans by revealing that the sequel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™ in Concert, will follow next year.

The three shows, featuring John Williams’ iconic score played live by the BBC Concert Orchestraconducted by Justin Freer, will run from Friday 27 to Saturday 28 April 2018. Tickets are on sale now.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second in the phenomenally popular eight-film series based on J. K. Rowling’s novels, and follows a thrilling year in the life of Harry, Ron and Hermione, where cars fly, trees fight back and a mysterious house-elf pays Harry a visit to warn him of what lies ahead this year in the world of wizardry.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™ in concert 27-29 April 2018 ©2002 Warner Bros. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K. Rowling.

Lucy Noble, Artistic Director at the Royal Albert Hall, said: “We’re delighted to announce that the Harry Potter Film Concert Series will be returning to the Hall – along with a full symphony orchestra – for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™ in Concert.

“These very special screenings will allow audiences to relive the magic and adventure of this extraordinary film in high-definition on a 40ft screen, while experiencing John Williams’ epic score as they’ve never heard it before.”

The Grammy-nominated score by five-times Oscar-winner Williams became an instant classic, as the composer conjured a succession of magical motifs.

This film concert series has been created by CineConcerts, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, and will be conducted by its creator and producer, Justin Freer. He said: “The Harry Potter film series is a once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomenon that continues to delight millions of fans around the world. It was with great pleasure that we introduced an opportunity to experience the award-winning music scores played live by a symphony orchestra, all while the beloved film is simultaneously projected onto the big screen, and it makes for an unforgettable event.”

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™ in concert 27-29 April 2018 ©2002 Warner Bros. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K. Rowling.

Brady Beaubien of CineConcerts, producer for the Harry Potter Film Concert Series added: “Harry Potter is synonymous with excitement around the world and we hope that by performing this incredible music with the full movie, audiences will enjoy returning to this magical world, and to the many wonderful magical characters who inhabit it.”

Tickets for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, priced at £28-74, are on sale now from www.royalalberthall.com.

For more information about the Harry Potter Film Concert Series, go to www.harrypotterinconcert.com.

Federico Fellini’s La Strada receives nationwide reissue

Studiocanal / Independent Cinema Office (ICO) are proud to announce a nationwide reissue of Federico Fellini’s La Strada , recently beautifully restored in 2k, over sixty years since it won the first Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and launched both its director, and lead actress, Giulietta Masina to international stardom. La Strada returns to cinemas in a new digital restoration on 19 May 2017, followed by a new DVD/Blu-Ray/EST release from Studiocanal on 5 June.

In a story of true outsiders, Masina plays Gelsomina, a naïve young woman sold by her desperate mother to boorish strongman Zampanò (an immensely charismatic Anthony Quinn) to be both his wife and performance assistant as he tours central Italy. Zampanò – a brute by trade and by nature – repeatedly abuses Gelsomina as she struggles to learn the ropes; meanwhile, she finds a kindred spirit in his rival the Fool ( Richard Basehart). Soon all three find themselves part of the same travelling circus, but with tragic consequences.

Transcending the dogmatic underpinnings of the early neorealist movement, La Strada was key to exploring a new poetic sensibility in Italian cinema, as echoed in Nino Rota’s score; and marked Fellini’s definitive move towards a symbolic cinematic language that combined autobiography with universal concerns.

Coinciding with the film’s release comes a brand new stage adaptation directed by Olivier Award nominee Sally Cookson, on a UK tour now until 27 May 2017, receiving its London Premiere at The Other Palace on 30 May until 8 July.
Director Sally Cookson says: “Felini’s iconic film has always fascinated me and the thought of using it as a starting point to make a piece of theatre was one I couldn’t resist. A folk-tale like odyssey – this story sees three lost souls travelling ‘the road’ and searching in different ways to find meaning in their lives. Using physical story telling, music and movement, we will be attempting to find a theatricality to re imagine this story of human suffering, longing and redemption.”

Running time:  108 min / Cert PG

Special Features:

New Interview with director Julian Jarrold

New Interview with Peter Matthews: Senior Lecturer, Film & Television, London College of Communication

The Guardian Interview: Anthony Quinn (recorded at the BFI in 1995)

Giulietta Masina 1955 Cannes interview

Audio commentary by Chris Weigand on selected scenes

Get ready for a Hip Hop weekender at the BFI Southbank

As part of its BLACK STAR season, the UK’s largest ever celebration of black actors in film and television, the BFI is bringing audiences back to the thrilling days when Hip Hop stars first made bold, successful moves into acting.  Presented by Sonic Cinema and in association with MOBO Film, the Hip Hop weekender will take place from 4 -6 November at the BFI Southbank in London and feature film screenings, DJ sets and a family funday.

Screenings include 90s film classics, from the theatrical re-release of John Singleton’s ground-breaking and Oscar®-nominated Boyz n the Hood (1991), starring Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding Jr., Laurence Fishburne and Angela Bassett, to Set It Off (dir. F. Gary Gray, 1996), starring Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Vivica A. Fox and Kimberly Elise; Friday (F. Gary Gray, 1995), starring Ice Cube, Nia Long, Chris Tucker and Bernie Mac; New Jack City (dir. Mario Van Peebles, 1991), starring Wesley Snipes, Ice-T and Chris Rock; Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (dir. Jim Jarmusch, 1999), starring Forest Whitaker; House Party (dir. Reginald Hudin, 1990), starring Christopher Reid, Christopher Martin, Tisha Campbell-Martin and Martin Lawrence; Juice (dir. Ernest R. Dickerson, 1992) and  Gridock’d (dir. Vondie Curtis-Hall, 1997), both starring Tupac Shakur.

A Hip Hop weekend would not be complete without live music from a few of London’s top DJs: The Doctor’s Orders, Time Out’s ‘kings of the capital’s Hip Hop scene’, join BFI Southbank to present a club night for adults on Friday, 4 November and a special morning club event called FUN DMC, for kids and parents on Sunday, 6 November. WORK IT, on the scene since 2008, will bring their 90s hip hop and RnB tracks to the BFI Southbank following the screenings on Saturday, 5 November.

BLACK STAR Family Funday , which will take place at the BFI Southbank on Sunday, 6 November will include a screening of Joe Pytka’s Space Jam (1996), starring Michael Jordan, Bill Murray and Danny DeVito; and a Daytime Block Party with music from The Doctor’s Orders, dancing and a chance for kids to master their basketballs skills with players from the London School of Basketball.

The BFI’s BLACK STAR season, which will run until the end of the year, is the UK’s biggest season of film and television dedicated to celebrating the range, versatility and power of black actors. The season’s aim is to bring the work of black actors to a new generation of UK audiences, helping to reposition them and their performances in our collective memory.

BLACK STAR will be available to audiences everywhere in the UK; in cinemas including BFI Southbank, on BBC Television, on BFI DVD/Blu-ray and online via BFI Player from 17 October – 31 December.

The full BLACK STAR Hip Hop Weekender programme can be found here:https://whatson.bfi.org.uk/Online/hiphopweekender


Bridget Jones’s Baby ★★★★★

I’m sure I’m not the only female Londoner who sees herself on screen at more than one point during the utterly brilliant Bridget Jones’s Baby and that is what is so compelling about Helen Fielding’s infamous character. The story of a somewhat clumsy, socially inept yet stoical single woman who has striven for a successful career at the expense of a meaningful relationship, strikes right to the heart of so many of us.

The third in the hugely successful film franchise sees our modern day heroin alone again and well into her forties, facing a future without love, while everyone around appears to be enjoying the fairytale she so desires. Former lovers linger in her mind like a nagging elderly relative who won’t get on and die and an exciting fling leads to some complicated conundrums.

As with the previous episodes (Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones: The edge of Reason) Bridget Jones’s Baby invites us to experience the loneliness of contemporary living, while suggesting that there is still hope as long as we gain a set of more attainable expectations.

This was the first of the trilogy I had watched without previously reading the novel, which gave me a much more open opinion of the flow of action.

Renée Zellweger’s lovable Bridget still harnesses everything that is wonderful about British comedy; perfectly timed slapstick, self-deprecation and an abundance of sarcasm. Patrick Dempsey is adorable and hateful in equal measure as new beau Jack and Colin Firth maintains his unwavering stiff upper lip as Mark Darcy.

Okay, there are a few moments when the tale becomes a little far fetched (like a dash to the maternity unit in a pizza delivery wagon), but on the whole, every ounce of humour is extricated from the very real and everyday scenarios without them ever becoming over egged and they therefore remain totally believable and fully relatable.

As the title would suggest, the tale concludes with an offspring being invited into the world and the scenes immediately following the happy event are real tearjerkers, particularly for parents, but the ability of the film to have audiences sobbing one minute and laughing like a drain the next, makes Bridget Jones’s Baby a complete triumph as far as I’m concerned.

BFI announces the acquisition of Stockholm My Love for theatrical distribution

The BFI announces the acquisition of Stockholm My Love for theatrical distribution and home entertainment release in the UK and Eire.

Stockholm My Love is the first fiction feature by acclaimed documentarian Mark Cousins, and stars the Swedish-born singer Neneh Cherry in her movie debut.

The film receives its World premiere at the BFI London Film Festival tonight, Tuesday 11 October 2016. The BFI will release it in summer 2017.

Directed by Mark Cousins, and written by Mark Cousins and Anita Oxburgh, Stockholm My Love is a city symphony and a love letter to the Swedish capital. It is the story of one woman’s journey towards recovery from a bad thing, as she wanders the streets of her native city exactly one year after a traumatic event. It’s a musical and visual celebration of urbanism, cityscapes, and the power of walking and looking to make us feel just a little bit better.

The cinematographer is the legendary Christopher Doyle ( In the Mood for Love, Hero and Mark Cousins’ previous film I Am Belfast).

The soundtrack features five new pieces of music by Neneh Cherry, written specially for the film with her husband Cameron McVey, RocketNumberNine’s Benjamin Page and Mark Cousins, along with music from Benny Andersson (of ABBA) and 19th century Swedish composer Franz Berwald.

Stockholm by Love is produced by Anita Oxburgh for Migma Film, and Mary Bell and Adam Dawtrey for Bofa Productions. Executive producers are Lizette Jonjic, Lisa Widén, Nichola Martin and Mark Thomas. The film is a Sweden/UK co-production, funded by the Swedish Film Institute, Creative Scotland, BBC Films, Film Capital Stockholm via Filmregion Stockholm-Mälardalen, and SVT.

The UK distribution deal was negotiated by producer Adam Dawtrey with Jane Giles and Agnes Orosz for the BFI. The BFI distributed I Am Belfast earlier this year, followed by a DVD/Blu-ray release in June.

Jane Giles, Head of Content at the BFI, said: “How wonderful to have Neneh Cherry shot by Christopher Doyle on the big screen in Mark Cousins’ beautiful and moving first fiction feature! The BFI is very much looking forward to unleashing the Love.”

Mark Thomas, executive producer for Creative Scotland, said: “We are delighted that Mark’s feature Stockholm My Love will receive its world premiere at this year’s London Film Festival and will be distributed in the UK by the BFI. We are proud to have supported the latest work from a truly unique filmmaker and we wish everyone involved with the film the very best for the premiere.”

Nichola Martin, executive producer for BBC Films, said: “We are so pleased to have secured distribution with the BFI for this very unique title. They are great partners and a perfect fit for this film. And we are really looking forward to sharing the film with its first audiences on home turf at the London Film Festival.”

More details on the film are at http://www.stockholmmylove.com/