Highlights of BFI Southbank and BFI IMAX’s December line-up revealed

Nov 4, 2022
The work of Peter Greenaway will be among the highlights of the BFI’s December programme

The BFI has revealed the programme for December at BFI Southbank and BFI IMAX, including the culmination of In Dreams are Monsters, the BFI’s major UK-wide celebration of horror, the second part of a season dedicated to Peter Greenaway celebrating his 80th year, an exploration of the influence of The Wizard of Oz on the work of David Lynch, and a festive selection of Christmas crackers.

The annual BFI blockbuster season meets its conclusion in December when In Dreams are Monsters, a major two and a half month BFI UK-wide film and events season celebrating the horror genre on screen, bounds off into the moonlit night. A fresh, inventive and inclusive take on the horror genre tracing how stories of monsters and monstrous bodies have always been political, exploring the programme through five mythical horror archetypes, the beast, ghost, vampire, witch and zombie. The ultimate shapeshifter, the horror genre often holds up a subjective mirror in which marginalised individuals can not only recognise their own Otherness, but find fortitude in how its monsters (often birthed at the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexual difference) disrupt and dismantle the status quo.

This month’s highlights at BFI Southbank include BFI Fright Night on 3 December, when for one night only the newly refurbished BFI IMAX will be transported to a far-away cabin in the most terrifying of woods for an all-night marathon of cabin themed horror films. An immersive sleepover, complete with harbingers of doom, oblivious counsellors, activities and games galore. For those who survive the night there will be one or two surprises in store. The line-up of films and on sale dates to be announced soon.

Meanwhile, why settle for one monster when you can have three? Once upon a time, a vampire, werewolf and a ghost shacked up together in the BBC’s most unusual house share. During its five years on air Being Human (Toby Haynes, 2008-2013) picked up a host of awards for its heartfelt blend of horror and comedy. On 17 December the humans behind the monsters, including creator Toby Whithouse revisit the much loved and influential show. Further guests to be announced.

Horror has long been used to pathologise cross-dressing, trans-coded, and gender non-conforming characters, from Norman Bates to Buffalo Bill, yet the genre’s tendency for metamorphosis also lends itself to subversion, transformation and even euphoria. Transness in Horror, a discussion with film clips on 6 December, in collaboration with Trans+ On Screen will explore the pitfalls and potentials of the genre regarding gender expression and representation. The discussion is followed by a screening of Tomas Alfredson’s classic modern take on the vampire genre Let the Right One In (2008).

On 8 December, a special screening of The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980) extended edition marks the release of a new three-volume collector’s edition book from TASCHEN. Edited by Academy Award-winning director Lee Unkrich (Coco, Toy Story 3), who joins for a special Q&A after the film, the book features hundreds of unseen photographs, rare documents from the Kubrick Archive and new interviews with the cast and crew.

On 15 December, The Final Girls Live sees the weekly podcast exploring horror film history and its tropes, from witches and vampires to female monsters and teen horror, take to BFI Southbank’s stage. For this live show, In Dreams are Monsters programmer and host Anna Bogutskaya will be joined by special guests to look behind the screen and explore the life and work of the influential horror film producer Debra Hill and her collaborations with John Carpenter, including her often underestimated contribution as a screenwriter of Halloween (1978) and The Fog (1980).

Other films rounding out the season in December include Häxan (Benjamin Christensen, 1922) with live score by dark ambient noise quartet The Begotten, Cat People (Jacques Tourneur, 1942), The Uninvited (Lewis Allen, 1944), Black Sunday (Mario Bava, 1960), Night of the Eagle (Sidney Hayers, 1962), Kwaidan (Masaki Kobayashi, 1964), Daughters of Darkness (Harry Kümel, 1971), Sugar Hill (Paul Maslansky, 1974), Arrebato (Iván Zulueta, 1980), The Fog (John Carpenter, 1980), Dawn of the Dead (George A. Romero, 1985), Society (Brian Yuzna, 1989), Interview with the Vampire (Neil Jordan, 1994), Ringu (Hideo Nakata, 1998), Ginger Snaps (John Fawcett, 2000), Let the Right One In (Tomas Alfredson, 2008), The Lure (Agnieszka Smoczyn´ska, 2015), A Dark Song (Liam Gavin, 2016), One Cut of the Dead (Shin’ichirô Ueda, 2017), Atlantics (Mati Diop, 2019) and Sweetheart (J D Dillard, 2019).

For more information and the full line-up, head to the BFI’s website: whatson.bfi.org.uk


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