Leading critics to introduce films “that changed their life”.

The Barbican has invited members of the Critics’ Circle to select and introduce a screening of “the film that changed” their life to celebrate the 100th anniversary  of the organisation.

From April 19 to May 2, at the Barbican’s London-based cinema, critics such as David Gritten and Peter Bradshaw will introduce films including The Battle of Algiers and Raging Bull.

Full line-up

The Battle of Algiers (15) (Algeria/Italy 1965 Dir Gillo Pontecorvo 121min) + Introduction by David Gritten – Fri 19 Apr, 7.30pm

Gillo Pontecorvo’s milestone in political cinema focuses on the Algerian guerrilla struggle against French colonialism in the 1950’s, capped by Ennio Morricone’s dramatic score.

Hamlet (U) (USSR 1964 Dir Grigori Kosintsev 148min) + Introduction by Nicholas Kenyon – Sat 20 Apr, 3pm

Kosintsev’s Hamlet was one of the most celebrated films made at the Lenfilm Studios during its long and eventful history. Shostakovich’s magnificent score crowns the bold and dramatic adaptation, based on Boris Pasternak’s translation, which was filmed to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth.

The 400 Blows (PG) (France 1959 Dir François Truffaut 97min) + Introduction by Sukhdev Sandhu – Sat 20 Apr, 6pm

François Truffaut’s landmark, autobiographical film in which a teenager cuts loose from his oppressive home and school to roam the streets of Paris. It marked the director’s transition from film critic to filmmaker, and with it his membership of a ‘new wave’ of French cinema. The hand-held and sweeping camera-work portrayed a gritty reality and was revolutionary, causing a storm on release.

Raging Bull (18) (US 1980 Dir Martin Scorcese 119min) + Introduction by Peter Bradshaw – Sat 20 Apr, 8.30pm

Martin Scorsese’s powerful and unflinching depiction of the rise and fall of middle weight boxing champion Jake La Motta, starring Robert De Niro and Cathy Moriarty. “One of the bloodiest and most beautiful reflections on atonement in the Scorsese canon… It is still one of cinema’s most breathtaking films” (Sheila Benson, Los Angeles Times).  “The most painful and heartrending portrait of jealousy in the cinema - an ‘Othello’ for our times” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)

Celine and Julie Go Boating (12A) (France 1974 Dir Jacques Rivette 193min) + Introduction by Jonathan Romney – Sun 21 Apr, 3pm

Theatrical and entrancing, this Jacques Rivette classic from 1974 follows a pair of mysterious Parisienne women who seemingly start out as strangers, but who are drawn together. “A witty salute to theatre, female bonding, hallucinogenic candy and those old standbys, fantasy and reality.” (TV Movie Guide). 

The Garden (15) (UK/Germany 1990 Dir Derek Jarman 92min) + Introduction by Laruska Ivan-Zadeh – Sun 21 Apr, 7pm

Filmed around Derek Jarman’s coastal home in the shadow of Dungeness power station, The Garden uncovers a dazzling series of allegorical dreamscapes, in which the director explores attitudes towards homosexuality, the AIDS crisis and the Church. Featuring Tilda Swinton and Spencer Leigh, and a beguiling score by Simon Fisher-Turner.

First Men in the Moon (U) (UK 1964 Dir Nathan Juran 103min) + Introduction by Kim Newman – Mon 22 Apr, 7pm

Three UN astronauts from the 1960s land on the moon and discover proof that someone got there before them – in 1899. This screen version of the HG Wells sci-fi novel includes a screenplay by The Quatermass Experiment writer Nigel Kneale, and special effects by Ray Harryhausen


East of Sudan (U) (UK 1964 Dir Nathan Juran)

A little known gem from 1964, East of Sudan is the story of a group of survivors who flee from an attack on their British outpost. But after escaping into the wilderness, the group find themselves in even more danger as they must negotiate the wilderness on the banks of the Nile. Starring Anthony Quayle, Margaret Woodville and Jenny Agutter in one of her first film roles.

I Know Where I’m Going! (U) (UK 1945 Dirs Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger 87min) + Introduction by Kate Muir – Tue 23 Apr, 6.30pm

The mystical concern for landscape and nature comes to the fore in this tale of a determined young woman (Wendy Hiller) on her way to marry a wealthy businessman, who becomes stranded on the Isle of Mull. Slowly she comes to a new realisation of her life against a bleak landscape infused with symbolism.

A Night To Remember (PG) (UK 1958 Dir Roy Baker 118min) + Introduction by Jenny McCartney – Tue 23 Apr, 8.30pm

In the days before Kate, Leo and CGI, British director Roy Ward Baker gave us this: cinema’s subtlest and best account of the Titanic disaster. Featuring terrific tilting, groaning sets, and a sterling British cast, events unfold from the point of view of Second Officer Charles Lightoller, the most senior crew member to survive.

Ship of Theseus (15*) (India 2012 Dir Anand Ghandi 139min) + Introduction by Derek Malcolm – Wed 24 Apr, 7.30pm

Three separate stories set in contemporary Mumbai explore how individuals react to questions of identity and change, whilst also revealing a larger fabric of connections in the final narrative convergence. An assured and often astounding debut feature from Anand Gandhi, this is a delicately poetic film from a director to watch.

The Lady Eve (U) (US 1941 Dir Preston Sturges 94min) + Introduction by Wendy Ide – Thu 25 Apr, 6.30pm

Produced in a prolific three year burst, The Lady Eve was recognised by the American Film Institute as one of their 100 funniest films. Jean (Barbara Stanwyck) is part of a trio of con artists who intend to fleece the rich, naïve heir Charles Pike (Henry Fonda). Things start to go awry, however, when she begins to fall for him.

Bad Day at Black Rock (PG) (US 1955 Dir John Sturges) + Introduction by Philip French – Thu 25 Apr, 8.40pm

Spencer Tracy stars as a one-armed outsider who arrives in a remote town and is treated with hostility by the locals. When he discovers that the town is harbouring a dark secret, he spends the next 24 hours fighting for his life. Also starring Robert Ryan, Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine.

If…(15) (UK 1968 Dir Lindsay Anderson 111min) +Introduction by Dave Calhoun - Tues 30 Apr, 8.15pm

A landmark in British cinema, Lindsay Anderson’s If… tells the story of Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowall) and his brutal experiences at a public boys school in the 1960s. Tired of taking punishment from the ‘Whips’ (sadistic prefects), Mick and his group of friends take matters into their own hands with chilling results. Winner of the Palme D’or in 1969 and listed number 12 in the BFI’s top 100 British Films.

Annie Hall (15)(US 1977 Dir Woody Allen 93min) + Introduction by Jason Solomons -  Thu 2 May, 8.15pm

A defining moment in Woody Allen’s career, Annie Hall is the bittersweet story of Alvy (Allen) and Annie (Diane Keaton) and their New York love affair. Turning the conventions of romantic comedy upside-down, the movie begins with the end of their relationship and Alvy’s need to dissect the reasons behind the break up. Hilarious, witty and touching, this is the ultimate neurotic love story and ‘just about everyone’s favourite Woody Allen movie.’ (Roger Ebert).  

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