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BFI July Seasons and Events

Swordsmen, Gangsters and Ghosts

The Bfi continues with its five-month long Chinese cinema extended season.Flying fists, blades and bullets, featuring Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Tony Leung and more in July, as the focus is on Chinese genre cinema, including martial arts epics, gangster and crime films. Highlights include the international hit Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and the film that directly inspired Martin Scorsese's The Departed,  Infernal Affairs.


Messages for Posterity: The Complete Dennis Potter

The Bfi continues to present the entire surviving canon of Dennis Potter to mark the 20th anniversary of his death. Generally acknowledged as Britain’s greatest TV writer, The second part of the BFI retrospective of looks at the theme of the outsider. Highlights include the run of the acclaimed series Pennies from Heaven, featuring the late Bob Hoskins.


Dennis Hopper: Icon of Oblivion.

A season devoted to the acclaimed actor, director and (as it turns out) keen photographer. This season, which coincides with the photographic exhibition ‘Dennis Hopper: The Lost Album’ at the Royal Academy of Arts, concentrates on his most radical films from the 1960s period, plus some of his impressive later work – after his return from ‘oblivion.’ Obvious Highlights include Easy Rider, but also David Lynch's Blue Velvet, which helped resurrect Hopper's career.


Gotta Dance, Gotta Dance!

A two-month season of dance on film that will get your toes tapping, with plenty of Busby Berkely. Top Hat is an obvious highlight for those wanting to bust out some moves with the best of them. Also fans should catch Powell and Pressburger's grand, surreal and haunting The Red Shoes.


London Indian Film Festival

Celebrating its fifth year, London Indian Film Festival is now Europe’s largest platform for South Asian cinema. It returns to BFI Southbank with UK premieres, Q&As and a masterclass from India’s leading cinematographer Santosh Sivan (ASC). The festival runs 10 – 17 July at BFI Southbank, ICA, BAFTA and Cineworld cinemas across London. Special guests will be announced nearer the time, so please check the BFI website for details, or visit


Q&As and Special Events, Highlights from July:

As always, the BFI have jammed in a eye-watering number of special events, Q&As and one-off screenings into their July season. Here are just a few of the highlights from the upcoming month, with the main film season strands listed at the bottom of the article.

See BFI Website for full July Events List

See BFI Website for the main July strands

Peter Fonda Q&A - tying in to the month's Dennis Hopper season, the BFI welcomes the veteran actor to the stage to discuss working with Hopper on the cult indie film Easy Rider, and his long  career elsewhere. Of note is the chance to see Easy Rider itself in the Hopper season, plus his career-ending directorial effort The Last Movie.

Richard Lester Q&A - the director of the hit Beatle's film A Hard Day's Night will be in person to discuss the film, which has an extended run. Worth seeing for the songs (obviously) but also for it's unconventional aesthetic, and surprising cynical tone about the fab four's fame.

Peter Greenaway Q&A - a rare appearance from the director of The Draughtsman's Contract and the new Goltzius & The Pelican Company.

A Preview of Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon with Q&A with Gordon, given that this is Mike 'Austin Power' Myers' directorial debut, surely it counts as essential viewing. The subject also sounds intriguing, a truly larger than life figure.

Passport to Cinema continues the exploration of pre-censorship Hollywood-includes the original 1932 gangster film Scarface. This has been a superb BFI season which has worked to undermine the conventional image of pre-WWII Hollywood cinema as tame.


Also screening in July:

  • Screenings of the recently discovered Derek Jarman film, Will You Dance With Me?
  • A new digital restoration of Orson Welles's The Lady from Shanghai.
  • A new digital restoration of the classic comedy Some Like it Hot
  • BUG 43 - a hosted music video and internet mash up event that mixes irreverent web -inspired laughs with genuine discoveries (regular host Adam Buxton is on hiatus).
  • Discover Arab Cinema Strand.