Programme announced for March 2024 at BFI Southbank and BFI IMAX

Films screening at BFI IMAX include Dune: Part Two, with BFI IMAX the only screen in Europe to play the film on IMAX 70MM.

Dune: Part Two (2024)

The programme for March 2024 at BFI Southbank includes the culmination of Magical Realism: The Film Fables of the Taviani Brothers. For more than 60 years the writer-director team of Paolo and Vittorio Taviani have created unique films inspired by Italian politics, history, literature and film, shot through with playful cinematic invention and satirical humour that seduced, beguiled and captivated audiences.

Curated by Adrian Wootton and presented in partnership with Cinecittà, this concluding part of our retrospective celebrates and explores the Taviani brothers’ distinctive contribution to Italian cinema with films in which their love of cinema is immediately apparent, including their breakthrough film The Subversives (1967) and Paolo Taviani’s first film following the death of his brother, Leonora Addio (2022), along with titles that use real-life conflicts in Italy and elsewhere to anchor their stories, including The Night of the Shooting Stars (1982), The Lark Farm (2007) and the Taviani brothers’ final film together, Rainbow: A Private Affair (2017).

John Barry

BFI Southbank’s season dedicated to arguably the UK’s greatest ever film composer, John Barry, also continues until 12 March. Curated by Bob Stanley from Saint Etienne, John Barry: Soundtracking Bond and Beyond has, for the most part, focused on the London years of Barry’s career – spy films, swinging comedies and social realism – that created the distinctive, darkly beautiful John Barry sound. This last batch includes two classics and a couple of soundtracks possibly more well-known than the movies they accompany: George Lazenby’s sole outing as James Bond, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (Peter R. Hunt, 1969), Walkabout (Nicolas Roeg, 1971), which inspired one of Barry’s most emotive and deeply memorable scores, Carol Reed’s final film Follow Me aka The Public Eye (Carol Reed, 1972), and Blake Edwards’ understated spy movie The Tamarind Seed (Blake Edwards, 1974).


High and Low: John Galliano (2023)

BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA+ Film Festival, the UK’s largest queer film event, returns with the best in contemporary LGBTQIA+ cinema from around the globe from 13 to 24 March, with the full programme being announced on 13 February. Meanwhile, other events in March will include a preview of High & Low – John Galliano (Kevin Macdonald, 2023) on 4 March. Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald turns his camera towards the life and career of the gifted fashion designer who caused outrage following a drunken, anti-Semitic tirade in 2011. Macdonald’s film investigates his career, and the context, including decades of industry pressure and drug and alcohol addiction, that surrounded his downfall.

Elsewhere, the BFI’s Woman with a Movie Camera strand celebrates International Women’s Day with two film previews on 8 March. Ramata-Toulaye Sy’s atmospheric debut feature Banel & Adama (2023) is visually stunning, with bursts of colour weaving with magic realism and tender romance. When Banel and Adama decide they want to live away from their families, declining Adama’s birth right as village leader, chaos ensues in their Senegalese community. In addition, Milena Aboyan’s feature debut Elaha (2023) is a compelling character portrait and feminist journey of identity and self-discovery, powered by Bayan Layla’s astonishing, exuberant performance as Elaha who, convinced she must restore her supposed innocence ahead of her wedding, investigates the possibility of hymen reconstruction.

After nine hugely successful and award-winning series, a preview of Inside No. 9: The Final Series (BBC Studios, 2024) takes place on 11 March in the company of the creative team behind the show, Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton and Adam Tandy who will reflect on their journey over the last decade which has included a 17th-century witchcraft trial, a brilliantly conceived silent burglary and a reunion of Psychoville favourites David and Maureen.

Other TV previews include Mandy (Diane Morgan, 2024) on 12 March, followed by a Q&A with Diane Morgan. The nation’s hero of the zero-hours economy returns in another series that follows Mandy’s micro-aggressive adventures as she battles her cost-of-living crisis with several short-lived, ill-thought-through and poorly paid jobs. Meanwhile, with three of the original episodes missing except for their audio, Doctor Who: The Celestial Toymaker (Bill Sellars/Chloe Grech, 1966/2024) is a new animated version presenting the complete story 58 years after it first screened – with a preview at BFI Southbank taking place on 2 March. The Doctor, Dodo and Steven become the playthings of the sinister Toymaker when the TARDIS is compromised and forced to land in a strange world.

Kinoteka Polish Film Festival London presents the premiere of Green Border (Agnieszka Holland, 2023) on 6 March including a Q&A with director Agnieszka Holland, who herself was the subject of a major BFI Southbank and Kinoteka Polish Film Festival season in 2016. Unflinching in its exploration of the dark depths of the human psyche, it draws on the real experiences of refugees journeying through the primeval forest on the Polish-Belarusian border to seek asylum. Working with refugees and professional actors, Holland presents a variety of perspectives, challenging us to confront complex moral choices.

Elsewhere, Busting the Bias presents Special People (Justin Edgar, 2007) on 2 March followed by a Q&A with director Justin Edgar and actor Dominic Coleman. Special People questions condescending outreach projects, self-defeating attitudes within the disabled community and the vacuity of the film business, all with a sly wink and a healthy helping of self-parody. This is a Relaxed Screening event presented with subtitles, including descriptions of non-dialogue audio, with Audio Description available.

Two film previews this month play in partnership with Glasgow Film Festival. The insightful new documentary Frank Capra: Mr America (Matthew Wells, 2023) uses previously unseen archive footage to explore the life and career of the Hollywood filmmaker. It’s an especially timely moment to review his work, which brought comfort to a world-weary audience, at a time of war and economic hardship, through its depiction of decent, ordinary people winning against the odds. A preview plays on 1 March followed by a Q&A with director Matthew Wells.

La Chimera (2023)

Meanwhile, Josh O’Connor excels as a grief-stricken Englishman recently released from prison in La chimera (Alice Rohrwacher, 2023). He joins a group of grave-robbers seeking Etruscan artefacts but finds himself drawn to the former maid of his dead girlfriend’s mother, played with gusto by Isabella Rossellini. Rohrwacher’s heady mix of gritty social drama and magical realism feels perfectly at home in this spellbinding tale of intrigue set in Tuscany in the 1980s, which previews on 3 March.

This month’s Family Funday preview is Academy-Award nominee Robot Dreams (Pablo Berger, 2023) on 3 March, which includes a Robot Dreams drop-in workshop where visitors can create pictures and animations – free to ticket-holders of the film. Told entirely without dialogue, Robot Dreams is joyful and thought-provoking in equal measure, skilfully delivering its message to young and old alike. Living a solitary life and longing for fun and excitement, Dog sends off for a robot friend. When it arrives, the two make an immediate connection and Dog’s life is transformed.

BFI Southbank’s monthly event, Mark Kermode Live in 3D at the BFI, will take place on 4 March. A conversation between the audience and one of the nation’s favourite and most respected film critics, Mark Kermode will be joined by surprise guests from across the film industry to explore, critique and dissect current and upcoming releases, cinematic treasures, industry news and more.

New and re-releases at BFI Southbank and BFI IMAX

Evil Does Not Exist (2023)

New releases screening at BFI Southbank in March will include Evil Does Not Exist (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, 2023) from 1 March. The residents of a small, rustic and idyllic Japanese village live in harmony with nature, deeply connected to the land they work on. However, their peace is threatened when a Tokyo talent company buys a patch of land nearby, jeopardising the village’s water supply. Winner of the Best Film prize in the Official Competition section of this year’s BFI London Film Festival, Evil Does Not Exist is a beautifully crafted fable – a haunting meditation on nature and greed that cements Drive My Car writer-director Ryûsuke Hamaguchi as one of contemporary cinema’s great artists.

Meanwhile, Radu Jude’s dark satire about the ills of modern life, Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World (2023) is one of the most remarkable movies of the last year. Scabrously funny, provocatively topical, unashamedly oddball and often inspired, Jude’s sprawling, crazed but surprisingly coherent comedy skewers both today’s Romania and the West in general. And the last quarter – a superb single take – speaks volumes about the unreliability of the moving image. Radically insightful entertainment, it plays from 8 March with director Radu Jude joining us for a post-screening Q&A on 9 March.

BFI IMAX will be the only cinema in Europe to screen Dune: Part Two (Denis Villeneuve, 2024) on an IMAX 70MM print from 1 March. The second part of Denis Villeneuve’s visionary, blockbuster take on Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic, House Atreides has fallen. Paul, the heir apparent, along with his mother Jessica, has taken refuge with the Fremen of Arrakis. In doing so, a prophecy is being fulfilled. Now Paul must learn the ways of this people, lead them into a battle against both the Harkonnen and the Emperor’s vast armies, and, perhaps most dangerous of all, become one with the giant worms that populate Arrakis. In anticipation of part two, Dune: Part One (Denis Villeneuve, 2019) also plays at BFI IMAX on 29 February.

On-sale dates

Tickets for BFI Southbank screenings in March are on sale to BFI Patrons and Champions on 5 February, BFI Members on 6 February and to the general public on 8 February.

For IMAX new releases please sign up to IMAX emails for updates on tickets.