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BFI gets romantic for its LOVE Season

Doctor Zhivago & Clueless lead a LOVE celebration at the BFI.

Image Credit: BFI

The BFI have revealed a UK-wide celebration of all things romantic with ‘LOVE: Films to fall in love with… Films to break you heart’, in partnership with Plusnet.

LOVE will encompass three key themes – The Power of Love, Fools For Love and Fatal Attractions – and includes film screenings and Q&As with directors Stephen Frears (My Beautiful Laundrette, Dangerous Liaisons), Gina Prince-Bythewood (Love and Basketball, Beyond the Lights), Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral) and Gurinder Chadha (Bend it Like Beckham, Bride and Prejudice), actors Derek Jacobi (Love is the Devil), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Beyond the Lights), Adrian Lester (Hustle), John Gordon Sinclair and Claire Grogan (Gregory’s Girl) and musician KT Tunstall.

Other highlights in the BFI’s extensive UK-wide season include a Jane Austen Day including a screening of teen classic Clueless and an extravaganza to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Bollywood phenomenon Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) (1995) at BFI Southbank.

More than 600 bespoke film screenings and experiences at over 300 locations across the UK include a new restoration of Dr Zhivago (1965) on theatrical release, 70th anniversary screenings of Brief Encounter with nationwide tea dances, Wings of Desire at Paisley Abbey, pop-up screenings of films including Vertigo (1958) in Brighton’s Royal Pavilion and family favourites including Beauty and the Beast (1991), The Princess Bride (1987) and Frozen (2013) at Castell Coch and Caerphilly Castle, Wales.

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Heather Stewart, Creative Director, BFI said: ‘‘Film can bring love to life more powerfully than any other art form – it is cinema’s most seductive illusion and has transformed the way we see ourselves, and our love lives. Our season is not about sex. We’re getting back to LOVE: embracing the intimacy of the close-up and the anticipation of the much longed-for screen kiss: the very language of cinema itself.’

LOVE celebrates a broad sweep of film and TV, from the swooning silent era to the present day, including Hollywood melodrama, British period drama, Bollywood song and dance and the European erotic thriller. The BFI will ensure that audiences all over the UK can find that loving feeling with UK-wide theatrical re-releases, DVDs, a collection on BFI Player, an extensive education programme, a BFI LOVE compendium and seven BFI Film Classics books, alongside the screenings and events up and down the country, presented in partnership with the BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN).

Event listings, details about how to book tickets and an online search facility for your closest BFI LOVE event will be available here:

BFI LOVE season highlights –

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Image Credit: BFI

Image Credit: BFI

BFI Southbank

  • Film
     24 October – Kate Winslet, Jennifer Aniston, Amy Schumer and many other big screen heroines will be under discussion at a special BFI Southbank launch event, Leading Ladies of Love.
     7 November – A celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Bollywood romance, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (DDLJ) (1995); this epic films tells the story of Raj and Simran and holds the world record for continuous cinema exhibition, at over 1,000 weeks at the Maratha Mandir cinema, Mumbai. There will also be a nationwide search for the ‘real Raj and Simran’ in partnership with Bollywood TV station B4U.
     29 October – Director Gina Prince-Bythewood will attend Q&As following screenings of her films Love and Basketball (2000) and Beyond the Lights (2015), with star of the latter, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, also in attendance.
     21 November – Jane Austen Day will encourage audiences to dress to impress in 90s threads or regency regalia, with screenings of Clueless (1995) and Sense and Sensibility (1995), Regency Dance Classes with Nonsuch, and a 90s ‘Valley Party’ to end the night in a style befitting Cher Horowitz.
     Date TBC – A special 30th anniversary screening of My Beautiful Laundrette (1985) will be attended by director Stephen Frears and lead actor Gordon Warnecke.
     25 November – Stephen Frears will also attend a screening of his 1988 film Dangerous Liaisons alongside writer Christopher Hampton.
     Date TBC – Director Mike Newell will attend a Q&A following a screening of Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994).
     Date TBC – The stars of Gregory’s Girl (1980), John Gordon Sinclair and Claire Grogan, will reunite for a special screening of Bill Forsyth’s essential teen romance.
     Date TBC – Following a special screening of Love is the Devil (1998) at BFI Southbank, there will be a Q&A with director John Maybury and actor Derek Jacobi; the film will also be released on Blu-ray by the BFI on 26 October.
     14 November – More Than a Feeling: How Your Brain Responds to Romance at the Movies will bring together scientists working in cutting-edge neuroscience and psychological research with filmmakers, to conduct live audience experiments to examine how romantic scenes in films affect us.
     26 October – The Feminist’s Guide to Love on Screen will discuss love, romance and sex as feminist issues, with filmmakers Desiree Akhavan (Appropriate Behaviour) and Campbell X (Stud Life), film theorist Laura Mulvey, critic Sophie Mayer and the BFI’s Jane Giles.
     27 & 30 November – Industry experts will offer insight into their creative processes with special events including Costume Design with (Oscar-winning) John Bright (A Room with a View, The King’s Speech) and Tess Morris on Scripting Romcom.
     Date TBC – The BFI National Archive will present a new version of Ken Russell’s Women in Love (1970), digitally remastered with support from Simon W. Hessel; this restores the film’s colour and texture to its full glory and has been worked on under the personal supervision of the film’s cinematographer Billy Williams.
     19 November – The Music of Love on Screen, hosted by author and composer Neil Brand, will look at what LOVE sounds like. Neil will also introduce Out of Africa (1985).
     10 December – A Sonic Cinema screening of Frank Borzage’s silent film 7th Heaven (1927) with a newly-commissioned score will bring together the formidable musical talents of Mara Carlyle and KT Tunstall.
     29 October – 10 January – In Love With Costume will be a free exhibition on BFI Southbank’s Mezzanine gallery. With production papers, designs and photographs from the BFI National Archive, alongside loans from one of the film industry’s leading costumiers, Cosprop, this exhibit will trace love stories’ journey from page to screen.


  • TV
     24 November – Race and Romance on TV will be discussed by an industry panel including author and director Gurinder Chadha and actor Adrian Lester.
     25 October – Love & Disability: Shifting Perceptions on TV will be discussed by an industry panel including writer Jack Thorne (Cast Offs) and actor Victoria Wright.
     Date TBC – The vital role of romance in the TV soap will be celebrated with Hollyoaks to EastEnders: Love and Sex in the Television Soap; an event which will be attended by current soap-stars.
     Date TBC – All For Love – The TV Comedy and Love will look at the role that love and relationships play in the TV comedy, celebrating some of the UK’s favourite couples including Tim and Dawn from The Office and Gavin and Stacey’s eponymous heroes.


  • UK-Wide Theatrical Releases
     An epic romance set against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution, director David Lean’s Oscar-winning Doctor Zhivago, based on the novel by Boris Pasternak and featuring a stand-out cast led by the late, great Omar Sharif alongside Julie Christie, is one of cinema’s greatest love stories. On 27 November, in celebration of the film’s 50th anniversary, the BFI will bring it back to big screens across the UK in a beautiful new 4K digital restoration.


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