City In Film

a celebration of the city seen through cinema

Inspired by the dramatic intervention of the Potemkin Theatre on the East London skyline, we are curating a season of films that capture the body and soul of the city fixed in a moment in time.

Exactly in the same way that Jacques Tati’s cinematic eye was an inspiration in the design of the Potemkin Theatre, the ‘Cities in Film’ season explores the work that goes beyond simply capturing the bricks and mortar of the urban landscape, but somehow shapes our imagined sense of time and place, whilst feeding our understanding of what our cities are - and should be.

Whether it is the idolatry of Woody Allen’s Manhattan, the searing future imaginings of London in A Clockwork Orange or Wim Wender’s reflection on a divided Berlin in Wings of Desire, each film draws on the energy of a community on the cusp of change, capturing a moment in time that has shaped our vision of that city forevermore.

 

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Manhattan

Directed by Woody Allen

Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemmingway, Meryl Streep

Thursday 12 September, 8PM

The quintessential cinematic love letter to the city. 

Woody Allen, at the very peak of his creative powers, weaves his story of frustrated TV writer into the tapestry of the Big Apple. For so many people, this romantic comedy masterpiece, with its unforgettable Gershwin soundtrack, has shaped their image of New York.

Through the neuroses and failings of Allen’s portrayal of Isaac through the dignity of Mariel Hemmingway and the disdain of Isaac’s ex-wife, played by Meryl Streep in an unforgettable cameo, this captures everything that was right - and hints at all that is wrong - with this problematic auteur and his legacy.

Please note - this is an outdoor screening so please dress up warm. Sound will be provided through wireless headphones to ensure highest quality to audience.

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The Great Beauty

Directed by Paolo Sorrentino

Starring Toni Servillo, Carlo Verdone, Sabrina Ferilli

Sunday 15 September, 8pm

A sensual and mysterious journey through Rome at its most fashionable.

Paolo Sorrentino's swooning depiction of Jep Gambardella, an ageing man-about-town who is shocked out of his gentle decline through mortality by an unexpected knock at his apartment door. 

As we follow Jep from the aristocracy of haute couture, through the darkest corridors of the Vatican to the trashiest temples of Eurotrash, we are drawn into the seductive glory of this meditation on the opulence of life - and the melancholy of its passing.


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Wings of Desire

Directed by Wim Wenders

Starring Bruno Ganz, Otto Sander,
Solveig Dommartin

Saturday 21 September, 8pm

An angel’s eye view of a city torn in two.

In his evocative story of two angels observing and discovering love through the divided city, Wim Wenders captures both the stirring hope and underlying sadness of Berlin in the late 1980s.

The angelic Damiel and Cassiel, are two of the invisible and immortal angels who destined to look over the city and its inhabitants - a vocation they undertake with gentle omniscience and touching naivete. As Damiel falls in love with a lonely trapeze artist, he yearns to experience the simple, sensory pleasure of his mortal flock.

Almost instantly hailed as a classic of cinema, and featuring a surprisingly touching supporting performance by Peter Falk (better known as the TV detective Columbo) and visceral concert footage of The Birthday Party and Nick Cave, Wings of Desire is a starkly beautiful portrayal of the complicated relationship between a city and it’s people - both mortal and otherwise.

Please note - this is an outdoor screening so please dress up warm. Sound will be provided through wireless headphones to ensure highest quality to audience.