The Barbican today announced the launch of a new streaming service showcasing the best international films and hidden cinematic gems through independent on-release films, exclusive one-off titles and film seasons, curated by the Barbican Cinema team and selected partners.
Cinema on Demand is the first ever streaming service to be offered by the Barbican, and builds on the popular digital content programme from the Barbican’s cinema, creative learning, gallery, music and theatre curatorial teams, available through Read, Watch & Listen.
The service is available to audiences across the UK with a rolling four-week programme of titles and events. The launch programme available between 10 July and 7 August includes five film choices together with a poetry reading and two virtual ScreenTalks. Titles will remain available for audiences to stream for 48 hours from the time of purchase, and will include closed captions and audio description where available, continuing the Barbican’s commitment to access. Barbican Cinema on Demand is supported by the Mayor of London’s Culture at Risk business support fund and the National Lottery through BFI Film Audience Network.
Two new releases will be available to stream throughout July to 7 August: from Iceland, Hlynur Pálmason’s atmospheric psychological drama-thriller A White, White Day (2019); and from Biosphere 2, the new documentary Spaceship Earth, which tells the story of eight people who spent two years quarantined inside a self-engineered replica of Earth’s ecosystem. A free virtual ScreenTalk with Spaceship Earth director Matt Wolf and film curator Justin Jaeckel from the Architectural Foundation will take place on 16 July.
Audiences will have a chance to see a young Björk in the brand new restoration of Nietzchka Keene’s Juniper Tree (1990), which was due to screen at the Barbican in April. Set in the wilds of medieval Iceland, the film is a visually stunning tale of witchcraft based on a Brothers Grimm story. The stream will also include a reading by poet Annie Hayter, inspired by the Nordic island’s mythology, nature and landscapes, mirroring some of the film’s themes.
Following its sold-out screening as part of Forbidden Colours which celebrates rarely seen queer-focussed films from places where LGBTQ+ people face oppression, audiences will have another opportunity from 24 July to see the powerful drama Retablo (2017), set in a remote village in the Peruvian Andes. The director Alvaro Delgado-Aparicio will join a free virtual ScreenTalk with Barbican Cinema curator Alex Davidson on 27 July to discuss his BAFTA-nominated film, which tells of a teenager who discovers his father has been having sex with men.
Each month the programme will include new Family Film Club content. From 10 July to 7 August, the programme features ABsolutely Amazing Shorts, a programme of films from AB Studios in Latvia, who have been making award-winning stop-motion animations since the 1960s. Expert in creating simple stories for children with a unique visual style, these quirky films with minimal dialogue, tell tales of bears on the loose, circus tigers running amok and vegetable garden shenanigans.
For further information, visit Cinema on Demand here.
Image: The Juniper Tree
Naila Scargill is the publisher and editor of horror journal Exquisite Terror. Holding a broad editorial background, she has worked with an eclectic variety of content, ranging from film and the counterculture, to political news and finance.