Screen Seductresses: Vamps, Vixens & Femmes Fatales
Sexy, iconic and controversial: classic cinema, contemporary live music and gorgeous, godless women, in partnership with BFI Southbank.
From Eve to Cleopatra, Salome to Sharon Stone, women have always been able to win men over with their sexual powers. Obviously this is naughty, and a thinly disguised evil plot to render quivering (and probably kill) all otherwise fine upstanding gentlemen.
But BEV is feeling a little rebellious this year. We're celebrating transgressive women in film, strong and complex seductresses, with razor-sharp wit and unrestrained sexuality. Some say it's all a product of post-war male anxiety about the changing roles of women, but let's not forget the crucial role women played in producing and writing these films. And, of course, the stunning talent a host of actresses brought to cinema - so radical for their time and still startlingly good.
We begin with THE VAMP, a fabulous and alluring figure of silent cinema. Louise Brooks, Theda Bara, Greta Garbo and Alla Nazimova shine like the stars they are in six stunning and rarely-screened films, with specially commissioned live music from cutting edge female artists including Bishi, Natalie Clein and The Broken Hearts.
And then to a month-long season of FEMMES FATALES - the (anti-) heroine of Hollywood's film noir from the 1940s to the present day, including Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity, Kim Novak in Hitchcock's Vertigo, and Chinatown from Roman Polanksi, with Faye Dunaway. This is the largest ever collection of this kind screened at the BFI Southbank - so enjoy devouring its delights!
BEV Retrospective programmers Kelly Robinson and Ingrid Stigsdotter give us an enticing insight into the lives of these amazing Vamp actresses, the original A-list movie stars, on our BEV blog.
And for a broader look at the various forms of the femme fatale throughout cinema's history, read The Independent's article Whatever happened to the femme fatale?
18 classic Hollywood Femmes Fatales movies, from 1941-1995, featuring the likes of Kathleen Turner, Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth.
with music from Bishi & Neil Kaczor
NFT1 Sat 7th Mar 5.30pm
Marvel at mesmeric lesbian Hollywood icon Alla Nazimova, whilst listening to the vamped up sound of award-winning singer, multi-instrumentalist and DJ: Bishi.
Introduced by Immodesty Blaize, the "undisputed queen of British burlesque" (Sunday Times)
with Broken Hearts DJs and Jane Gardner
NFT3 Mon 9th Mar 6pmTheda Bara and Alice Hollister fight over the title of cinema's first sex symbol in this double-bill of bewitching vampires. With new music from Broken Hearts DJs and pianist Jane Gardner.
with music from Natalie Clein
NFT3 Tue 10th Mar 6pmGreta Garbo stars as a melancholy vamp in an emotional rollercoaster with live musical accompaniment from Classical Brit Award Winning cellist Natalie Clein.
with music from The Monroe Transfer
NFT1 Wed 11 Mar 6pmIconic and capricious Louise Brooks leads this silent classic, accompanied for the first time by 7 piece band The Monroe Transfer.
with music from Alison Blunt, with Hannah Marshal and Javier Carmona
NFT3 Thu 12 Mar 6pmStar of Metropolis Bridgitte Helm stars as a lab-manufactured wonder seeking revenge against her creator. With original music from improvisation-based violinist and vocalist, Alison Blunt, with Hannah Marshall and Javier Carmona.