The Screen at Contemporary: SWAY

Sex, Politics, Love & Hate told through music, song and dance.

This season of The Screen at Contemporary we look to the often overlooked, sometimes controversial and frequently subversive world of musicals where love, hate, sex and politics are played out through song, music and dance. Join us for SWAY!

£5 per ticket, or any five tickets for £20.

Swing Time (1936)
George Stowes

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers evokes a Hollywood brimmed with possibilities and newness with the sound of jazz, fevered and skilled dance, radically modern aesthetic and optimistic, idealistic vision it presented. Whilst these films look to the future, we are reminded of the context in which they are made with scenes when Astaire dons blackface for ‘Bojangles of Harlem’ highlighting further the music.

Hairspray (1988)
John Waters

in 1962 Baltimore ‘pleasantly plump’ teen Tracy Turnblad becomes and overnight sensation after she gets a spot the the Corny Collins show. A hilarious, kitsch and camp satire that’s both really fun and pokes holes in American values looking at segregation, beauty standards and media control.

Presented with Reel Equality Film Club and talk from Christina Newland author of She Found It at the Movies: Women Writers on Sex, Desire and Cinema

Umbrellas of Cherborg (1964)
Jacques Demy

Catherine Deneuve, Umbrellas, Paris, Heartbreak all played out in magic experiment of music and storytelling. A visually sumptuous Technicolor dream of a film that flits between love letter to classic Hollywood cinema and French melancholy where true love doesn’t always conquer all.

Grease (1978)
Randal Kleiser

Rydell High, Pink Ladies, T-Birds, Frosty Palace, Drive- in movies, sloppy seconds and Maraschino- as in Cherry. A near perfect teen film that’s brimming with 50s nostalgia, sex, male identity, class tied up in rock-n- roll. Few films held with such deep affection by so many that generations know it word for word join us to see it on the big screen.

West Side Story (1961)
Jerome Robbins & Robert Wise

1950s New York to rival gangs the Sharks and the Jets battle it out in a Romeo & Juliet style tragedy. Often marked as a new wave of musicals whilst exploring these of race, class and sex the music and dance feels like move into a new era of musicals. Marked with its own controversy with the tragic story.

Cabaret (1972)
Bob Fosse

A young British writer moves to Berlin where he befriends the free-spirited Sally Bowels at his boarding house. Bob Fosse brings a dose of rebelliousness, sex and 1970s counterculture to the genre that still feels electric and alluring. Coupled with the sense of impeding dome that permeates Weimar Germany the themes are unfortunately just as poignant in the contemporary context.

Devdas (2002)
Sanjay Bhansali

A young man returns to India to reunite with his childhood love but their families have other plans. Sumptuous, dramatic and epic in story and aesthetic. Probably the most well-known Bollywood, it is a true joy to watch on the big screen.

Singing in the Rain (1952)
Stanley Donen

Set during the advent of when cinema moved from silent to ‘talkies’ our Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds shine in the brilliant and magnificent classic. With the Lavish routines and iconographic music, the knowing Hollywood about Hollywood narrative makes it more self-aware and more relevant in the contemporary context.

Hegwig and the Angry Inch (2001)
John Cameron Mitchell

Hedwig Robinson a gender queer Rockstar falls for a young musician who steals songs. A cult classic about identity, recognition and rebirth and personal freedom told with wit and irreverence. A rare treat this screening will be accompanied by drag performance from our friends at Dirty Sexy Filthy. Not to be missed.

Join them for Rocky Horror Pictureshow and Karaoke at Broadway

Check out Broadway’s BFI Blockbuster Season of Musicals in November and December