Revisit Christmas past with Scrooge and It’s a Wonderful Life or treat your little ones to It’s a Disney Christmas: Seasonal Shorts, a selection of festive Disney shorts including the long-lost film, Sleigh Bells, featuring the first ever Disney character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.
Throughout the Christmas season London’s Southbank is at its sparkling best and BFI Southbank is the ultimate destination to ignite your yuletide cheer. With two great restaurants offering festive treats, a shop full of film goodies and the best film programme in London, BFI Southbank is the one-stop-shop this Christmas.
Revisit Christmas past with Scrooge and It’s a Wonderful Life or treat your little ones to It’s a Disney Christmas: Seasonal Shorts, a selection of festive Disney shorts including the long-lost film, Sleigh Bells, featuring the first ever Disney character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. Throughout December treat yourself and a date to a two-course meal at benugo along with two tickets to any film at the BFI Southbank all for just £40. Why not get swept away by the epic romance of Doctor Zhivago or enjoy the ultimate rom-com When Harry Met Sally… as part of BFI LOVE.
Alternatively, take a trip down memory lane with a collection of yuletide continuity, dating back to the 1970s, all once thought lost, in Missing Believed Wiped: Treasures of Christmas Past. If it’s Christmas gifts you’re after the BFI Shop is hosting a special shopping evening on 24 November, offering exclusive deals and complementary mulled wine.
The BFI Southbank continues to offer a winter respite, from 27 to 30 December, perfect to soothe post-Christmas blues with the family friendly, Lady and the Tramp, and classic romantic comedy, The Shop Around the Corner.
IN THE STUDIO
It’s a Wonderful Life
USA 1947. Dir Frank Capra. With James Stewart, Donna Reed, Henry Travers. 129min. Digital. U
Stewart plays a troubled small-town family man whose sense of failure and moral despair leads him to contemplate suicide as Christmas approaches. An impish guardian angel (second class) appears, to show him how good his life has been and to steer him back to happiness. Beautifully crafted and acted, its humour and gentleness imbued at times with an almost Dickensian darkness, the film has achieved cult status as one of the most popular and enduring of all Christmas entertainments.
FRI 11 – WED 30 DEC STUDIO
UK 1951. Dir Brian Desmond-Hurst. With Alastair Sim, Jack Warner, Kathleen Harrison. 86min. Digital. U
‘Christmas, sir, is humbug,’ utters Ebenezer Scrooge in Alastair Sim’s (most would say definitive) portrayal of Charles Dickens’ miserly businessman. Though joined by an impressive array of British acting talent, Sim dominates this festive classic, deftly switching between drama and comedy with ease.
FRI 18 – WED 30 DEC STUDIO
Make Your Own Christmas E-Card
Come along to learn all about the magic of stop-motion animation in this fun and immersive workshop for parents and their children, giving you a unique opportunity to make a personalised e-card for family or friends. All materials supplied, but please bring a memory device in order to save your finished film. Lunch not included.
Tickets: parent with one child £20, siblings £8 each
SUN 13 DEC 9:30 – 13:00
It’s A Disney Christmas: Seasonal Shorts
TRT 90min. U (suitable for all ages)
There has always been a special connection between Walt Disney and Christmas, so what better way to prepare for the yuletide season than by watching some of the best Disney shorts from the 1930s to the present day? Our special programme includes the world premiere of the newly restored Oswald the Rabbit film Sleigh Bells (1928), missing for decades and recently discovered by the BFI and restored by Walt Disney Animation Studios,
alongside gems such as Mickey’s Good Deed (1932), Night Before Christmas (1933), The Art of Skiing (1941), Pluto’s Christmas Tree (1952), Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983), Prep and Landing: Operation Secret Santa (2010) and Frozen Fever (2015).
SAT 12 DEC 12:50 NFT1
Santa Claus: The Movie
UK-USA 1985. Dir Jeannot Szwarc. With Dudley Moore, John Lithgow, David Huddleston. 108min. Digital. U (suitable for all ages)
It’s not easy being Santa Claus, but things get even more difficult when one of his elves becomes disgruntled and heads to New York, where he starts making toys for an unscrupulous businessman with plans that threaten Christmas as we know it. Enjoy this sparkling digital restoration for the film’s 30th anniversary.
SAT 19 DEC 13:30 NFT1 / SUN 20 DEC 13:30 NFT3
The recently launched 25 & Under scheme allows people aged 16 to 25 to buy last minute tickets 45 minutes before any event or screening for just £3, a saving of over £8 on regular priced tickets.
UK-USA 1965. Dir David Lean. With Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, Geraldine Chaplin Rod Steiger, Alec Guinness. 200min (+ interval). Digital 4K (in NFT1, 2K elsewhere). PG. A BFI release
Fifty years since it won five Oscars®, David Lean’s enthralling historical romance, set during one of the most turbulent periods of political change, still retains its personal intimacy and epic sweep This great love story is adapted from Boris Pasternak’s Nobel Prize-winning novel set during the Russian Revolution. Yuri (Sharif) and Lara (Christie) are as beautiful as the snowy landscape they inhabit and as mysterious as the future their country faces. He is the doctor-poet who, despite being married, falls for Lara, a studious but fallen girl from a poor family. They’re destined to be together but forces beyond their control take hold of their lives. Freddie Young’s sumptuous ‘Scope cinematography (dazzling in this new restoration) combines with the famous Maurice Jarre score to make this an overwhelming cinematic experience.
TUE 1 – WED 30 DEC
When Harry Met Sally…
USA 1989. Dir Rob Reiner. With Meg Ryan, Billy Crystal, Carrie Fisher, Bruno Kirby. 95min. Digital. 15. A Park Circus release
The eternally charming When Harry Met Sally… would prove the wellspring for everything from Friends and Sex and the City to the romcom queens of the 1990s. Rob Reiner’s deft direction combined alchemically with writer Nora Ephron’s sharp wit to create an even-handed and believable battle of the sexes. The film follows would-be lovers Harry (Crystal) and Sally (Ryan) over a decade, but the path to true love never did run smoothly, and they move from suspicion to friendship – and that diner scene – until, inevitably, the ‘sex part’ gets in the way. But will romance win out in the end?
FRI 11 – MON 28 DEC
*FRI 11 DEC 18:10 – INTRO BY AUTHOR TAMIR JEFFERS-MCDONALD
**SAT 19 DEC 18:30 – INTRO BY ACTOR SIMON PEGG AND SCREENWRITER TESS MORRIS
MISSING BELIEVED WIPED
Treasures of Christmas Past
Created in conjunction with our colleagues at The TV Museum YouTube channel, this is a bumper collection of Christmas-time continuity (mainly from the BBC) ranging from the 1970s to the turn of the millennium – items which speak volumes about the style of TV at the time.
Joint ticket offer with Continuity and Beyond £16, concs £12 (Members pay £1.70 less)
SUN 13 DEC 15:50 NFT3
benugo Bar and Kitchen, BFI Southbank
Throughout December get two cinema tickets and a 2-course meal for two at benugo Bar and Kitchen for £40.
BFI Southbank has two great places to lounge, eat and drink on the riverside and in a contemporary restaurant with a range of British-influenced seasonal dishes and specials. While you’re here, sample the bar or pop into the intimate Drawing Room, a small cocktail bar behind a secret doorway in the lounge.
BFI Shop at BFI Southbank is the best film shop in the country, so drop in for Christmas shopping to choose from hundreds of DVDs, books, posters, toys, stationery – perfect gifts for film lovers.
On Tuesday 24 November BFI Shop is open until 9pm and offering exclusive deals and complementary mulled wine.