BFI unveils Blockbuster Season 2022:
‘In Dreams Are Monsters’
by Ellis Reed
The BFI have unveiled the full programme for their 2022 Blockbuster Season, ‘In Dreams Are Monsters’.
Programmed by Anna Bogutskaya, Kelli Weston and the BFI’s own Michael Blyth, the season will play from October to December in cinemas nationwide – including the famous BFI Southbank – and on BFI Player.
According to the press release:
‘IN DREAMS ARE MONSTERS is a fresh, inventive and inclusive take on the horror genre tracing how the imagery of nightmare has been created through film, and how stories of monsters have always been political. Through five mythical horror archetypes – the beast, ghost, vampire, witch and zombie – IN DREAMS ARE MONSTERS explores how these monstrous bodies have been represented on screen over the last hundred years and how they have been reclaimed by new voices in horror filmmaking. Each archetype doesn’t so much inform a subgenre as it does a taste for horror; whether it be the creatures that lurk in the shadows, or those that come from within, the beasts of cinema are our darkest fears made flesh. The witch threatens the patriarchy with her alternative, gendered power: her magic and sexuality destabilise the masculinist social order. The ghost embodies the silenced classes: a domestic sign of broader, social horrors taking place. Vampires, the most seductive of monster archetypes, blur the lines between horror, action, eroticism and romance, whilst the zombie is the most overtly politicised of all cinematic monsters, a rotting blank canvas for social commentary.’
There are far more screenings and events than we could hope to list here, so we encourage you to check out the full programme. Select highlights at BFI Southbank include:
- A Halloween double bill of Clive Barker films – Hellraiser (1987) and Nightbreed (1990) – introduced by Nicholas Vince (Chattering Cenobite), Simon Bamford (Butterball Cenobite) and Phil Stokes (curator of the Clive Barker Archive);
- An ‘immersive’ (!) anniversary screening of the legendary Ghostwatch (1992), with director Lesley Manning and writer Stephen Volk doing an on-stage Q&A;
- Screenings of classics like Frankenstein (1931), Creature From the Black Lagoon in 3D (1954), David Cronenberg’s The Fly (1986), and A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984);
- A 20th anniversary screening of 28 Days Later (2002), with director Danny Boyle and special guests in attendance;
- The transformation of BFI Imax into ‘a spooky summer camp for an all-night sleepover in December’ (!) featuring ‘a marathon of cabin-themed slasher films on the biggest screen in Britain’ (!!).
The season also includes a UK-wide programme of over thirty-five special events and screenings, presented in partnership with the BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN). Among these are four special commissions by leading regional horror film festivals:
- A ‘Night of the Cat’ double bill at Nottingham’s Mayhem Film Festival (13-16 October);
- A nationwide celebration of Blaxploitation horror films, presented in venues across the UK by Abertoir of Aberystwyth (15-20 & 25-27 November);
- A ‘Monsters and Movies’ series of screenings and talks, presented by Manchester’s Grimmfest (19-20 November) and the MMU Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies;
- The aforementioned immersive anniversary screening of Ghostwatch, presented by Celluloid Screams (20-23 October) and Live Cinema UK.
Running in parallel to the in-person events, BFI Player will host an extensive collection of films for streaming, including Nosferatu (1922), La Llorona (1960), Viy (1967), Kuroneko (1968), Ganja and Hess (1973), Rabid (1977), Suspiria (1977), Society (1989), Ringu (1998), Good Manners (2017), White Zombie (1932), and Lord Shango (1975).
This is a seriously exciting programme – Ghostwatch alone would have us jumping for joy – and we’ve barely even scratched the surface of the schedule. You can read more at the BFI website and we encourage you to do so!