The 2019 Festival of the Future City includes classic utopian films about cities; cities in silent cinema; and documentaries on New Towns, democracy, the housing crisis and the anthropocene. We are grateful to BFI for their support for this film programme.

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PUSH (12A)
Tue 17 September 2019 18:00-19:45
Watershed, Price: £10/ £8
The local working and middle classes have become unable to afford housing in major cities across the world. London, New York, Hong Kong, Toronto, Tokyo, Valparaiso, Sydney, Melbourne, Caracas, Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Bristol … the list seems endless. People are being pushed out of their very own homes – because living in them has become unaffordable. It’s a global housing crisis. Who and what are cities for, when nobody can afford to live in them?

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Menschen am Sonntag (PG)
Sun 06 October 2019 12:00-13:30
Watershed, Price: £8/ £5
This magical blend of documentary and fiction takes us back to a glorious summer Sunday in late-1920s Berlin where five young workers take a day off. While they enjoy freedoms undreamt of by their parents, sexual rivalry soon lends an edge to their flirtations.

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Opium (PG)
Sun 13 October 2019 12:00-13:55
Watershed Price: £8/ £5
This sensational silent drama, made during the early censorship-free period, warns against the perils of drug addiction and sexual debauchery.

Digitally restored by DCP Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum with live piano musical accompaniment by Meg Morley.

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Anthropocene: The Human Epoch
Mon 14 October 2019 18:00-21:00
Watershed, Price: £10/ £8
At the intersection of art and science, Anthropocene: The Human Epoch witnesses a critical moment in geological history — bringing a provocative and unforgettable experience of our species’ breadth and impact. A panel after the showing on 14 October explores what climate change in the Anthropocene means for us and especially for cities

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They Came to a City (U)
Wed 16 October 2019 10:00am – 12:00pm
Watershed, Price: £8 / £5
Adapted from a J B Priestley stage play, a group of disparate characters discuss their hopes for an ideal city. The film touches on themes of class, socialism and misogyny as well as utopia.

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New Towns, Our Towns: Stories on Screen (U)
Thu 17 October 2019 10:00am – 11:30am
Watershed, Price: £8 / £5
New Towns, Our Town: Stories on Screen is an innovative film project that seeks to increase the visibility of, and pride in, the story of the New Town movement, and the unique social history and heritage of these pioneering towns. The project takes place in the first four of the UK’s New Towns – Stevenage, Crawley, Hemel Hempstead and Harlow – using rare archive film footage to explore the shared experiences of their residents.

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New Town Utopia (15)
Thu 17 October 2019 12:00pm – 1:13pm
Watershed, Price: £8 / £5
New Town Utopia tells the challenging, funny and sometimes tragic story of the British new town of Basildon, comparing the utopian words of Attlee’s post-war planning minister Lewis Silkin with the reality of the town now.

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The Dilapidated Dwelling (PG)
Fri 18 October 2019 10:00am – 11:30am
Watershed, Price: £8 / £5
In Patrick Keiller’s film, a fictional researcher returns from a 20-year absence in the Arctic to find that, though the UK is one of the most advanced economies technologically, its houses are the most dilapidated in western Europe.

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The Experimental City: A Documentary
Fri 18 October 2019 14:45-17:00
Watershed, Price: £8 / £5
The Minnesota Experimental City (MXC) project was a futuristic attempt to solve urban problems by creating a full-size city from scratch in the isolated woods of northern Minnesota. Despite gaining support and funding, it failed. This film tells its story.

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My Boy (PG) + Manhatta (PG)
Fri 18 October 2019 20:00-21:15
Cube Cinema, Price: £10/ £8
Victor Heerman and Albert Austin’s My Boy starring Jackie Coogan is a comedy drama set on the busy streets of New York. It is accompanied with a screening of Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand’s city-symphony short film Manhatta (1921), a swooping journey across 1920s Manhattan, guided by the lines of a Walt Whitman poem.

Live piano accompaniment by Meg Morley.

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Nineteen Eighty Four (15)
Sat 19 October 2019 14:00-16:30
Watershed, Price: £8/ £5
Released 35 years ago, this adaptation of Orwell’s classic novel is pertinent today – as is the book – in a time of totalitarians, attacks on free thinking, fake news, the rise of populism, two-minute hate and fears for the future of democracy. Following the film, Simon Perry, producer, will discuss Nineteen Eighty-Four with Andrew Kelly, director, Festival of Ideas. This event is part of a citywide reading project on Nineteen Eighty-Four. We’re giving away 1,000 copies of the book in Festival of the Future City.

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Abwege (PG)
Sun 20 October 2019 12:00-13:50
Watershed, Price: £8/ £5
G W Pabst, the great realist of Weimar-era cinema, uses a marital crisis to paint a shimmering portrait of Berlin society.

Digitally restored by DCP Filmmuseum München and with live piano musical accompaniment by John Sweeney.

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What is Democracy?
Mon 21 October 2019 18:00-21:15
Watershed, Price: £10/ £8
Featuring a diverse cast – including celebrated theorists, trauma surgeons, activists, factory workers, asylum seekers, and former prime ministers – this urgent film connects the past and the present, the emotional and the intellectual, the personal and the political, in order to provoke and inspire. If we want to live in democracy, we must first ask what the word even means. The film screening is followed by a panel debating democracy that will include film-maker Astra Taylor.

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Der Golem (PG)
Wed 23 October 2019 19:30-21:00
Curzon Cinema, Price: £10/ £8
With its foreshadowing of Jewish persecution to come, Paul Wegener’s Der Golem is a poignant piece of film-making that emerged as one of the great masterpieces of silent cinema.

Live musical performance by HarmonieBand.

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Au Bonheur des Dames (PG)
Sat 26 October 2019 14:00-15:40
Watershed, Price: £8/ £5
Set within the glamorous world of a Parisian department store, Julien Duvivier’s long-forgotten masterpiece was one of the last silent films to be made in France and is ripe for rediscovery thanks to this brand new restoration by Lobster Films, Paris.

Live musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.

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Der Kampf ums Matterhorn (PG)
Sun 27 October 2019 12:00-14:10
Watershed, Price: £8/ £5
An Alpine thriller combining depictions of historical events with a jealousy sub-plot about an English climber and his mountain guide wanting to be the first to climb the Matterhorn.

Digitally restored by DCP Filmmuseum München and with live piano musical accompaniment by Stephen Horne.

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Moulin Rouge (PG)
Fri 22 November 2019 20:00-22:30
Cube Cinema, Price: £10/ £8
Set in and around the famous dancehalls of Paris, Moulin Rouge was the first British film directed by Expressionist pioneer Ewald Andre Dupont. It is an entertaining, energetic film which pulls you right back into 1920s Parisian life and society, an era in which anything goes.

Live piano musical accompaniment by John Sweeny.

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