Published: 4 February 2010
by DAN CARRIER
GET ready to swoon: throughout this month, the British Film Institute is screening a series of Johnny Depp movies. Why? Because he has consistently made absolutely super films.
The South Bank rarely disappoints if you need some cinematic escape, and glancing at their recently published programme for 2010, there are plenty of gems to fish out.
Between March and April, the BFI host a South African film season, which covers the gamut of politics and race relations in the Apartheid era and the birth of the Rainbow Nation. Tim Burton’s new Alice In Wonderland is screened in 3-D on the Imax in March too, while in the BFI archives, the first ever version of Lewis Carroll’s book – made in 1903 and restored by the clever people in white coats in the film labs at the institute – is also due to be screened. They are also doing a short season called The Kids Are Alright, which seems a winner – it features children’s TV hits from the past 50 years.
The notoriously shy Camden Town-based playwright Alan Bennett takes to the stage to answer questions from the audience on his contribution to British TV over the years.
Meanwhile, word reaches me that the quiff-toting film critic Mark Kermode, who has recently published a set of memoirs, has become a patron of the marvellous Phoenix Cinema in East Finchley.
He has used the venue to host his Culture Show annual awards (called, um, The Kermodes).
This year is the cinema’s 100th birthday, with work due to start on a £1m restoration project to bring the facilities in this grand old picture house bang up to date.
Other patrons on the board include Michael Palin, Ken Loach, Mike Leigh, Maureen Lipman and Victoria Wood.