A Note from the Programmer
11 October 2023
As we head toward winter, the film landscape enters its awards corridor with distributors big and small platforming their features worthy of Oscar, BAFTA, BIFA attention. One of the best performing films at King Street this past January was Charlotte Wells’ Aftersun, a big winner at the BIFAs in December 2022 with seven awards, including Best Film and Best Director for newcomer Wells.
This year, following the resumption of regular production after a protracted period of inactivity, we’re able to start bringing these films to audiences earlier. I’m proud to be able to bring BFI London Film Festival darlings like Garth Davis’ Foe, Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon and David Fincher’s The Killer to King Street in November. Following those up with Justine Triet’s Palme d’Or winning Anatomy of a Fall and Todd Haynes’ May December - both of which had their world premieres at the 76th Cannes Film Festival in May - and Ridley Scott’s ambitious Napoleon in December. Add to the mix Emerald Fennell’s psychological thriller - and biting satire of aristocracy - Saltburn and Bradley Cooper’s much anticipated exploration of the life of Leonard Bernstein and his wife, Felicia Montealegre, Maestro, and we find the twilight months of 2023 brimming with extraordinary films.
King Street also continues its growing repertory programme in late October with classics from the likes of John Berry (Claudine) and Jules Dassin (Uptight), and Halloween staples such as George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice and William Friedkin’s The Exorcist in a new reissue marking its 50th anniversary.
Rep titles continue in November with the commencement of our retrospective programme exploring the films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger with a new 4K restoration of I Know Where I’m Going!, and reissues of A Matter of Life and Death and The Red Shoes, another performance of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, two performances of the late Horace Ové's Pressure newly restored in 4K, and screenings of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (in its Final Cut iteration) and Alien.
Selecting films for what is essentially a single screen cinema can prove a challenge, especially when confronted with such an abundance of good films (having seen all of these I can personally attest to that), but that’s a good challenge to have. The real trick comes in offering as many performances as possible for patrons to see most of these. There’s no quick solution to that one - seven day operations are an expensive proposition and until King Street finds its continued financial sure footing, an elusive one. So, while our landlord is incredibly gracious in granting an overspill in hours from time to time, performances remain - a week here and there notwithstanding - constrained by those four days.
As we approach the beginning of a new year, though, I am - as is the entire King Street team - immensely thankful to the audiences who have continued to return week on week, to the audiences who are discovering King Street for the first time and to our funding partners, sponsors, distribution partners and donors. Without you the screens stay dark, the seats stay empty and the popcorn cold. And I’m delighted to say that the number of regular visitors has continued to grow, more than doubling since December 2021. So as we look ahead to January's releases of Sofia Coppola's Priscilla, Yorgos Lanthimos' Poor Things, Michael Mann's Ferarri and Alexander Payne's The Holdovers, I am more confident than ever in a bright future for independent cinema.
Dan, Programmer & Managing Director, King Street Cinema