BFI London Festival News:
Barry Jenkins brings you the adaption of the 1974 novel If Beale Street Could Talk by American writer James Baldwin. This was his fifth novel (and 13th book overall), it is a love story set in Harlem in the early 1970s. Many may not be aware that the title is a reference to the 1916 W.C. Handy blues song “Beale Street Blues”.
Synopis: Love is what brought you here and if you trusted it this far, trust it all the way.’ Tish (KiKi Layne) and Fonny (Stephan James) have known each other since childhood, but only latterly discovered that the safe, easy familiarity between them has bloomed into a love so intoxicating it promises everlasting joy and happiness. But life is not destined to be so easy for a young black couple living in 1970s Harlem. Fonny is falsely accused of a rape and an unjust judicial system refuses to acknowledge the impossibility of his having committed the crime. Tish and her family struggle to exonerate him. This is only the second time a book by Baldwin has been adapted for the screen (Robert Guédiguian directed a Marseille-set version of this story in 1998). In adapting Beale Street, Jenkins creates an authentic and graceful film about black lives in America – like a missing piece of cinema history for people long denied representation on screen. And with cinematographer James Laxton (Moonlight) and designer Mark Friedberg (Wonderstruck, Selma), he has crafted a ravishing world. The lushness of the film’s images interacts beautifully with its spoken text, capturing the poetry of Baldwin’s language. Fonny and Tish’s story asserts that, even in a world of corruption and prejudice, love and dignity can prevail. Tricia Tuttle
Dir-Scr Barry Jenkins Prod Adele Romanski, Sara Murphy, Barry Jenkins, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Megan Ellison
Cast: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry, Regina King
USA 2018 119min
All tickets go on sale 13 Sept 10am. Screening dates are as follows Saturday 20 October 2018 17:30 Embankment Garden Cinema Sunday 21 October 2018 11:00 Embankment Garden Cinema Sunday 21 October 2018 18:00 Picturehouse Central, Screen 1