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Everything you wanted to know about death (and the movies), but were afraid to ask

Posted at 10:30 am, March 5, 2014 in Arts & Entertainment
Everything you wanted to know about death (and the movies)

Why do we go to the movies? To see violence? To see sex? To see people getting things hilariously caught in their zips? Or could it be that we go to confront the spectre that haunts each and every one of us: death? This Friday at the National Gallery, BFI Head Programmer and former Time Out Film frontman Geoff Andrew will present ‘Moving Pictures, Still Lives’, a look at how death is explored in cinema and art.

‘It’s strange,’ Geoff told us. ‘Death is incredibly common in movies, but it’s seldom properly confronted, seldom shown for what it is. Very often, it’s simply used to provoke an emotion in the viewer: sadness, fear, anxiety, excitement, even laughter.’ But some movies, he argues, do far more than that – though he’s unwilling to give away which examples he’ll be using for fear of spoiling the element of surprise. ‘I’m going to be looking at a number of movies – old and recent, classics and rarities – and at some of the National Gallery’s paintings, all of which deal with death, mortality and grief in stimulating ways.’ Sounds dead good.

‘Moving Pictures, Still Lives’ is this Friday at 6.30pm at the National Gallery. You can buy tickets here, and remember to keep an eye on timeout.com/film for lots more film-centric events and pop-ups happening in London every week.

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