$13 General Admission
Franco Rosso’s incendiary Babylon had its world premiere at Cannes in 1980 but went unreleased in the U.S. for “being too controversial, and likely to incite racial tension” (Vivien Goldman, Time Out). Raw and smoldering, it follows a young dancehall DJ (Brinsley Forde, frontman of landmark British reggae group Aswad) in South London as he pursues his musical ambitions, battling fiercely against the racism and xenophobia of employers, neighbors, police, and the National Front. Written by Martin Stellman (Quadrophenia) and shot by two-time Oscar® winner Chris Menges (The Killing Fields) with beautifully smoky cinematography that has been compared to Taxi Driver, Babylon is fearless and unsentimental, yet tempered by the hazy bliss of the dancehall set to a blistering reggae and lovers rock soundtrack featuring Aswad, Johnny Clarke, Dennis Bovell, and more.
You’ve seen The Harder They Come, maybe you’ve seen Rockers, but you’ve never seen anything like Babylon.
“Babylon does more than borrow the music, fashion, or world view of reggae. It embodies the ethos of the music—and it feels like a song, swaying from a clever joke to fire and brimstone, conveying a message less through language than through the passage of sound waves through bodies.” – Hua Hsu, The New Yorker
“CRITIC’S PICK. Babylon is a 39-year-old nugget of a movie about young British Jamaicans and their itinerant reggae scene built around sound systems, freestyling and parties with rich, low lighting. Just as seminal an entry in the English “angry young man” sweepstakes as the plays, novels and movies about alienation made in the 1960s. Babylon amounts to something that still feels new. You’re looking at people who, in 1980 England, were, at last, being properly, seriously seen.” – Wesley Morris, The New York Times
7.30pm , 4.30pm