Al Pacino to present Salomé and Wilde Salomé screening and Q&A at BFI Southbank
Story by Jack Foley
AL Pacino’s Salomé and Wilde Salomé, based on Oscar Wilde’s play, are to get a UK release as part of a very special event at BFI Southbank, London.
The two films, produced by Barry Navidi (The Merchant of Venice) and Robert Fox (The Hours), will be presented together on Sunday, September 21, 2014, and followed by a Q&A with Academy Award winner Al Pacino that will be broadcast live via satellite to cinemas across the UK and Ireland.
The unique event will be hosted by Stephen Fry.
Salomé is Oscar Wilde’s most controversial work, banned in London in the late 19th Century. This scintillating tale of lust, greed and revenge follows the legend of King Herod and his lust for his young stepdaughter, Salomé, and her sexual baiting of John the Baptist.
Wilde’s adaptation has spawned multiple stage productions including an opera by Richard Strauss, and influenced work by musicians including Nick Cave and U2.
Pacino first saw the play performed in London in 1988 with Steven Berkoff in the role of Herod, and the work and performance took an obsessive grip that led him to undertake one of the most challenging projects of his career.
He too played Herod on Broadway, but it was only after witnessing the arresting performance of Academy Award nominee Jessica Chastain (The Help, Zero Dark Thirty) at the Wadsworth Theatre in Los Angeles, and with an intensifying desire to learn more about Wilde, that Pacino felt compelled to commit the project to film.
The result is a fascinating double feature; Salomé, a filmed version of the play and Wilde Salomé, a documentary that captures the enormous challenges Pacino faced in performing in the play while simultaneously directing these two features.
Wilde Salomé follows his journey to Europe to understand more about one of the literary geniuses of the 20th century, Oscar Wilde, and is unlike any other documentary. It is a profound vision that explores religion, literature, politics, violence and sexuality from one of the world’s greatest artists.
Following the presentation of both films, Stephen Fry will host a question and answer session with Pacino at BFI Southbank which will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK.
Fry is an ideal choice as a lifelong admirer of the playwright and having played the title role in the 1997 feature film, Wilde.
For participating cinemas and links to buy tickets please visit this website
Tickets for BFI Southbank will be available for members from 4pm on Tuesday, June 3 before being made available to the public from 11.30am on Wednesday, June 4.
BFI members are entitled to a discount on all tickets. BFI Southbank Box Office Tel: 020 7928 3232. Website
Al Pacino commented: “Having Salomé and Wilde Salomé shown in this context is very rewarding. It’s a real source of excitement to me that cinemas across the UK will be able to see my films and to share our discussion.”
Amanda Nevill, CEO of the BFI added: “Al Pacino is an icon of stage and screen and it is an honour to welcome him to the BFI to present Salomé and Wilde Salomé. It’s great to be working once again with Omniverse and we’re thrilled to bring this very special event to cinemas across the UK.”