This month on the Cinema of Ideas we are delighted to welcome writer-director and former programmer Jane Giles to discuss London’s legendary Scala cinema (1978-1993) and her new documentary Scala Club Cinema — which tells the riotous inside story of the infamous sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll rep house which inspired a generation during Britain’s turbulent Thatcher years.
We will be in conversation with Jane from 6pm-7pm, Wednesday 18 January. After the live event, a recording of the conversation will be available to watch until Wednesday 25 January.
Tickets are free but you can support our partner venues with an optional donation at checkout. Book now.
This upcoming film features new interviews with the cinema’s diverse audience members who went on to become filmmakers, musicians, writers, actors, activists and artists, combined with previously unseen archive material, startling movie clips, newly commissioned animation and graphics based on the Scala’s iconic monthly programmes. With its universal themes of youthful discovery and the underdog vs the establishment, this is no nostalgia trip but rather a film of universal relevance with clear parallels between then and now. Above all, it’s a hilarious and joyous celebration of cinema-going.
The cast includes: Barry Adamson (who also wrote the film’s original score), John Akomfrah, Ralph Brown, Paul Burston, Adam Buxton, Caroline Catz, Lina Gopaul, Mary Harron, Douglas Hart, Graham Humphreys, Stefan Jaworzyn, Alan Jones, Isaac Julien, Matt Johnson, Princess Julia, Nick Kent, Beeban Kidron, David Lawson, Stewart Lee, David McGillivray, Jim MacSweeney, Mark Moore, Kim Newman, James O’Brien, Lisa Power, Paul Putner, JoAnne Sellar, Peter Strickland, JG Thirlwell, Cathi Unsworth, Chris Watson, Ben Wheatley, Jah Wobble, Stephen Woolley and John Waters.
Jane Giles (b.1964) was an art school reject who Laura Mulvey accepted onto the film studies course at Bulmershe College in Reading, 1983. She then did an MA in Film at the University of Kent before being appointed as the British Film Institute’s second trainee in Regional Film Theatre Management in 1987. Jane went on to work in exhibition, programming for the Scala cinema, ICA, London Film Festival, and others, also in acquisitions for independent film distribution companies including Tartan and most recently the BFI from 2008-2016.
She’s written film journalism for Sight & Sound, Time Out, the Guardian, and authored several film books, including The Cinema of Jean Genet and Scala Cinema 1978-1993 (FAB Press, 2018) which is the basis for the feature-length big screen documentary Scala Club Cinema, Jane’s first film as director which is currently in post-production and due for release in 2023.
Help support independent cinemas by selecting one of our partner venues at checkout and adding a donation to your booking.
The conversation on Wednesday 18 January will be live-captioned. These will appear automatically at the bottom of the screen during the livestream.
This event is available to view worldwide. A recording of the conversation will be available to view on the platform from 7:00pm GMT on Wednesday 18 January until 11:59pm GMT on Wednesday 25 January.
If you have any queries regarding the accessibility of this event please email us.
Please note that the video platform is not compatible with Linux based operating systems (including Chromebooks). If you need technical support please contact Eventive support. You can test your device compatibility in advance here.
Remembering London’s legendary Scala Cinema
6pm-7pm, Wednesday 18 January